Texas Family Looking To Relocate To San Martin De Los Andes

saucerfam

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Greetings everyone:

Firstly, there is a wealth of info here that we've been perusing over the last few months - very informative and thank you all for sharing your experiences.

A bit on us: we are a US family from Texas, looking to relocate to Argentina for 1-2 years - and enjoy a bit of a family adventure. I'm self-employed in the travel industry, and have been fortunate to be able to see a good bit of the country over the last few years. Of all the places I've visited, San Martin de los Andes seems like a great initial spot to land - quiet, peacful, tranquil with a wealth of outdoor activities which we enjoy. (Chacras de Coria in Mendoza was a close second).

A friend and I toured the region, and San Martin's decent size and laid back lifestyle edged out Bariloche and Villa la Angostura.

My wife and I are both have good fluency in Spanish. Our kids (8 and 6) have some early years with latina nannies that has been lost over time, We're excited at the possibility of them becoming fluent and soon overtaking us in their Spanish capabilities.

For the social aspects and meeting folks - we are leaning towards finding a long-term rental in the Centro of San Martin, until we can figure out our vehicle situaction. From all I've read, importing our car through Argentina or Chile would be extremely costly and probably not worth it.

Questions:

1. Would anyone here have any real estate contacts in San Martin that might be able to lend a hand with a house search? Or perhaps someone here with a rental home? (I have done some groundwork and have been communicating with some real estate folks in SMA.)

2. Any thoughts on importing a vehicle through Chile and then driving it to San Martin? Is this legal?

3. I've read a good bit of the different visa statuses - but until now, have always edged towards trying to get by on the 'Tourist Visa' status. A US friend lived many years in Mendoza always as a 'Tourist', until leaving recently. They would head to Chile periodically to renew.

Is this wise given the new changes in Immigration laws concerning foreign tourists? Do you think a visit to an Argentina consulate would be helpful - even if I'm currently considering flying under the radar?

4. We're also investigating some of the different schooling options - private and public. How does visa status impact this?? I'm hopeful that if we decide on the private route - that a school would not be inclined to decline a paying customer.

Thank you in advance for any helpful responses.

cheers
 

mmoon

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Since the Visa issue is the most pressing, I'll address that one first. I think enough has changed with the Perma-Tourist situation in Argentina that I would now be hesitant to move my young family across the world to Argentina without having legal status here. Times have definitely changed from 5-10 years ago, when many of us skated by with repeat trips to Chile and Uruguay. There is a ton of good advice and recommendations of where and how to get legal residency in Argentina, and I would rely on the expat advice of those who have put in their time here and know the latest.
I haven't bought a car for awhile in Argentina, but we needed residency (even if it was precaria) to do it, as well as to open a bank account.
Our private school didn't require legal residency to enroll initially, but again, that may have changed. I'm not sure how many private school options you would have in SMA (as opposed to BA, where there are tons), so I would call and ask them directly. You can always make it sound like you are in process of getting residency and just want to find out whether you need to have the documentation in hand before enrolling your children. Keep in mind that the school year here starts usually in February, so it's good to get your kids set up now if you want them to start the new 2017 school year in Argentina.
 

steveinbsas

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A bit on us: we are a US family from Texas, looking to relocate to Argentina for 1-2 years - and enjoy a bit of a family adventure. I'm self-employed in the travel industry, and have been fortunate to be able to see a good bit of the country over the last few years.

Questions:

3. I've read a good bit of the different visa statuses - but until now, have always edged towards trying to get by on the 'Tourist Visa' status. A US friend lived many years in Mendoza always as a 'Tourist', until leaving recently. They would head to Chile periodically to renew.

Is this wise given the new changes in Immigration laws concerning foreign tourists? Do you think a visit to an Argentina consulate would be helpful - even if I'm currently considering flying under the radar?

4. We're also investigating some of the different schooling options - private and public. How does visa status impact this?? I'm hopeful that if we decide on the private route - that a school would not be inclined to decline a paying customer.

As I read questions three and four of this post, I immediately thought of this:

You cannot stay here irregular with children, so, you have to get some kind of residency.

The visa rentista would probably be the "easiest" to get if you have a "stable" (passive) income of $30,000 pesos per month and I strongly urge you to research if it would be subject to taxation in Argentina as well as in the USA.

Even if you find a school that would enroll your children and accept payment under the table, there are pretty stiff penalties for both parties if you get caught by AFIP. It would be difficult if not impossible for AFIP to collect from you if you leave the country, but the school could be fined.

A couple years ago the penalty was $80,000 pesos. It may now be $300,000, but I'm not sure. It could be applied for each and every payment made without a factura (receipt that shows the 21% IVA has been paid).

I don't recall ever reading a post by someone who was living here "under the radar" with children for a significant length of time I'm not sure how fast you'd get "tripped up" for not having residency, but I don't think that a copuple "visa runs" would expose your status. You can't actually "renew" a toruist visa by leaving and reentering the country. You get a new 90 day visa, but the "visa runs" don't keep you "legit" as many pseudo-tourists believe.

All that being said, if you only want to come for a year you can probably get away with it. Be prepared to rent furnished apartments six months at a time and at a premium price and also get a taste of home schooling.
 

rondastidolph

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Hello,

I'm an American who knows Texas very well and also knows Argentina (and San Martin de los Andes!) well. I've lived in Argentina for the last 15 years and most recently in the Patagonia area and have been to San Martin many times, at times staying there for a number of day.

To address your visa question, yes, it would be best if you do the visa work after arriving here. If you do it in Buenos Aires, you can get it done quickly, like one week's time for your family, and then you're on your way.

I'd suggest purchasing a vehicle after arriving here in Argentina. (Did you see the man who wants to sell his vehicle on this same website? That's a good price!)

I also know of a house that is for sale or rent in San Martin d l Andes. It's not in the downtown area but it's close to a large supermarket and has good schools nearby. I know people in SM who could help you out with your question of schooling your children, etc.

Hope this helps!
 

saucerfam

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Thank you all for your helpful insights. I'll definitely plan to move towards taking action on a formal visa, instead of solely the 'tourist' route. I kind of needed to hear that from others.

Rondastidolph, I'd enjoy hearing more about the home you know of in SMA.

Any and all future advice is certainly welcomed..

My wife and I did a year-long escape through Mexico before having our children, and always thought one day we'd like to do it again...this time with children in tow. We are both beginning to get the same 'buzz' of excitement now.

Thanks again and saludos to all!

sf
 

Tina McDowell

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Hi,
My family has similar questions! We have 2 kids (ages 5 and 7), but we are looking to live there for 6 months to a year only. Our intent is to be a part of the community while we are there and expose our kids to different language and culture. My husband is an architect and can do construction and could use his skills for volunteer work (maybe at a school?) We would love for the kiddos to be enrolled in school why we are there but its difficult for me to find out if this is possible to do if its mid-school year. Any insight into this or school recommendations? Any bilingual schools that would help ease the transition for them? Or links for where I could get information on school options? They are both in Spanish lessons here but its no more than basic exposure at this point.
My husband and I traveled by bike for over a year in S.A. and we loved San Martin, but we are open to any smaller town with mountains and community. We are looking at Pucon as well. We ski and climb.
We would look to buy a car when we are there and rent a place longer term. I haven't looked into visa stuff yet to see what that looks like or what makes sense for a stay of less than a year.
Thanks!
--Tina
 

Ries

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If I was planning on six months, I would just come in on a 3 month tourist visa, and then visit Chile for few days, and come back for another 3 months.
Easy, no tramites or paperwork, legal, and free.
 

mmoon

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Buying a car can be tough. It's funny how the things that seem basic in the US/Europe/Australia/Canada, in Argentina are often harder than the big things. For us, no problems with enrolling in school, but a real headache getting a bank account. I would also suggest coming down for a few months with your kids to test things out before you make a big move.
 

r3d3

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Buying a car can be tough.

That was not my experience. I had no problems at all buying a car without residency (neither precaria, temporary nor permanent). Just had a tourist stamp. You just need to have an address in Argentina. I had to bring a piece of paper declaring that a live at a certain address - notarized by an escribano. Took 15 minutes and a few bucks to get that notarized paper.

The easiest is to buy a car from a car dealer - as they will handle the car registration for you for a small fee. Very convenient if you are not too familiar with the way things work here.

The only thing you can not do with your own Argentinian registered car (when you are a "tourist") is taking it across the border yourself.
 

ddaigle1

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Thank you all for your helpful insights. I'll definitely plan to move towards taking action on a formal visa, instead of solely the 'tourist' route. I kind of needed to hear that from others.

Rondastidolph, I'd enjoy hearing more about the home you know of in SMA.

Any and all future advice is certainly welcomed..

My wife and I did a year-long escape through Mexico before having our children, and always thought one day we'd like to do it again...this time with children in tow. We are both beginning to get the same 'buzz' of excitement now.

Thanks again and saludos to all!

sf
Hi - we are a family of four (kids 8 & 11) from California looking to move to San Martin de los Andes or nearby for 3-6 months starting this January. We love to fly fish, mountain bike and generally be out and about in the mountains with our family. We're also wanting to get the kids in an international school if there is one in SM or worst case a Spanish immersion program for them and for us. We also hope to rent a house for the entire time we're there and likely buy a truck for weekend excursions, etc. In your initial inquiry back in August 2016, you were looking at much of the same as us so we're very curious to know if you went, how it all turned out, and details on any of the above that would help us streamline our planning.

Thanks so much for time and input.
 
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