barely legal: getting a work permit for argentina

When I was first hired as a project manager I asked about a work permit. My boss told me that we should wait a year and then see how useful I was to him. A year later I asked again and he said we should start the process. That was last September.

For a US citizen, the process begins with getting an original birth certificate and a background check from the USA. These then need to be certified, translated by an official translator into Spanish and then apostiled, a word with which I have become intimately familiar. This is probably easier if you are in the United States but I wasn’t and basically my mom did all this. It took her a few weeks and it only worked because we have a family friend who is a notary public.

These items were then sent to me and the long slog of bureaucratic bungling began. The forms were sent off to my company’s lawyer and a few months later we heard back from them. After weeks of wrangling over trying to get clarity of what I did or did not need, the office secretary assured me that everything was ok and that I should just relax. Every week I asked her if things were going well with my application and every week she reassured me that she had called the lawyers and that all was fine. After about two months of this it was discovered that about the only thing that our secretary was doing was embezzling lots of money. She was fired and it became clear that no progress had been made on my application.

After the new secretary was hired, things began to bumble along. There was an English guy at the office applying at the same time and it was good to go through the ordeal with someone else. It was hard to imagine the level of disorganization. One of the things we had to do was to get fingerprinted. We called the lawyer to get a date to do this. He said Monday. However, when we arrived at his office, he was not in and his secretary had not heard of us. His assistant glared at us drunkenly because we had displaced him from his seat. After waiting for 45 minutes the lawyer was located and the assistant was instructed to take us a few blocks to the fingerprinting place where we would meet the lawyer. He turned out to be a tall, thin fellow who looks like he is consolieri to the Argentine mafia. He explained to us that it was his understanding that we were to call him to confirm that we were coming and, as a result, he had not done what he had said he would do. This was an absurd lie but since the secretary had made the appointment, there was little we could say.

The next and final step was to go to the consulate in Uruguay. He told us that there was no need to book this because they were always available. Later he told our secretary that we would need to wait another month or so.

But the point is that this is something that CAN be done, despite the ridiculous bureaucracy, and yesterday my coworker and I went to Uruguay and received our Permisos de Ingreso to enter the country as legal workers.

THE NICE CONSULATE WOMAN

THE NICE CONSULATE WOMAN

1 reply
  1. Anonymous
    Anonymous says:

    Hi there I am from Argentina and I am living in London at the moment.
    I am thinking of going back with my boyfriend who is English and I would like to contact people that have been in this situation to know how difficult is working or getting a permit there (for him). If you would like to contact me here is my email: mbaldasarre@yahoo.com
    Thanks
    Mercedes

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