advice on moving to BA pls


Nov 6, 2006
hello .... my family and I are thinking of moving to BA from the UK. Looking to get an insight into how to get this whole process started and also to get an inside view of what life is like for people who have already experienced what we're hoping to this time next year. Any feedback /advice appreciated.
I have some small pieces of advice as I have only semi-moved there. First of all, Bs As is amazing.....but be really careful with everything and everyone. Petty theft and dishonesty is rampant. Violent crime at a similar level to UK. Trust people for the small things but listen to the locals and behave like them. Be patient with the have no choice as a foreigner.
Specifics: Opening a bank account can be tricky. You will need a CDI (an identity code for tax). Getting this is easy but timeconsuming. Visit a police station near to where you are staying and ask them to come to your "home" (even temporary) address. They give you a document you then take with photocopies of your passport and any other ID you have. At the tax office (called the AFIP - you will find the nearest one in the phone book) you will queue for hours (take a book). You will probably need to be assertive in the queue as I think it is fair to say that though charming, the Argentinians are not the best in the world at orderly queuing.....
2. Next take a photocopy of your CDI, payslips from the UK, passport etc to the nearest bank. This is the frustrating part....I cannot say at which bank you will definitely succeed. It depends on the day and the person over the counter as to how you will fare. If you are from the UK this bit seems baffling. Alas, it is true. I had no problem with BANCO ITAU in calle defensa, San Telmo, perhaps because they are used to foreigners!
3. Medical insurance. About 50 USD a month. Pay by direct debit. It is worth popping in to one of the better clinics when you arrive so that if you have an emergency you know where to go. For the moment, medicare, if you pay, is good and inexpensive.
4. DO not be tempted to do anything illegal. This includes tax evasion. The AFIP are getting ready to hammer foreigners and locals alike for the national sport - tax evasion.
5. Keep some money in an English or American bank account.
6. Chose your area where to live well. If you are planning a guesthouse, San Telmo is best. If you are after a high-risk investment but with potential high returns, La Boca, Barracas etc....For pleasant family life but near other opportunities areas like San Isidro, Pilar (50 kms north of Bs), San Rafael (Mendoza) province are the better bets.....There are some incredible real estate bargains out there but this will change, in my opinion, if mortgages start again.....
7. Be aware that Argentina is booming. It seems to have got into a terrible boom-bust cycle. This current boom is as mad as the rest (7 star hotels springing up everywhere).....I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket....They have inflation, pollution and delinquent public services in the middle of a mad splurge of private cash.....Great for a holiday and if you are paying with pounds, dollars or euros, slightly worrying if you are earning in pesos....
8. Education is good and at university level, free, if you take up residency and pay tax here.
9. The food is amazing full stop.
10. The country is beautiful and the climate benign.