Once you have the right kind of visa, there is in principle no bar to you obtaining employment in Argentina. However, you will need a strong grasp of conversational Spanish as a minimum.You will need a visa to enter and work in Argentina. There are several types of visa: see the Visa section for the full range. Visas can be applied for via the Consulate Generals of the Argentine Republic in any country.
On arrival you must you must register within 90 days with your local Registro Nacional de las Personas. They will issue you with a DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad). As well as acting as an identity card, this has your equivalent of a social security number and will be required for entering into any kind of contract.
You will also need a tax code. Employers are known to avoid registering employees for tax and social security, to keep their costs down. This can result in fines for both the employer and the unregistered individuals. It is your responsibility to see that you are registered.
There are two types of code. For employees, there is the CUIL (Clave Único de Identificación Laboral). Apply through the website of the Administración Nacional de la Seguridad Social (ANSES) or at an ANSES office.
For the self-employed, there is the CUIT (Clave Única de Identificación Tributaria). Apply to the Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos (AFIP) in the area where your business is located.
Argentina has bilateral agreements with some countries, including countries in Europe, that exempt expats from making social security payments if they are already covered at home. The United Kingdom is not one of these countries.
Your closest Argentine consulate or the Ministerio de Trabajo, Empleo y Seguridad Social (Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security) can confirm whether you will need to make social security payments, and whether these can be refunded when you leave the country.
To receive the state pension, the retirement age is 63 for women and 70 for men, provided that they have paid contributions for at least 30 years. A private pension is recommended. If you already have one in your home country, discuss the implications of moving countries with your provider.
Argentinian employers are finding it hardest to find skilled tradespeople such as electricians, carpenters and welders, as well as IT staff and sales representatives. Part of their problem is that Argentinian salaries are typically lower than for equivalent roles in other countries.
Teaching English as a second language is always popular and is probably the only position for a foreigner where a strong grasp of Spanish is not a requirement. A TEFL certificate and experience lead to better-paying positions.
The maximum you can legally work is 8 hours/day, with 44 hours/week for daytime work, 42 hours/week for night work or 36 hours/week for work in hazardous environments. Most office working days begin at 9am, with a lunch break of 1-1.5 hours. Apart from the service industries, employees do not usually work on Saturday afternoons, Sundays and public holidays. A minimum wage applies to anyone over 18.
As well as eleven national holidays, employees who have completed six months of service with the same employer over a 12-month period are eligible for annual leave: 14 calendar days with less than five years’ service; 21 calendar days with 5-10 years’ service; 28 calendar days with 10-20 years’ service; 35 calendar days with 20+ years’ service.
Women have compulsory maternity leave from 45 days before to 45 days after childbirth.
The cost of living is low compared to Europe, but Argentinian wages are not high. An average monthly wage after tax is 31,000 ARS (Argentine Pesos) – around USD 520 or GBP 370. If you are looking for more than a typical Argentinian wage then it may be best to approach multinationals with an Argentine wing. Argentina is also host to several NGOs and aid agencies.
Power, heat, water and waste collection will come to about 4,600 ARS a month for an 85m2 apartment. An internet connection will cost about 1,600 ARS a month. Average monthly rent in a city centre is 15,000 ARS for a one-bedroom apartment and 25,000 ARS for a three-bedroom apartment. Outside a city centre it is 12,000 ARS for a one bedroom-apartment and 19,000 ARS for a three-bedroom apartment. In rural areas, you can expect to pay considerably less.
Useful Argentinian job sites:
• El Clarín
• Jobs in Buenos Aires
There are many local private recruitment agencies listed in the Yellow Pages. You may however make more of an impression by doing your own research and contacting companies directly.
Speculative applications by mail or internet are common practice. As with any job application, finding the name to write to directly in the target company will increase your chances.
Applying For A Job
Your CV should be written in good Spanish and follow the typical format, concentrating on making a good impression without exaggerating. Put any chronological list (e.g. education, work experience) in reverse order, starting with the most recent, giving names and dates. Your CV should include:
• Personal details (Datos personales): first and last name; place and date of birth; marital status; contact details, and so on;
• Education (Formación académica);
• Other qualifications (Otros títulos y seminarios): relevant qualifications, courses attended, and so on;
• Professional experience (Experiencia profesional): include your job titles;
• Languages (Idiomas): the languages you speak and your level of fluency;
• Computer skills (Informática): your level of I.T. skill; the software packages you are familiar with; and so on;
• Miscellaneous (Otros datos de interés): details such as driving license or anything else they may need to know.
Dress neatly and professionally for job interviews. Address anyone present by their title (Señor, Señora, Señorita) and surname: do not assume a first-name basis.
You may be greeted with the classic Argentine cheek kiss rather than a handshake. If this happens, present your right cheek; it is more about the action than actual contact. Let them take the lead and follow suit.
You will almost certainly be asked how long you intend to be in the country. Many foreign candidates are rejected on the basis that they are leaving too soon.
There are no questions that are off limits, but there are also no answers that can automatically debar you. You may well be asked a personal question to gauge your reaction, so be prepared for this. It is quite reasonable to reply, calmly and with a smile, that in your country that would be a strange question.
After the interview, send a follow-up email as soon as you can to thank them for their time. Mention your hope of working with them soon. Highlight your availability and refer back to any strong points in the interview. If they do not get back to you within a week, feel free to send them another email or call, politely asking about the status of your application. Persistence tends to pay off.
Qualifications And Training
Argentinian firms are more interested in demonstrable skills and experience than formal qualifications. If you are good at your job in your own country then you can probably convince them you will be good at it in theirs.
Would you like to share your experience of life abroad with other readers? Answer the questions here to be featured in an interview!