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Expat Argentina Life

Getting Argentina Residency Through Marriage

“How do I get residency in Argentina?”

That’s a typical question among expats here who are sick of making a run for the border or extending their tourist visa.

I recently got married to a wonderful Argentine woman and I wanted to share my process of getting permanent residency in case others are trying to follow the same procedure.

The steps are really about getting all of your documents in order.

Here are the required documents and things you’ll need to obtain residency through marriage in Argentina:

  • FBI (or your country’s equivalent) Background Check
  • Antecedentes Penales (Argentina Background Check)
  • Acta de Matrimonio (Marriage Certificate)
  • Declaración Jurada (Sworn statement from 2 witnesses verifying your address)
  • Valid Passport
  • DNI of your spouse
  • 4×4 cm photo

Here are the steps for obtaining each document. I will mention that I live in Córdoba, Argentina so all the referenced government offices are in Córdoba.

Get Your FBI Background Check

I’m American so I need an FBI Background check. For other countries you’ll need the equivalent showing that you have no criminal history.

Instructions to order the FBI background check are here. You’ll have to get your fingerprints taken which can be done at the Cordoba police station.

Once your FBI Background Check document arrives in the mail, you then need to have it apostilled.

Here are the steps to apostille a document. There are many services who do this for you but I think they are a waste of money because its not hard to do by yourself.

1. Complete and print this form. For document type select “FBI Background Check”:
2. Make out check for $8 (at time of this writing) to “U.S. Department of State”.
3. Write a brief cover letter indicating that you are requesting the included FBI Background Check be apostilled.
4. Mail printed document + $8 check + FBI background check document + cover letter + self-addressed stamped envelope to this address:
U.S. Department of State Authentications Office
518 23rd Street, NW SA-1
Columbia Plaza
Washington, DC 20520

After being apostilled, the FBI Background Check document and apostille must be translated by a translator from the official College of Translators in Argentina. In Córdoba, the Colegio de Traductores Públicos is located at Gral. Manuel Belgrano 75 Piso 4º, Centro.

You can contact the College for a list of translators who can do the job for you.

If you’re considering getting residency the FBI Background check and accompanying apostille is the hardest document to procure so I’d advise getting that doc and have it apostilled while still in the United States. That said, the document has a shelf-life of 6 months so don’t do it too far in advance.

Get Your Antecedentes Penales

Visit this page and complete the steps to print out the tramite form.

Print and take that form to the Banco Nacion Argentina (Humberto Primo 440) or the Córdoba Post Office (Colon 210) and pay.

Visit the office at ROSARIO DE SANTA FE 254. Bring your passport.

They’ll take your finerprints and give you a code with instructions to print out your antecedentes penales online

You can also have the whole process done at the post office however when I went the wait was insane so I did it at Rosario de Sante Fe 254 instead.

Get Your Acta de Matrimonio 

About a week after you complete the civil ceremony, you can go back to the Civil Registry and get a copy of the Acta de Matrimonio.

Pretty straight forward. We did our civil ceremony in the Registro Civil Central on Colon 1775.

They asked if I brought my Libreta de Familia, a little family book they give you at the time of completing the marriage. I hadn’t brought it but they didn’t seem to mind as I walked out of there with a copy of the Acta de Matrimonio.

Get Your Declaración Jurada

The Declaración Jurada is a signed, sworn statement from two witnesses indicating that you live at the address you’re claiming to live at.

Visit this site from Córdoba police and click on Declaración Jurada. I just listed my passport number where it wanted DNI.

Print out the form and pay at any RapiPago o PagoFacil.

Bring the form and 2 witnesses to any police station. The witnesses cannot be family members and they must have their DNI’s.

You’ll do a Declaración Jurada that you live at your current address in Córdoba.

In Migraciones they also told me you can do a Certificado de Domicilio or bring a bill from a public service (like gas, electricity or landline telephone) with your name and current addresss in Argentna in order to verify your current address.

I went with the Declaracion Jurada method since our public services are all in my wife’s name.

The final 3 things you need are pretty self-explanatory:

  • Valid Passport
  • DNI of your spouse
  • 4×4 cm photo (white background, current, color photo, nothing obstructing the face)

Make an Appointment

Visit this site to make an appointment online with Migraciones.

Bring all your documents. I made photocopies of everything just to be safe but I ended up not needing those photocopies.

They’ll check to ensure everything is in order. If it is, they’ll send you back to Banco Nacion Argentina (Humberto Primo 440) to pay the permanent resident tramite fee – currently $2000 pesos at the time of this writing.

Bring the proof of payment back to the Migraciones office and they’ll give you a Certificado de Residencia Precaria which is a paper showing your residency.

I was surprised they issued this the same day. Efficiency? Argentina? What?

I haven’t tried it yet but they said with this paper (and your passport) you can enter and leave the country as a resident.

EDIT: I now have tried and can confirm with the precaria you can enter the country as a resident.

Play the Waiting Game

In Migraciones they said a police officer might stop by the house to verify that I lived there. That never happened.

After about a month my DNI still had not arrived. I started to fear that I missed the police officer and everything was delayed.

I visited migraciones with my precaria to see what was going on. The lady said my application was still in the system and processing.

After another month my precaria was about to expire so I headed back to migraciones. This time the person I spoke with said the reason my DNI had not arrived was because I never did the DNI tramite. DNI tramite?

Luckily the DNI tramite uses the documents you already have so it isn’t terribly difficult.

You must request a ‘New DNI’ appointment online, print out and complete new DNI form and pay the fee.

3 weeks after I submit my DNI tramite this shiny beauty arrived in the mail:

I am branded with scarlet letters as “EXTRANJERO” (foreigner) but at least now I have my DNI.

Argentinos seem to have no problem sharing their DNI with the world. For most job applications here you have to list your DNI so it doesn’t need to be as secretive as America’s Social Security Number but I blacked mine out just in case.

35 replies on “Getting Argentina Residency Through Marriage”

Any tips on what to do in my situation in Buenos Aires:

I am getting married to my girlfriend of 12 years. The problem is our housing situation. She lives during weekdays in a house that is in her parent’s name. The apartment in the city that she owns is where her parents live and there is not much room there for me, and we don’t want to be there together on the weekends with her parents. I am living with a group of people in a house in the city and have my own room. I am living here while I take full time language classes and work on making business connections as well in the city. She stays with me most of the time when she is here on the weekends, though sometimes I do go out there. For confirming where I live, what do I do? No bills are listed in my name!

Congrats first of all! You can get a Declaración Jurada (Sworn statement at police station from 2 witnesses (your local friends) verifying your address) – details are in the post.

Hello!

I am currently on a tourist visa in brazil and I met a wonderful argentine woman in here and would like to get married with her – the only issue is that I need a visa to enter Argentina. Is marriage going to let me enter in some way so we can live together in her home country?!

Not sure where your passport is from but I’m pretty sure you can enter Argentina on a tourist visa too – that gives you 90 days. Then you can either renew that, leave the country and come back, or just overstay and pay a fine before. Once you get married you can do the tramite to get residency.

I am from Pakistan I have apply asylum in Argentina and they have give me 90 days stay paper and I can renew it’s after 90 days I have my girlfriend here and we are both agreed to marry so I want to know can I get married with her as I am on asylum and also apply for a residency card I am waiting for your replay

Congrats Muhammed. Yeah I don’t see why not. As long as you’re here legally shouldn’t be a problem.

I’m just curious, I plan on getting residency through marriage. We got married in the US. Do we need to have civil ceremony in Argentina or is the US marriage license enough? Also how long does it take to become a citizen after obtaining residency? Thanks!

Congrats Allen. US marriage license is enough. Once you’re married officially in the US, you can’t marry again in another country. The US marriage is valid. No clue on citizenship, not really interested in that so I haven’t researched at all.

I too wed a local (I’m in Santa Fe) and have left the country and come back too many times…the controller at the border of Uruguay really laid into me this past weekend. I need to get this done and done fast! This is extremely helpful and crystal clear. Outstanding post, Damon!

Thanks Dirk. Good luck. Like I mention in the post once you have all the documents in order, it’s not too bad.

Hi Damon,
Congrats on getting your residency and thanks for this informative post. I am also American with an Argentine partner and we are hoping to split our time between both countries. If I am not planning on living in Argentina full time or even 6 mo/yr, is the residency the right route for me?

Thanks Katie. Yes of course. Otherwise, you’ll be on a tourist visa and have to leave every 90 days among other inconveniences. If you have access to it, you should just get the residency. Can’t think of any downside, besides headache of actually getting it.

Hi Damon !
First of all, Congratulations to you for getting married and for getting a PR in Argentina. Second, Many Thanks to you for having put this information here.

I am an Indian residing in India currently. I wish to get married to my Argentine girlfriend who is living and working in Ciudad Autonoma de Buenos Aires. I am looking for job opportunities in BAs to move there for work and subsequently get married to her also.
Is this the best way to move there and get married ? How easy is it to get jobs (for a beginner certified in Digital Marketing) in BAs or elsewhere in Argentina now that the economy is having so much inflation ?

Currently she lives in a rented apartment there since a couple of years. I wish to live with her at this place. Also she has an independent house in the name of her parents slightly away from CABA. If I visit Argentina on a tourist visa or work visa, then advice me on the best option here for getting the above PR and Marriage Process done.

Also, I am curious as to whether there are medical tests to go through for the above ? If yes, what are the questions or medical aspects they look into ?

Awaiting your reply. Thanks.

Hi Abishek – You’re welcome. Honestly my best advice is to create your own job – ie Freelance. Anything you can do that earns dollars will be way more lucrative than a local job earning in pesos. That’s what I did before I ultimately got hired by an American company. There are medical tests but they’re not really that complicated.

Hi Damon! Congrats on getting the residency. I’m planning on marrying my american boyfriend here and we don’t know what the requirements are. Could you tell me what they asked you to get married? For what I found I need his birth certificate apostillated/authorized by the US government, but I dont know what else

First of all congratulations , that’s really helpful .

My question if you don’t mind , is that a temporary resident or permanent ?

When and what time you get your Permanent Residency and Passport from the day you started your process. Actually you never share the whole processing time.
I am living in Chile and my wife is an Argentinian and here Permanent Residency taking almost 3 years and Chilean Passport taking almost 8 years including whole processing time as well.

Well if I would have done the right tramite from the beginning I guess it would have been 3 weeks total. I didn’t do the tramite and ended up waiting 2 months and then 3 weeks.

Hi Damon! Congrats for getting the Permanent Residency. i hope your fine, Well i’m Lee from Pakistan, i found your blog hardly, me and my wife have some troubles, 2 years ago my wife applied entry permit for me in DNM Cordoba, we are still waiting, we haven’t any response yet, i want you can help or let me know what we can do now,

Hello Damon,
So glad I found your blog with this story. I am marrying an Argentine, and we plan on splitting our time between USA and Argentina, so Argentinean residency is the route to go. We are older, and I was wondering if you have any thought on how could I find about my options for affordable healthcare in Argentina.

In Facebook join the “expats in Córdoba” https://www.facebook.com/groups/expatsincordobaargentina or “expats in Argentina” groups. Search for that question, lots of opinions. I don’t have much experience using the medical system here but you’ll probably find its waaaay cheaper but lower quality that what you’re used to in the US. My wife and I have insurance but sometimes I just pay out of pocket for meds because going through the authorizations and paperwork would take a $20 prescription to $10 and that’s just not worth the headache for me.

hi bro thank u for the information i would like to ask u about the marriage document and if i can married in Argentina with tourist visa and how long take the marriage process best regards.

Hey man…thanks for the breakdown…super helpful. I was curious though, this has to be done while you’re in Argentina right? My argentine wife (married 7 years) and I are in the US now but was hoping to get this completed while here in the USA. We have a house in Argentina…which is in her name…so that should not be an issue. My issue now is trying to get past the fact that Argentina is not letting in foreigners right now which I fear could extend for a while. If you have any insight please let me know…thanks again for all the info.

Saludos, T

Yeah there are very few Argentina tramites that you can do while not physically present. So you need to be in Argentina. Obviously getting all the American documents in order can be done in the US. I guess you’ll have to wait until they reopen the borders.

Thanks, Damon. Seems to be the case. Are you still in Cordoba? I hear the lockdown went into effect today. Stay safe and thanks again, T

I’m An American Citizen (I live in Puerto Rico) and want to move to Argentina, I have an Argentine girlfriend and I’m planning to move there, what should be the best approach? Thanks for sharing your experience.

Hey Angel – I have a pretty massive post coming on this soon. If you have some specific questions, let me know. I’ll make sure they’re covered.

Just curious why you choose argentina? why not live in thailand? you can get massages for $3 per hour . Really obedient woman that cook and take care of the man. argentina isnt really a popular expat place either. though the steak is amazing! and cheap. just interested why you choose it.

Super cheap to live here. The Spanish language. Culture isn’t terribly different from USA. Great meats. All reasons I choose Argentina. There are quite a few expats here.

hello Damon!
I’m from Argentina but been living in the US for almost 21 years, my husband is American and we would love to get his residency but i guess we have to get Married first because even that i have my DNI I’m still single there!
So my husband wants to buy car snd is very difficult to do that in way because you can be the owner but can not leave the country.
Any advise? Anything change since your ouwn process there that maybe can help us ? And Cordaba uh!! Very beautiful place!!
Thanks lot!

If you’re married in the US, that’s valid in Argentina. You would just need to have the USA marriage license officially translated and maybe aposilled (not sure on that). Pretty sure you would have to be in Argentina to do the tramites though. Are you guys living in the US right now? And yeah, Córdoba is a beautiful place!

Hi Damon, Hope you’re well.
For security reasons, I recommend you change the image of your DNI or scratch the bar code.
Regards

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