Immigration Categories

A brief description of corporate immigration categories by assignment type follows. The appropriate immigration category or status for your employees will depend on their specific details and on your company. The most common category for corporate transfers in our experience is the Temporary Residence Visa. For details on non-typical categories not listed below (investors, special programs), please contact your representative.

  • Temporary Residence Visa (In-country or Consular): Issued for most corporate moves, depending on contract.
  • Transitory Authorization: Issued for certain short-term assignments. This visa allows the person to work for ninety (90) days maximum. The visa can be authorized twice in a year since first entry. It is typically issued to technicians and other qualified personnel.
  • Permanent Residence Visa: Issued in limited cases. It can be requested for assignments which already have a Temporary Residence Visa or exceptional cases (certain nationalities that belong or are associated to Mercosur).

Typical Process Overview

The following process overview is applicable to the Temporary Residence Visa application process. Approximate overall processing time from the time the first step is submitted to the time the employee is legal to work in Argentina is four (4) to eight (8) weeks in the consular process and one (1) to two (2) weeks for the in-country process. However, note that lead time for document gathering at the start of the process should be factored in, as should processing time for completion of post arrival formalities. In Argentina, the document gathering stage of the process is particularly labor intensive, as many documents must be legalized and translated. We will assist with this if required. See the Application Materials section below for further details. Average processing time for each individual step is noted below.

Consular Process

Pre-Application: Document Procurement & Legalization
Processing Time:
Two (2) to four (4) weeks, depending on the case

All documents must be legalized in preparation for Steps One and Two, including police clearance certificates for the applicant. This process should be started immediately to avoid delaying the case.

Step One: Entry Permit (Permiso de Ingreso)
Processing Time:
Approximately thirty (30) days, depending on location

We file the application and supporting documents with the Argentine immigration authorities.

Step Two: Temporary Residence Visa (Consular Application)
Processing Time:     Five (5) to fifteen (15) business days (personal appearance required)
Approximately twenty (20) to thirty (30) days (overall processing)

Usually upon pre-approval, the permit is sent to the appropriate diplomatic post where the applicant will apply for his or her work/residence visa.

Step Three: Provisional Work Identification Number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral or Temporary CUIL)
Processing Time: Twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours

Upon arrival in Argentina, the employee must apply for a work identification number. He/she can then be enrolled on local payroll. We accompany him/her to file the application and assist with supporting documents.

Step Four: Local Identification Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad or DNI) for all Family Members
Processing Time: Two (2) to three (3) months

The employee and dependents must also apply for a local identification card (DNI).

Step Five: Definite Work ID Number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral or Permanent CUIL)
Processing Time: Twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours

We file the application on behalf of the assignee and assist with the supporting documents.

In-Country Process

Pre-Application: Document Procurement & Legalization
Processing Time:
Two (2) to four (4) weeks, depending on the case

All documents must be legalized in preparation for Step Two, including police clearance certificates for the applicant. This process should be started immediately, to avoid delaying the case. The assignee may enter the country as a tourist.

Step One: Schedule Appointment for Temporary Residence
Processing Time:     Approximately four (4) to eight (8) weeks, depending on the Immigration Office’s availability.

In order to apply for a Temporary Residence Visa, the applicant must schedule an in-person appointment with the Immigration Office. Urgent appointments might be scheduled by the payment of a government preferential fee.

Step Two: Temporary Residence Visa
Processing Time:     One (1) to two (2) business days (personal appearance)
Approximately three (3) to five (5) months (overall processing)

We assist the assignee with the application and supporting documents with the Argentine immigration authorities.

Step Three: Provisional Work Identification Number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral or Temporary CUIL)
Processing Time: Twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours

The employee must apply for a work identification number. He/she can then be enrolled on local payroll. We file the application on behalf of the assignee and assist with the supporting documents.

Step Four: Local Identification Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad or DNI) for all Family Members
Processing Time: One (1) month

Once the Temporary Residence Visa application is approved, the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones (DNM) will automatically inform the Registro Nacional de las Personas (RNP) to process the DNI card.

Step Five: Definite Work ID Number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral or Permanent CUIL)
Processing Time: Twenty-four (24) to forty-eight (48) hours

We file the application on behalf of the assignee and assist with the supporting documents.

Typical Documents Obtained

Following the Temporary Residence Visa application process described above will result in the obtainment of the following immigration documents. Typical validity is noted next to each document name. For details on the renewal process, please see the next section, Renewal.

  • Temporary Residence Visa: One (1) year for Non-Mercosur Nationals; two (2) years for Mercosur Nationals
  • Provisional Work Identification Number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral or Temporary CUIL): No expiry
  • DNI Card (Documento Nacional de Identidad or DNI): Valid until Temporary Residence expiry.
  • Definite Work ID Number (Código Único de Identificación Laboral or Permanent CUIL): No expiry

Renewal

Work and Temporary Residence visas and their respective dependent visas are issued with an initial validity of one (1) year for Non Mercosur Nationals and two (2) years for Mercosur Nationals. Subsequent one (1) or two (2) year renewals are typically available as long as the applicant has met the requirements of the visa. A renewal of the local identification card (DNI) is also required. We can assist with all of these processes.

Renewal of the Temporary Residence Visa for Non Mercosur Nationals is usually granted on the same day of the application.

For Mercosur Nationals, the Immigration Office issues a Provisional Residence Certificate (Certificado de Residencia Precaria) with thirty-day validity while the application is being processed. Once the renewal application is approved, the Immigration Office grants a Resolution (Disposición) which is issued with a two-year renewal term validity.

For both cases, companies should allow from two (2) to four (4) weeks lead time for document gathering.

 Deregistration

When an employee is departing the country, the following steps should be followed:

  1. De-registration: This procedure requires a letter from the Argentine company informing to the Immigration Office that the employee is no longer working for the company in Argentina. This process should be completed within fifteen (15) days of the employee’s last day on local payroll. Failure to comply may result in penalties for the sponsor company.
  2. DNI Cancellation: In order to finish the Immigration process, foreign nationals who definitely leave the country must return their Argentinean DNIs to the Registry Office to be cancelled.

All applicants and their dependents, regardless of nationality, must return their DNI cards for cancellation.

 

Dependents

Dependent immigration status approval depends on the immigration status of the principal applicant. Where the principal applicant is in Argentina with a Temporary Residence Visa, the following rules apply for dependents:

  • Minimum age (spouses): No regulations apply
  • Maximum age (children): Eighteen (18) years
  • Unmarried partners: Not Recognized
  • Same sex partners: Recognized only if they are married
  • Non-traditional dependents (e.g. parents): Permitted under certain circumstances
  • Work authorization granted? Temporary Residence allows to the holder to live and work in the country. Work authorization is granted as a derivative status if dependents have a job offer or will be self-employed.
  • Studying: Authorization for study is granted by the Temporary Residence.

Application Materials

Application materials vary depending on the immigration category being applied for and on the specifics of the case. We will advise you in detail regarding your specific case; however, general application materials for the Temporary Residence Visa are noted below.

  • General application materials include birth and marriage certificates, police clearance certificates, corporate tax documents, and corporate registration certificates.
  • All documentation must be submitted in Spanish and must be legalized with an apostille. We can assist with the translation and legalization requirements.

Business Visitors

  • Name of visa granted: Business Visa
  • Duration of stay: Up to sixty (60) days, at the discretion of the consulate issuing the visa.
  • General activities permitted: Orientation, home-finding, meetings, and other preparations for employment.

Change of Status

An in-country process available to some applicants is outlined within the Typical Process Overview section above.

Salary and Payroll

Salary and payroll requirements vary depending on the immigration category and on the specifics of the case. Payroll location will affect the immigration process. Please contact your representative for more details for your specific situation.

Qualifications

In Argentina, there is no minimum number of years of experience or qualifications required to apply. Please contact your representative for more details.

Red Flags

In our experience, the following points are important to note at the start of the process. If any of the below situations apply to you, contact your representative immediately for further detailed advice.

  • Any company who will sponsor a foreign employee MUST be registered and up-to-date with the Registro Nacional Único de Requirentes Extranjeros (RNURE). The company must secure this registration prior to initiating any immigration process.
  • The company is required to de-register every foreign employee within fifteen (15) calendar days of the end of the assignment or the cancellation of the relationship with the company. Failure to de-register former employees may result in the cancellation of a company’s RNURE registration.
  • Argentine authorities are meticulous and requests for additional documents are not unusual.
  • Unmarried partners and children over eighteen (18) years old cannot receive dependent visas.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

The government of Argentina takes immigration non-compliance very seriously. Penalties for non-compliance may include fines, deportation, and imprisonment.

Employee Penalties:

According to law 25.871, an employee can be deported if he or she in any way avoids the Immigration Control at the time of entering the country or if he or she stays in the country with an expired visa; the employee can be prohibited from re-entering the country for five (5) years if any false or adultered document is submitted at the time of the immigration application; fines can be applied; etc.

Employer Penalties:

According to law 25.871, imprisonment applies to employer or its representatives if by any way they promote illegal stay in the country (for example upon visa expiry); fines apply if employer hires employee with no legal Temporary Residence or Visa in the country; de-registration from RNURE; etc.

For more details, please contact your representative.

 

Bilateral Agreements

Mercado Común del Sur (MERCOSUR): Passport holders from countries that belong or are associated to Mercosur can obtain a two (2) year Temporary Residence based on their nationality without the need for a sponsoring company. Brazilian nationals may apply for a Permanent Residence without the need of a previous Temporary Residence. Contact your representative for more details.