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Written by Kieran Proctor

Extending A Tourist Visa In Argentina

There are two primary methods used by foreigners and tourists to stay longer than 90 days in Argentina on a ...

There are two primary methods used by foreigners and tourists to stay longer than 90 days in Argentina on a tourist visa. For most visitors to Argentina, the tourist visa is often sufficient and offers 90 days on arrival.

However, some visitors to Argentina and ‘nomads’ like me, find themselves wanting more than 90 days. And there are two main ways to extend or renew your Argentine tourist visa. Here’s the official method of extending a tourist visa from within Argentina. And what you should be aware of in advance.

Tourist Visa In Argentina

If you’re traveling on a passport from Australia, Canada, Unites States or the United Kingdom you can enter Argentina on a tourist visa. You’ll be granted 90 days on arrival.

The process of clearing migration and being granted a tourist visa is straightforward and similar to most other countries the world over. I’ve never had any difficulty in dealing with migration officers in Argentina.

Tourist Visa | Intended Address In Argentina

The only difference I’ve found between Argentina and the other countries I’ve traveled on a tourist visa is the requirement to list an initial address. When you arrive into Argentina either via a land, sea or air border the migration staff checking your passport will ask for your intended address in Argentina.

It’s not a problem, but rather something to be aware of. Have your first Airbnb, hotel or hostel booked and supply the address when asked. They don’t expect you to stay at that address for the duration of your holiday in Argentina. They just need an initial address. So give them the address of the first place you’ll stay.

Tourist Visa | Expiry

Ensure that you take note of the expiry date of the visa. If you don’t renew your visa or exit the country before the expiry date, you will be subject to a fine or other penalty.

And depending on how long you’ve overstayed your visa, you may end up needing to apply for an exit exemption to leave the country. Without which the migration officials can block your departure and prevent you from leaving Argentina.

In order to remain legally in Argentina on a tourist visa that’s nearing expiry, you have two (2) options:

  1. Leave Argentina for a day trip and return; or
  2. Extend your visa for an additional 90 days (this article).

Tourist Visa Extension In Argentina

There are two main methods for spending longer in Argentina on a tourist visa. You can either go in person to the national migration office or leave Argentina and re-enter with a new visa granted when you return.

I’ve used both methods. And I’ve written on this blog about traveling to Colonia on the Buquebus in order to get a new Argentine visa on return. It’s called a ‘visa run’. And I personally alternate between the two methods.

As you can only extend your tourist visa for Argentina once, for a maximum stay of 180 days per tourist visa, I travel to Colonia every 6 months. And this gives me a new tourist visa for Argentina on return to Buenos Aires.

Here is everything you need to know about extending your visa without leaving Argentina. Including a few things to avoid.

Migration Office | Extending Argentine Tourist Visa

To extend your tourist visa in Argentina, without leaving the country, you will need to go to the Direcci贸n Nacional de Migraciones office. You will need to take your passport and $4000 peso in cash.

The price of the tourist visa extension was the same for me in 2021, 2022 and now again, in October 2023. I’ve noticed that places like Lonely Planet quote 6000 pesos, but for a basic tourist visa extension, I’ve only ever paid 4000 pesos in local currency cash. Yet the prices could increase in the future, so always take extra local currency with you when visiting Migraciones.

Do note: You can only extend your tourist visa in Argentina 10 days before it expires. If you have more than 10 days left on your current visa for Argentina, you’ll be turned away and told to return within 10 days from expiry.

Location And Times For Argentina Tourist Visa Extensions

The Direcci贸n Nacional de Migraciones is located in Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires. The section processing tourist visas is located inside building 4. But you will need to transit through building 3 first.

Advertised hours of operation on the offical government website are from 8am to 2pm. And from 9am to 1:30pm on Google maps. However, the real hours of operation are from 8am to 1pm.

If you haven’t made your way through the 3 lines and secured your visa before 1pm you will need to return another day. The first line to enter the migration building is usually the longest and most complex to navigate.

Lines For Tourist Visa Extension In Buenos Aires

Most of the individuals lined up outside Direcci贸n Nacional de Migraciones are from countries like Paraguay and Venezuela. And they are carrying bundles of paperwork and are looking for more complex long-term visas and residency.

Inside the building there are specific counters dedicated to the different classes of visas and tourist have their own section. The tourist section is usually quite empty.

So, don’t wait all day in the line out the front. I made this mistake the first time I visited migrations. Instead, go straight to the man by the gate and tell him you need a tourist visa from counter D in building 4. And thereby cut out the first line.

You’ll then enter via building 3. Don’t wear any clothes you don’t want ruined as there are full body alcohol spray machines to disinfect visitors inside the door to building 3. You will get hosed. And no, it’s definitely not a metal detector so don’t walk in with your arms lifted trying to read the instructions on the wall inside as I did.

Disinfectant in the form of liquid bleach and alcohol sprays out of the walls inside the machine at face height. And if you’re in there trying to read the walls like me, you can expect to get sprayed in the face. It does not taste pleasant.

Once inside building 3 and past the machine, you’ll hit the next line. Wait for the line attendant to come and check your passport. Tell him you want a tourist visa extension and he will take you out of the line and tell you where to sit.

He’ll take your passport. When he returns he will give you back your passport and a ticket with your number in the next line. He’ll then take you to the 3rd and final line in building 4. Where you’ll wait for the number displayed on your ticket to appear on the screen.

Process For Tourist Visa Extensions In Argentina

In building 4 of the Direcci贸n Nacional de Migraciones when the number assigned on your ticket is displayed on the screen go to the allotted counter. Hand the migration officer your ticket and passport. Tell the migration officer you would like to extend your tourist visa.

The migration officer will then ask for your email, mobile number, current address in Argentina, job title and university level. The migration officer will then photograph you and take digital copies of your finger prints.

Once they have all of your details, the migration officer will send you with a piece of paper to the cashier at the back of building 4. Here you pay $4000 pesos ($4USD) in local currency in cash and get a receipt.

Once you’ve payed the cashier and given the receipt to the migration officer, just take a seat and wait. The supervisor will sign off and stamp your passport with the extension stamp. Then you’re done.

Exit the migration building and go get lunch in Puerto Madero. Or visit the immigration museum next door.

Argentina tourist visa extension stamp
Argentine Visa Extension Stamp

Receiving An Electronic Letter Instead Of A Stamp

Sometimes you will be given a printout and told to check the website for the outcome of your extension request. This seems to be a new system that’s becoming more common. I first experienced it in late 2022 and again now, in October 2023.

If the migration officer doesn’t stamp your passport as part of your extension but instead tells you it needs ‘supervisor sign off’, they will direct you to check their website in 24 to 48 hours. Here’s how you check the status of your tourist visa extension:

  1. Visit www.migraciones.gov.ar
  2. Scroll down the page and select the option labelled ‘Residencias’
  3. Again select the option ‘Residencias’
  4. Enter the case number given to you by the migration staff member and your date of birth

Note: Once you’ve logged in and seen the status of your application and that the extension has been granted, download the accompanying letter. You will need to have easy access to the extension letter when leaving Argentina.

Tourist Visa Renewal | Argentine Visa Renewal | A Trip To Uruguay

The most common and often more pleasant method for getting an extra 90 days of tourism in Argentina is a trip to Uruguay on the Buquebus. The Buquebus is a high speed ferry that operates between Argentina and Uruguay across the Rio de La Plata.

It takes the Buquebus about an hour to reach Colonia Del Sacramento in Uruguay from Puerto Madero in Buenos Aires. Compared to the time it takes to get through the migration office and have your visa granted in Argentina, you could have arrived in Colonia Del Sacramento and be midway through a steak at a waterfront restaurant.

Choosing a weekend getaway in Uruguay allows you to have your passport stamped on the way out and again on the way back into Argentina. And I take this trip about every six months and have outlined one such visa run to Colonia and its costs on this website.

A visa run to Colonia Del Sacramento also allows you to pickup $USD from any bank or ATM in Uruguay for exchange in Argentina. So that you can access Argentina’s ‘d贸lar blue’ exchange rate. But be sure to avoid the private currency exchange companies in Uruguay and only use Banco Rep煤blica.

If traveling to Colonia to renew your Argentine visa, you also get the bonus of being able to explore a UNESCO world heritage site at Colonia Del Sacramento. And the view is more pleasant in Colonia Del Sacramento when compared to the migration office in Buenos Aires.

Gin and Tonic in Colonia Uruguay
Gin in Colonia Del Sacramento

Conclusion | Visa Extension In Buenos Aires Or A Visa Run To Uruguay?

My preferred method of visa renewal will always be a trip to Uruguay or another destination. I find a visa run to a neighbouring country more pleasant. You won’t get sprayed in the face with disinfectant or stand in long lines if you choose to take a Buquebus to Uruguay.

For visa runs to Asuncion Paraguay or Santiago Chile, you will need to fly or take a long overnight bus ride. Uruguay on the Buquebus is just easier and less intense when compared to checking in on an international flight.

The only real negative to renewing a visa with a trip to Uruguay was during the pandemic. My first trip in 2022 required me to present a negative PCR test each way. But thankfully as of mid 2022, that requirement has been abolished.

This part of the world now seems to be back on track and PCR testing has been relegated to the dustbin of history (for vaccinated people).

Where Can I Get More Information About Buenos Aires?

If you鈥檙e planning to visit Buenos Aires on your next vacation, or you鈥檙e simply interested in Argentina in general, you should read my聽Buenos Aires City Guide.

My Complete Buenos Aires City Guide is updated regularly. And it seeks to answer all of your questions regarding Buenos Aires and Argentina in one place. Read my聽Complete Buenos Aires City Guide.