Immigration Questions

#1
Hi everybody!

I'm from Los Angeles and was excited to find this site. I plan on arriving in BA in October and staying for a while. I would definitely like to meet some other expatriates while I'm down there. My Spanish is a bit rusty (heh).

My question has to do with immagration. It sounds like some of you are married to Argentinians, which makes this not much of an issue. But for those that aren't, how do you handle it? I understand US citizens do not need a visa and can stay as a tourist for 90 days, extendable to 180 days. What are the options to stay legally after those 180 days?

I won't be working or engaging in business while I'm there. I'd like to live there a for a year, maybe even buy an apartment if I really like it.

Any tips would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!
 
#2
If you start a process of obtaining legal residency now, my guess is that it will take more than a year, so hardly it makes sense in your situation. You can check Weblinks -> Immigation and Visas section of our site and particularly Ley 25.871 that describes available types of resident visas and requirements for getting them.

To maintain legal status staying here as a tourist beyond 180 days (tourist visa and extension), you can make a day trip to neighboring Urugay when you visa will be about to expire. It takes less than an hour to get by fast ferry (http://www.buquebus.com) to Colonia del Sacramento - the closest Uruguay city on the other side of the La Plata river. Price of roundtrip ticket is about 60 dollars. On return you will automatically get a new 90 days tourist visa that can also be renewed.

You don't have to be a resident to buy real estate property here.
 
#3
thanks, admin, I was hoping that would work (a day trip out of the country every three months to keep renewing the tourist visa). I've done that in Eastern European countries too, so it's not a problem. I'll take a look at the document you mention as well.

Any other tips/comments/useful information is greatly appreciated!
 
#4
I'd add that Colonia has a beautiful hiostoric district that you should see. It's also a nice place to spend a night - there are several excellent small hotels.
 
#5
has anyone ever heard of one instance where an immigration officer refused to grant another 90 day visa following repeated trips to Uruguay or elsewhere? Is there any chance of experiencing a problem at the border?

Thanks
 
#6
Hola, RWB, When I moved here, I egot the usual 90-day stamp as a tourist in my passport. It turned out after about 85 days of my visit had expired, I could get it renewed for 100 pesos just by going to the Immigrations Office at the nearby Prefectura. Everyone in that office was exceptionally professional, organized, and cheerful--definitely my favorite Argentine government office! After 6 months, I did have to leave the country and reenter (often Uruguay or Chile, but also the US), and then repeat the cycle of getting stamped at entry then renewing it at the Prefectura [the equivalent of the US Coast Guard]. I did that for three years while awaiting residency. (Getting married to an Argentinian and getting residency were very lengthy processes, and after nearly five years, I'm still waiting for the DNI, so I carry that passport and residency letter with me whenever I leave the country and all goes very smoothly.)
 
#7
As for the tourist visa - ours expired and when I went to migraciones to extend them I was told from an agent there I could pay 100 pesos/passport there to renew or I could go to Uruguay and renew when we come back into Argentina for 50 pesos each. Also, there is no problem to overstay your visa for however long apparently - in the end it is still only a 50 peso fee when leaving the country. I recently took a trip to Iguazu and updated our visas at the Brazil border and at that point they'd expired 8 months earlier. There were no questions asked, I simply paid and that was that.
Another very interesting bit of information I learned (very different from the states!) is this: the father of my child is Argentine; he and I were together for 12 years but never married. However, I am eligible to receive my Argentine documents once I have them for our child - she automatically receives them and I do in turn, because I am her mother. Que suertes! I'm sharing this in case there is anyone else out there in a similar situation who wants to stay in Argentina. Once I have the doc. I can start working that same day (*then I only need to find the job!).
The process is pretty simple. You only need your birth cert., and a letter stating you have no criminal record in the states - both need be originals with apostilles - then once here must be translated. In Argentina you also need a legal note stating you have no criminal record here - you get that from Tribunales for about 25 pesos and it comes in about a week. In migraciones I was told the day I bring in our paperwork is the day we receive our documents. Which will hopefully be any day now - I am still waiting for it from the states. So if you are still in the states I highly recommend getting your paperwork together before coming here.