Argentina has joined the ranks of countries offering digital nomad visas aimed at boosting the economy in a post-COVID era. In many ways this is a win-win for those thinking about one of Latin America's hotspot destinations.
First of all, what do you get?
The Benefits of Argentina’s Digital Nomad Visa (What is known):
- 6-month visa, with 1 optional renewal
- No Argentine local or national taxes paid
- Freelancers and full-time remote enabled employees are included
- Minimum income requirements are not outlined in the basic details
What is Unknown (As is always the case with visas):
- Minimum salary/bank balance requirements.
- The details on the exact benefits package that will be included along with the visa.
- When the application process will be fully concrete/take shape. It is said to be active as of May 20, 2022, but the online application linked to the digital nomad section of the Argentine Ministry of the Interior website still seems to be available in Spanish only, and certain portions are unclear or mention they can be determined as needed by the authorities.
How do you qualify for the Argentina Digital Nomad Visa?
Basic Requirements of the Argentina Digital Nomad Visa:
- The visa only applies to passport holders from countries who currently do not require a visa to enter Argentina. That list currently contains 80 countries. (The current policy is these passport holders can stay up to 90 days without obtaining a visa)
- Cover Letter: This should contain your personal data and the remote-enabled work you intend to perform.
- Curriculum Vitae: This should cover your education/training and all experience acquired in your chosen field.
- Passport: Must be valid and current passport. (All pages, including the personal data and photo in a JPG format).
- Passport Photo: Including your face on a white background. It needs to be taken at the time of uploading the procedure and not the image of another photo in a JPG format).
- Proof of work: This will depend upon the particulars of your application. Proper proof is needed and the consulate has the right to request additional documents/proof. This proof will include one or a combination of all of the following: contracts, company endorsements, proof of request of services, paid billing invoices, receipts of income/fees, tax documents). At least one reference linked to the services you provide is also required.
- Fees: Immigration Fee: 120, Consular Fee: 80. Fees are noted on the website in UC (consular units) that can be paid in USD/Euros when appropriate.
- All documents must be apostilled and translated into Spanish.
- Additional proof of the above or other documentation may be required by the Ministry of the Interior or the consulate.
Applying for the Argentina Digital Nomad Visa
- You must apply outside of Argentina at the following website: Electronic Entry Processing- TIE 24H
- Attach all relevant proof/documentation.
- Once you have successfully completed the two-step process online, (multiple steps involved of course), the Ministry of the Interior will notify you by email with your proof of your entry authorization, which you will show to border control upon entering Argentina.
Benefits Continued: What’s in it For the Argentine-bound Nomad?
1. Streamlined Online Application. The above process seems to have been tailored to the digital nomad and is more straightforward, and simpler than most. Final authorization is even digital, as we noted earlier, and can simply be brought to border control upon entry into the country. The website seems to cover residency permits linked to the visa as well. At this time it seems the application is only in Spanish. We expect that to change in the future as requirements become clearer.
2. Buenos Aires partnership with Airbnb/hotels targeted to court nomads. Back in 2021 the city began to work with both Airbnb and local hotel chains to ensure that accommodations were available without disrupting the local housing market and driving up the prices. These accommodations geared toward nomads, taking into consideration things like dedicated work spaces/fast internet connections, and discounts on co-working spaces, accommodations, tours and the like were offered.
3. Fringe benefits. The Argentine government did not clarify, but hinted that a series of additional benefits such as the Argentina Card offering points toward food and experiences were to be part of the visa, as well as discounts on flights with Aerolíneas Argentinas, their state-owned airline.
4. Incredible Currency Exchange Rate. As of May 28, 2022, the official currency exchange rate is 1 dollar = 119 Argentine pesos. The unofficial rate, which foreigners call the “blue rate” is closer to 220 pesos for every dollar, however, and foreigners can often find a Western Union in Buenos Aires offering this rate. In fact, even Argentina’s central bank is promoting buying power of the dollar in Argentina by allowing digital nomads to create temporary bank accounts and exchange dollars for pesos at the “blue rate”.
5. Culture on the cheap. Buenos Aires is international, cosmopolitan, on the safe side for South America, and their cuisine is every foodie’s dream. Think Mediterranean (Spanish and Italian influences) with a twist of Creole, blended with the local indigenous peoples, upscaled by some of the best steak the world has to offer. A steak at Don Julio, ranked #13 on the list of “The World Best 50 Restaurants” will run around 3950 pesos. At the official exchange rate that’s around $33, but at the “blue rate” it runs closer to $18.
6. Flipped seasons. The climate is moderate and most importantly, for those who live in the northern hemisphere, Argentina’s summer months are in January and February when northerners want to escape, and their winters are moderate and take place in the summer months when those from the north are looking to escape the heat.
7. A kaleidoscope of landscapes. You will find all terrain in Argentina: desert, mountains, rivers, jungles, wetlands, urban cities. You can hike through Patagonia passing Alpine villages or even visit the End of the World, Ushuaia which is the last stop before you hit Antarctica. For Argentina?
8. Freedom. In general, they are less serious about laws. (The unofficial currency exchange rates is one example. Another example is overstaying a visa in Argentina, whether it’s 1 or 100 days, results in no legal consequences other than a fine of 12,500 Argentine pesos, which converted to ~$105 at the time of writing). We don’t recommend testing these waters too far. If you do, however, and fall into a bit of a situation, we can connect you with incredible attorneys…
What’s in it For Argentina?
1. Revenue. The Ministry of the Interior estimates that the average nomad spends around $3,000 a month, which is double what a normal tourist would spend. Florencia Carignano, the national director for migration, estimates there are 40 million digital nomads in the world and Argentina is looking to attract 22,000 of them by 2023. That’s some serious cash.
2. Keeping Argentine jobs open for Argentinines. Historically, the only way foreigners were legally able to work within the country was through an Argentine employer/sponsor. The remote work nature of this new initiative brings in workers and their purchasing power without taking away local jobs.
3. New tourism strategy. Tourism has not recovered to pre-COVID levels. This new initiative proves Argentina’s desire and willingness to adapt and change in step with worldwide trends. This is proof to the Argentine people affected by the lack of tourism that the government has acknowledged the type of travelers as well as their habits have changed, and so Argentina is adapting in order to attract those dollars. People are often staying longer, and they simply want a freer life at a lower cost. They are willing to try small and even remote places, as long as the internet is strong, and want to experience daily life along with local populations.
4. International collaboration on a local level. When digital nomads enter a community, they generally become more involved than tourists. They interact with locals at neighborhood events, yoga classes, small cafes, beach bars and many are even interested in volunteer activities. They bring with them their passions, ideas, and knowledge and are able to share that with the communities they join.
Interested in the digital nomad life? Why not speak with one of our community experts and get tailored insight into making it a reality.
written by Kari Wiedenhaupt, Project Manager for Relocate