Without much fanfare, it appears that the Argentine government has increased the fee for overstaying your tourist visa from $50 pesos to $300 pesos for non-Mercosur residents and to $100 pesos for Mercosur residents. This change went into effect on April 21, 2009.
Currently most expats are in Argentina on tourist visas that expire after 90 days. There have been three common ways of extending this visa:
- Go to the Migraciones office and pay $100 pesos for a 90 day extension. This may only be done once before actually having to leave the country.
- Take the Buquebus ferry to Colonia, Uruguay for the day. This is a nice day trip, but was more costly than the other options.
- Just overstay your visa and pay the $50 peso fine. This involved no added penalties and only planning for some additional time at the airport.
The last method has now become considerably more costly in addition to being a bit risky. One recent departee was warned that if he overstayed his visa three times, he would not be allowed back into the country. As Argentine’s immigration and visa process has been traditionally lax, one cannot be sure whether this was rhetoric or part of an actual new policy to be enforced. We’ll continue to update this post as we get more information.
Anyone have any experience with this?
UPDATE (4/28/09): The new few to renew your tourist visa at the Migraciones office has also been raised from $100 pesos to $300 pesos. It makes that trip to Uruguay look more and more like an appealing option.