April 20, 2024

Why Move to Argentina? A Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Embrace a New Life

When I was 9 years old, my father told me, “Son, we are moving to Argentina!” I looked at him, baffled. I had never heard of such a place, and let alone did I even know what continent we were talking about.  22 years later, I have traveled to more than 20 countries, lived in […]

Jason Pittock

April 20, 2024

When I was 9 years old, my father told me, “Son, we are moving to Argentina!” I looked at him, baffled. I had never heard of such a place, and let alone did I even know what continent we were talking about. 

22 years later, I have traveled to more than 20 countries, lived in 5, and settled again in the land of good food, culture, sun and sky, Argentina. 

For me, Argentina is now home. In this article, I will break down step by step why you should consider moving to Argentina and a few key considerations, ranging from citizenship to financial implications and, of course, the Argentine Culture.

Why Argentina?

Well, simply put, I didn’t have much choice, LOL.  But I can confidently say that Argentina has grown on me over the 20 years and after many ups and down I really can call it home. This project, Argentine Asado, is a passion that I have had for many years, revealing the beauty of Argentina’s cultural heritage and sharing insights into our culinary space and especially our famous Asado (grill).

Read on to find out why you should move to Argentina, considerations, and what to expect living in Argentina. 

Understanding Argentina

Argentina, a country of diverse landscapes, rich culture, and history, offers a unique blend of European and Latin American influences. From the busy streets of Buenos Aires to the peaks of the Andes, I’m sure the country has something for everyone. In this guide, I’ll delve into the reasons to move to Argentina, how to make the move, and what to expect once you arrive.

move to argentina

Considering a move to a new country is a major decision that involves careful planning and consideration. Argentina offers a unique blend of modern urban living and breathtaking natural wonders. This guide provides an overview of what you need to know to make your transition to Argentina as smooth as possible.

Why Move to Argentina?

Now, let’s delve into some of the reasons why Argentina stands out as an ideal destination for relocation. From its unique culture to its incredible landscapes, Argentina offers a wealth of experiences for those seeking a new place to call home. Discover why it might be the perfect choice for your next chapter in life.

Affordable Cost of Living

Argentina is known for its affordable cost of living compared to many Western countries. This affordability extends to healthcare, education, and entertainment, making it an attractive option for expatriates. For example, eating out can cost as little as $15, including meat and wine. If you choose more traditional meals like empanadas, you can spend even less.  

Plus, many public services are actually free of charge, such as schools and hospitals. While public services are not the best at the moment due to the current crisis, you can still find excellent private insurance (called prepagas) for around $200 a month (and without copays). 

Rich Cultural Experience

The Argentine culture is a vibrant tapestry of Latin American and European influences, evident in its music, dance, and culinary traditions. Living in Argentina offers an opportunity to immerse yourself in this cultural richness daily.

moving to argentina

Originating in the late 19th century in the neighborhoods of Buenos Aires, tango is perhaps Argentina’s most famous musical export. Influenced by African, European, and indigenous rhythms, tango evolved from the fusion of various musical styles brought by immigrants to Argentina. You can also enjoy Argentine folklore music by artists like Luciano Pereira or Soledad Pastorutti. From the lively chacarera of the northwest to the haunting zamba of the northeast, each genre tells a story of Argentina’s rich heritage. 

Diverse Landscapes

From the wine regions of Mendoza to the glaciers of Patagonia, Argentina’s diverse landscapes offer endless opportunities for exploration and adventure.

Bariloche, known as the “Switzerland of Argentina,” will enchant you with its stunning alpine scenery, pristine lakes, and chocolate shops. You’ll find year-round activities such as hiking, skiing, and kayaking while discovering traditional dishes like Patagonian lamb and artisanal chocolates.

In contrast, the colonial charm of Salta consists of well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and lively markets. Surrounded by rugged mountains and fertile valleys, you can visit the dramatic rock formations of Quebrada de Humahuaca and the lush vineyards of Cafayate. Sample some of Argentina’s finest wines, produced in the high-altitude vineyards!

Welcoming Community

Argentines are known for their warmth and hospitality. Expatriates often find it easy to make friends and integrate into the local communities, even if you still the find the language a bit challenging. 

The Argentine Asado and Culinary Heritage

Let’s not forget the one and only Argentine Asado! This is the reason you are here, on my blog! Argentina is ranked high among the top destinations for exploring culinary options, ranging from grills packed with all different cuts of meats to pasta, seafood, and beyond. We are also known for our famous Yerba Mate, and of course, let’s not forget our Malbec Red Wine.  If you are a foodie, then this is paradise. 

move to argentina asado

How to Move to Argentina

Now, let’s cut to the chase and go into the details of what you’ll need if you’re serious about moving to Argentina. You’ll be happy to know that the country offers several visa options for different purposes, whether you’re planning to work, study, retire, or simply live in the country. Here’s some advice if you plan to move to Argentina in the near future: 

Research and Planning

Start by researching the different regions of Argentina to find the one that best suits your lifestyle and needs. Consider factors such as climate, job opportunities, and community.

For instance, Argentina experiences a diverse range of climates, ranging from the subtropical heat of the north to the cool temperate climate of the south. If you like the cold, you can consider places like Ushuaia, in Tierra del Fuego. Known as the southernmost city in the world, it offers a chilly climate year-round, with cool summers and cold winters. 

Meanwhile, if you like the heat, the northern region may be the perfect choice. Misiones is known for its tropical climate and lush rainforests. Home to the iconic Iguazú Falls, the region has a warm and humid climate that makes it an ideal place to move for those who enjoy tropical weather.

Legal Documentation

Ensure you have all the necessary legal documentation for your move. This includes a valid passport, visa (if required), and any other immigration paperwork.

For those planning to work in Argentina, the most common visa is the Work Visa (Visa de Trabajo), which requires sponsorship from an Argentine employer. Alternatively, investors or entrepreneurs may qualify for the Investor Visa (Visa de Inversor) or the Entrepreneur Visa (Visa de Emprendedor), respectively.

Students seeking to study in Argentina can apply for a Student Visa (Visa de Estudiante), which is typically granted for the duration of the academic program. Retirees may apply for the Retirement Visa (Visa de Jubilado) or the Rentista Visa (Visa de Rentista), depending on their financial situation.

Regardless of the visa category, you’ll need to provide various documents, including proof of identity, financial stability, and medical insurance coverage. Additionally, proficiency in Spanish may be required for certain visa types, particularly those related to employment or study.

You can find more information on visa types here.

Argentine Citizenship

Obtaining Argentine citizenship can be a significant milestone, as it gives you the right to live, work, and vote in Argentina, as well as access to various social benefits and services.

To qualify for Argentine citizenship by residence, you’ll typically need to meet certain requirements, such as having legal residence in the country for 2 consecutive years. 

Once eligibility criteria are met, you’ll need to submit an application for citizenship to the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones. The application process usually involves providing documentation such as proof of identity, proof of residence, and evidence of integration into Argentine society.

Argentina Passport 

As an Argentine citizen, you’ll then be entitled to apply for an Argentine passport, which serves as an official travel document and provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to many countries (174, to be precise). 

The Argentine passport is issued by the Registro Nacional de las Personas and is valid for a period of ten years for adults and five years for minors.

Argentine Residence Permit

If you’re a foreign national seeking to reside legally in Argentina, then you’ll need to obtain a residence permit (Residencia Temporaria or Residencia Permanente), to live and work in Argentina for an extended period.

Once granted, residence permits are typically valid for one to three years and may be renewable upon application.

Finding Accommodation

Look into housing options before you move. Argentina offers a variety of accommodation types to suit different budgets and preferences.

move Argentina

Some top websites for finding property can be:

These platforms provide listings for a wide range of properties across Argentina, allowing you to browse and compare options based on location, price, and amenities. Whether you’re looking for a temporary rental or a permanent residence, these websites can help you find the perfect place to call home.

Managing Finances

Understand the cost of living and set up a local bank account. It’s also wise to understand the tax implications of living in Argentina as an expatriate. Argentina has a progressive tax system and you may be subject to additional taxes or reporting requirements. Consult with a tax advisor or accountant familiar with Argentine tax laws and find more information on this topic on the AFIP site

Having a local bank account is recommended to facilitate everyday transactions and avoid international banking fees. Most major banks in Argentina offer services for expats, allowing you to open a bank account with ease. Some of the most well-known banks in Argentina include Santander, BBVA and Galicia, although fintechs like Modo or Mercadopago are becoming more and more popular. 

Cost of Living in Argentine in US Dollars

Understanding the cost of living in Argentina in US dollars can help you plan your budget and make informed financial decisions if you want to move to Argentina. While the cost of living can vary depending on factors such as location and lifestyle, here is a general overview of some common expenses in Argentina:

  • Rent: The cost of renting accommodation in Argentina can vary widely depending on factors such as location, size, and amenities, but in Buenos Aires, expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $800 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a desirable neighborhood like Palermo or Recoleta.
  • Groceries: The cost of groceries in Argentina is generally lower than in many other countries. A basic grocery shopping trip for essentials like fruits, vegetables, meat, and dairy products can cost around $50 to $100 per week.
  • Dining Out: Eating out at restaurants and cafes in Argentina is affordable and offers a wide range of options. An Argentine meal at a mid-range restaurant can cost between $10 to $20 per person, while a cup of coffee typically costs around $2.
  • Transportation: Public transportation in Argentina is relatively inexpensive, with fares for buses and subways typically costing less than $1 per ride. Taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber are also great options for getting around cities.

Learning the Language

While many Argentines speak English, learning Spanish will significantly enhance your experience and help you integrate into the community. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to improve your language skills, there are various resources available to help you learn Argentine Spanish.

  • Online Resources: Websites like Duolingo, Babbel, and Rosetta Stone offer interactive language courses for different proficiency levels, though none of them actually target the Argentine variety. You may have more luck by exploring YouTube channels like Spanish by Fede or Español con Michelle
  • Language Schools: Consider enrolling in a language school or institute offering Spanish courses specifically tailored to expatriates. Many language schools in Argentina provide immersive programs that combine classroom instruction with cultural activities and excursions.
  • Tutoring Services: Hiring a private tutor can be an effective way to improve your Spanish language skills quickly, using platforms like Preply or iTalki

Living in Argentina: What to Expect

Argentines are known for their warmth and hospitality, and you’ll likely be welcomed with open arms into the local community (even if your Spanish is not perfect yet!). Embrace the opportunity to forge meaningful connections with your Argentine neighbors and colleagues. Here are more details on what to expect if you plan to move to Argentina soon: 

move to argentina today

Lifestyle and Culture

Embrace the laid-back lifestyle and vibrant culture. Be prepared for the late-night dinners and the lively social scene. Plus, Argentina boasts a diverse cultural heritage influenced by European, indigenous, and African traditions, so soon you’ll discover all the unique cultural and gastronomic experiences it has to offer.

Healthcare System

Argentina has a public healthcare system accessible to residents. However, many expatriates choose private healthcare for more comprehensive coverage. Many expatriates and locals alike opt for private healthcare, known as “prepagas,” to access more comprehensive medical services and avoid the potential shortcomings of the public system. 

Prepagas are private health insurance plans offered by various companies, providing coverage for doctor visits, hospitalization, specialized treatments, and elective procedures. Prices for prepaid health plans vary depending on factors such as coverage level, age, and pre-existing conditions, but they generally range from $100 to $500 per month.

Education and Employment

Explore the education options if moving with children and understand the job market if seeking employment. The country has hundreds of prestigious public universities that offer tuition-free education to Argentine citizens and legal residents, making higher education accessible to all. Some examples include the University of Cordoba, the University of Buenos Aires and the University of Mar del Plata. 

Safety and Security

While Argentina is generally safe, it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and take standard safety precautions. Petty crime such as pickpocketing and theft can occur, particularly in crowded tourist areas and public transportation hubs. To minimize the risk of becoming a victim of crime, avoid displaying valuables openly (especially your smartphone or notebook!), be cautious in unfamiliar areas, and use reputable transportation services.

Why Retire in Argentina?

All in all, Argentina is an attractive destination for retirees seeking a high quality of life, vibrant culture, and affordable living expenses. With its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and welcoming atmosphere, Argentina offers retirees the opportunity to explore adventure, relax, and find a tight community as well.

live in Argentina

Expats in Argentina 

If you’re considering retirement in Argentina, connecting with the expat community can provide valuable support, resources, and social connections. There are several expat communities and forums online, such as: 

Conclusion

Moving to Argentina offers an exciting opportunity to experience a rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and a high quality of life. With proper planning and an open mind, you can make your transition to this wonderful country a smooth and rewarding journey.  Take the time to familiarize yourself with the local customs, language, and different public systems while you connect with the expat community: you’ll learn and grow as you navigate the challenges and joys of life in a new country like Argentina. Hope to see you here! 

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Why Move to Argentina?
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Why Move to Argentina?
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In this article, I will break down step by step why you should consider moving to Argentina and a few key considerations.
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Argentine Asado

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