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Living in Argentina. This is what you need to know to move now
Moving to Argentina
A move to Argentina may be the best decision you make. More and more people have weighed up the pros and cons of living in Argentina and decided to take the plunge. What’s more, people are moving at all stages of life, including those who retire to Argentina. There are many benefits for those who immigrate to Argentina, but also some risks. We’ll look at the most important here.
Argentina has had a difficult few years, both politically and economically. This disruption has meant a drop in the value of the Argentine peso against most major currencies. The devaluation has had several effects, but two impact foreigners. Firstly, any offshore incomes and savings have a higher value in Argentina. Your money will go much further and buy you a much higher quality of life. Secondly, imported goods have become more expensive. If you don’t make many imported purchases, this won’t have a significant impact on you.
The outlook for living in Argentina
Property prices have dropped as a result of the economic issues in the last few years. There have been steps by the government, the electorate, and the international community to address some of Argentina’s core issues. As a result, many are optimistic about the medium-term and long-term outlook for Argentina, politically, socially, and economically. Forbes quoted Barclay Capital as seeing Latin America, including Argentina, as a coming growth hot spot.
Argentina continues to contribute as a member in good standing of the G15 and G20 economies and the MERCOSUR region.
Move to Argentina for the low cost of living
Argentina is a low cost-of-living country. That said, the cost-of-living in Argentina varies, like most countries. Cities like Buenos Aires (population 13 million) have a much higher cost-of-living than smaller country towns. Having said that, a like-for-like comparison with an equivalent life in the United States would be from 50% to 60% lower. Rental prices can be as much as 75% lower than the equivalent in the USA.
As wages are relatively low, hiring staff will require a lower amount of money than you are used to. This is true for the cost of domestic help, including childcare, healthcare and domestic workers.
Move to Argentina, and your day-to-day costs will use up less of your savings. Eating out, alcoholic drinks, public transport, leisure activities, and more will cost less than in most countries.
You can live a much more affluent lifestyle in Argentina for less.
Imported goods, including fashion and electrical items, are one exception to the low-cost norm. The weak peso and government import duties mean higher relative prices for these items. It can also be challenging to get some imported items from time to time.
Online market places like Mercado Libre (an aspiring South American Amazon) are a good place for an idea of spending money requirements.
The cost of living is excellent for all Expats, but especially for those who retire to Argentina. Retirees on a pension or investment income have a fantastic quality of life.
Check out our article on the Cheapest Countries in the World for Expats here.
Work in Argentina
And what are Expats doing in Argentina? Well, some Expats are working in large multinationals based in Buenos Aires. You will find oil and gas, banking, tourism, and agricultural companies. Others provide services including, information technology (IT), marketing, teaching, and design.
Working in Argentina will mean you are paid in Argentine Pesos, and that may mean less money than a forex wage.
There are several Argentine Work Permits for Expats who want to work in Argentina.
For those that don’t want to work in the Argentine economy, many run location-independent businesses or have passive income sources. Having a foreign income source can be advantageous. Having access to a foreign exchange income from offshore takes the stress out of the movements of the peso. They can also be a good inflation hedge.
You can live in Argentina on the Rentista Visa with an income from outside the country. This visa is great for freelancers, digital nomads, and remote workers.
Move to Argentina for the cuisine
Argentinians often speak English
Although Spanish is the national language, English has been a mandatory subject at school for some time. As a result, English is becoming more widely spoken. Young people and people in international business and local tourism will all speak good English. Also, many people will happily practice their English with you. Add in a large Expat population, and you’ll find someone who speaks your language. The English Proficiency Index ranked Argentina 27th in the world for English skills in 2019.
While you’ll have a much better time speaking some Spanish, it is not critical to be fluent on arrival. Even a ‘gracias’, ‘hola’, and ‘adiós’ will help. Definitely, in the longer term, Spanish is useful for deepening your friendships and connections in Argentina.
And, while Argentine Spanish is a little different to Castellano, it is still the same language at its core. If you speak Spanish from another part of the world, you’ll understand and be understood just fine.
Move to Argentina for excellent, affordable healthcare
There are both private and public parts to Argentina’s health care system. Notably, the standard, considering costs, is overall excellent. Medical tourism is a big industry taking advantage of the quality and value of care available. This infrastructure has led to the Legatum Institute ranking Argentina’s health system 46th in the world.
Many of Argentina’s health professionals (including doctors and specialists) are overseas-trained and deliver world-class service. On offer are all services that you would expect to find in the US or Europe at a fraction of US prices.
Expats in Argentina generally rely on the private system. You can buy high-quality insurance for as little as $50 to $60 a month. Getting a health plan is straightforward compared to the complexities of some other Expat destinations.
Medications and drugs are much cheaper than in the US. In Argentina, pharmacies are abundant and staffed by excellent qualified professionals. In contrast to some countries, dental care follows the same high-quality, low-cost model.
For those who retire to Argentina, the excellent value healthcare is a boost to their retirement savings. Peace of mind is priceless, and knowing the healthcare system will look after you contributes to your happiness.
As an aside, Argentina has more psychologists per capita than anywhere else in the world. This fact means mental health care is readily available and reasonably priced. We assume it leads to a perfectly well-balanced population, but you’ll have to confirm!
Move to Argentina for the variety
Once you have your visa for Argentina, you can explore this vast country. Cosmopolitan Buenos Aires is a city that wouldn’t be out of place as a European capital. Thirteen million people live and work in this beautiful city. Buenos Aires offers a wide range of activities, including concerts, theatre, cinemas, parks, fashion, and shopping. The city is home to some world-class five-star hotels, a range of boutique hotels, and guest houses.
There are exceptional sporting facilities, both as a participant and as a spectator. And, you can enjoy beautiful day trips and weekend breaks within easy reach for a battery recharge.
On the other end of the scale is the rustic charms of the islands of the Tigre Delta. Alternatively, if you love open spaces, the Tierra Del Feugo province and the mountains offer an unspoiled paradise. This region has world-class hiking in summer and winter sports when the snow starts.
In between are smaller cities like Salta and San Carlos de Bariloche that have an attraction all their own.
There are the beautiful beaches of the South-Atlantic and the temperate wine-growing region of Mendoza. Names like La Pampa, Patagonia, Santa Fe, Aconcagua, and more. A move to Argentina means you have at your disposal the 8th largest country in the world by area. Amazingly, it has a coastline of almost 5,000 km. There is a perfect home for everyone who moves to Argentina.
Move to Argentina for the education system
A move to Argentina doesn’t mean having to compromise on the standard of education for you or your children. The education system is excellent. As well as the local system, there is a wide range of world-class international schools taught in various languages, especially in English. There are excellent Universities with a strong academic tradition.
And, if you want to learn Spanish, the tango, or to make BBQ, they are all on offer. Argentina’s towns and cities have a vast range of courses, both fun and serious.
There are several Argentine Student Visas to choose from, check out your options from the link.
Security while living in Argentina
Security is always a concern for Expats and people planning a move. Like many countries with economic challenges, Argentina has some crime issues. Buenos Aires, Córdoba, and other major cities can be prone to petty crime. Still, violent crimes are rare in areas popular with Expats.
Research supports Expats’ view of Argentina as a safe country to live in. For example, the Global Peace Index ranks the country 74th in the world overall for safety. The ranking is a three-place rise from the 2019 result.
The Legatum prosperity rankings mirror this improvement with a steady gain over the last four years. Their in-depth analysis ranks Argentina highly for personal freedoms and their health system in particular.
Check out our article on the Safest Countries in the World here.
Immigration to Argentina comes with a warm welcome
Argentinians are, on the whole, warm and passionate people. Expat story after Expat story tells of a warm welcome for foreigners and an open, caring local population. If you love football and can speak some Spanish all the better, you’ll be practically family. Given the difficulties Argentina has faced, you may expect less of a welcome. But, the welcome seems to have got even better. It has led to locals happy to meet people who believe in the future of this beautiful country.
One area where this is not true is the local bureaucracy. Having a good lawyer in your corner to manage your immigration paperwork is essential. Getting your visa for Argentina first time will be much simpler. Similarly, setting up your utilities (lights, water, internet, etc.) can be complicated. These tasks are much simpler with the assistance of a trusted local to help you navigate the complexities. Argentina citizenship and the Argentina passport are possible for many, with the right advice.
Luckily, we have partnered with one of the best law firms in Argentina. They can help you understand the best visa for you and to get a plan together with your next steps to live in Argentina. Book an appointment with our Argentina immigration lawyers here.
Many people ask, “Do I need a visa for Argentina?” The answer is generally yes. The options for Argentina reflect its welcoming nature. We explore all options for visas and permits for Argentina, just click the link.
Retire in Argentina to enjoy these benefits and more
Many people are looking to retire to Argentina. For retirees looking to move to Argentina, there are some significant advantages.
For those that retire in Argentina, low-cost, high-quality healthcare tops the list. Knowing that you’ll be able to pay for the best care lets you enjoy the golden years all the more.
Argentina has an excellent visa just for retirees, the Pensionado Visa.
The lifestyle and cost of living are also big plus points for retirees. The vibrant Expat community and the range of recreational and cultural activities available make Argentina an excellent choice for your retirement. Golf, eating out in beautiful restaurants, and long walks on the beach are all easily accessible.
Getting help, be it domestic help, a driver, or a nurse when needed are also affordable when you retire in Argentina. And, that frees you up to do the things you enjoy.
And, there are direct flights from Argentina to the USA. These routes include major USA travel hubs like New York, Washington DC, Miami, Houston, and Atlanta. You can also fly direct to many Central American, South American, Asian, and European capitals.
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Argentina Residency by Investment
Argentina offers an attractive Residency by Investment (RBI) program. While the requirements of the program are simple, navigating the process can be challenging. We recommend using a trusted local immigration partner to ensure your success. The residency by investment program is a pathway to Argentina citizenship and passport.
To apply for Argentina Residency by Investment, you must invest more than 1.5 million Argentine Pesos. Your investment must be into a lawful activity linked to productive business, trade, or service. The application needs to be translated into Spanish and presented to several government bodies. The assessment of the RBI program application can take several months.
After two years, you will be eligible for Argentina citizenship and an Argentina passport.
Argentina Citizenship by Investment
There is no direct Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program for Argentina. The RBI program above is the only investment pathway to an Argentine passport.
We have partnered with an excellent immigration law firm in Buenos Aires that can guide you through the Residency by Investment program. Click here to book a consultation with them.
If you are an Expat in Argentina and would like to share your story of immigration to Argentina, please contact us!
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