Tourist visas

intercultural

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Has anyone ever heard a specific citation of law regarding how many times you may enter Argentina on a tourist visa? If there is a limit to the number of times, what is the penalty for exceeding the limit? I hear comments from expats about being "warned" at the border about entering as tourists too many times, but have never been able to determine what the law is.
 

toongeorges

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Normally, a tourist visum lasts for up to 90 days and you can prolongue it once to 180 days. Another possibility is to cross the border once your 90 days are almost over and then you get a new visum for another 90 days.

I think there are no problems as long as you stay below the 180 days per year limit. Once you get over the 180 days, you would be de facto considered a resident (even if you are illegal) and in theory would also have to pay taxes to Argentina. In practice however, as long as you do not tell anyone that you overstay in the country, nothing happens, except when you leave when you have to pay a fine. I do not know the exact amount of the fine, I thought it used to be 300 pesos.

What I do not know (if someone else could clarify?) is if the 180 day limit is per calender year or per 365 consecutive days?
 

jimdepalermo

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Actually, a tourist visa lasts for 90 days or until you leave the country within 90 days of entering. Each time you leave the country and return, you're granted another, new tourist visa for 90 days. If you look at your passport, the entry stamp shows this clearly. There is no legal limit on the number of tourist visas you can accumulate.

The law allows a tourist visa to be extended one time by an additional 90 days at the discretion of Migraciones in the port. Since the cost and time involved in doing this is about the same as going to UY for the day, and the processing is a depressing mound of bureaucracy, few people bother.

If you use the search engine on the forum, you'll find everything you might ever want to know about visas.
 

toongeorges

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jimdepalermo said:
Actually, a tourist visa lasts for 90 days or until you leave the country within 90 days of entering. Each time you leave the country and return, you're granted another, new tourist visa for 90 days. If you look at your passport, the entry stamp shows this clearly. There is no legal limit on the number of tourist visas you can accumulate.

On what do you base that assumption? As I understand it, 180 days is the limit as a tourist as it is in many other countries in the world. You can legally stay for longer in Argentina, but then you would need another visum (residency, professional, study, retirement, ...). I know that in practice, no one may bother that you are a perma-tourist, but I doubt that is legal.

It appears the 180 day limit is per calendar year, so you may stay 180 days until December 31st, get out of the country and reenter January 1st to stay another 180 days.
 

jimdepalermo

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toongeorges said:
On what do you base that assumption? As I understand it, 180 days is the limit as a tourist as it is in many other countries in the world. You can legally stay for longer in Argentina, but then you would need another visum (residency, professional, study, retirement, ...). I know that in practice, no one may bother that you are a perma-tourist, but I doubt that is legal.

It appears the 180 day limit is per calendar year, so you may stay 180 days until December 31st, get out of the country and reenter January 1st to stay another 180 days.
On the law. Check the migraciones web site or look up the last administrative decree governing this.

A tourist visa is good for 90 days. It can be prolonged 1 time for an additional 90 days. BUT each time you leave and re-enter the country you are granted a new visa that is good for 90 days. There is no requirement to change the type of visa, and there is no explicit limit on the number of new tourist visas a person can accumulate. This is left to the discretion of Migraciones.

As you say, "in many countries" the law states that you can spend no more than x days per year in the country, that you cannot re-enter the country within Y days of exit, or that no more than Z tourist visas can be issued to the same person in a given period of time. Argentina has no such explicit requirements. It's up to the discretion of Migraciones.

I posted my original reply because a lot of confusion results from imprecise language in this area. People talk about going to Colonia to renew their visas, and then they question how many renewals are permitted. Neither question is valid. They go to Colonia in order to obtain a new 90-day visa when they re-enter Argentina. There is no Visa renewal process in Argentina. There is, however, a extension process that involves going to Migraciones in the port and requesting the single legally allowed prolongation of a 90-day visa.
 

AndrewWoodward

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I'm not sure this is true. If you enter on a tourist visa, then extend it at migraciones for another 90 days, and then leave and reenter Argentina prior to that final 90 days expiring, I'm not sure you'll get a new 90 day visa. I think you're just readmitted for the duration of your 90 day extension. But don't quote me on that at all - I could be wrong.

But anyway, there are dozens of threads on this. I'm no expert, but I've never heard of anyone getting turned away. Still not sure why it's worth the trouble though, when you can overstay and just pay the fine.
 

ElQueso

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I did hear of two separate people being denied entry (one sort of) on making a visa trip to Uruguay. One was about a year ago and the other a few months ago. I heard about these from two different friends. I admit I did not hear directly from the people, but was getting it second-hand (i.e., not third or fourth), both from two different persons I know. Unfortunately, I did not hear the final disposition of the second case.

The first one was a tourist who had been here for a few months. She was actually crossing the border to Uruguay late and had to pay a fine leaving the country. On reentry to Argentina, she was denied entry and couldn't get back in. She had her belongings still in her temporary apartment and had to have my friend go get them and bring them to her in Uruguay. She decided not to even try to return to Argentina.

The second one was actually someone who owned property here, but had never gone through and gotten a residency. He had lived here for some time, on the order of a couple of years at least. He had to travel outside Argentina for something (I'm thinking it was to Brazil, but I don't remember for sure) and had to pay the fine on exit. On returning, he was told that he was no longer allowed to stay and was given a red stamp in his passport that indicated he'd been flagged somehow. He was reportedly allowed ten days to wrap up his affairs and had to leave the country. I don't know what happened finally on that one.

Having said that, I know of many, many people who have done the Uruguay visa trip, some recently, and these are the only two I know of who have had problems.

Once about three years ago, right before I started my visa process, I made the journey to Uruguay for the same thing. I was given a warning by the immigrations official that I had too many back-to-back visa journeys and I'd better be careful. The buddy I was traveling with had about as many stamps in his, but he went to a different table and didn't get the warning. If I remember correctly, that was my last visa trip, so I never had an issue on another trip.

I've heard a few stories about people having the same warning, but who have made the trip after that with no problems.

I think someone else said it earlier in this thread - you never know, but the percentages seem to be with the visa trips being successful.
 

AlexanderB

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There is a lot of misinformation here.

The "renewal" aspect of a fresh tourist stamp upon re-entry has no material legal validity. You are still allowed for 90 days, with a maximum of 180 days per year with appropriate extension from Migraciones. The fact that you can get a "new" stamp because border officials are willing to look the other way and stamp you one does change the fact that it is in violation of tourism/immigration rules. There is still a certain number of days per year that you are allowed to stay as a tourist.

Having said that, people can and do "perma-tourist" in Argentina. I am interested in doing the same myself, in fact, since, as a self-employed individual with a US-based business, I fall through the cracks of any existing residency qualifications. I know people who have lived in Argentina for more than a decade on a tourist visa without real issues. However, all of this relies on the fact that Argentina has hitherto not enforced its immigration rules on any large scale, and where it has, the enforcement actions have not tended to target gringos.

There are two established schools of thought on perma-touristing: (1) Go to Colonia roughly every 90 days, or (2) just overstay your visa and pay the AR$300 fine every time you leave. Given that #1 is no more "legal" than #2, there is no practical advantage to it whatsoever, but it has a strong force of tradition behind it. Plus, some people feel that actually having a "current" stamp confers some kind of augmented legitimacy or legality upon their stay in excess of the 90/180 period. This is a purely emotive idea, as it does not in reality, because the law is still what it is regardless of what passport control officials are willing to stamp for you at the border. Moreover, if some sort of crackdown were organised, the Colonia approach would likely be the one targeted, since it is such a widespread strategy.

As a practical matter, I am given to understand that there are no criminal penalties for overstaying your visa in Argentina, only civil ones. When you leave, you pay your fine, and in principle, you can come back the next day and they will stamp you a fresh tourist stamp. Doesn't make it anymore legitimate, but it is the de facto reality. The good news is that being on an expired status does not put you into some hunted criminal underclass, as it does in all "First World" countries. The worst thing that can possibly happen, under some set of circumstances that I understand to be quite improbable presently, is that you can receive a letter from Migraciones ordering you to "regularise" your immigration status or leave Argentina within 30 days. This can be appealed on various grounds. Furthermore, I am given to understand that receipt of such a letter does not inherently bar one from reentering Argentina.

In theory, this enforcement climate could change, but it seems doubtful that permatourists from developed nations would be the deliberate target. Migraciones are not stupid; they are quite aware of their existence. Ideology aside, everyone knows they spend money, and are generally a net benefit to the national economy. But still, in theory this could change. However, I see no evidence of that happening; every few years there will be some panic and some rhetorical pot-stirring about it, but nothing happens.

The most edifying and accurate commentary on these issues comes from Bajo_cero2, who is a practising immigration lawyer who helps many expats and has made a niche dealing with those with "irregular" status.
 

Bajo_cero2

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jimdepalermo said:
On the law. Check the migraciones web site or look up the last administrative decree governing this.

A tourist visa is good for 90 days. It can be prolonged 1 time for an additional 90 days. BUT each time you leave and re-enter the country you are granted a new visa that is good for 90 days. There is no requirement to change the type of visa, and there is no explicit limit on the number of new tourist visas a person can accumulate. This is left to the discretion of Migraciones.

The abuse of tourist visa is illegal. It is the same than overstaying.

[FONT=&quot]TITULO V - DE LA LEGALIDAD E ILEGALIDAD DE LA PERMANENCIA[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]CAPITULO I - DE LA DECLARACION DE ILEGALIDAD Y CANCELACION DE LA PERMANENCIA[/FONT][FONT=&quot][/FONT]
[FONT=&quot]ARTICULO 61.- Cuando se verifique que un extranjero hubiere desnaturalizado los motivos que autorizaron su ingreso al territorio argentino o permaneciera en éste vencido el plazo de permanencia acordado, la DIRECCION NACIONAL DE MIGRACIONES lo intimará a fin de que, en un plazo que no exceda de TREINTA (30) días, se presente a regularizar su situación migratoria debiendo acompañar los documentos necesarios para ello. A tal efecto, se lo notificará por escrito informándole, de un modo comprensible, las consecuencias que le deparará mantenerse en la situación migratoria advertida.[/FONT]

So, the consequence is that you can get a deportation order.
Right now the DNM is arresting and deporting immediately only those Chinese who arrived without visa.
However, they have the legal tools to reject your re-entry, that´s why I recommend to do not go to Uruguay for renewal the visa because it is illegal to do that.

In fact, yes, there is an obligation about applying for a residency.

The facts are that since decree 616/2010, it is more difficult to get a residency, that´s why I developed the citizenship strategy.

Regards
 

Bajo_cero2

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AlexanderB said:
There is a lot of misinformation here.
:cool:

AlexanderB said:
As a practical matter, I am given to understand that there are no criminal penalties for overstaying your visa in Argentina, only civil ones. When you leave, you pay your fine, and in principle, you can come back the next day and they will stamp you a fresh tourist stamp. Doesn't make it anymore legitimate, but it is the de facto reality. The good news is that being on an expired status does not put you into some hunted criminal underclass, as it does in all "First World" countries.

In fact, it is an administrative issue like when you pay your mobile bill late.

The chamber of Paraná asserted this [FONT=&quot]in re[/FONT][FONT=&quot]“Dai Jianqing, Lin Xuehuei, Xie Chenguang y Zhuang Bisheng s/ hábeas corpus”:[/FONT]

[FONT=&quot]“[el extranjero] sin documentación administrativa idónea que acredite su situación migratoria, no es un extranjero ilegal, sino irregular (al que se le reconocen los mismos derechos que al extranjero regular, salvo la posibilidad de trabajo [en blanco] y alojamiento oneroso, arts. 53 y 55 ley 25.871) y esta distinta manera de calificar situaciones jurídicas no es un mero capricho semántico. La regularidad o irregularidad migratoria tiene que ver con el cumplimiento o incumplimiento del régimen administrativo vigente en la materia (ley 25.871 y decreto reglamentario 616/2010). La legalidad o ilegalidad se refiere a actos (nunca a personas: “ningún ser humano es ilegal”) que contravienen disposiciones de naturaleza penal no administrativa.-”[FONT=&quot][1][/FONT][/FONT]

[FONT=&quot][FONT=&quot][1][/FONT][/FONT][FONT=&quot] CNACCF de[/FONT][FONT=&quot] Paraná[/FONT][FONT=&quot], in re [/FONT][FONT=&quot]“incidente de hábeas corpus deducido por Dai Jianqing, Lin Xuehuei, Xie Chenguang y Zhuang Bisheng ―relacionado con los autos [/FONT][FONT=&quot]N°32/11 caratulados: Dirección Nacional de Migraciones s/retención de personas de nacionalidad china―[/FONT][FONT=&quot]”[/FONT][FONT=&quot]sentencia del 11 de junio de 2011[/FONT][FONT=&quot], [/FONT][FONT=&quot]registro: 2011-TºI-Fº367, considerando III.b.[/FONT]

AlexanderB said:
The worst thing that can possibly happen, under some set of circumstances that I understand to be quite improbable presently, is that you can receive a letter from Migraciones ordering you to "regularise" your immigration status or leave Argentina within 30 days. This can be appealed on various grounds. Furthermore, I am given to understand that receipt of such a letter does not inherently bar one from reentering Argentina.

It normally happens when you go to Uruguay. Otherwise, you are under the radar.

Today I had a consultation of an immigrant (sorry, a perma-tourist) from Spain who had been going to Uruguay for some time.

His case is a very good example about how discretion works. Until now the DNM was enforcing the deportation decree (616/2010) only to Chinese and Dominicans. But suddenly the YPF gate happens and guess who got a notification from the edificio 5 of DNM?

Edificio 5 is where your file is when they want to deport you.

AlexanderB said:
In theory, this enforcement climate could change, but it seems doubtful that permatourists from developed nations would be the deliberate target. Migraciones are not stupid; they are quite aware of their existence. Ideology aside, everyone knows they spend money, and are generally a net benefit to the national economy. But still, in theory this could change. However, I see no evidence of that happening; every few years there will be some panic and some rhetorical pot-stirring about it, but nothing happens.

I disagree with you about this.

And one clarification, I am going to explain what the conflict is about without judging who is right or taking any position.

Have you read the new law about land restrictions on ownership to foreigners and its decree? The law was written for some very specific cases: Douglas Tomkins, Joe Lewis (18.000 hectares), Ted turner (55.000 hectares), Benetton (900.000 hectares) among some others.

There is a conflict in Patagonia regarding 2 issues:
a) Illegal sell of land. According to the article I quote at the end of this post, there is a high % of illegal purchase of land. That´s why the new law establishes that the "simulación" is always illegal regarding land bought by foreigners. Simulación means that you are the buyer but somebody else is in the papers.

b) Estancias that have a river or a lake inside its limits because according to law, they have to allow people to pass to the river and they cannot avoid them to fish. It means, they don t own the water. However, owners some times are very aggressive with people who try to access to the river even having a fishing permit.

So, there are many fly fishing lodges and if they are charging between Usd 5.000/10.000 a week, clients expect to have exclusivity on the river even it is a public space.

Joe Lewis has a lake inside his land (lago escondido) and he doesn´t allow people to access to it. He also have an illegal airport (it has permits but they were granted against the law requirements: bribes probably) that its too big for private purposes and there are rumors about that it is used for clandestine flights to Malvinas.

aeropuerto.jpg



Even the law seems to try to avoid illegal buy/sell of land to or by foreigners, it can be used to indirect confiscation of land when there is a river or a lake inside or there is certain amount of hectares.

Here is more info:

http://negocios.iprofesional.com/no...-precios-ms-bajos-que-la-cuota-de-un-gimnasio

Regards
 
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