IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Chinese nationals who enter Argentina with an electronic travel authorization will no longer be able to apply for temporary residence visas in country.

What does the change mean: Argentina’s National Directorate of Immigration says that Chinese nationals must now obtain a consular visa in their country of origin before traveling to Argentina in order to apply for temporary residence permits. Alternatively, Chinese nationals may apply for temporary residence permits while abroad before traveling to Argentina.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: The change will affect applications for 24 H Transitory Work Visas, 23 A Temporary Residence Visas (local payroll) and 23 E Temporary Residence Visas (foreign payroll).
  • Who is affected: Employers and Chinese nationals planning to apply for temporary residence visas.
  • Impact on processing times: The change will add to the time it takes for Chinese nationals to obtain temporary residence in Argentina because obtaining a consular visa takes significantly longer than for an electronic travel authorization.

Background: In 2016, Argentina began allowing Chinese nationals who hold a valid U.S. or Schengen visa to enter Argentina with an electronic travel authorization. As BAL reported in August, Argentinian authorities began closely scrutinizing temporary residence applications from Chinese nationals who entered the country on electronic travel authorizations, causing delays. Authorities have now concluded that because the electronic travel authorization program was intended to boost tourism, not to provide a pathway toward temporary residence, they will not accept applications for temporary residence from Chinese nationals who enter Argentina on an electronic travel authorization.

BAL Analysis: The electronic travel authorization program remains a good option for qualifying Chinese nationals visiting Argentina for tourist purposes. However, those who intend to work, conduct business or reside in Argentina must apply for the appropriate visa at a consulate before traveling.