As promised, I'm back with the skinny on how to obtain an Argentine DNI for Foreigners, your key to the kingdom as an expat in Argentina.
DNI para Extranjeros | National Identity Document for Foreigners
A DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad) allows you to be a fully-functioning member of society here in Argentina. With your shiny new document, you can open a bank account, purchase property, get a cell phone contract, qualify for lower fares on domestic flights, receive discounted admission to national parks, etc., just like an Argentine citizen.
With the digital system introduced at the beginning of 2011, foreigners obtaining residency can apply for the DNI in a streamlined process right at Immigration instead of initiating a separate trámite at the Civil Registry office.
Requirements for the DNI for Foreigners [When Applied for in Conjunction with Permanent Residency]
- Fee of $40 pesos
- Permanent residency paperwork [make a photocopy for your records because Migraciones keeps the originals]
- Photocopy of the picture page of your passport
The new process to apply for a DNI is quick and modern, including digital signature capture, a digital photo and a full set of digital fingerprints. The entire process can be taken care of at the majority of immigration offices in Argentina. For more information, visit the page about the foreigner DNI [in English] on the Migraciones website.
The document will be delivered to your home by mail within 30 days.
You'll receive the burgundy DNI para Extranjeros booklet [pictured above] plus a laminated, wallet-sized card. Store the DNI booklet in a safe place and carry the DNI card around with you. You'll only need the booklet when and if you vote in local elections (as a foreigner, you cannot vote in national elections).
My DNI arrived sooner than expected. I only had to show the receipt and slip of paper I was given at Migraciones to the mailman, and before I knew it, I had my DNI in my hot little hands.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Regarding My DNI
The Good: I received my DNI in just 2 1/2 weeks.
The Bad: My new DNI lists my place of birth as Buenos Aires, Argentina!?
The Ugly: My photo is seriously unflattering…and I have to live with it for the next 15 years.
Ugh, now to go about fixing the mistake on my place of birth…