Tag Archives: argentina

Same Sex Marriage Attorney Buenos Aires Lawyer Argentina Law Firm

Can my partner and I marry in Argentina?

Yes, in some places (see “residency requirement”). Marriage equality has existed in Argentina since 2010. The same application process applies to gay and lesbian couples as does to different-sex couples.

Is there a citizenship requirement?

There is no citizenship requirement to get married in Argentina.

Is there a residency requirement?

In order to get married in Argentina, the civil marriage ceremony must be held at the Civil Registry Office of the province where at least one of the partners is domiciled. In principle, this requirement bars two foreign nationals without residency from getting married in Argentina. However, certain provinces (the city of Buenos Aires, and the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, and Tierra del Fuego) now allow couples to marry without residency or citizenship after only 96 hours within their borders (arguing that a residency requirement for marriage is unconstitutional).

Nonetheless, foreign nationals wishing to marry in Argentina must be lawfully present, i.e. as tourists and/or travelling with an appropriate visa (although they do not need a specific visa to get married in Argentina).

How can we apply?

The process to arrange a civil marriage differs from province to province. Thus, in the city of Buenos Aires (which has the same status as a province), at least one partner must go to the Civil Registry Office in person at least 30 business days before the intended date of marriage in order to schedule the date of the marriage. Alternatively, both partners may go to the court 10 days before the intended date of the marriage, but in this case the ceremony will be subject to availability. The scheduling may also be performed online.

Which documents must be provided?

The following documents must be presented when scheduling the marriage:

1. Identification documents of both parties must be provided as originals, and submitted as photocopies. Non-residents must show passports proving lawful presence;

2. Certificates of death or divorce in case one or both partners is/are divorced or widowed. If the certificates are from another country, they should be “legalized” at an Argentine consulate abroad or under the “apostille” procedure (a simplified international certification procedure for public documents). If the prior marriage or divorce was decreed outside of Argentina, then the marriage certificate and/or divorce decree should first be registered with an Argentine Civil Registry Office through a court procedure. If both marriage and divorce were decreed outside of Argentina, then the new marriage is subject to prior authorization by the city of Buenos Aires Civil Registry Office;

3. There are further requirements for minors (under 20): they must show identification documents, birth certificates, identification documents of parents, and authorization for marriage granted by both parents, a guardian, or by an Argentine court. If the birth certificate is foreign, it should be “legalized” in the country of issuance (by means of “apostille” or at an Argentine consulate).

Is there a fee?

A fee will be payable, depending on the province where the marriage will be celebrated.

Are there medical requirements?

After having scheduled the marriage, both partners must go to a public hospital within seven days before the intended date of marriage in order to perform a blood test. If either or both partners are found to have a venereal disease, the marriage will not be allowed. It however seems that HIV does not count as a venereal disease for this purpose, since the both members of the first gay couple to get married in Argentina were HIV-positive.

What does the wedding ceremony look like?

At the ceremony, applicants stand in line and will be married on a first come-first served basis. There must be two witnesses over the age of 18 present at the ceremony (but regulations on who may be a witness vary from province to province). If one or both of the partners does/do not understand Spanish, they are legally required to be assisted by a locally chartered translator.

Which parental rights does an Argentine marriage confer?

The Argentine marriage equality law grants all the rights also granted to different-sex couples, including the right to adopt children. Thus both joint adoption as well as step-parent adoption are possible.

Since all the same rights are granted, you should also expect your partner’s children to become your step-children, since Argentina, though still holding traditional views of family roles, is one of the few countries that has developed legal precedents for legitimizing the stepparent-stepchild relationship while retaining all parental rights and responsibilities. However, in order to find out the extent of legal rights and responsibilities granted, you should always check with the relevant authorities.

GAY MARRIAGE IN ARGENTINA

To be married in Argentina, one or both parties must be a resident of the country. No marriage can be performed if both parties are tourists in Argentina. 1. Application forms for permission to marry must be picked up at the district civil registry office no less than 30 days prior to the date the marriage is to take place. Normally the district of residence of the bride or groom will determine which district civil registry office will be used. 2. Medical examination forms are picked up at the same time at the same office. A doctor will be specified. There is a for the marriage book. The interested parties will pick up the results of the examination. 3. Either party may request the civil registry office in the area of residence to perform the marriage. 4. Proof of previous marriages must show legal termination either by death or divorce. Death certificates or divorce decrees issued in the United States must be authenticated by apostille from the office of the Secretary of State in the state where the divorce decree was issued. This apostille process is accepted by the government of Argentina under the Hague Convention. 5. Applicants stand in line on the appointed date at the Civil Registry Office on a first come-first serve basis. The ceremony will last only a few minutes. Two witnesses must be in attendance at the ceremony. 6. Minors: Brides from 16 to 20 years old, and grooms from 18 to 20 years old. Birth certificate and parents’ IDs, plus a parental authorization must be presented (death certificate is needed if one of the parents is deceased). If the parents do not issue their consent, a judicial authorization will be needed. If one of the parents is absent, the one who is present must submit an ID and an authorization from the absent parent, authenticated by the nearest Argentine Consulate and subsequently authenticated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Worship, Buenos Aires.

Documents

When scheduling the ceremony, the couple should pay the applicable fee and provide the following documentation:

1. Identification documents of both parties: non-residents must show a passport (showing appropriate legal immigration status in the country); residents must show their National Identity Document (Documento Nacional de Identidad – DNI). A photocopy of such identification documents shown must be submitted;

2. If either member of the couple has been divorced or widowed he or she should supply a certified copy of the divorce decree or death certificate, as the case may be. If the copy has been certified outside of Argentina, it should be legalised in its country of issuance (either with an “Apostille” or at an Argentine consulate). In the case of divorced persons, if the prior marriage was celebrated or the divorce has been decreed outside of Argentina, the foreign marriage certificate and/or divorce decree should first be registered with an Argentine Civil Registry Office, through a court procedure. If both the prior marriage and the divorce were celebrated and decreed, respectively, outside of Argentina, the new marriage is subject to prior authorisation by the city of Buenos Aires Civil Registry Office;

3. Minors (any person aged less than 18): identification documents, birth certificate, identification documents of parents, and authorisation for marriage granted by both parents, the minor’s guardian, or by an Argentine court. In case of foreign birth certificates, they should be legalised in their country of issuance (either with an “Apostille” or at an Argentine consulate);

Medical tests

After scheduling the date for the marriage, the couple must appear for a blood test at a public hospital within seven days prior to the intended date of marriage. This test can also be performed at certain designated private hospitals, and it is aimed at screening the couple for venereal diseases. If, as a result of this test, any member of the couple is found to have a venereal disease during contagion period, the couple will not be allowed to marry.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina same sex marriage lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe  law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in gay marriage  in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in all areas of family law, including but not limited to same sex marriage cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires gay marriage lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

Argentina – Other taxes and levies

The Clients Guide to the best Law firms, top Lawyers, Attorneys, Advocates, Solicitors and Barristers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

 

Social security tax

Are there social security/social insurance taxes in Argentina? If so, what are the rates for employers and employees?

Employer and employee Argentine nationals and expatriates working in Argentina are subject to social security contributions. Currently, the employees’ social taxes rate is 17 percent of their gross wages. Note that the employee’s contributions do have a monthly cap amount of ARS19,070.582. As regards employers’ social tax rates, they are equal to 23 percent* or 27 percent**, depending on the activity and gross annual income. Employers’ contributions are not capped. In accordance with the laws currently in force, the employee’s cap is updated every March and September. In addition to social security treaties, Argentine legislation contemplates other situations of exemption in the payment of Social Security that should be evaluated.

Gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance tax

Are there any gift, wealth, estate, and/or inheritance taxes in Argentina?

Wealth Tax – Domiciled in Argentina as of 31 December The wealth tax is levied on the worldwide assets that individuals domiciled in Argentina hold at the end of the year. Tax rates vary from 0.5 percent to 1.25 percent. If the total amount of assets, valued according to the Wealth Tax Law, does not surpass the amount of ARS305,000, no wealth tax will apply. Foreign individuals whose presence in Argentina is based on an employment relationship duly proved and which requires their permanency in Argentina for a period not exceeding five years, are subject to this tax only on assets located in the country, valued according to the law. As regards employees, if the annual gross compensation surpasses the amount of ARS96,000, their assets valued according to the law are lower than ARS305,000 and they are not registered under the wealth tax, they have to file an informative wealth tax return which due date operates on June 30. Wealth Tax – Domiciled abroad as of 31 December Argentina imposes a wealth tax with a 1.25 percent tax rate on assets held in Argentina at the end of the year by individuals domiciled abroad with a non-taxable minimum of ARS20,460. Inheritance/gift taxes There are no national inheritance and gift taxes in Argentina. There is an inheritance tax in Buenos Aires province.

Real estate tax

Are there real estate taxes in Argentina?

Yes, each province applies its own real estate tax.

Sales/VAT tax

Are there sales and/or value-added taxes in Argentina?

Yes, all sales and services are subject to VAT at 21 percent. (10.5 percent in certain cases).

Unemployment tax

Are there unemployment taxes in Argentina?

They are included in the employer´s social security contributions.

Other taxes

Are there additional taxes in Argentina that may be relevant to the general assignee? For example, customs tax, excise tax, stamp tax, and so on.

There is a stamp tax which varies from one jurisdiction (provinces) to another.

Land tax

Refer to Real Estate Tax.

Payroll tax

Under the concept of “payroll tax” we can include the social security contributions mentioned above, payments to the Labor Risks Insurance Companies (ART) and the union payments – depending on the Bargaining Agreement the company applies.

Double taxation treaties

The following countries have a double taxation treaty with Argentina:

Australia
Belgium
Bolivia
Brazil
Canada
Chile
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Italy
Netherlands
Norway
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland4
United Kingdom

Argentina has concluded social security totalization agreements with the following countries:

Chile
Greece
Italy
MERCOSUR (Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay)
Portugal
Spain

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

Tax in Argentina: VAT essentials

The Legal Latin America Argentina – The Clients Guide to the best Law firms, top Lawyers, Attorneys, Advocates, Solicitors and Barristers in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

Scope and Rates

What supplies are liable to VAT?

The Argentinean value-added tax (VAT), is tax-based on the value-added method. It is applied following the subtraction method on a financial basis of tax against tax.

VAT is due on:

the sale by VAT taxpayers of movable property located in Argentina
work, leasing and services specified in the law, provided they are performed in Argentina
the final importation of movable property and
the use or exploitation in Argentina of services which are supplied by non-residents (i.e. import of services).

For VAT purposes, the concept of taxable “sale” includes:

sales and other transfers for consideration of movable property located in Argentina (payment in kind, allocation of property on the liquidation of a company, contribution to a company)
the incorporation of movable goods produced by the taxpayer in the case of leasing and rendering of services exempt or excluded from taxation
transfers of movable goods which are attached to the soil at the time of the transfer, provided they have their own individuality and represent goods in trade for the taxpayer
the removal of movable property by the owner for his personal use or consumption
transactions carried out by commission agents, consignees and other who sell or buy personal property in their own name but on behalf of third parties.

Under the VAT system, tax is levied at each stage of the manufacturing and distribution process on a non‑cumulative basis. The accumulation of tax is avoided through the deduction of VAT invoiced to the entity. The entity pays VAT on the total amount invoiced in each monthly tax period, but it is entitled to recover the input VAT that was invoiced to the entity during the same period. If, in any tax period, the credit for input VAT is higher than the amount of VAT due on output, the entity is not entitled to a refund (unless the refund is related to exports); rather, the excess is credited against future VAT liabilities.

What is the standard rate of VAT?

The standard rate of VAT is 21 percent.

Are there any reduced rates, zero rates, or exemptions?

There is a reduced rate of 10.5 percent for certain goods and services, including:

sales or imports of cattle and sheep and other derivatives which are fresh or frozen as well as of fruits and vegetables fresh or frozen under certain conditions
imports of certain capital goods included in the tariffs list of the Common Nomenclature of MERCOSUR
certain supplies of services related to the soil and farming activities
certain constructions relating to dwelling houses
interest when the loans are provided by certain financial institutions
transport services supplied by taxi and other means of transport if the distance travelled is over 100 km
specified supplies of newspapers and periodicals
medical services in specific cases.

There is an increased rate of 27 percent for certain services:

telecommunication services, except radio broadcasting and services rendered by Encotel or news agencies
the supply of gas or electrical power, except public illumination
the supply of current water and sewage services including draining and cleaning of undrained wells, with certain exemption.

Exempt services:

services rendered by the State, provinces, municipalities and institutions belonging thereto
medical services in specified cases
transportation of persons and freight, including international transportation
transport supplied by taxis if the distance travelled is less than 100 km
financial placements and services in those cases listed in the law (cash deposits with financial institutions, loans made between financial institutions, negotiable bonds publicly offered under Law 23,576)
services proper of directors, controllers and members of boards of stock corporations
the letting of immovable property relating to dwelling houses and to farming, the letting of immovable property with monthly rents less than ARG1,500 and, subject to conditions, relating to certain other services, except for conferences, meetings, and similar events.

Exempt goods: imports and sales of

books
newspapers and periodicals (retail distribution)
shares, bonds and securities
planes constructed and destined for the transportation of passengers and/or freight, and ships for the exclusive use in commercial activities or for defense and security
exports of goods and services are zero-rated.

What are the other local indirect taxes beside VAT?

turnover tax
excise taxes
tax on bank accounts
municipal taxes
stamp tax.

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Registration

Who is required to register for Argentinean VAT?

If businesses make taxable supplies in Argentina through a permanent establishment they will be required to register and account for local VAT.

Are there penalties for not registering or late registration?

There are penalties for failure to file tax returns based on the general terms fixed by the tax administration.

Is voluntary VAT registration possible for an overseas company?

No. Under Argentinean VAT legislation it is not possible for a non-resident entity to voluntarily register in Argentina and act as an established entity.

Are there any simplifications that could avoid the need for an overseas company to register for VAT?

VAT registration is not possible without a permanent establishment in Argentina. If the company (permanent establishment) performs activities in the country, VAT registration is mandatory.

Does an overseas company need to appoint a fiscal representative?

Only in a few cases (for example international transport), in order to apply for VAT refund.

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VAT grouping

Is VAT grouping possible?

No.

Can an overseas company be included in a VAT group?

N/A.

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Returns

How frequently are VAT returns submitted?

Taxpayers are required to submit VAT returns on a monthly basis.

Are there any other returns that need to be submitted?

Yes, returns covering turnover tax and excise tax.

If a business receives a purchase invoice in foreign currency, which exchange rate should be used for VAT reporting purposes? (e.g. central bank’s exchange rate applicable on the date of the invoice)

The latest closing day exchange rate published by the “Banco Nacion” (national bank) should be used.

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VAT recovery

Can a business recover VAT if it is not registered?

No, except few cases (for example international transport). See section 2

Does your country apply reciprocity rules for reclaims submitted by non-established businesses?

No.

Are there any items that businesses cannot recover VAT on?

There are certain items that businesses cannot recover VAT on. For example:

Exempt supplies: where VAT relates to both taxable and exempt supplies, you need to make an apportionment (pro rata rule).
Automobiles: amounts paid on the purchase, import, or rent (including leasing contracts) of automobiles can be claimed as tax credit only if the cost of acquisition, import or market price is equal or less than ARG20,000 (VAT net). If the value exceeds that limit, the tax credit can be only claimed up to this limit. When the automobiles have for the buyer the character of inventory or a key operational fixed asset (such as cars) this limitation will not be applicable. The restriction to compute the tax credit related to maintenance, repair and use of automobiles, which can be deductible with no limit, was lifted.
Business entertainment: VAT on services rendered by bars, restaurants, hotels, garages, clothes (except uniforms), is not recoverable.

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International Supplies of Goods and Services

How are exports of goods and services treated?

Exports of goods and services are included in the scope of VAT, but they are taxed at a zero rate. This means VAT is not levied on the output, but VAT paid on inputs may be recovered through tax refunds, which the taxpayer may request after shipping the goods.

Goods supplied and services performed abroad are not subject to tax.

How are goods dealt with on importation?

When goods are imported into Argentina, import VAT and customs duties must be paid before the goods are released from customs’ control.

How are services which are brought in from abroad treated for VAT purposes?

Services rendered and loans granted from abroad for which utilization is made in Argentina (import of services) by Argentinean VAT payers are taxable in the country.

In such cases, the local taxpayer must self-assess the VAT payment in the month immediately after the taxable event is completed, and will compute the VAT credit in the following month. This will be a pass-through cost for the local company so long as it is registered for local VAT purposes.

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Invoices

Is a business required to issue tax invoices?

Yes.

What do businesses have to show on a tax invoice?

Layout of invoices is strictly regulated.

A taxpayer is required to issue an invoice for each taxable transaction performed. If this requirement is not complied with, the purchaser is not entitled to the VAT credit otherwise arising from the purchase.

Invoices and similar documents corresponding to transactions made by a registered taxpayer with another registered taxpayer must show separately the relevant VAT. Transactions made by a registered taxpayer with a final consumer or a small taxpayer must not show separately the corresponding VAT.

Tax invoice should contain the following data:

date of issue
a sequential invoice number
taxpayer identification number (CUIT) and customer taxpayer identification number
supplier’s name and address
customer’s name
the quantity and nature of the goods/services supplied
unit price (exclusive of any VAT)
rate of any discounts (if not included in the unit price and if applicable)
the VAT rate applicable
the total amount price (including VAT)
issue authorization code or Electronic authorization code.

Can businesses issue invoices electronically?

Yes, it is mandatory for certain activities and optional for all.

Is it possible to operate self-billing?

No, it is not possible.

Can a business issue VAT invoices denominated in a foreign currency?

Yes it can. In this case the exchange rate must be displayed in the invoices.

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Transfers of Business

Is there a relief from VAT for the sale of a business as a going concern?

Under Argentinean law, TOGC is not subject to VAT if it is done within the framework of a tax-free reorganization as provided by art. 77 of the Income Tax Law.

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Options to Tax

Are there any options to tax transactions?

Individuals and companies engaged in small business activities and whose gross turnover does not exceed a certain threshold may be subject to a simplified regime (Monotributo) that combines income tax and VAT.

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Head Office and Branch transactions

How are transactions between head office and branch treated?

There are no special rules for VAT, since both are considered as different taxpayers for VAT purposes.

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Bad Debt

Are businesses able to claim relief for bad debts?

No.

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Anti-Avoidance

Is there a general anti-avoidance provision under VAT law?

In the absence or an invoice or similar document or were the price is less than the market value, this market price is taken as the taxable base.

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Penalty Regime

What is the penalty and interest regime like?

There are certain penalties for failing to fulfill formal obligations.

The penalty for failing to pay VAT due varies between 50 percent and 100 percent of the unpaid VAT.

In case of fraudulent practices, besides fines ranging from two to ten times the unpaid taxes, imprisonment can be imposed in certain cases.

Compensatory interest is at present 3 percent rate.

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Tax authorities

Tax audits

How often do tax audits take place?

Audits take place on a random basis or when a VAT recovery request is filed.

Are there audits done electronically in your country (e-audit)? If so, what system is in use?

No.

Advance rulings and decisions from the tax authority

Is it possible to apply for formal or informal advance rulings from the (indirect) tax authority?

It is only possible to apply for a formal advance ruling. If the taxpayer applies for a formal ruling, the opinion of the tax authority is binding and must be applied.

Are rulings and decisions issued by the tax authorities publicly available in your country?

Yes, they are to be found at: http://biblioteca.afip.gob.ar/

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Miscellaneous

In your country, are there unique specific indirect tax rules (regimes) that differ from standard indirect tax rules in other jurisdictions?

Sales of goods from the mainland to the special customs area are considered an export. Hence, refunds are possible.

Any activity carried out in the ex Territorio Nacional de Tierra del Fuego is exempt from national taxes.

Are there indirect tax incentives available in your country (e.g. reduced rates, tax holidays)?

Exemption for certain localizations (VAT and municipal tax).

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com

Immigration to Argentina

Immigration lawyer Buenos Aires Argentina attorney law firm

Support and control of immigration

Since its unification as a country, Argentine rulers intended the country to welcome immigration. Article 25 of the 1853 Constitution reads: The Federal Government will encourage European immigration, and it will not restrict, limit or burden with any taxes the entrance into Argentine territory of foreigners who come with the goal of working the land, improving the industries and teach the sciences and the arts. The Preamble of the Constitution, more generously, dictates a number of goals (justice, peace, defense, welfare and liberty) that apply “to all men in the world who wish to dwell on Argentine soil”. The Constitution incorporates, along with other influences, the thought of Juan Bautista Alberdi, who expressed his opinion on the matter in succinct terms: “to rule is to populate”. The legal and organizational precedents of today’s National Migrations Office (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones) can be found in 1825, when Rivadavia created an Immigration Commission. After the Commission was dissolved, the government of Rosas continued to allow immigration. Urquiza, under whose sponsorship the Constitution was drawn, encouraged the establishment of agricultural colonies in the Littoral (western Mesopotamia and north-eastern Pampas). The first law dealing with immigration policies was Law 817 of Immigration and Colonization, of 1876. The General Immigration Office was created in 1898, together with the Hotel de Inmigrantes (Immigrants’ Hotel), in Buenos Aires. The liberal rulers of the late 19th century saw immigration as the possibility of bringing people from supposedly more civilized, enlightened countries into a sparsely populated land, thus diminishing the influence of aboriginal elements and turning Argentina into a modern society with a dynamic economy. However, immigrants did not bring only their knowledge and skills. In 1902, a Law of Residence (Ley de Residencia) was passed, mandating the expulsion of foreigners who “compromise national security or disturb public order”, and, in 1910, a Law of Social Defense (Ley de Defensa Social) explicitly named ideologies deemed to have such effects. These laws were a reaction by the ruling elite against imported ideas such as labor unionism, anarchism and other forms of popular organization. The modern National Migrations Office was created by decree on February 4, 1949 under the Technical Secretariat of the Presidency, in order to deal with the new post-war immigration scenario. New regulations were added to the Office by Law 22439 of 1981 and a decree of 1994, but the current regulations are the Law 25871 of 2004 and the decree 616 of 2010.

Features of immigration

The majority of immigrants, since the 19th century, came from Europe, mostly from Italy and Spain. Also notable were Jewish immigrants escaping persecution, making in Argentina the highest Jewish population in Latin America, and the 7th in all the world. The total population of Argentina rose from 4 million in 1895 to 7.9 million in 1914, and to 15.8 million in 1947; during this time the country was settled by 1.5 million Spaniards and 1.4 million Italians,[citation needed] as well as Poles, Russians, French (more than 100,000 each), Germans and Austrians (also more than 100,000), Portuguese, Greek, Ukrainians, Croats, Czechs, Irish, British, Dutch, Scandinavians, and people from other European and Middle Eastern countries, prominently Syria and Lebanon. Argentine immigration records also mention immigrants from Australia, South Africa and the United States.[citation needed] All these immigratory torrents made Argentina the second country with the most immigrants, with 6.6 millions, second only to the USA with 27 millions, and ahead of countries such as Canada, Brazil, Australia, etc.[1][2] Most immigrants arrived through the port of Buenos Aires and stayed in the capital or within Buenos Aires Province, as it still happens today. In 1895, immigrants accounted for 52% of the population in the Capital, and 31% in the province of Buenos Aires (some provinces of the littoral, such as Santa Fe, had about 40%, and the Patagonian provinces about 50%). In 1914, before World War I caused many European immigrants to return to their homeland in order to join the respective armies, the overall rate of foreign-born population reached its peak, almost 30%. A significant number of immigrants settled in the countryside in the interior of the country, especially the littoral provinces, creating agricultural colonies. These included many Jews, fleeing pogroms in Europe and sponsored by Maurice de Hirsch’s Jewish Colonization Association; they were later termed “Jewish gauchos”. The first such Jewish colony was Moïseville (now the village of Moisés Ville). Through most of the 20th century, Argentina held one of the largest Jewish communities (near 500,000) after the USA, France, Israel and Russia, and by far the largest in Latin America (see History of the Jews in Argentina). Argentina is home to a large community from the Arab world, made up mostly of immigrants from Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Most are Christians of the Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic (Maronite) Churches, with small Muslim and Jewish minorities. Many have gained prominent status in national business and politics, including former president Carlos Menem, the son of Syrian settlers from the province of La Rioja. (see Arab Argentine). The Welsh settlement of Argentina, whilst not as large as those from other countries, was nevertheless one of the largest in the planet and had an important cultural influence on the Patagonian Chubut Province. Other nationalities have also settled in particular areas of the country, such as Irish in Formosa and the Mesopotamia region, the Ukrainians in Misiones where they constitute approximately 9% of the population.[5] Well-known and culturally strong are the German-speaking communities such as those of German-descendants themselves (both those from Germany itself, and those ethnic Germans from other parts of Europe, such as Volga Germans), Austrian, and Swiss ones. Strong German-descendant populations can be found in the Mesopotamia region (especially Entre Ríos and Misiones provinces), many neighborhoods in Buenos Aires city (such as Belgrano or Palermo), the Buenos Aires Province itself (strong German settlement in Coronel Suárez, Tornquist and other areas), Córdoba (the Oktoberfest celebration in Villa General Belgrano is specially famous) and all along the Patagonian region, including important cities such as San Carlos de Bariloche (an important tourist spot near the Andes mountain chain, which was especially influenced by German settlements). Other nationalities, such as Spaniards, although they have specific localities (such as the centre of Buenos Aires), they are more uniformly present all around the country and form the general background of Argentine population today.

Legacy of immigration

Argentine popular culture, especially in the Río de la Plata basin, was heavily marked by Italian and Spanish immigration. Post-independence politicians tried to steer Argentina consistently away from identification with monarchical Spain, perceived as backward and ultraconservative, towards relatively progressive national models like those of France or the United States. Millions of poor peasants from Galicia arriving in Argentina not only did little to alter this position but also immigrated to Argentina because of it, steering clear of the United States and Britain. Italian influence is more visible. Lunfardo, the jargon enshrined in tango lyrics, is laden with Italianisms, often also found in the mainstream colloquial dialect (Rioplatense Spanish). Common dishes in the central area of the country (milanesa, fainá, polenta, pascualina) have Italian names and origins. Immigrant communities have given Buenos Aires some of its most famous landmarks, such as the Monumento de los Españoles (Monument of the Spaniards). Ukrainians, Armenians, Swiss and many others built monuments and churches at popular spots throughout the capital. Argentina celebrates Immigrant’s Day on September 4 since 1949, by a decree of the Executive Branch. The National Immigrant’s Festival is celebrated in Oberá, Misiones, during the first fortnight of September, since 1980. There are other celebrations of ethnic diversity throughout the country, such as the National Meeting and Festival of the Communities in Rosario (typically at the beginning of November). Many cities and towns in Argentina also feature monuments and memorials dedicated to immigration. There are also Immigrant’s Festivals (or Collectivities Festivals) throughout the country, for example: Bariloche, Berisso, Esperanza, Venado Tuerto, and Comodoro Rivadavia have their own Immigrant’s festivals. These festivals tend to be local, and they are not advertised or promoted nationally like the festivals in Rosario and Oberá.

Immigration in the recent times

Besides substantial immigration from neighboring countries, during the middle and late 1990s Argentina received significant numbers of people from Asian countries such as Korea (both North and South), China and Vietnam, which joined the previously existing Sino-Japanese communities in Buenos Aires. Despite the economic and financial crisis Argentina suffered at the start of the 21st century, people from all over the world continued arriving to the country, because of their immigration-friendly policy and other reasons. According to official data, between 1992 and 2003 an average 13,187 people per year immigrated legally in Argentina. The government calculates that 504,000 people entered the country during the same period, giving about 345,000 undocumented immigrants. The same source gives a plausible total figure of 750,000 undocumented immigrants currently residing in Argentina. In April 2006, the national government started the Patria Grande plan to regularize the migratory situation of undocumented immigrants. The plan attempts to ease the bureaucratic process of getting documentation and residence papers, and is aimed at citizens of Mercosur countries and its associated states (Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela). The plan came after a scandal and a wave of indignation caused by fire in a Buenos Aires sweatshop, which revealed the widespread utilization of undocumented Bolivian immigrants as cheap labor force in inhumane conditions, under a regime of virtual debt slavery.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

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Immigration Law Argentina

Immigration Law Argentina: Argentina at the forefront of immigration policy

The country’s immigration law is serving as a model for the region

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina – Argentina is at the forefront of immigration policy in South America. Immigration Law Argentina

Through Law 25,871, which was issued in 2003 and considers migration a human right, the country has been promoting immigrant participation in society and fostering regional inclusion.

“It’s not the people who should be at the service of the state. It’s the state that should be at the service of the people,” said Martín A. Arias Duval, the director of the National Department of Immigration (DNM). “Therefore, all public policies are beginning to shift toward the recognition of rights.”

Two key initiatives are the Patria Grande program, which regularized the legal status of more than 200,000 foreigners between 2006 and 2010 and the creation of the DNM, which is focused on serving immigrants.

The law recognizes migration as an “essential and inalienable” right. It also provides for “equal access for immigrants and their families to the same protections, support and rights of citizens, particularly with regard to social services, public goods, education, health, justice, labor, employment and social security.”

Argentine legislation, which provides immigrants with the right to vote in municipal elections, has served as an inspiration for neighboring countries such as Brazil, which is considering a new immigration law.

“The Argentine law provides guidelines that promote not only the human rights of immigrants but also the integration between countries of the region,” said Paulo Illes, director of the Center for the Human Rights and Citizenship of Immigrants (CDHIC), which is headquartered in São Paulo. “It’s not just a law, it’s an immigration policy.”

The Argentine law is very different from the law currently on the books in Brazil, which is the Alien Statute of 1980, according to Illes.“That statute is guided by what the immigrants cannot do, such as join unions,” he added. “The Argentine immigration law is affirmative, as it’s based on the principle of promotion.”A focus on integrationThe current Argentine immigration law substituted the Videla Law, which was passed in 1981 and addressed the immigration issue from a perspective of national sovereignty and security.“At that time, even though the region’s governments collaborated with each other, there was a lot of mistrust. In fact, Argentina was about to go to war with Chile in 1978,” Duval said. “Now, we no longer analyze migratory patterns from a national security standpoint but rather in terms of integrating the immigrants into the society that is receiving them.”Communities form bonds

There are a total of 1,805,957 foreigners living in Argentina – accounting for 4.5% of the overall population – according to the most recent National Census, which was conducted in 2010.

The Paraguayan community is the fastest-growing immigrant population. Between 2001 and 2010, it experienced a 69% increase, reaching 550,713, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

“The Paraguayan community has some of the deepest roots in Argentina,” said Ezequiel Texidó, the IOM’s regional representative in Buenos Aires. “We see a lot of mixed marriages between Paraguayans and Argentines.

There are also a significant number of immigrants from Bolivia (345,272), Chile (191,147), Peru (157,514), Uruguay (116,592) and Brazil (41,330).

However, due to the economic crisis, the number of foreigners has remained stable. There was only a 0.3% increase between 2001 and 2010, according to the IOM.

An example for the region

In 2002, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Bolivia and Chile signed the Residency Agreement, which came into effect in 2009.

The agreement recognizes the right of the citizens of signatory countries to establish residency freely in the territory of other signatory countries.

The agreement was an important step toward free movement within the bloc, said Helion Povoa Neto, coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Center for Migration Studies (NIEM), at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro.

“These citizens receive temporary residency, which after two years can be converted into permanent residency, provided they can show ties with the country [of destination],” he said.

There was a delay in implementing the agreement because Paraguay only ratified it in 2009. Prior to that, Argentina had implemented the agreement unilaterally.

“We encourage neighboring countries to adapt their regulations to recognize Argentine immigrants and to reciprocally offer them the same rights we grant their citizens,” Duval said.

Argentina signed a bilateral agreement with Brazil, whereby any Argentine citizen can directly receive permanent residency, bypassing the period of temporary residency, and vice versa.

“We also signed an agreement with Brazil regarding the connected regions along our borders,” Duval added. “It allows an Argentine to hold residency in Argentina and work in Brazil, and vice versa, without the need to establish residency in the other country.”

These agreements strengthen the union between the two countries, Duval added.

“Easy access to legal residency even helps in the fight against human trafficking,” he said.

The proven Buenos Aires – Argentina lawyer professionals at the Kier Joffe law firm have experience working with foreign clients involved in all kind of cases in Argentina. Buenos Aires Argentina attorney professionals are knowledgeable in almost all the practice areas of law, to service its international cases in Buenos Aires Argentina. International clients will have the confidence of knowing that the case is being handled by an experienced and knowledgeable Buenos Aires  lawyer in Argentina.

www.kierjoffe.com