Moving to BA - a few questions


Jun 14, 2008
Hi Everyone,
I'm new to this forum. I'm a 27 year old Irish guy and I'm seriously considering moving to Buenos Aires shortly.
My main reason for moving is to improve my level of Spanish. Also, as with a lot of people, I'm disillusioned with life in my home country. I will be giving up a good job but I figure that there's more to life.
I'm lucky in that I have a flat in Ireland which I can rent out so I'll have a steady income while in BA. Do you think that 3,500 pesos will be enough to live on each month to have an ok lifestyle? I'll probably also look for a job teaching English for 10 hours a week.
Any advice at all will be much appreciated. Gracias!
You could live very well on 3500 pesos a month in BA depending on your lifestyle. Speaking for myself, I envy your situation a bit even though I wouldn't want to live in BA anymore. To be a 27 year old single guy with a steady stream of income you don't have to work for... that's pretty sweet.
My advice is to seriously read many of the posts that have been made in these forums and ELSEWHERE to get a better idea of what life in BA or Argentina is really like. It's often not the "fantasy" that so many people have of it from a distance.
I have to warn you that the spanish in BA is unique to the city. This can be a bad thing as I found out in my travels.
Rent will be your biggest expense unless you share or find some really good deal. Expect to pay at least $500 USD a month. $3,500 pesos, however, is a LOT more than most people here earn! You'll be OK, especially if you get some part time work.
Meant to add that if you've got a steady stream of income (that you can prove) your resident visa will become easy to get. Check into this sort of thing in detail and apply BEFORE you leave your home country as the process can take a long time and also has to be started in some cases from outside Argentina.
If you're thinking of Argentina because the women are hot, think again. Some are nice but most are crazy as a shithouse rat. Go to Colombia or Brazil for the babes. Even Chile is a better choice. I've never seen an attractive woman in Bolivia.
MrBart,The "steady stream of income" Bill refers to must be from a pension or from trust or annuity whose principle generally can't be "invaded" while you are living in Argentina. Rental income will not quality you for the visa rentista. Besides, even if you "do it yourself" (and were qualified) you would have to spend lots of time and money (several hundred dollars, at the least) getting the necessary documents and then having them translated and legalized here. If you want to stay in Argentina legally more than three months you can get an automatic 90 day extension of your tourist visa at the office of migraciones (cost 100 pesos). Then, after that, you can go to Uruguay for a day trip and reenter Argentina and start another six months. If you overstay your tourist visa, the fine at the airport is 50 pesos and some who have done this say that there won't be any problems the next time you come to Argentina (if you ever want to return). I got the 90 day extension before my tourist visa expired and obtained the resident visa within 60 days of that.

Working ten hours a week teaching English would probably bring in less than $100USD per week...if you found enough students on your own or someone willing to hire you. As you are from Ireland, this could be a bit problematic. The English taught here is commonly referred to as "US broadcast news" and is considered the most desirable for "business" purposes. If you can teach this form of English (without an accent from your home country) you'd stand a better chance of working in this field.

The "good job" you would be giving up in Ireland would be very difficult to find here. I wish I could be more positive, but you welcomed "any advice" and this is what I have to offer.
Hi Everyone, Thanks for the advice - I want to make this decision to move to BA with my eyes wide open, so all comments are welcome! Somebody else told me that rental income would qualify me for a visa rentista but they must have been mistaken. I just read this week that the Irish Government has signed an agreement with the Argentinian Government regarding a work permit scheme which will enable Irish to work in Argentina for extended periods, and vice versa. I'll have to investigate it further. I'm not sure whether teaching English would be covered under this scheme.
Re my Irish accent, I have a neutral Irish accent and when I'm on holiday people usually mistake my accent for being American, so I'm fairly confident that teaching English wouldn't be much of an issue.@Steveinbsas. I totally agree with you that I won't be able to find a job as good as my current position in Ireland. However, lately I've been thinking that there's more to life than work. I'm fed up in Ireland. If my rental income would enable me to live a good lifestyle in BA, combined with a small supplement from teaching English, then I think I'd be happy to make the move. I feel that the experience I'll gain from a few years in BA will more than equal a few years in my current job. While the idea of having to go to Uruguay every few months to extend my visa doesn't sound ideal, I think that it would be manageable.
I've never been to BA before but from what I've read, it sounds amazing. I kind of like the idea of just booking a ticket without having been there before. How many of you moved to BA without having been there before? This site is a wealth of information. Muchas Gracias por el consejo bueno!
1. you can use your rental income of your apartment to obtain your legal residency in Argentina.
2. the process can be started abroad at the consulate or in Argentina, I suggest you start it in Argentina.
3. I suggest that you never overstay (that means to pay the fine of ar$ 50) always choose to a). exit an rentry (go to Colonia, etc.) or b). pay an extention of term at Immigrations. Bear in mind that in 2005 was created the Registry of Eligibility (I think my translation is correct) this is a registry to BLACKLIST poeple who do not comply with migratory laws, and although nowdays is not being "enforced" you never know when they will start not allowing reentry. In this country things end up happening, the thing is that they happen very slow hehe.
4. Immigration rules, regulations and criterias changes I would say every 3 months (yes its very chaotic), so anything you read in old posts is probably not effective now. For example, go to street 25 de Mayo 145 (RENAPER) and request an appointment for DNI and you will see they will give you an appointment in 6 months, and ask how long will it take for the DNI to be issued, and they will reply 6 the total time is 12 months. I have 10 more examples like this of things that changed from 2007 to 2008, so you must always check at Immigrations what the current stance is.
5. Residencies can be obtained (and in fact in some cases its mandatory) showing bank statements, tax returns, corporate documents, and with USD 200.000 at a bank its an excellent opportunity for you to obtain your residency. Its all a matter of how you present this information, how you prepare your file and how you discuss/defend it with the immigrations inspector when doing the filing.
I am certainly not an expert on the different types of visas and only know what I've learned from my own experience. Two years ago I was told by an Argentine lawyer that I would not be able to obtain the visa rentista based on money in the bank or mutual funds, regardless of the amount or value. This may have been true, but there is also the possibility that he did not know what he was talking about. As other members have posted here, if you ask several different "professionals" here the same question, you are likely to get several different answers. If the regulations change as often as Attorney indicates, how could anyone stay completely informed for very long?

When I began asking questions about residency visas on this forum I was told that ALL visas must be applied for outside Argentina, but I applied for and obtained the visa here. I got the impression from MrBart's post that he would have rental income from the one apartment in which he is currently living. It seems counter intuitive that he could just show up at migraciones with a recently executed lease for one apartment and be granted a visa to live here. Perhaps Attorney could elaborate just a bit more on the subject, as MrBart may now have the impression this is possible. It could be an unfortunate assumption if he proceeds accordingly and is denied a resident visa after his arrival. I hope it all works out as MrBart desires and that he likes BA once he's here.
Attorney's comments about RENAPER (registro de las personas) and the 12 month delay in receiving the DNI are an excellent example of how "things change" here. When I first went there to ask about the DNI in September 2006, I did not yet have my resident visa (its a prerequisite), but they were then giving appointments in about three weeks. After receiving the visa in October, I returned to 25 de Mayo 145 (to make a new appointment) and they were processing DNI applications the same day! I was directed downstairs and it was all done in less than 2 hours. I was told to return in 90 days to pick up the DNI, which was waiting for me when I returned.

Things CAN go smoothly at migraciones, too. When I presented my "file" two years ago (a "short stack" of documents which were exactly the same as are enumerated on the migraciones website today), the inspector spent less than ten minutes reviewing them, took them to another station, returned and asked if I had ATM receipts for the previous three months showing I had made withdrawals of 2000 pesos per month (well below the "minimum" stated on the website). I did not have them with me but I had saved them. I was able to return from my apartment within an hour, not wait again in line, and then I was "done". I was told to return in three weeks to obtain the residency paper. When I did, I saw that it had actually been processed in four days. I was never asked for any tax returns or bank statements. I did have a letter from a bank officer verifying that qualifying monthly income checks (from a trust or annuity) were being deposited into my account and that I could access these funds at ATMs in Argentina, hence the request for those receipts.