ARGENTINA (May 19, 2017) – Business-visa waiver introduced for 35 countries

Nationals of 35 member countries will not need to apply for a business visa for stays of up to 90 days

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IMPACT – HIGH

What is the change? Argentina has issued a resolution that allows visa-free business travel for nationals of countries that are members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which includes the U.S., Canada, most of Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Chile, Japan, Korea and Israel.

What does the change mean? Nationals of 35 member countries will not need to apply for a business visa for stays of up to 90 days. Normal business activities are permitted and must be unpaid.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: 24H business visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of OECD member countries.
  • Impact on processing times: Affected travelers will save time and avoid the administrative hassle of applying for a consular visa.
  • Business impact: The announcement clarifies a previously ambiguous policy and should ease business travel, especially for those traveling on short notice or making repeat trips.
  • Next steps: As this is a new policy, employers and individuals may wish to exercise caution and consult with their BAL professional before traveling in order to assess permitted business activities on a case-by-case basis. Travelers are reminded that paid or work-related activities are not permitted on the waiver. Travelers are advised to print a copy of the government’s resolution and carry it with them when attempting to enter Argentina on a visa waiver.

Background: The Ministry of Interior issued the resolution (137-E/2017) on March 28 with the intent of encouraging economic, scientific and cultural activities. Previously, the policy on business-visa exemptions was unclear because while Argentina entered into bilateral agreements containing business-visa exemptions, the waivers were not enforced in practice, and business travelers were generally advised to apply for consular visas rather than risk being turned away at the border.

BAL Analysis: The announcement is a welcome development that will reduce bureaucracy, lower costs and save time for business travelers. However, travelers are cautioned that it may take time to clarify the scope of the allowed activities on the visa waiver, and they should consult with a BAL professional to assess whether their individual activities fall under the visa exemption.

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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