Latest Executive Order No. 70/2017 introduces stricter rules affecting temporary and permanent residencies. The regulations allow cancellation of residencies on new grounds, increase post-removal inadmissibility terms, and introduce expedited removal proceedings for certain criminal cases.

Corporate Immigration Framework Overview

Immigration to Argentina is governed mainly by the Immigration Act No. 25,871 and its regulatory Executive Order No. 616/2010. Under this framework, companies hiring foreign employees commonly have to sponsor them for a work permit (Section 24.h) or temporary residence (Section 23.a), except for nationals of Mercosur (and Mercosur-associated) countries, who can self-petition on grounds of nationality. Work permits are granted for up to 90 days and renewable once; the temporary residence is valid for 3 years and provides a path to permanent residence and citizenship. Both visas may be issued through consular processing or in-country adjustment of status.

To maintain their temporary or permanent resident status immigrants must comply with a physical presence requirement, which is set at two years for permanent residents and fifty percent of admission time for temporary residents. Historically, the agency has not been rigid on the application of abandonment rules and this is expected to change under the new framework.

The New Regulations

This framework was tweaked by Executive Order No. 70/2017, effective as of January 31. The new rules introduce a battery of new, stricter provisions with the stated goal of countering international organized crime and expediting immigration proceedings.

Although the new rules address mainly cases of misconduct, the reform revamped the entire Section 62 of the Immigration Act No. 25,871. This section governs the cancellation of residences on grounds of abandonment, which is allowed upon noncompliance of the minimum physical presence requirements. The enforcement of the new Order is expected to affect cases where physical presence has lapsed beyond the minimum terms.

The Order addresses mainly the following points:

  • Enabling the National Immigration Service to cancel (and consequently order the removal of) any permanent or temporary residence on new grounds, namely: criminal convictions abroad—even when pending final judgement—for certain types of particularly serious crimes or crimes punished by imprisonment.
  • Restricting entry for aliens serving sentences or holding criminal records in other countries.
  • Creating an expedited removal process for cases involving criminal activity.
  • Increasing the post-removal inadmissibility terms to eight years for malicious crimes and five years for negligent crimes.

What This Means for Sponsors and Foreign Workers

Foreign nationals should be aware of the new rules and should consult their immigration professional if they are affected. Vivanco & Vivanco recommends that temporary and permanent residence holders monitor their time outside of Argentina and inform their sponsors if they are subject to any criminal procedures. Contact us for more information.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.