Moving to Argentina


My boyfriend is an Argentine and we have discussed me moving there....big step I know!

Any advice on which route I have to follow...visas, permits etc?


i had lived there..which passport r u holding?
U shd have a 30day visa, as a tourist.

I have a South African Passport.  I do know that if I visit with it, I don't need a visa.  But what happens if I want to move there permanently?


You will have to marry!!

I know it is not your case but i want to inform to the people who want to move to Argentina.
If you wants to move your stuff into argentina please beware and inform yourself because laws are very strange here.
When your things arrives for example ina contener, you must make a detailed list in spanish of the goods you are bringing into the country.
You can only apply for temporary import of your household because you do not have permanent residency!!!
In order to import temporary your household you must seek for an isurance compay that insures the value of the taxes you should pay on your household.
This is very dificult because insurance companies want garanties and in case you do not own a house or something else they do not insure you or you have to pay the total amount asked by customs and this can be a lot of money.
It is like a loan to the argentina customs or the insurance company at 0%.
You can only cancel the insurance when you have Permanent Residence!! Before NOT!!
Argentina goverment do not want you to come with a 56" plasma you have paid 800USD in the states, no they want you to buy a 26" plasma made in argentina for 3000USD, get the point?
And please do not bring your car!!!!! it is imposible to get the right documents without paying 3 times the value of the car.
Reason: same then before, a car vlued in the states 20.000usd, in argentina same car 40.000usd, so please not tell me that taxes are low in Argentina.
Argentina is a very beautiful country but do not expect to find an organised country, it will take some 200 years more and with an other goverment!!!
I do not want to disrespect nobody but I believe the throught must be told.

PatrickG, I can see from your barrage of postings here that you seem to have had some difficulty with your move to Argentina. I am certainly sorry you have had a less than pleasant time here. 

However, I think in all fairness to persons coming to this forum for helpful and accurate advise some of your comments need to be clarified. 

For instance you quote television on one post as costing 600 USD for a 46" plasma in the USA and 5,000 USD here in Argentina on a different thread here. On this thread you talk about a 56" plasma in the USA for 800 USD and a 26" plasma here in Argentina for 3,000 USD. Those figures simply are not true. 

Looking at 2 random but credible sites in Argentina I found the following figures:  On MercadoLibre new 26" plasmas going for 2,599 pesos or 657 USD.  There are no 46" plasmas in Argentina from what I can tell, but on MercadoLibre a new 42" can be purchased at the rate of 1,150 USD and a 50" at 3,050 pesos or 771 USD.  Looking at the websites for Sony and CompuMundo which only sell digital televisions, which are superior to plasmas, their most expensive models in stock were priced at 6,999 pesos or 1,770 USD. 

So none of your figures were accurate.  [As an aside, 46" plasmas in the USA ranged from 400 USD to 2,799 USD on eBay.]

I don't even want to get into all the inaccuracies with your explanation of customs procedures.  Instead here are the current guidelines:


Argentine Citizens and Foreign Citizens With Permanent Residence:

a) Valid and original passport(s) showing clearly that shipper has been a resident in another country for a period not less than 12 months, and that such residence has not been interrupted with entries into Argentina for more than 60 days (accumulative) in the last 12 months prior to shipper's re-entry.
b) Two Original B/L's or AWB's.
c) Certificate of Residence issued by Argentine Consulate in the country of Origin. (Not required for foreigners).

Foreign Citizens:

a) Valid and original passport(s) with 1 year visa . (If possible, it is best to obtain resident visa at origin. Nevertheless, clearance of sea shipments can be performed with 1 year Visa or "Residencia Precaria". For air shipments, see note in special requirements paragraph).
b) Two Original B/L's or AWB's.
c) Temporary Admission Forms (Guarantee forms) for sea shipment.

Diplomats / Military Personnel:

A Diplomatic Franchise must be obtained from the Argentine Ministry of Foreign Affairs by the Diplomatic Mission or the Official Foreign Organization where the shipper is officially employed.


Shipment must arrive in Argentina within six months of shipper's first entry into the country, or no more than three months before.

Although it is not necessary for the shipper to be physically present at customs for clearance formalities, he must be in the country to sign and certify certain papers and present us with his original passport. If shipper is an Argentine Citizen returning or Foreign Citizen with Permanent Residence and does not comply with these Customs Regulations, taxes and duties will be applicable at a rate of 50 %, calculated on the FOB value of the shipment.

As per new Customs requirements, shipper’s passport must show a note written and stamped by Customs skating that shipper is expected to receive a shipment of household goods (“Manifiesta esperar equipaje no acompañado”) that will allow the importation of the shipment into Argentina. This will be mandatory for all shippers regardless of their nationality and the type of Visa they hold (but not for shippers importing the moves with Diplomatic Franchise). In other words, each shipper must declare at the moment of entering Argentina (at the airport and to Customs officers) that he/she is expecting a move to get this fact clearly noted in the passport.


Foreigners With Temporary Resident Visa must pay taxes and duties for the importation of personal effects and household goods (50% on the FOB value) or should bring them into the country under temporary admission in accordance with the present guarantee system. The belongings must be guaranteed (bonded) for the duration of the visa and the Bond documents must be renewed each time the visa is renewed.

Goods can be guaranteed by:
a) A local bond insurance company through a "Caution policy" (PÓLIZA DE CAUCIÓN) ;
b) A company that is registered as an import/export agent in Argentina and has its signature registered with Customs Authorities (this is the more common way used by established companies)

In the case that the client can not comply with these requirements, the move can be imported by paying the taxes and duties as mentioned above.

If at the expiration date of the guarantee the visa has not been renewed, the goods must be re-exported before the expiring of the Guarantee and the Visa. If a permanent residence visa has been obtained, the goods must be nationalized and the guarantee will be cancelled.

Note: In the case of air shipments, the move of foreigners holding a Temporary Visa, the move can be imported duty free only if the consignee has a 1 (one) year Visa. The shipper must pay taxes and duties if he holds a 3 or 6 months Temporary visa.


• Illegal drugs
• Child pornography
• Perishable goods
• Items which contain an internal-combustion engine (*)
• Plants

(*)These items are prohibited to be nationalized only (Argentine citizens returning or foreigners with permanent Visa). They may be imported on a temporary basis for foreigners with temporary Visa.


• Firearms (See special regulations for their importation)
• Alcoholic beverages: up to 30 litres of alcoholic beverages can be imported duty free. Please contact us prior the embarkation if the client wants to bring more.
• Food
• Items that, according to the quantity, quality or type, can be considered to have commercial purposes.


DIPLOMATS are able to import used or new cars with a Diplomatic Franchise issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affaires.

RETURNING ARGENTINE CITIZENS may import used vehicles only (one car and one motorcycle for each adult member of the family).

PERSONS WITH PERMANENT RESIDENT STATUS may import used vehicles only, under the same rules that apply to Argentine citizens returning.

PERSONS WITH TEMPORARY VISA may import used vehicles under temporary admission. The car is only allowed temporary admission for the same period the client has the Visa and can be renewed if the client renews the Visa. Before the visa expires, the vehicle must be removed from Argentina. VEHICLE MUST KEEP THE ORIGINAL PLATES.

General Requirements:

1) Vehicle must enter Argentina within (6) six months after shipper/owner arrival.
2) Vehicle and its documentation must be under shipper's name.
3) Importation of new vehicles is subject to Ministry of Commerce regulations and is limited to certain types of vehicles. New vehicles can not be imported as part of the move.

Documentation Required for Argentine Citizens and Foreign Citizens with Permanent Residence:

1) Owner's original passport.
2) Original B/L's.
3) Complete car documentation including the property title under the name of the shipper.
4) Original purchase invoice.
5) Certificate of Residence issued by the Argentine Consulate at origin country ( for Argentine citizens returning only)

Note: All documents that are not issued in Spanish must be translated by an official Translator and certified by the Argentine College of Translators.

Duties / Taxes: Approximately 80% of car CIF value for normal cars , 100% for diesel cars and 65% for motorcycles.

Argentine citizens returning can use this franchise (always paying taxes and duties) only once per lifetime and Customs will authorize just one for each adult member of the family.

Please check the following link: … -5-tab-615

LCD TV 46" FULL HD KLV-46V510A    PRICE:13.999 = 3517USD

and then look at … fr;Mfr_792



I  investigate before i write somehting and wht i write i can prove as you can see.

Well people you will think about my article when your goods are in customs!
I do speak from proper experience!!!

good to you

Patrick, you did not look very good.  I was able to spend about 3 minutes and find the same items for a fraction of the cost you did.  The fact that you had a negative experience here does not mean it is okay to make exaggerated claims based on nonsense.  I can go to any country and find at least one or two sites that are overpriced.  It does not make your case at all.  Obviously you are disgruntled and angry and I am very sorry you had a bad experience here.  However, I have been here for years and am more than happy to introduce anyone here to tons of people with great experiences, good attitudes, and ones who do not spend all their time spreading negativity around the web.  I think in the end, people get what they expect and maybe in some cases what they deserve. 

(moderated: off topic)

Hi venus1978, that sounds great! I was wondering if you are looking to work over here? I'm just thinking that maybe if you're not thinking of getting married straight away, you could apply for temporary residence under a working visa (or other type, depending on your plans) - after 3 years of temporary status (renewing every year), you can apply for permanent residency with the Argentine immigration authorities - let me know more and I will see if I can provide you with more specific information!

Just wanted to mention that a tourist visa is good for 90 days. I received mine upon entry in November 2010.

Actually there is no such thing as a tourist visa here Special Agent.  Rather, you simply entered Argentina on a passport.  However, you are correct that they stamped it as good for 90 days at which time all one needs to do is take a day trip to Uruguay and get themselves stamped out of Argentina, into Uruguay, and then stamped back in for another 90 days.

I am not sure if my memory has just failed from the bombardment of all that we have gone through over the almost 4 years of living in BA .. or if things have changed.
But we bought a 40" flat screen Samsung 3 1/2 years ago , at Garbarino, in Paseo Alcorta , it cost about 3 x what it costs in the US. But it was not as overpriced as what Patrick has quoted.
Also,   it had to be repaired a year after we got it.  I am holding my breath to see how long it lasts.

We shipped an entire household from the US to BA and while it was expensive, it was also quite easy. The mover did everything, we did not have to go anywhere and sign anything, we just got the date and waited for delivery. And only one box was missing .. so we felt almost lucky.

We started our DNI work as soon as we arrived and we are Permanent Residents after renewing each year for 3 years... We did not come here as tourists, we came here to be residents so we only renewed the DNI each year, not every 3 months. It is still a long arduous and annoying process and you really have to have the desire to be a full time resident/tax payer in Argentina to go through it.

And while scouring the internet those months to see what to do and where to go, I found amazingly helpful people like WynnWoods and Saltshaker who give their time so generously on forums such as this.

I have found that the gap on the price of electronics has been closing over a period of time, but they are still overpriced here (due to the high importation tariffs).  Like yourself, I do cross my fingers when I purchase anything domestic as their quality control standards here on manufacture are almost non-existent.  I tend to purchase things like kitchen appliances from Brazilian companies instead of Argentine ones, but they do not last like ones at home either.

I appreciate the kind words and people who know me call me Sam and if interested can find me on Facebook under my full name, samuel wynn warde.  Dan Perlman is the owner of Casa Saltshaker, a truly great closed door restaurant, which I happen to be eating at this Friday night!  He also has a wonderful blog devoted to the culinary scene here in Buenos Aires:

He has reviews of tons of restaurants to include an entire section on places to get tacos here in town.  He also has several "best of" sections to include parillas, helado, expat snacks, etc. 

If interested in fine dining, check out his site - you will be glad you did!

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