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Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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How to Get Argentina Citizenship and Residency: The Ultimate Guide

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Argentina’s name may be derived from the Latin word for silver, Argentum, but the country is pure gold for foreigners looking to establish residency or citizenship in a big country with diverse and exciting opportunities.

A country that needs little introduction, Argentina is the second-largest country in South America and the eighth-largest country in the world. A wealthy nation by any definition of the word, Argentina is rich in natural resources, diversity of terrain and has an abundance of human talent in every profession – what conversation about soccer is complete without mentioning stars like Maradona and Messi? 

From bustling cities to quiet countryside, from acres of thick forests to miles of ocean shoreline, you’ll never run out of places to explore.

Is Argentina citizenship and residence right for you? What are the pros and cons of moving your life to Argentina?

If you’re excited about the possibility of life in this stunning South American nation but aren’t sure where to begin, look no further. Nomad Capitalist specialises in helping investors like you go where you’re treated best. Our team will help you decide if Argentina is right for you and, if it’s not, then we’ll help you find the place that meets your needs and desires. 

Why Argentina?

Argentina Offers Something for Everyone

Whether you’re an Argentine citizen or a foreign national, Argentina can’t fail to captivate you with its diversity. In fact, diversity is the very thing that attracts millions of people to Argentina annually. Some people visit to get a flavour of the famed gauchos’ lifestyle, while others move in to spend their golden years in a country that offers something for everyone.

Argentina is home to over sixty thousand US expats, most living in or around Buenos Aires, the nation’s capital. However, US citizens aren’t the only foreigners you’ll find in Argentina. The country has welcomed its fair share of European migrants, predominantly from Italy and Spain in the 19th and early 20th centuries, though there’s a fair smattering of Irish and Germans as well.

Apart from the population, you’ll also observe a heavy Italian and Spanish influence on Argentine architecture and culture. Many nooks and streets of the capital city will make you feel like you’re roaming in Europe.

From lush green forests to snowy mountains and golden beaches to modern cities, Argentina caters for a wide variety of preferences. But if your preference happens to include living in a high-quality country with a flavour of Europe without breaking the bank, then Argentina will win your heart.

When it comes to obtaining Argentinian citizenship, most people go for the naturalisation option since the process is one of the quickest in the world, with a top-tier passport at the end of it.

Argentine Passport

Why Argentina
An Argentine passport is a powerful travel document, with many Visa free locations to visit.

According to the latest Nomad Passport Index, the Argentine passport allows visa-free, visa-on-arrival or eTA (electronic Travel Authorisation) travel to 163 countries, making it an excellent choice for foreign nationals with weaker passports or US citizens looking to renounce their citizenship.

Argentina is also a Mercosur member state which means that Argentine nationals can travel visa and passport-free (they do need a national identity document) to any of the following Mercosur Member and the Associated States, such as:

  • Brazil
  • Paraguay
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela* (full member, but membership rights are suspended)
  • Bolivia
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Ecuador
  • Peru
  • Guyana
  • Suriname

With all the travel freedom Argentine citizens enjoy, Argentinian citizenship would be an excellent choice for any digital nomad seeking a foreign passport.

Affordable Healthcare

Argentina Affordable Healthcare
Argentinian nationals and visitors alike can avail themselves of the nation’s top-notch healthcare.

Most retirees appreciate affordable and quality healthcare in a foreign country simply because they are tired of paying hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars for minimal procedures back home.

Thankfully, the Argentinian healthcare system is one of the best in Latin America. Not only is the healthcare quality top-tier, but it’s also highly affordable.

Argentina, especially Buenos Aires, is becoming a popular medical tourism spot for foreigners looking to receive medical treatments ranging from mild aesthetic procedures to major surgeries at a fraction of the cost of healthcare in Europe and the US.

Foreigners seeking treatment in Argentina that may take more than three months can apply for the Argentine Medical Visa, a multiple-entry visa issued for one year. Moreover, the doctors in Argentina are highly qualified with most have receiving their training from reputable institutions in Europe and the US.

Affordable and quality healthcare is not something only a retiree would be interested in – instead, it’s part of the essential criteria you should keep in mind while choosing your next destination, whether to work, start a business or settle permanently.

How to Get Argentina Citizenship and Residency

Obtaining Citizenship in Argentina for Your Children
There are a few routes for those hoping to obtain citizenship in Argentina.

Thankfully, if you are from the United States (US), the European Union (EU) or United Kingdom (UK), you won’t need a visa to enter and stay in Argentina for up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes. All you need is a valid passport that is valid for more than the following six months.

Any foreigner looking to stay in Argentina for more than 90 days must get a residence permit. Whether you are a student, employee, retiree or investor, you must apply for a residence permit that best serves your motive to stay long-term in the country.

We’ve already mentioned Argentina’s one-year Medical Visa issued for foreigners seeking medical treatment in Argentina. But which visa should you get if you are an entrepreneur looking to start a business, a retiree wanting to relocate permanently or an investor wishing to invest in Argentina?

Can an Argentinian residency lead to citizenship and is there an Argentina citizenship-by-investment program through which you can skip residence and jump straight to citizenship? Read on for the answers to those questions.

How to Get Argentinian Citizenship

How to Get Argentinian Citizenship
Argentina has several pathways to citizenship, including citizenship by descent.

According to Citizenship and Naturalisation Law 346, you can only get Argentinian citizenship through birthright, descent or naturalisation as the country doesn’t have a citizenship-by-investment program.

Citizenship by Descent

You can get Argentine citizenship by descent if you were born abroad with at least one parent who is an Argentinian citizen.

Citizenship by descent can also be obtained by grandchildren of Argentine citizens if their parent(s) obtained Argentine citizenship by descent first. However, it must be requested at an Argentine court. Minors can also apply to be naturalised.

To get citizenship by descent, you must submit several documents, including but not limited to a child’s birth certificate and parent’s birth certificate(s) certified by the Argentina Civil Registry.

Citizenship by Naturalisation

As mentioned previously, getting Argentinian citizenship by naturalisation is one of the fastest processing times in the world.

According to Title 2 of Law 346, you can get Argentine citizenship by naturalisation if you fulfil the following conditions:

  • You’re over eighteen years of age
  • You’ve resided in Argentina for two continuous years as a temporary or permanent resident, according to the current immigration regulatory framework
  • You appear before a federal judge and express your will to be an Argentine citizen.

With only two years of residency, Argentine naturalisation is one of the quickest pathways to obtaining a passport. Moreover, foreigners who have an Argentine spouse or child do not need to meet the two-year residency requirement to apply for citizenship.

It’s a straightforward process, but your citizenship appeal may be denied if:

  • You’ve been in jail for over three years in the last five years
  • You’ve an illegitimate source of income (working without a legal permit or other offences)
  • You’re under criminal prosecution.

Dual Citizenship

Argentina recognises the right to possess dual citizenship, which means you won’t have to renounce your citizenship if you become an Argentine national.

The interesting thing about Argentine nationality is that you cannot renounce it. However, many countries that don’t allow dual citizenship may make exceptions for cases where renunciation is impossible.

Argentina issues various residence visas based on different motives – the following are some of the most notable ones.

Argentina Residency Permits

Pensioner Visa (Pensionado Visa)

Argentina has never been out of reach for foreigners and migrants. From excited tourists to foreign diplomats, millions of people visit this exciting country every year.

Retirees make up a massive chunk of those annual visitors. Argentina’s high quality of life, excellent healthcare and affordable cost of living make the prospect of spending their retirement years there a dream come true for many foreigners.

Argentina grants the Pensionado Visa to foreigners who can provide a regular monthly pension of ARS900,000 (currently US$1,012) which is equal to five times 180,000 Argentine pesos (or the most up-to-date minimum wage). The amount must be received from a foreign government or organisation. You must prove your pension/income to the immigration department and present a clean criminal record.

The Argentine Pensionado Visa is a one-year visa renewable for three years, after which you can apply for permanent residency. You can also apply for Argentine citizenship after two consecutive years of residency.

The Argentine Pensionado Visa may remind you of the renowned Panama Pensionado program, which is also a favourite among retirees worldwide.

Financier Visa (Rentista Visa)

The Financier Visa, also known as Rentista or Person of Independent Means Visa, is a one-year visa renewable for three years, after which you can apply for permanent residency.

This visa is aimed at people who don’t have a pension but can prove a guaranteed monthly income of at least ARS900,000 (currently US$1,012 and subject to fluctuations). Like the Argentine Pensionado visa, your application must be accompanied by a clean criminal record.

Under the Financier Visa, you’re not allowed to work as someone’s employee but you can be self-employed or start a business. In practice, these visas are only granted to foreigners who own real estate abroad which they rent and for which they receive a monthly rent above the minimum rent required.

Upon each renewal, you’ll have to prove your income and its sufficiency to support your stay in Argentina again.

Investment Visa (Inversionista Visa)

The investment visa is granted to any foreigner who makes an investment of at least ARS1,500,000 (roughly US$1,700) in a legal business, commercial or service activity in Argentina.

The visa is initially valid for one year and is renewable for up to three years, after which you can apply for permanent residence. The investment amount must come from a legal source and be held in an authorised financial institution by the Central Bank of the Argentine Republic (BCRA).

While this is certainly a pathway some may consider, it doesn’t grant the applicant an official Argentinian identification card known locally as the Documento Nacional de Identidad (DNI). Because of this, we don’t recommend this pathway for our clients, especially when there are so many better routes available.

Should You Get Argentinian Citizenship?

Should You Get Argentine Citizenship

With a two-year naturalisation period and a strong passport offering trouble-free-visa travel to 163 countries, Argentinian citizenship represents a golden opportunity.

The Argentine Peso has nosedived in value over the past few years, making residence permits even more affordable and while the has certainly struggled economically in recent times (inflation ran to a staggering 211% in 2023), its new government is promising to overhaul and restructure the entire economy.

In a bold move to embrace digital currencies, the current Argentinian government has unveiled a bill to abolish taxes on cryptocurrency assets, a policy shift that highlights Argentina’s commitment to fostering a pro-Bitcoin ecosystem.

The country offers a high quality of life with a European vibe in South America that doesn’t break the bank, making it a perfect haven for people looking to move overseas permanently. The welcoming community, versatile terrain and affordable cost of living should excite anyone thinking of living in Argentina.

If Argentina sounds like the place you think you’d be treated best in, reach out to our team. We’ve helped over a thousand clients achieve their dream offshore life and would love to do the same for you.

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