Argentina has a long history as a destination for teaching English abroad and it still attracts a large number of ESL teachers each year. Teachers are drawn by the country’s vibrant culture, lively cities, stunning landscapes, and a seemingly endless scope for adventure. The capital city, Buenos Aires, is the main center for ESL teaching jobs and you will find schools and language centers scattered all over the city. Outside of the capital you will also find a strong teaching market in other major cities such as Cordoba, Rosario, and Mendoza.
Can I get a work visa to teach English in Argentina?
Despite its popularity with ESL teachers from all over the world, Argentina is not an easy place to secure an official work permit for a long-term stay. To get one you will need to find a school that is willing to sponsor you, which most are not interested in as it can be a time consuming and costly process. In reality, there is rarely a shortage of available teachers so schools seldom struggle to fill their vacancies without having to resort to sponsorship. Because of this, most ESL teachers in Argentina work with nothing more than a standard tourist visa in their passport.
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What is the process for getting a visa for teaching English in Argentina?
As most teachers do not apply for a work visa when teaching in Argentina it is normal practice to obtain a tourist visa on arrival into the country, which is free of charge and valid for 90 days. No documents are normally required, although some nationalities may require proof of onward travel, a return ticket, or proof of sufficient funds for the duration of your stay. It is not recommended that you overstay the length of your visa as you will be charged a significant penalty for every day over the 90 allowed.
Once your 90-day visa is running low you can renew it by crossing over a border into another country and then returning. You will be issued with another 90-day visa on your return, even if you come back on the same day as you left the country. If you are based in Buenos Aires you can take a four hour ferry ride that takes you to Montevideo, the capital of Uruguay, but there are plenty of other options depending on where in the country you are teaching. Although this might seem like a bit of an inconvenience, it is common practice across much of Latin America and many teachers incorporate getting a new visa with some extended travel into neighboring countries.
If you prefer not to leave the country to renew your visa, it is possible to do it within Argentina by visiting an immigration office. However, this option can be a little complicated as you will need to fill out a renewal form in Spanish, pay a fee of around $10 to $20, and wait in what is typically a very long queue. It is also worth noting that you can only renew your visa once from within the country.