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Immigration Firsthand Account: Bureaucratic Troubles I've Faced in Argentina
19/Sep/2016

After visiting Buenos Aires for the first time, I fell in love with the city and it's people. So, at the age of 32, I decided to leave Peru and settle down in Argentina with the intention of opening my own fashion store. 

I phoned the nearest Argentine Consulate for information on Resident Permits and found out I needed to apply for a Temporary Resident Visa. Being a Peruvian citizen, the process seemed really simple; I only needed to bring with me my passport and foreign criminal records and then the rest would have to be done in Argentina. 

Once in Buenos Aires, I started the process at the DNM (National Immigrations Office) and these were some of the many difficulties I had to face:

  • Long queues, really early in the morning, outside in the cold weather without even a roof over our heads to cover us and others from the rain.
  • Several system failures which left the DNM office inactive for many hours, even days, which didn't allow public officers to make appointments active or even print resolutions and other documents. 
  • Inefficient public officers, who were failing at their job and wouldn't scan documentation as requested by their own protocols and after having my files under supervision for at least 3 months, realized that they had not scanned initial documents when I first applied for my visa.
  • Long delays for processing and approving visas and other documents. If they tell you 10 days, they will take around 1 month - if they tell you 3 months, they will take 5 months.
  • Lack of organization and connection between the different bodies.
  • Money matters: All governmental fees have to be paid in cash and with change, credit/debit cards are not accepted, and definetly no online payments.
  • Misleading information received when asking for details on step by step procedures.

To make a long story short, it took me around 7 months to obtain a Visa and DNI (local ID) with a 2 year validity. 

My boyfriend came to Argentina some months later. Thanks to LinkedIn, we found the correct company (LARM Group) to help us. We hired them, and although bereaucrazy still exists, they helped us with the process and ensured things went as smoothly as possible. He got his Visa and DNI within a period of 2 months and a hafl! This shows the difference between wanting to do it on my own versus being guided and helped through the process. 

Anonymous Expat - Assisted by LARM Argentina

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