There are several categories of work visas in Argentina, but the ones most commonly obtained are valid for up to one year after issuance.
Under Argentine law, obtaining a work visa is the responsibility of the employer, who is in charge of petitioning the National Immigration Office (Direcion Nacional de Migraciones) for permission to hire a foreign employee. In fact, the visa that is issued is actually issued to the employer, and if an employee leaves the job or is fired, their visa is no longer valid and they must leave the country. That being said, there are three steps for an employer to obtain a visa for a foreign employee:
Step 1: Petition. Employer petitions the DNM for permission to hire a foreign employee. The employer must show proof of a pre-established work contract in order to submit this petition. The contract must be signed by the employer in front of an official notary in Argentina, as well as by the employee in an Argentine consulate in their home country. If permission is granted, a temporary residence permit (or ‘Permiso de Ingreso,’ which is not the actual visa) will be issued to the employer on the employee’s behalf. The employer will then send the file with the Permiso de Ingreso and the work contract to the Argentine consulate in the employee’s home country.
Step 2: Visa application. The employee must then go in person to the Argentine consulate in their home country to apply for a work visa. The employee must produce:
- The residence permit
- A valid passport (good for at least one year beyond the intended date of entry)
- 6 passport-sized photos (4x4cm)
- The work contract from the employer, signed and notarized
- Police report with a clear criminal record (covering the applicant’s last 5 years of residence, produced by a local police department and legalized in the last 3 months)
- An affidavit of no criminal history (to be signed in person)
- Records of civil status including birth certificate, marriage certificate, or spousal death certificate (two copies of each, as is applicable)
- Processing fees, which vary by country; check with your consulate for more info
Additionally, if you are relocating with your spouse and/or children, you will also need to produce the documents above for each of them (minus work contract and marriage certificate). For any dependents under 18 years of age, police reports do not apply. However, you will need to sign a parental consent form for them to travel and live temporarily in Argentina, which must be notarized and apostilled.
Note that the work contract, civil status certificates and police records must be apostilled in accordance with the Hague Legalization Convention or legalized with the Argentine consulate, as well as translated into Spanish by a licensed translator. Be sure to bring original documents with you, not just photographed copies.
Once this is done, the work visa will be issued to the employee generally within a few days.
Step 3: DNI and CUIL. After receiving the visa and the employee has entered Argentina, it will be necessary to obtain a DNI (Documento nacional de identidad). This must be done in person at the National Registry of Persons (ReNaPer, located at Perón 664), and generally will not take longer than an hour or two. There are fees, which will vary according to your country of origin. For more information visit: http://www.en.argentina.ar/_en/new-dni/index.php.
The employee will obtain then the CUIL (Codigo Unico de Identificacion Laboral) by registering with ANSES, the Argentine pensions office (located at Córdoba 720). Once registered, you will receive your CUIL number instantly. This is the equivalent to a social security card, and is the final step of the process.
If your work visa expires, it is the responsibility of your employer to renew it. You can receive an extension, without returning to your home country, as long as you have a work contract. However, if you terminate your employment, or are fired or laid off, your work visa is automatically invalid and you will have to return to your home country. If you are able to obtain other employment in Argentina, you will still have to return to your host country to begin the visa process all over again.
For complete information, visit http://www.migraciones.gov.ar/accesibleingles. The main content is in Spanish, but the menu to the left is available in English and will take you to English explanations.