What is the change? Mercosur nationals applying for residency permits continue to see significant delays in securing appointments.

What does the change mean? Employers sending Mercosur nationals to Argentina for short assignments may want to consider other work authorization alternatives.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residency permits for Mercosur nationals.
  • Business impact: Employers should factor in significant delays and may need to adjust work start dates for Mercosur nationals. Currently, Mercosur applications with an express service fee are taking four to five months, while standard applications are taking up to one year.
  • Next steps: Employers should explore the possibility of other options with their immigration professional where possible, including an alternative for Brazilian nationals under the bilateral São Borja treaty.

Background: Argentina provides a special pathway for citizens from the Mercosur countries to obtain temporary residency and thereby work legally in the country. Foreign nationals from any of the Mercosur countries may enter Argentina without a visa and apply for temporary residency directly from the Department National Migraciones. Mercosur nationals are granted residency status on the basis of nationality alone, meaning that employers need not be involved in the application process. However, continued delays for appointments are making this pathway less practical.

Analysis & Comments: Employers are reminded that Mercosur nationals require work authorization and that the current delays are affecting business schedules. In the case of Brazilian nationals, the bilateral São Borja Agreement between Argentina and Brazil provides a work authorization option. Brazilian employees must request the São Borja Agreement work authorization with Argentinian authorities upon entry in Argentina, but they may also experience delays because this option has seldom been used until now. Additionally, due to the extensive delays in Mercosur applications, the São Borja work authorization may not cover the entire period while employees wait for approval of the Mercosur Temporary Residence application.

Source: Deloitte LLP. Deloitte LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC303675 and its registered office at 1 New Street Square, London EC4A 3HQ, United Kingdom.