Argentina: Restrictions Implemented for Some Chinese Nationals Seeking to Enter under Electronic Travel Authorization

Effective immediately, Chinese nationals who qualify for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) who seek to work in Argentina can no longer enter under their eTA. Instead, they must now obtain a visa at an Argentinian consular post prior to entry, which is a significantly longer process than obtaining an eTA.

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Dec 07, 2017
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The situation
Effective immediately, Chinese nationals who qualify for an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA) who seek to work in Argentina can no longer enter under their eTA. They can instead obtain a 24(h) Transitory Visa from an Argentinian consular post abroad and apply for Temporary Residence Visa in country.

A closer look

  • eTA qualification. Chinese nationals with a valid U.S. or Schengen visa qualify for an eTA when traveling to Argentina for tourism, per a rule implemented in 2016.
  • Impact. It will now take affected Chinese nationals longer to obtain permission to enter Argentina since it takes much longer to obtain a consular visa than an eTA. 
  • Post-entry process. Upon entry into Argentina under a consular visa, the individual can work as soon as they apply for a temporary residence visa. There is no need to wait for the temporary residence visa to be approved.
  • Alternative approach. Instead of entering Argentina under a consular visa and applying for temporary residence in country, affected Chinese nationals can apply for a temporary residence visa abroad before traveling to Argentina. 
    • Impact. Although this workaround is available, this option is less favorable for those seeking to work because:
      • A temporary residence visa obtained abroad does not allow applicants to work as soon as the application is filed, as the in-country process does. It can take up to three months for a temporary residence visa to be issued while abroad; and
      • Chinese nationals who choose to enter under this option still need to obtain an entry visa. The processing time varies by consular post location. 
      • The combination of these waiting times may make this option unavailable for those who need to start work in a short amount of time.

Background
Qualifying Chinese nationals were allowed to enter Argentina under an eTA for tourism purposes only. This rule has been implemented due to growing numbers of Chinese nationals entering under an eTA and performing work, which is contrary to the original purpose of the eTA.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to lar@fragomen.com

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