clamping down on perma-tourists


Jun 6, 2006
Just got back from immigrations after being denied an extension on my tourist visa. Apparently, they're having a clamp-down on perma-tourists...and are only going to let us have a prorroga de resistencia one more time (or not at all in the case of me, and anyone else who has done it several times already!) I was told that my best option was to do the Uruguay crossing again...although I've heard people are having trouble with that too!
Time to get legal or get out!
Ashley - that's interesting. Can you expand on how many times you had done it at immigrations? My understanding is that one can only do it 2x a year (once every 6 months) - were you over that?
no...I've been living here since the end of 2006 on a tourist visa (which is a bit much really)...but always going back to the UK for 3 months or so each year and to Uruguay in between to renew the visa. I first went to immigrations for a prorroga de visa just over a year and a half ago (so I have three in my passport - one every six months). First the woman at the desk said that she could extend it one more time given the number of times I'd been in and out of the country...Then when she tried to type it into the computer, it wouldn't let her...saying that I'd reached my limit! It's strange because the immigrations website remains the same (saying you can change it once every six months) as does the law...but the system has actually been tightened up!
I'm just concerned that they're going to do something similar at the border. I've already heard about several friends of mine getting grilled for having too many stamps in their passport at Ezeiza and colonia!
The following was recently posted in the Argentine visas thread:

HoboZero said:
I wanted to add that I've been here doing the 90 crossing for three years, and was told, angrily I should add, last weekend by the argentine immigrations officer that the laws are changing and a tourist visa is just that and can't be renewed indefinitely. She told me that it was the last time I'd be granted admission.

I've heard that the crackdown was coming. They were going to institute a $135 dollar entrance fee this year, but it never came to fruition. I understand that this is still the plan. It's a matter of when not if.

I'm pursuing a temporary residency now am interested if anyone has gotten one under the "rentista" option. I've got some savings, but can't demonstrate income.

And I made the following posts in the (now closed) "Tourist visa renewal, renewal, and renewal..." thread:

(Quote:Originally Posted by cujodu)
Hi, I'm from the USA but have spent a lot of time in Argentina over the past several years. I have 7 pages of stamps from Argentina and Uruguay.... a few weeks in 2005, 6 months over 2 trips in 2006/2007, and now I've been here since March 2008. I go to Colonia every 3 months to renew the visa. (End Quote)

My reply:

"It isn't necessary to go Colina every three months.

Migraciones routinely grants a 90 day extension of the "tourist visa" at their office on Antardida in Puerto Madera.

Had you done this in the past you would only have half as many stamps in your passport..IF they grant the extension more than once.

As you have already gone back and forth so many times they might ask questions, too. Nonetheless, it's probably worth a try. If they say no here, you will have to go to Colonia again, but in that case you may face more questions coming back..

Another member of the forum once posted that the law states that foreigners may not stay in Argentina more than six months a year without a resident visa. If that's the case, the immigration authorities here have been "soft" on enforcement for quite a while, but they certainly know what's going on.

If they do crack down in the future, they still might let you back in for an additional 90 days, but could write in your passport that it's the "last" time they will allow it until you have stayed out of the country for six months."

(Quote:Originally Posted by mopo )
I didn't know that Steveinbsas. So what i have to do is go to Migration office and they will extend my visa without any problem (it will be the first time!!)? (End Quote)

My reply:

"It will be the first time you have requested the prorrogas de permanencia at the office in Argentina, but all the stamps in your passport clearly show what you have been doing. I've been told that it isn't "legal" FOR FOREIGNERS to be here more than six months per year. While it's obvious that migraciones hasn't been strict about enforcing that regulation with those who are going back and forth to Uruguay twice a year (in your case four times per year?), they could just as easily say no to the 90 day extension here.

Quote:Originally Posted by Stanexpat
A tourist visa is valid for a short stay for the purpose of tourism. It's not valid for the purpose of living in Argentina as a resident. Given this they could deny a renewal and not allow you entry to the country. A lot of people think they are legal by getting the 90 tourist renewal, they aren't.(end quote)

If they decide to enforce the rules you would have a problem. I don't know how likely this is.

Stan is right about the purpose of the tourist visa, but it IS perfectly legal to get the 90 day extension at office of immigration in Puerto Madera, at least once in a one year period. Apparently, not so many know of this option.

Perhaps it isn't legal to leave the country after those six months only to reenter immediately on another tourist visa, but it obviously continues to be done on a regular basis."

Now it looks like the days (if not years) of endless renewal are coming to an end.
If this is true it certainly is a big change. I never understood the logic of traveling to Uruguay to renew tourist visas for people that were in fact residents. What would be the motivation of the government? A sudden realization that's it's time to enforce the rules? Hard to know at this point. Maybe they want people on tourist visa's to seek residency so they are on the radar screen, then they can start collecting taxes from them? After all the government seems very short on cash.
It is possible that they are trying to enforce the law, I believe expats living here on tourists visas will have problems if this is so because they try to stay "legally" using a loophole. There are hundreds of thousands of illegals living in the city and they do not have any problems...why? because they do not do anything about it. You are setting a lot of red flags by coming and going...just my 2 cents.
Yes I think a lot of the problem is that most tourists here aren't comfortable with the idea of calling themselves illegal aliens, which is what they are! By leaving and getting the new stamp they feel that they are legal and not breaking laws. They may have flown in by plane but there's not much difference between what they do and what the illegals are doing in the States.

I've married an Argentine but still waiting on some docs before we can even submit for the DNI, so I won't be leaving the country again until that happens, I'm personally not willing to risk it! I would say anyone else that's not wiling to be kicked out will have to consider doing the same, or understand that they truly may be kicked out of the country now. What I'm doing is also technically ilegal, maybe not in the eyes of the Argentine customs officers, but in the eyes of both the Argentine and Canadian Revenue agencies I'm definitely more than bending the rules...

One thing that people should understand is that if you get kicked out of the country, this can have repercussions later on in life, not just in terms of trying to get back into Argentina, but trying to get Visas to other countries. I have talked to the Argentine embassy about my situation and have been told that technically since I am married to an Argentine I do have right to stay, but I'm in a bit of a grey area until I get the DNI. We have never been bothered about this before because rules have been so lax here, but now I think this is motivation for us to get our stuff together and get going on the process for once and for all.
I am on the buque right now. (I love wifi.)

I am traveling from Montevideo to Buenos Aires, and I had no problems getting another 90 days. In fact, the woman at immigration was just delightful. She even said, "Chau, mi amor" as I was preparing to pass. :p So cute. :)

However, the total amount of time I've resided in Argentina in 2008 is just something like 100 days. I do have quite a few stamps from Argentina dating back to 2006. In total, 8 sets of stamps (entry and exit).

Just reporting... :)
Well - I'm thinking that illegal/legal is pretty much a grey area. (Not talking about if people are working here without a visa which is in fact clearly illegal).

If the law states that you just have to leave every 90 days is it not in fact legal to do so indefinitely? I have never been able to find anything stating otherwise. Granted violates the spirit of the law, but not so sure it violates the letter.

Of course - the Catch-22 is that if one can afford to live indefinitely in Arg without a verifiable income, you should have the rentista visa. And if you can't, then how are you supporting yourself? Working illegally?

It's an interesting moment - curious to see what the long-term resolution is.....
syngirl said:
I've married an Argentine but still waiting on some docs before we can even submit for the DNI, so I won't be leaving the country again until that happens, I'm personally not willing to risk it!

i married as well - the DNI is actually not important. Once you have applied you will receive a Reseidencia de Precaria, which entitles you to work, travel, the whole lot. i have been waiting to pass this stage for more than a year - all i have to do is renew this piece of paper every three months with my passport in hand. it takes 2 mins, it is automatic and costs $10pesos.
once you get your residency, then its time for the DNI.

if in any doubt travel with your marriage cert and copies of it.

they can not deny you entry married to a citizen. just get your application in!!