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Complete guide to obtaining a Pensionado retirement visa, VITEM, the required documents, the application steps, and the best places to retire in Argentina

Argentina is known as one of the largest economies in Latin America. The beautiful Latin country is famous for tango, gauchos, wines, and Iguazu Falls. Having more than 60,000 foreigners living in the country serves as a reliable indicator that Argentina offers great living conditions with low living costs.

Argentina also offers retirement-friendly visa options for expats. You can retire in Argentina by applying for an Argentinian retirement visa (Pensionado Visa). A Pensionado Visa is a type of temporary residence visa that allows you to move into the territory of Argentina and live there for your retirement.

The retirement age in Argentina is 65 for men and 60 for women.

Who Can Get an Argentina Retirement Visa?

You are eligible to get an Argentina Retirement (Pensionado) visa if you have a pension of at least 30,000 Argentine Pesos per month. You will be required to prove that this amount is received as a pension or retirement benefit from a government or an international organization.

Requirements for an Argentina Retirement Visa

You are required to submit the following original documents to fully complete the Argentina Retirement visa application:

  • A valid and original passport. If you are from a neighboring country, you do not need to present a passport. Instead, you can present a valid ID or certificate of nationality with a photo.
  • Argentinian criminal record incorporated into the Radex system.
  • A criminal record issued in your country of origin. The document must be signed by the Argentinian consular authority or apostilled with the Hague Convention, or endorsed by the consular authority of your home country in Argentina.
  • A certificate with your address or a utility bill in your name.
  • Stamp of entry to the country stamped on the travel document.
  • Proof issued by a government or international organization stating that you receive a pension or retirement, on a regular basis, together with the amount and duration of the received benefit. 

NOTE: All documents must be legalized by the Argentine Consulate located in the issuing country of the document or apostilled if your country has approved the Hague Convention. Documents presented in a foreign language must be translated into Spanish by a national public translator and legalized by the Association of Translators.

How to Apply for an Argentina Retirement Visa?

To apply for an Argentina Retirement visa (Pensionado Visa), you must be within the territory of the Argentine Republic. Here is a step-by-step process:

  1. Enter Argentina. You may enter the country by obtaining an Argentina visa or visa-free if you are exempt from the visa requirement. 
  2. Start the application process via RaDEX. You have to start the process of visa application by entering the RaDEX (Módulos de Radiación a Distancia de Extranjeros) system on the website of the Ministry of Interior and attaching the required documents and data. The process of application in RaDEX is quick and easy.
  3. Pay the visa fee. You have to pay the fee in cash or by debit card at the Argentinian Ministry of Interior. This is mandatory since the procedure will be closed only if all fees have been paid. 

Shortly after the procedure is done, you will receive the request for missing any documents or a date for the appointment to attend at one of the corresponding delegations:

  • Jujuy
  • Jump
  • Tucuman
  • The Rioja
  • San Juan
  • Mendoza
  • Saint Louis
  • Cordova
  • Rosary Beads
  • Formosa
  • Iguazu
  • The Pampa
  • Bariloche
  • Ushuaia
  • Puerto Madryn
  • Rio Gallgos, etc.

What Is The Duration of a Retirement Visa in Argentina?

The Argentian Retirement (Pensionado) visa is valid for one year. If you still meet the requirements, it can be renewed for up to three years, after which you can apply for a permanent residency. 

After having a permanent residence for two years, you are eligible to apply for Argentine citizenship.

Argentina Pensionado Visa Fees

Find the fees for a Pensionado Visa in the table below:

Pensionado Visa (Retirement Visa)$3,000 
Renewal of Pensionado Visa (Retirement Visa)$2,000

Your application will not be processed until all the payments are done. There are two currently available payment methods you can use to pay the required fee when applying for an Argentian Retirement visa:

  • Cash
  • Credit Card (Visa, Master Card, and American Express)

Can I Work in Argentina if I Have a Pensionado Visa?

Holders of a Pensionado visa are allowed to establish a business or work on their own but cannot work as employees.

Can I Bring Family Members With Me?

This type of visa allows you to bring your family members (dependents) to Argentina, but you might be required to add an additional amount for each dependent.

Living Costs in Argentina

Argentina can be both expensive and cheap at the same time, but it is still very affordable. Overall, you can live comfortably as a single person on $1,000 to $1,200 per month or $2,000 to $2,200 a month for a couple; however, many retirees spend less.

How much you need to spend depends on your lifestyle and the residing area you choose. If you are on a budget and do not want to spend much, you should avoid big and luxurious neighborhoods.

Puerto Madero is the most expensive residential area not only in Argentina but also in all of Latin America, which means that you must have sufficient funds to reside in this neighborhood. Buenos Aires is another expensive city with high living costs, but there are certain areas in the city where you can live comfortably for cheaper.

Cities like Mendoza and Salta are preferable if you want to live well at low costs.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Argentina:

ACCOMMODATIONMonthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$210
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$155
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$405
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$300
FOODCOSTS
Milk$0.77
Rice $0.90
Eggs$1.35
Tomato$1.30
Potato$0.70
Apples (kg)$1.40
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$50

Healthcare for Retirees in Argentina

Argentina grants free public healthcare to every local and foreign resident, including tourists. Health services in Argentina are considered among the best in Latin America. The Programa de Atención Médica Integral (PAMI) is the largest program for elderly care in Argentina. This program is run by the state and serves approximately 3.6 million retirees within the country. 

Half of the Argentine population uses public healthcare due to the many benefits it offers, and it is cheaper than going with private healthcare. Hospitals and clinics in Buenos Aires and other major cities are of an excellent standard, equipped with modern appliances and qualified staff. 

Public healthcare offers many services free of charge:

  • In-patient and out-patient visits
  • Dental services
  • Palliative care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Medical transportation
  • Prosthetic, etc.

Although the public healthcare system in Argentina is free and covers medical services, it lacks nationwide coverage. This is why most people opt for private health insurance with international coverage. 

Why Retire in Argentina?

Here are some of the reasons you should retire in Argentina:

  1. Culture. Argentina is perfect for artists and people who appreciate art. The culture in Argentina is distinctive and fascinating, and the country is known for producing important writers and artists.
  2. Healthcare. Healthcare in Argentina is free for everyone, including expats. Public healthcare covers more than 60% of all medical services, and public hospitals have trained and qualified staff that performs with modern appliances. 
  3. Living costs. Argentina might not be the cheapest in South America, but the living costs are still relatively affordable. You can live well without having to spend much on groceries, transportation, or rent, depending on the city you are residing in.
  4. The weather and climate. Living in Argentina will have you experiencing the diversity of climate all year round. The climate in Argentina ranges between warm, moderate, arid, and cold. You can choose between areas where you can live in a sunny and warm temperature or colder regions where colder temperatures are more dominant.
  5. Great food. One thing Argentina is known for is the delicious cuisine and fantastic meals. The country is home to high-quality beef and some of the most delicious dishes in South America, such as asado, chimichurri, provoleta, dulce de leche, etc.
  6. Friendly people. Argentines are generally friendly and hospitable towards foreigners, so you will not have a hard time making new friends there. They are known for having a spontaneous, loving, and affectionate nature.
  7. Safety. You will not have to worry about safety while living in Argentina because the country is one of the safest nations in Latin America and has a low crime rate. 

Best Places to Retire in Argentina

Argentina has many cities that offer great living conditions for retirees, however, each of them has a different lifestyle. Depending on what you prefer, you can live in big and busy cities like Buenos Aires, or if you want a quieter and relaxed lifestyle go to cities like Mendoza or San Juan. Here are some of the best places to retire in Argentina.

Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires is the big, cosmopolitan city of Argentina. The city is characterized by reasonably priced housing, and it is considered a good place to live. Buenos Aires offers a multitude of activities, exciting nightlife, and high standards of living. Many retirement homes in Buenos Aires offer retirees high-quality services and care.

Córdoba

Cordoba is a vibrant city and a wonderful place to retire. One of the perks of living in Cordoba is the affordable living, great weather, and convenient location. There is a blend of new and old history and culture that will follow you everywhere around the city. The prices are relatively affordable, and there are many unique things to do and see.

Mendoza

One of the wealthiest provinces in Argentina, offers many advantages for retirees choosing to reside abroad. Mendoza is known for its wine, tree-lined streets, sunny climate, and luxurious restaurants. The cosmopolitan city also offers a multitude of outdoor recreation options and a high quality of life.

Rosario

Rosario is the largest city in central Argentina, located 300 km northwest of Buenos Aires, and is the third-most populous city in Argentina. What attracts retirees to move to Rosaria is the slightly slower pace of life, the straight street, and the tall trees. You can do many activities such as kayaking and cycling, visiting Rosario’s parks, tanning and swimming on the beautiful beaches, etc.

Bariloche

A small town known for its Swiss alpine style, architecture, and its chocolate. Bariloche is packed with winter tourist attractions, and it offers snow-capped peaks. It is a popular base for hiking and skiing and has many mountains, transparent blue lakes, ski lopes, trout fishing, and plenty of other outdoor activities to keep you active. Bariloche is perfect if you like cooler weather and enjoy the snow.

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