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Argentina: Visas, Job Hunting, Pensions

About ten years ago, many would not have considered working in Argentina the best of career moves. However, the country’s economy is slowly getting back on track. Read on for the InterNations Guide that covers contemporary conditions for foreigners working in Argentina.
Just 5% of the Argentine workforce are employed in agriculture.

Working Visa

As an expat looking for work in Argentina, you require a visa and work permit – except, of course, if you are a resident of a MERCOSUR country, in which case you simply need a 23 L MERCOSUR visa. Most other expatriates need a 23 A or E working visa. This caters specifically to migrant workers or scientists and specialized personnel.

The application process can be started at the Argentine Embassy in your country of origin or in Argentina, via your future employer.

In both cases, the application is handled by the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones (National Immigration Office). Usually, your employer applies for your permiso de ingreso (entry permit) at the DNM. We describe this process in more detail in our article on moving to Argentina.

Visa Application

When you apply for your visa, you need to book an appointment at your nearest Argentine consulate and bring the following paperwork along with your application:

  • Your valid passport

  • Three passport photos

  • Your original employment contract signed by your employer OR a notarized certification for your intra-company transfer

  • Your birth certificate and, as applicable, marriage certificate and divorce decree

  • A certificate of good conduct

  • An affidavit of international criminal records

  • An official certified copy of your degree certificate or professional credentials

This list may not apply to every single case and does not necessarily contain all details. For more information on your visa situation, you should never hesitate to contact the nearest Argentine consulate.

Job Hunting

To obtain a working visa for Argentina, you must first have secured a job, as the visa is tied to your contract with an Argentina-based company. Unless, of course, you are sent on an intra-company transfer or a similar expat assignment, you should therefore go job hunting before starting your visa application. You should note, however, that the job search process from abroad definitely requires proficiency in the Spanish language.

Whereas many businesspeople in Argentina do speak English, it is not always the preferred language, even in international business. As such, for business meetings or contract negotiations, it could be worthwhile to bring along a certified interpreter. To improve your prospects, though, brushing up on your Spanish first is advisable.

Job Search Resources

As in other countries, the classifieds of major broadsheet newspapers are a good place to start looking for job openings. The biggest players on Argentina’s print market are La Nación and Clarín. Several foreign-language papers could be of interest too: The Buenos Aires Herald is an English-language daily, and the Argentinisches Tageblatt is a niche weekly catering to the German community.

It could also pay off to inquire with your home country’s chamber of commerce in Argentina and/or the Argentine chamber of commerce back home. This could also give you the opportunity to attend various business events focusing on trade and commerce between the two nations, which could be a good way to begin establishing a network of contacts. Alternatively, you should be able to find international recruiting agencies that are active in Argentina, too.

National Pension Plans

Most people in Argentina choose between paying into a social scheme for their retirement years or an individual account. For the public pension, the retirement age is 60 for women and 65 for men, provided that they have paid contributions for at least 30 years. As of January 2016, the basic monthly pension was 1,610 ARS (116 USD).

Planning Your Pension

To find out how your move to Argentina affects your pension plans back home, please get in touch with the social security administration of your home country. Oftentimes, the regulations distinguish between intra-company assignments and other forms of employment abroad.

For example, in some cases expats on intra-company transfers are in fact required to keep paying into the national pension funds at home. Similarly, some self-made expats with other forms of work contracts remain covered by their home country’s social security scheme.

Social Security Agreements

Even if you are still covered by your home country’s social security scheme, you may have to pay social security contributions in Argentina. Send an inquiry to the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security to find out if you may have these contributions refunded upon leaving Argentina.

At the time of writing, Argentina has social security agreements with a number of different countries. It has bilateral agreements with Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Chile, France, Peru and Slovenia. The social security agreements with the MERCOSUR countries and the countries that are part of the Ibero-American treaty are all based on multilateral treaties. Such agreements usually exempt expats of these nationalities from social security payments to the Argentine pensions fund if covered by comparable systems at home. You should refer to your closest Argentine consulate to learn more.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete.

Paolo Greco

"My wife has found her job through InterNations. That is great as our fresh start in Buenos Aires was kind of tough for us both."

Ida Hagen

"If you want to meet interesting international people in Buenos Aires, go to the InterNations events! I am doing that -- everyone is doing that."

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