Tag Archives | visa

Argentina Announces Expat Amnesty Program

Argentina has just announced a new amnesty program that should benefit a lot of expats living in the country. (Unfortunately this post is an April’s Fool joke and not true.)

Argentina Amnesty ProgramRecognizing that lax immigration policies and a low cost of living have attracted a large number of non-Mercosur foreign citizens to come to Buenos Aires and overstay their 90-day tourist visa, the government has finally decided to take action. Luckily, this does not mean a crackdown on those who stay illegally or make the questionable ferry crossing to Colonia, but rather an amnesty program that will provide a DNI and full-time residency along with a path to citizenship if so desired.

“We understand that many non-Mercosur foreigners come here and overstay their tourist visa,” said Hector Timerman, foreign minister. “We want to provide options to these people rather than just a $600 peso fine or taking day trips to Colonia. We want to make their lives easier.”

Of course, the government is not doing this purely out of the kindness of their hearts, but rather with the goal of collecting additional tax revenue. Everyone who applies for amnesty will have the joy of paying taxes both in Argentina and their home country.

Details of the plan are as follows:

  • You may apply for the amnesty program only after paying at least one overstay fine, visa extension or showing at least two passport stamps from Colonia, Uruguay.
  • You must be a non-Mercosur resident to apply. Citizens of the United Kingdom are not eligible for the amnesty program because, you know, the Malvinas (and Jeremy Clarkson).
  • Once you apply, you may not leave the country until your application is fully processed. Estimated wait times are from 14 – 365 days.
  • The application fee is $10,000 pesos, but you may pay that in 12 payments. Each payment will include an inflation adjustment of 5%.
  • You must submit apostilled and translated copies of your foreign passport, birth certificate, marriage license, divorce decree, high school and college transcripts, bank statements and tax returns for the past 5 years, FBI criminal check and letters of reference explaining why you should be allowed to become a resident of Argentina.
  • The initial application may be completed online, but you will still be expected to head to the immigration office, take a number and wait in line to be processed.

Applications will be available from April 1, 2015 (April Fools’ Day) – December 28, 2015 (Dia de los Inocentes). You may apply online at the Argentina Migraciones web site. Just search for amnesty and follow the instructions.


Argentina Doubles Fee for Overstaying Tourist Visa

Argentina Overstay Visa Fee DoublesAs of March 1, 2015, Argentina has doubled the fee for overstaying your tourist visa for non-Mercosur residents from $300 pesos to $600 pesos. This also applies to extending your tourist visa by 90-days.

Considering that it was last changed almost 6 years ago, this was long overdue, and with the rate of inflation here, it’s still quite a bargain. In 2009, the fee was sextupled from $50 to $300, so doubling is almost nothing. Looking at this in dollar prices, the $300 fee in 2009 equated to U$S 81 while $600 pesos in 2015 equates to U$S 47 on the blue market.

You can pay this overstay fee at Ezeiza, Aeroparque and the Retiro bus terminal, but for other ports of exit you must pay the fee online in advance.


Lost Argentina Reciprocity Fee Receipt

Argentina Reciprocity FeeUPDATE: As of March 24, 2016, the reciprocity fee is no longer required for US passport holders. This fee still applies for Canadians and Australians.

I recently had some blog readers who paid their Argentina entrance fee but then lost the copy of their receipt! They asked what they could do about it and luckily we were able to track down some suggestions.

First, you should be able to login to the Provincial Pagos website and get a copy to print from there.

If this does not work, you can email [email protected] with the following information:

  • Full name (as it appears on your passport)
  • Date of birth
  • Passport Number

Anyone with knowledge of Argentine bureaucracy may assume this would have little chance of succeeding, but guess what? It worked perfectly. The embassy sent them a copy of their reciprocity fee payment and they were all set to go.

Hope this helps someone else!


Fee For Overstaying Argentina Tourist Visa Must Be Paid In Advance

UPDATE (1/15/15): Added new information on payment locations and hours as well as revised links to payment site.

Argentina grants visitors a 90-day tourist visa. If you want to “legally” stay beyond that time, you may go to the immigration office and pay $300 pesos for a one-time 90 day extension. If you overstay the 90-day period, you have to pay a $300 peso fine upon departure.

Argentina Overstay Visa Fee Must Be Paid In AdvanceAs you can guess, most people just overstay their visa and pay the fine when they depart rather than dealing with the hassle of getting an extension. In fact, since Argentina’s enforcement of the 90-day rule is so lax, there are a lot of people I know who have overstayed that 90-day extension by years. Yes, years. And yes, they just have to pay the same $300 pesos fine.

You used to be able to just pay the fine wherever you left the country – airport, ferry terminal, bus, etc. However, this has now changed, and you may only pay the overstay fee at the following locations (within 10 days of departure):

  • Ezeiza Airport (open 24 hours)
  • Aeroparque Airport (open 24 hours)
  • The Retiro Bus Terminal, located at Bridge No. 5 (open from 8am to 8pm)

Anyone else needing to pay the fine must do so in advance online. You can read more about paying the overstay fee on the Argentine Immigration site.

One of our readers wrote to tell us that they were denied boarding on a Saturday bus in Mendoza and had to wait until Tuesday (Monday was a holiday) to pay in person at the bank.

Keep this in mind when planning your traveling in Argentina and hopefully you don’t get stuck as well.