Moving to Argentina requires a few precautions. Many people get seduced by the diversity of the country’s landscapes and the liveliness of its capital, Buenos Aires. Also, the cost of living is lower than in most parts of western Europe.
But there are some details you need to take in mind if you want to be successful in your adventure.
In this article, you will find all you need to know if you are thinking about living in Argentina as an expat. From visas and other administrative procedures to health insurance.
Living in Argentina as an Expat: Legal Procedures
The Working Holiday Visa for Argentina
The easiest way to move there is to apply for the Working Holiday Program (WHP). It is free and open to people up to the age of 30. For some countries like New Zealand, the age limit is 35.
The working holiday visa for Argentina allows you to stay in the country for one year and work to cover your expenses. To obtain this permit, you must meet a few easy conditions:
- Be between 18 and 30 years old at the time of application
- To have a valid passport
- Have at least 2,500 euros available at the beginning of your stay
- Never have been granted a WHP in Argentina
- Obtain a certificate of good health
- Have health insurance that covers hospitalization, repatriation, and maternity for the duration of your stay in Argentina
- Have a clean criminal record.
As with other destinations, annual quotas exist. But they are not reached most of the time.
Buenos Aires welcomes all WHP participants with open arms, with a kit that includes a SIM card and free transportation tickets. The visa application can be submitted up to 3 months before departure.
Other Types of Visa for Argentina
If the WHP does not suit your situation, you will have to get another type of visa for Argentina to be able to move there.
Students must apply for a visa once in the country, upon presentation of an acceptance letter from a local university.
Moving to Argentina to Work
To work in Argentina, it is necessary to obtain a temporary work visa.
This requires a residence permit (permiso de ingreso) in the first instance. You can obtain it through your future employer or a specialized lawyer.
The application can also be made when the expatriate already resides in Argentina. In this case, it will be necessary to provide proof of residence.
Application for DNI and CUIL
To settle and work in Argentina, it is also necessary to apply for:
- A DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad) for each member of the expatriate’s family
- A CUIL (Código Único de Identificación Laboral), equivalent to the Social Security number.
Jobs in Argentina for Expats
Good command of Spanish is a prerequisite for moving to Argentina. Without it, it will be difficult to find a job and to integrate.
Having a good level of English is also an advantage, especially in a professional context.
Argentina is not the country that offers the most employment opportunities for foreigners. It is highly recommended to leave with a promise of employment.
However, there are many international companies in the country. And certain sectors are likely to recruit foreigners:
- Engineering and new technologies
- English language teaching
- Hotel and restaurant industry
- Tourism is a sector in which a good command of English is a plus.
Due to a lack of qualified local labor in certain sectors, it’s also possible to find jobs in Argentina for expats that have diplomas and specialized skills.
Entrepreneurship and start-ups are in full development in the country. Going to Argentina may therefore be of interest to independent workers in new technologies.
And since 2016, it is even possible to create a company within 24 hours.
Expat Taxes in Argentina
Anyone who resides in Argentina for at least 6 months is liable for taxes. However, during the first year, income from abroad is not taxable.
After one year, the foreigner becomes an Argentinean tax resident, and all his/her income becomes taxable. Although expat taxes in Argentina have very advantageous rates.
All foreigners who start working in Argentina must register with the relevant tax office to receive a unique tax identification key (CUIT).
During the entire stay in Argentina, taxes will be deducted monthly at the source, so there will be no need to file a tax return.
Health Insurance in Argentina for Expats
In Argentina, the quality of care is quite satisfactory. But its health system is limited:
- Waiting times are often long
- General medical consultations are only done in hospitals
- Reimbursements are only partial, especially for medication.
This is why many foreigners seek private medical care during their expatriation in Argentina. It represents a high cost and justifies the purchase of expatriate insurance.
This type of insurance can be taken out as a “first euro” policy with companies specializing in international insurance.
They cover health expenses (hospitalization, routine care) as well as repatriation and evacuation assistance. They are essential when living far away from your home country. Especially if you visit or settle in less urbanized areas.
Private health insurance for Argentina also covers care received during stays outside the country. Particularly when you visit your home country. And it allows you to benefit from partnerships with health care institutions.
The easiest way to choose the most suitable policy for each profile is to use an online comparison tool.