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May 29, 2009

Comments

John

so if you left and came back a couple days later you dont pay anything? even if you are working/living for an extended period of time?

interesting...

Leigh Shulman

Hmm, John, when you put it that way, you make it sound so illicit. ;)

But in short, yes, you pretty much don't pay anything in addition to your bus/plane/boat fare. I have friends who have lived in Buenos Aires for years and go to Uruguay every three months.

I found the same in Panama, too. We were there for 6 months altogether and took two trips to Costa Rica. Puerto Viejo is 4 hours from Bocas and probably one of my favorite places on earth. Again, there are shortcuts. There are people who will renew your visa for a smaller fee than a cross border trip, but lately I've been hearing that the stamps you get aren't valid.

It is important to keep in mind that some countries will require a visa fee upon entry. Some have an exit fee. It depends, though, on your nationality. And fees tend to be lower (often nonexistent) when you go by bus as opposed to flying.

Laura

Hola!

I have been living in Argentina for almost 9 months and have done nothing about my visa or passport. I am going to be traveling within the country by plane in a week or so and have been worried that I will encounter some problems with my "illegal" status. Therefore, I have been planning on going to the immigrations office (here in Salta) to pay the fee and get stamped again. However, since I have overstayed the initial 90 days (by far), do you think I will encounter more problems?

Gracias for your advise. :)
Laura

Leigh Shulman

Hey Laura,

This is a bit tricky, because so much depends on the person behind the counter at the airport or in the immigration office.

When we've flown within Argentina, they do check our passports but more to check identification than to verify visas. So it is possible you can continue to fly within Argentina without any problems.

At some point, though, you'll leave the country at which point they're almost sure to check for visas. Ours have been checked when leaving by bus and plane, although I think it's more possible to cross a border by bus without being checked. Or fined.

Ok, that's best case scenario. The other side is you'll be fined at the border (air or bus). The fine for overstaying a visa is 300 pesos (same as the renewal fee) according to the airport guard I spoke to about six months ago. I don't know if or how much that fine would increase based on the amount of time you've overstayed.

There is also the possibility you won't be let back in the country. At least that's the warning I've seen here and there on government proclamations regarding renewal fee increases. Although, I can't imagine this would be the case if you pay your fine without problems.

So you can take your chance and see what happens, or just go to the tourist office and ask for a renewal. The people at the Salta office are very decent -- as is just about everyone I've met in Salta. It's possible they'll just charge you the renewal fee and done.

Mickey

Thanks for the advice. I'm a perpetual traveler, now in Argentina. I think I just opt for the border-run.

Leigh Shulman

Hey Mickey,

If you're on the move that makes the most sense bc you can pop into so many different countries and also back and forth between the Chilean border.

For us, it means taking Lila out of school and making the long trek to wherever we go, which ultimately ends up being more expensive for us.

All depends on your situation.

Thanks for leaving a comment!

Akka

Hey,

I was wondering, I have overstayed my visum, because of a miscalculation from the guy at the immigration office, who said we had to come back September 27th to renew my touristvisum, but it turned out my visum expired on the 26th, so they couldnt renew it for me. They said there would be no problem if i paid the 300 pesos fee at the border when leaving the country. I will be going back to the netherlands (my country) for christmas, and then return to argentina in january.

I am signed up for university in Argentina, and have a turno to arrange a student visum of 4 year duration in january. Do you think i will have any trouble getting back into the country in january? And will I have to pay another 300 pesos to come back in? Or just to leave the country? I am a bit worried since i have seen on government sites that the tourist visum of 90 days can only be used once a year, as in, no more than 90 days of residence per 360 days, or something similar. I hope that you can ease my mind on this, cuase im really worried.

Also, I do not have a returnticket, just a one way Netherlands-Argentina, will this cause any trouble?

Leigh Shulman

Hi Akka,

While I can't say 100% what will happen with Migraciones when you enter or leave the country, my basic thought based on my experiences is that while you'll pay a fee for overstaying your visa on leaving Argentina (the $300), I don't think you'll have a problem getting back in nor do I think you'll have to pay another fee on entering (unless the Netherlands has changed their visa policy with Argentina since you first arrived).

Not sure about the return ticket. We generally buy round trip tickets because they are cheaper, but I've never been asked to show one or prove that I'm leaving the country.

You can also, perhaps, leave Argentina via a land border before heading home for Christmas. They may not be as strict about paying overstay fees and then when you return, you'll have your renewed visa. Again, you never know what will happen at a border, but it's a possibility you can consider.

Angelita

Where exactly is the address of the immigration in Salta? I need to extend my visa and the immigration in Buenos Aires told me they only process visa extension 10days before it's expiration. I will be in Salta in those days but doesn't know where the immigration over there. Thanks

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