What is the change? Argentina has instituted new rules aimed at cracking down on foreign nationals with criminal convictions and limiting the amount of time temporary residents can spend outside of the country before they lose their status.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals with criminal convictions will face stiffer rules on entering, remaining in and re-entering Argentina. Temporary residents who spend significant periods of time outside of Argentina may lose their status.  

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence permits (permanent and temporary).
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals holding permanent or temporary residence in Argentina.
  • Business impact: Businesses employing foreign nationals should take note of the changes, including those on how long temporary residents can remain outside of Argentina before their residence is canceled.

Background: Decree 70/2017, which took effect Jan. 30, includes changes on:

  • Cancelation of residency for criminal convictions. The decree establishes processes for canceling permanent or temporary residence, and ejecting foreign nationals from Argentina if they have a serious criminal conviction abroad. Serious crimes are generally considered those punishable by imprisonment. Exceptions may be made in cases of crimes that are punishable by less than three years in prison if the foreign national has obligations to take care of a family member.
  • Cancelation of residency for residing outside the country. The decree calls for canceling temporary residence of foreign nationals who reside outside Argentina for more than two years or more than 50 percent of the time for which their residence permit is valid. Exceptions may be made in cases where the foreign national is outside of Argentina for certain activities such as studying abroad or serving in government positions or assignments.
  • Entry to and removal from Argentina. The decree restricts entry for foreign nationals who hold criminal records or are serving a criminal sentence in another country. It also creates an expedited removal process for those whose removal proceedings involve a criminal activity.
  • Re-entry prohibitions. The decree prohibits re-entry of foreign nationals who have committed a malicious crime for a period of at least eight years and possibly longer. It also prohibits re-entry of foreign nationals who have committed a crime of negligence for at least five years. In some cases, however, for first-time offenders who assume immediate responsibility, the re-entry prohibition may be limited to one year.

BAL Analysis: The changes reflect Argentina’s goals of getting tougher on crime, including organized crime, and expediting removal processes for those with criminal convictions. Employers and foreign nationals should be aware of the new rules and contact BAL if they believe they may be impacted.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Argentina. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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