Emigration to Argentina from Russia - childbirth and permanent residence, pros and cons

Guest post by Svetlana Nekrasova about Argentina and the possibilities of emigration there. Sveta, her husband and daughter decided not so long ago to go to give birth to their second child in Buenos Aires, and then, on this basis, they eventually received permanent residence. So the article will be first-hand personal experience, so to speak. I also asked to cover not only the issues of permanent residence, but also the pros and cons of this country. This is important, because in my opinion it is clearly not suitable for everyone ...

The content of the article

How we ended up in Argentina?

We have never had a special desire to visit Argentina, especially in the near future. Everything turned out by itself. I was pregnant, I was six months old, and I was preparing to give birth in Moscow. And my husband decided to google one evening «childbirth abroad» and the next day he stunned me with the idea of ​​flying to give birth to Argentina. I brushed it off, said that some other time and continued my carefree pregnant life. And yet event after event took us to Buenos Aires, where we flew for almost thirty hours - me, being eight months pregnant, husband and three-year-old daughter.

Argentine passport of daughter Anastasia and Precaria for me, husband and eldest daughter

Argentine passport of daughter Anastasia and Precaria for me, husband and eldest daughter

Why Argentina?

As you already understood, we never had a goal to give birth in Argentina. This choice was obtained by the method of elimination. They began to search «childbirth abroad». Many of the developed countries, where it would be nice to give birth, have dropped out because of the need for a visa, which we would not have been given. They began to look where Russians were allowed without a visa. These are the majority of Latin American countries. Then we learned about such a pleasant advantage of childbirth in these countries as citizenship for a newborn and registration of permanent residence for a family.

Transfer at Rio de Janeiro Airport (Brazil)

Transfer at Rio de Janeiro Airport (Brazil)

Chose between three countries - Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay. They began to read and compare. Brazil dropped out due to the Portuguese language. If we are to teach, then the Spanish language - we decided and began to choose further. I was attracted by Uruguay, because they immediately give citizenship, and not permanent residence as in Argentina. But by birth, there was very little information and absolutely no one who could clarify something and help on the spot. Remained Argentina.

Firstly, it is a fairly developed country, cheaper compared to Brazil, more interesting compared to Uruguay and safer compared to Mexico or Venezuela..
Secondly, there is an excellent level of medicine and medical institutions..
Thirdly, we found people who are ready to fully accompany us in organizing accommodation, managing pregnancy, childbirth and in documentary matters..

This is how we stopped in Argentina from all countries and bought tickets to Buenos Aires a week before the scheduled date..



Visa regulations

Russians can stay in Argentina without a visa for 90 days, after which they must leave the country without the possibility of extension and visa. It will be possible to return again only after three months so that the total period of residence does not exceed 90 days in six months. For Ukrainians, the conditions are similar.

By the way - in fact, some time ago, Russians could extend their visa without leaving the country, but Russia «asked» to suspend this practice, and now Russians are denied a visa extension after three months of living in Argentina.



The entire eastern border of Argentina is the Atlantic Ocean. Along the coast there is a main route with many seaside towns. The beaches are large and sandy with a developed beach infrastructure. But! It's still an ocean with big waves and unpredictable currents..

From Buenos Aires to the nearest seaside town about 350 km (4-5 hours by bus).

The beach season lasts from December to March inclusive. This is high season, when all hotels are full, housing is three times more expensive, and tickets are bought a month in advance..


Now we just live in the small seaside town of Pinamar. The first and second lines are all hotels that have already closed until next season. The city is deserted and a lot of housing is rented. We like it - the environment is better and much safer. Such a city is perfect for a quiet family life..

The last time we were comfortable swimming in the sea on April 3. Now the cold autumn wind is blowing more and more often and even in sunny weather I don't want to get into the water.


In Argentina, Spanish is spoken, or rather its Argentine variation, which is called castellano and hardly speaks English. To be honest, we were somewhat surprised by this. Sometimes, after learning that we «but ablo hispaniol» (we do not speak Spanish), we are offered to switch to English, but this is a rarity and rather an exception. That is why interaction with various organizations and many of our issues we solve with the help of an interpreter.

Argentines are very talkative. Passers-by, mothers and children, talk to me in parks, in the elevator, in shops and grocery stores - wherever I go..

We learn the language ourselves. Gradually we memorize everything we come across - numbers, names of days of the week, names of foods, vegetables, fruits, greeting phrases, and so on. Knowledge of words allows you to understand at least a little, but for a conversation, unfortunately, this is not enough.



Since Argentina is the southern hemisphere, the seasons and months are opposite to the ones we are used to. From December to February it is summer, and from June to August it is winter. Argentina is a large country in area and covers many climatic zones - from the tropics to semi-deserts.

In Buenos Aires, where we lived, the spring was very warm, the summer was hot and sunny. The sun is strong, so lunchtime is siesta. People do not leave the house once again, and many shops are closed. What is pleasant in the capital's climate is a comfortable temperature drop between night and day. Even if the day was very hot, a pleasant coolness awaits at night. It can get quite cold on rainy days. So much so that summer dresses are replaced by trousers and jackets.

There is no central heating in the country. It all depends on the house and is regulated at the house level.

Now - in mid-April - in the afternoon at noon about 20 degrees Celsius. In the sun, when there is no wind, it is quite comfortable. At night, the temperature drops to plus 13. It is noticeably cold, especially in a house without heating. We sleep under several blankets. A huge disadvantage in this climate is the icy tiled floors, which are as common here as in Asia. I myself go in shoes, I definitely ask the eldest daughter to put on pants and socks, since she often plays on the floor, and the youngest, who is now 4 months old, I don’t risk sending her to crawl on the floor at all, only in the crib.

Attitude of local

I did not notice any special attitude towards foreigners and Russians in particular. There is interest. People often ask where we are from. When they hear «light brown» nod meaningfully. Some people call the city Moscow. There are many foreigners and expats in Argentina, and the Argentines themselves are friendly and polite..


Product quality and selection

The cuisine of Argentina is familiar to the Russian people, and therefore the products are all well-known. Pasta, potatoes, meat - these are probably the three most popular foods here. Vegetables and fruits are eaten all year round, delicious, but little exotic. So, mango, papaya, passion fruit can be found only in season.

In Argentina, specialized shops are common where you can buy a certain category of goods. For example, butchers, cheeses and related products, vegetables and fruits, bread and bakery products, dietary products.

The assortment in them is much better and there is more choice in comparison with supermarkets. The locals buy exactly there. Everything is fresh and tasty.

Argentine cuisine is famous for its wine and meat. Indeed, these products are delicious and affordable. I know about wine only in theory, I trust the opinion of experts.


During my entire stay, I most of all missed sour cream, kefir, fermented baked milk. For some reason, despite the developed cattle breeding, these products are not here at all..



In Argentina, we found ourselves at the very moment when the dollar was growing rapidly. And if upon arrival I multiplied all the prices in pesos by three and thus found out their value for me in rubles, then after the increased dollar began to multiply by seven. Perceptibly, really! If a pack of oatmeal, worth 10 pesos upon arrival cost me 30 rubles, now 70.

In general, prices are not low, especially for imported goods. We did not notice the cheapness.

The medicine

Medicine is different.
In general, in Argentina, it is free, and this is a huge plus for those who cannot pay. True, there are a number of inconveniences: long queues (sometimes even in the evening) to take a turno (referral) to a doctor, and the visit itself can be expected for a week. In Argentina, doctors from private clinics are on duty from time to time in free clinics, so the quality of the service itself depends on the specialist you get to. Personally, I was in a free clinic only once - I was not happy, especially when I compared it with my experience of visiting paid doctors.

Private hospitals are much better equipped, as they have sponsorship, and the qualifications of doctors are higher. I was impressed by the communication of doctors with children. They are like friends hugging and kissing their little patients, hanging their drawings in the office, and how they smile! Several times I witnessed such scenes when they came to the hospital with their newborn daughter..

Almost everyone in Argentina has insurance. It really works and greatly simplifies interaction with medical institutions. You can choose an insurance plan that suits your family budget. It can be cheaper and include simpler clinics and cases of treatment, or more expensive, which will be served free of charge in the best clinics in the capital..

Payment for insurance is carried out along with the rent and rent of a parking space in the garage, for example.


9. Travel Opportunities

Argentina is huge in territory and so different! There are many beautiful places that are worth visiting, and first of all, these are natural attractions:

Perito Moreno glacier
Land's End Ushuaia - the southernmost city on the planet
Bariloche Lake District
Mount Fitz Roy
Mendoza vineyards
Steppe plains of Patagonia
Iguazu Falls

Unfortunately, we have not yet been anywhere from these places, since at first there was a desire to safely reach pregnancy and give birth, but now we want comfort and settledness. In March we moved from the capital to the seaside town of Pinamar, where we enjoy the ocean and pine trees.

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

Distance from Russia

Yes, Russia is very far away. Getting to South America is long and always consists of several flights. There are no direct flights Moscow - Buenos Aires. So, taking into account the flight connections and waiting time, you are on the way for a day or more..

Pros of Argentina

- The mentality of people. The main values ​​are friendliness, openness, respect, joy, family, children.

- Spanish language. Quite easy to learn and useful when traveling.

- The ability to become «to their». You can easily integrate into the local community, since there are no such strong visual differences as, for example, in Asian countries.

- Small business is developed. This provides great opportunities, both as an entrepreneur and as a buyer..

- A wide range of food products that are produced in the country. Delicious and affordable.

- Geographical location that includes several climatic zones. You can choose a comfortable living area for yourself.
- Unique nature and fauna. The most beautiful natural attractions and unusual vegetation are concentrated in Argentina..
Blooming trees are especially delightful. These are not just bushes, but huge giants all dotted with flowers. We flew to Argentina in the spring and the flowering trees were our first vivid impression.


And also a storm of delight in me is caused by parrots, who, together with pigeons, have chosen the park zones of the capital and hummingbirds, which almost every day fly to the flowering bushes near our house in Pinamara.

Cons of Argentina

1. Unstable political and economic situation in the country.

Mass strikes take place regularly. So, we witnessed a transport strike that took place on the last day of March. It was on this day that my husband planned a trip to the capital. They learned about the transport workers' strike at the last moment, when nothing could be replayed. Left before it even started, but the return was delayed.

The husband spent an extra seven hours at the bus station, waiting for the end of the strike. And how many kilometers he found on foot that day! To be honest, I was thoroughly worried, since from time to time such strikes are accompanied by riots. Fortunately, everything went well..

In Buenos Aires on this day:
- not a single bus left for the flight
- the metro did not work
- only risky taxi drivers went to work, as transport workers boycotted everyone who decided not to participate
- planes did not fly (local flights)
- did not take out garbage (oh, and it became dirty in a day in the capital!)
- did not bring fuel to gas stations
- ATMs were not filled
- no one went to work who needed to get there by public transport
- and probably a lot more that I don't know about.

And not so long ago, in one of the provinces of Argentina, law enforcement agencies went on strike. Not a single police officer went to work. It was alarming there - riots, massive robberies, robbery in the street.

In such an environment, personal security is not felt. It is surprising that such strikes exist, that the government allows them (all were notified in advance) and does not suppress them in any way. For example, in Russia I cannot imagine such an expression of the will of the people. Just afraid!

2. The presence of an unofficial exchange rate.

On the territory of Argentina, there are two exchange rates - official and unofficial. And there is a significant difference between them! So at the end of April 2015, the official rate was 8.9 pesos per dollar, and the unofficial rate was 12.5 pesos..

In this regard, there are «underground» exchangers. All official banking operations, including withdrawing money from a card, can be carried out only at a low (official) rate, which is extremely unprofitable. And underground exchangers change only cash: you give them American dollars - they give you Argentine pesos at a favorable rate.

In Argentina, American dollars are prohibited, so when they run out, you need to go to a neighboring country, for example Uruguay.
All this is the result of the economic and political crisis in the country. How long it will last is unknown, as well as what will happen next..

Now the dollar-peso ratio changes several times a week, and you never know when exchanging currency whether you win or lose. Solid tape measure and unpredictability. And when the income is ruble, the dollar rises, and the peso falls against the dollar, then you find yourself in an extremely disadvantageous position due to the double conversion.

3. No sense of security.

Argentina has a lot of drugs, weapons available and poor people willing to act desperately to survive. It makes you be on the lookout. Constantly.

We were assured that the center of the capital is safe, but the outskirts are territory «black». This is what the poor Latin Americans are called here. Even the police don't go to the outskirts of the capital.

Here I feel my vulnerability and the vulnerability of my family, which even a long stay in Argentina will not smooth out, and this is a significant disadvantage for me.

True, I want to note that the contingent of people and the situation in cities itself is very different between regions and settlements. So, in Pinamar, where we live now, everything is very calm. So much so that our neighbor leaves the house keys under the rug when he leaves, and the glass shop windows do not have bars.


Wintering and moving


Since Argentina is located in the Southern Hemisphere, the Russian winter here corresponds to summer and vice versa. Theoretically, you can come here for the winter, but there are several factors that need to be taken into account..

Firstly, the Argentines themselves are leaving to rest. In the summer in the capital and large cities, much is closed for a month or more, and resort areas become mega-expensive and overcrowded.

Here people also love warmth and seek to relax in the summer months. In Asia, this is easier. There is no excitement about the change of seasons, so it is more comfortable and cheaper to spend the winter there..

Secondly, the farther south of the capital you go, the colder it gets. But it is there that the main natural attractions are! For example, in Bariloche, even in the hottest months, you will need a jacket. And about Ushuaia and the glacier - I am completely silent. The end of the world!


Moving methods

Moving methods are standard, as for most countries:
1. Organize or buy a business
2. Have a high passive income (rentier)
3. Invest in the country's economy
4. Come to work (or study)
5. Marry / marry an Argentinean

Each of these options will make it possible to stay in the country for any length of time and, over time, obtain a residence permit, permanent residence and Argentine citizenship..

But there is another not obvious way that we used - to give birth to a child in Argentina..

Why not obvious? The fact is that often by itself, childbirth abroad does not at all give any rights to either the child or the parents. It is now popular to give birth in Thailand or Indonesia. But the child in this case still receives the citizenship of the parents. And the status of residence abroad in the country of birth remains tourist.

There are also countries where the child receives the citizenship of the country in which he was born. The so-called «soil right». These are almost all countries in North and South America, including the United States and Canada..

Everything is more interesting in Argentina. A child born here immediately receives citizenship by birth. And the parents on the basis of this - permanent residence and the opportunity to immediately apply for citizenship. In this case, it is possible to obtain citizenship in one and a half to two years from the moment of the birth of the child..

What gives Argentina permanent residence?

Permanent residence gives foreigners the right to work, study, register various forms of ownership, receive loans from banks and travel without a visa throughout South America.

Benefits of Argentine Citizenship?

The standard is the ability to vote and be elected. But the most delicious thing for travelers is an Argentine passport, which gives the right to visa-free travel to almost all countries in Europe and South America, as well as to Mexico, Russia, Thailand, Malaysia. Also, in some countries you can get a visa on arrival, for example, in New Zealand.

An important note - today, when applying for Argentine citizenship, renunciation of the previous citizenship is not required.


Our way

We flew to Argentina when I was 33 weeks pregnant. For the flight, we prepared two certificates from a doctor, stating that my term and well-being allows me to fly. One certificate is in Russian, the other is in English. The certificate was asked twice - when checking in for a flight in Moscow at Domodedovo airport and when boarding a plane at Dubai airport. We flew by the Emirates company.

Argentine border guards did not care if I was pregnant, for how long and where I plan to give birth.

After several weeks of adaptation, I decided on a doctor and a hospital in which I would give birth. We chose a private clinic and paid childbirth, although it was possible to organize everything for free.

The birth went well. We were discharged pretty quickly. And already on the ninth day after giving birth, we issued an Argentine birth certificate for the baby. Two months later, they received her DNI - the internal passport of the Argentines.


That's when we went to the Migration Department and applied for residency for ourselves and our eldest daughter. The documents were adopted the first time, and before the formal final decision on granting residency, they issued Precaria. This document makes it possible to legally stay in the country, work, study, leave and enter Argentina.

To date, a decision has already been made to grant us residency and we are expecting our DAYS (they take three to four months). As soon as DNI is in our hands, we will be able to immediately apply for citizenship. Or we may not submit, but live and work as long as we want in the status that we have now.

It is worth noting that at the time of our visit to the Migration Department, we had already lived in Argentina for four months and exceeded the allowable period for Russians. But the officers were loyal and did not comment on this violation. It turns out, as soon as Nastya was born, we automatically received the right of long-term residence, and the Precaria, which was given to us at the Migration Department, officially secured this right. There was only one inconvenience: when our tourist three months expired, and Precaria was not yet in our hands, we could not leave the country and even go to neighboring Uruguay for dollars.

Cost of permanent residence and childbirth

I must say right away that prices are changing, and already now it may be different. Since the birth, the exchange rate (ruble - dollar, dollar - peso) and requests from the doctor and the hospital have changed dramatically. All numbers that I provide are current as of December 2014. We paid with Argentine pesos, here I quote prices in rubles and dollars.

$ 1,500 - contract with a doctor for childbirth
2500 dollars - the price of the hospital where I gave birth.

The contract with the doctor is exclusively my wish. I could come at one o'clock «NS» to the hospital and I would be accepted. So confident mothers with a calm pregnancy can save this money..

The cost of the hospital is calculated on a purely individual basis. It works like this. The doctor gives a referral to the hospital and books a ward (in my case, a month in advance). In the direction indicates the features of pregnancy and childbirth (caesarean or natural). The hospital issues the maximum bill, which includes possible complications, based on information from the doctor. This bill must be paid before delivery. At the end of childbirth, a printout is issued, which indicates absolutely all costs for the patient: ward rent (daily), operating room rent, tools, materials, medicines, up to each pill, food. Unused balance is refunded.

I had a cesarean section, I spent two days in the hospital and our total amount was $ 2,500.

We also bought dollars at the rate of 40 rubles per dollar. It turns out that the total cost of childbirth in Buenos Aires (doctor + hospital) was about 160 thousand rubles.

If we talk about the paperwork for permanent residence, then translations and other formal procedures cost $ 300-400, I don't remember exactly.

P.S. This is how our family, having an Argentine daughter, became residents of Argentina. We talk about all this on our blog Be the wind.