Argentine Residency Through Marriage

Paperwork by luxomedia, on Flickr [used under Creative Commons license]First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes…permanent residency in Argentina! If you're getting married in Argentina and planning on applying for permanent residency, read on for tips, information and additional resources to navigate the lengthy bureaucratic process.

Applying for Permanent Residency in Argentina through Marriage

Locate the immigration office nearest to you and make an appointment if necessary. An appointment was not required at the location where I applied for residency (a very small office staffed by two people). Prior to the appointment, make a set of photocopies of all the documents you will submit for your personal records.

Necessary Documentation

Be prepared to present the following documents to immigration officials:

  • Passport with a valid visa stamp or prórroga de permanencia (visa extension) plus a photocopy of the entire document, including blank pages
  • Original birth certificate with an apostille prepared by the state issuing the certificate [What is an apostille?]
  • Criminal background check from your home country with an apostille [For U.S. citizens, this document must be issued by the FBI with an apostille prepared by the U.S. Department of State. Complete instructions for requesting the criminal background check from the FBI are provided on the FBI website along with additional info about the apostille procedure (#9) in the FAQ.]
  • Criminal background check from Argentine authorities [obtained at the local Registro Civil through the Registro Nacional de Reincidencia]
  • Certificado de domicilio [proof of address in Argentina, obtained at the local Registro Civil]
  • Spouse's DNI plus a photocopy of the entire document
  • Acta de matrimonio [a certified copy of the signed page from the marriage record, obtained at the local Registro Civil]
  • Four 4cm x 4cm color passport photos
  • Fee – $600 pesos


Both the birth certificate and the criminal background check from your home country (plus their respective apostilles) must be translated into Spanish by an official translator and legalized by the Colegio de Traductores Públicos.

You can locate an official translator in Argentina through the website of the Colegio de Traductores Públicos de la Ciudad de Buenos Aires.

Processing of Permanent Residency Paperwork

It is my understanding that immigration officials normally provide a certificado de residencia precaria – a document conferring temporary residency while your permanent residency request is in process – at the end of your appointment; however, the only document I was given was a receipt for the $600 fee.

I inquired about the aforementioned document, and the immigration officer stated that the precaria wasn't necessary since he expected my residency to be processed quickly (!). He stated that if my request for permanent residency isn't granted by the end of April (total processing time of one month), then he would provide me with the precaria.

He also mentioned that there's a slim possibility that I may be called for an interview by immigration officials in Mar del Plata to ensure that I didn't enter into a sham marriage for immigration purposes.

Processing of your residency paperwork can take anywhere from a couple of months up to one year and multiple trips to the immigration office, so be patient!

The Next Step

Once you have received status as a permanent resident, you may begin the process to obtain a DNI for foreigners.

Disclaimer: What I've detailed here represents my personal experiences at the civil registry office in Necochea and immigration office at the Prefectura Naval in Quequén, Province of Buenos Aires. Given the capricious nature of Argentine bureaucracy, your experience may be different.

Additional Resources:

List of requirements to request residency based on marriage to an Argentine, as outlined by the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones [in English and Spanish]

Experiences with applying for permanent residency in Argentina from Meag at A Domestic Disturbance

The Embassy of Argentina in the United States can advise you if you're beginning the permanent residency process for Argentina while still living in the U.S.

[Photo credit: luxomedia]

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