US tourist visas for Argentine nationals

sergio

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An Argentine friend has asked me about visas for Argentines who want to take a vacation in the US. Does anyone know about how difficult it is to obtain? This blog says that 95% of applicants are successful. Can this be true? http://coyotecaix.blogspot.com/2010/11/diez-consejos-para-tramitar-la-visa.html

The friend who is interested made a trip to the US during the Menem years when visas were not required. He tried again at the peak of the Argentine crisis and was turned down. He has since made trips to Europe, Brazil etc though he'd rather go to the US but he's afraid of the US visa procedure. The last one must have been traumatizing.

He owns his home, has a lot of credit cards, owns a small successful business (can't show all his income however as he has to do some things 'en negro' like most people in Argentina) etc.

What's the best way to apply for the visa. Someone mentioned ICANA. Anyone have any experience with this -- are his chances good? What should I advise?
 

bradlyhale

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"'There exists this myth that it's difficult to get a visa and that we treat people badly; none of that is true,' says Noronha with the numbers in hand: 95% of visa requests are approved. 'And 94% of people, according to our own surveys, say that we treat them well or very well. Yes, there are complaints about being in the rain while waiting in line at the Embassy door, because they get wet while they wait to come in. But we have received money from the government to build a roof and fix this problem,' she said."

- Jennifer W. Noronha, Consular Affairs @ US Embassy in Buenos Aires
http://www.lanacion.com.ar/nota.asp?nota_id=1199603

The instructions for the visa are pretty straightforward. I don't like the policy, but the requirements aren't a mystery. The most important requirement is that the applicant show that she or he has ties to Argentina. I would think that the ownership of a home would be enough to show that, as well as a decent amount of money in the bank.
 

sergio

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Thanks for your comments. I'll pass them on to the friend who is frightened of the embassy.
 

austinjavaman

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Sergio,

It's a pretty difficult process, but it sounds like your friend will be OK. My friend tried 3 times and only succeeded on the last time. Beyond personal ties, they want to see strong economic ties to Argentina. Your friend should prove that they have enough money/opportunity in Argentina that it would be improbable that they would want to stay in the US. A lot of money in the bank and a home would likely show sufficient intent to return to Argentina. I would also recommend that your friend have a stronger reason for visiting than tourism or pleasure.

I would highly recommend that a lawyer prepare the documents. It's not obvious what the embassy is looking for and a lawyer can help you prepare all of the proof you'll need to submit.
 

jrockstar80

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Hi Sergio,

A lawyer can apply the relevant guidance to your friend's specific case and help prepare materials to ensure that he or she will have the greatest chance at obtaining a visa. What works for one applicant may not work for another applicant.

I've worked as a U.S. immigration paralegal for almost three years now. If you PM me, I can refer you to lawyers both in the U.S. (who I worked for... well, work for, until I leave for BA in a few weeks!) and in Buenos Aires (who I know personally) who practice U.S. immigration law.

Good luck to your friend!
 

bradlyhale

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Please don't pay a lawyer to get a tourist visa. It's really not necessary. There's a wealth of information on the internet about this topic.

The U.S. Embassy makes this information as clear as possible.

"Nevertheless, the Consular Officer might request evidence that helps him make a final decision such as income, salary receipts, tax payments, AFIP papers, bank accounts, credit card statements, education, or the status of family members living in the US."
 

marksoc

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Why somebody would subject himself to such a degradating procedure when most of the countries in the world are happy to receive his tourist pesos? The solution: don´t go to the US.
 

mini

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marksoc said:
Why somebody would subject himself to such a degradating procedure when most of the countries in the world are happy to receive his tourist pesos? The solution: don´t go to the US.

Because the US is the only country people need visas for right?
 

ghost

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marksoc said:
Why somebody would subject himself to such a degradating procedure when most of the countries in the world are happy to receive his tourist pesos? The solution: don´t go to the US.
"Degradating"? you must be kidding. The process is simple, very well defined and the procedure is clear and easy. However it does require one thing that most Argentines dislike and that is......simply play by the rules, no bribes.
 

syngirl

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If your friend presents the right documentation, along with his passport already showing that he has visited numerous other countries, not overstayed the visas, and always returned to Argentina, then he should have no problem.

Even if he is in negro he should show bank receipts from the past 3-6 months to show that he has a continuous flow of money into his account.
 
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