There are two primary methods for renewing your tourist visa for Argentina. For most visitors to Argentina the tourist visa is often sufficient and offers 90 days on arrival.
However, some visitors to Argentina find themselves wanting more than 90 days. And there are two main ways to extend or renew your Argentine tourist visa. Here’s the offical method of extending a tourist visa in Argentina. And what you should be aware of in advance.
Extending An Tourist Visa For Argentina
Tourist Visa | Argentina
If you’re travelling 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 travelled 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.
Tourist Visa Extension | Argentina Visa Extension
There are two main methods for spending longer in Argentina on a tourist visa. You can either present at 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 travelling to Colonia on the Buquebus in order to get a new Argentine visa on return. I personally alternate between methods.
As you can only extend your tourist visa for Argentina once, for a maximum stay of 180 days, 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 present at the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones office. You will need to take your passport and $4000 peso in cash.
Location and times for Argentina tourist visa extensions
The Dirección 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 Dirección 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 Dirección 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 ($20USD) 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.
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 ‘dólar blue’ exchange rate. But be sure to avoid the private currency exchange companies in Uruguay and only use Banco República.
If travelling 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.
Conclusion | Visa Extension in Buenos Aires or Trip to Uruguay
My preferred method of visa renewal will always be a trip to Uruguay or other 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 is during the current 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).
Liked this article? Check out our other travel articles on Argentina.
Where Can I Get More Information About Buenos Aires?
If you’re interested in Buenos Aires or Argentina in general you should visit our Complete Buenos Aires City Guide.
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