An Ultimate Guide to Working in Argentina as a Foreigner
Life Abroad,  Living in Argentina

Working in Argentina: The Ultimate Guide For Foreigners

Working in Argentina can be a unique and rewarding experience. You will both be exposed to a new culture, new language, meet new friends, and explore this beautiful country in South America.

However, working locally in Argentina is not all that easy!

When working in Argentina, you will be significantly impacted by external factors of the Argentine economy such as inflation and currency exchange rates. Altogether it decreases the value of your salary over time and adds another level of stress to your everyday life.

Many foreigners coming to Argentina seeking the opportunity to work here are not fully aware of the economic situation and its effects on the job market in Argentina.

With this guide, you’ll gain valuable insights into the Argentine job market and walk you through the essentials of working in Argentina. I want to highlight some of the aspects that most foreigners often overlook when considering opportunities in the country.

The post is based on my own experience after seven years of living and working in Argentina. The primary focus will be on working under a local Argentine contract and working in Buenos Aires since that’s what I know the most about.

However, another popular alternative is for you to look for remote online positions and freelance opportunities that allow you to work remotely from Argentina. Particularly those opportunities paid in foreign currency can potentially offer higher incomes than locally paid Argentine jobs.

Working in Argentina: An Expat’s Guide to the Job Market in Argentina

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Working in Argentina As A Foreigner

Working in Argentina As A Foreigner

Is It Hard to Get a Job in Argentina as a Foreigner?

Finding a job in Argentina can be quite a challenge, even for locals. The country’s ongoing economic crises have significantly impacted its job market.

So needless to say it might also be a challenge for a foreigner to find a job in Argentina!

However, it is possible to find work in Argentina as a foreigner!

I lived in Buenos Aires for seven years and changed jobs three times. Aside from a self-imposed break when I had a scholarship from Denmark to study at the University in Buenos Aires, I went from one job to the next.

Is It Hard to Get a Job in Argentina without Speaking Spanish?

Yes, it can indeed be challenging to find a job in Argentina without speaking Spanish!

Most Argentine companies prioritize bilingual candidates who are proficient in both Spanish and English.

However, while it may present additional difficulty, it is not impossible to secure employment in Buenos Aires without fluency in Spanish.

Understanding the Job Market in Argentina

Before embarking on your job search in Argentina, it’s essential to understand the country’s job market.

The Argentine economy is diverse with strongholds in both technology, tourism, and agriculture. However, to truly understand the job market in Argentina, we need to talk about the division of the Argentine job market.

The job market in Argentina is divided into two:

  • An official job market
  • An informal job market

Let’s take a look at them in detail:

The Official Job Market in Argentina

The official job market in Argentina is those people working on formal and legally compliant contracts. In Argentina, this is also referred to as “trabajo en blanco” or translated work in white (white meaning legal in this case).

A legally binding contract gives the employees many legally-established rights such as additional 13th-month salary (aguinaldo), health care insurance, established vacation days, and other workers rights.

The Informal Job Market in Argentina

The informal job market in Argentina refers to individuals who work without a formal contract, commonly known as “trabajo en negro” or work in the black market.

In the informal job market, workers are not guaranteed the legal rights established by Argentine labor laws.

Argentine employers often opt for informal employment to avoid the high costs associated with formal employment, such as additional fees and taxes payable to the Argentine state or trade unions.

It is important to be aware of the risks and the rights you give up if you accept an informal job offer. Informal job opportunities exist throughout Argentina and are a lot more common than what you might think.

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

Working on a Local Contract in Argentina

Working Hours in Argentina

Working in Argentina can mean long working hours as most local full-time jobs demand a minimum of 40 hours per week, plus additional overtime if required.

The Argentine labor market is not very flexible, and the local companies are reluctant to offer part-time or hourly-paid positions.

Therefore, when searching for job openings, it is safe to assume that positions will generally be full-time jobs, requiring a commitment of 40 hours per week.

Vacation Days & Paid Leave

Working in Argentina grants employees only two weeks of paid vacation per year. Admittedly, this may not seem like much.

However, most local contracts include other types of paid leave that employees can take advantage of.

Moving Days

Most local contracts in Argentina grant two days off work if you are moving to a new apartment or house.

Study Days

If you are studying a university degree education in Argentina, you have the opportunity to request study days off from your Argentine employer.

The study days were a game-changer for me when I started working while still attending the last year of my Master’s Degree. In my Argentine job, I could ask for up to 20 days off per year specifically dedicated to my studies. I could utilize this time for exam preparation, completing assignments, or engaging in other educational activities.

Some companies in Argentina are understanding and flexible, extending study days for purposes such as taking driving lessons or attending shorter courses. It’s worth exploring this possibility with potential employers to ensure the best work-study balance.

Salary in Argentina

Working in Argentina can come with salary challenges for expats. The average salary in Argentina are generally low, especially when compared to the average salaries in Western countries.

While salaries in Buenos Aires might be slightly higher than in other parts of the country, they still don’t match the income in other parts of the world.

It is important to note that most local positions in Argentina are paid in Argentine pesos. Even if you are interviewing for a local Argentine job opening for a multinational company, it is unlikely that they will offer to pay you in any currency other than Argentine pesos. Trust me; I have already tried!

With salary payments in Argentine pesos, your income will be exposed to the volatility of the Argentine economy, including inflation and the devaluation of the Argentine peso.

The unstable exchange rate between the American dollar and the Argentine peso means that earning in Argentine pesos can decrease your purchasing power abroad and within Argentina whenever the Argentine peso devalues.

Additionally, Argentina’s high inflation rates can further diminish your purchasing power as the cost of living typically increases at a faster rate than salary adjustments.

You should carefully consider the financial implications of working in Argentina before moving here.

13th Months Salary Bonuses (Aguinaldo)

When working in Argentina, you are entitled to receive an additional salary, known as aguinaldo or 13th month salary.

This aguinaldo bonus is paid twice a year, in June and December.

The amount of aguinaldo you receive is equivalent to 50% of the highest monthly salary you earned in the past 6 months.

If you haven’t worked for all 6 months, your employer will pay a proportional amount based on the months you worked.

It is a legal requirement in the official job market in Argentina for employers to pay their employees the aguinaldo. If your employer fails to pay you this bonus, you have the right to request it. However, if you work in the black market there is basically nothing that can force your Argentine employer to pay you an additional salary.

Salary Adjustments in Argentina

In Argentina, salary adjustments are common and used to adjust for inflation. The salary adjustments normally take place, at least, twice a year.

The local Argentine companies are used to revising the employees’ salaries given Argentina’s high inflation rates and the potential erosion of purchasing power over time.

Some companies even offer salary adjustments more often than twice a year. Just before I left Argentina in 2023, the company I worked for announced that they were introducing salary adjustments every quarter.

If you are in a job interview for a job in Argentina, it is also completely fair to ask how many revisions they do a year.

How to Quit Your Job in Argentina

Resigning from your job in Argentina requires sending a formal letter, known as a telegrama de renuncia, to your employer.

Before you send the resignation letter, you have not legally quit your job in Argentina. I strongly recommend you inform your Argentine employer that you wish to quit your job before sending the letter – at least as a courtesy!

To obtain the necessary form for the telegrama de renuncia, you can download and print it from the Correo Argentino website. It is then necessary to visit your nearest post office to submit the completed telegrama de renuncia.

Alternatively, you can request the form directly at the post office and fill it out on the spot.

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

Health Care Insurance (obra social)

When working for an Argentine company, it is a legal requirement for the company to provide health care insurance as part of your contract. Health insurance providers in Argentina are called obra sociales in Spanish.

The employer covers a portion of the insurance costs, while you, as the employee, are responsible for paying the remaining amount.

Some obra sociales or health care insurance providers are affiliated with trade unions. The specific union you belong to is based on your job and determines which obra social you are assigned. For example, my commercial position led me to be assigned to OSECAC (Obra Social de Empleados de Comercio), the commercial trade union’s health insurance.

Local companies often offer the option to upgrade to private health insurance, which offers better service and shorter wait times for medical appointments.

Typically, the Argentine company offers the basic plan provided by the health care insurance company. If you wish to receive better coverage, you can request that your employer make the necessary changes. In this case, you would be responsible for paying the additional cost through salary deductions.

However, it’s important to note that as of 2021, new regulations stipulate that you are unable to change your health care insurance during the first year of employment.

Health Insurance for Freelancers

For freelancers or expats working without an Argentine contract, you still have the option to sign up for a private health insurance, known as prepaga. You can do that either through the providers’ websites or by calling them.

Popular private health insurance options include OSDE and Swiss Medical, although there are numerous other providers available.

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

Work Permits and Visa Requirements

To work legally in Argentina, you will need a visa and an ID number. In Argentina, different visa and residencies gives you the possibility to legally work in the country. For example, with a student visa, you can also legally work in Argentina.

It is recommendable that you consult with the Argentine Consulate or Embassy in your home country for detailed information on the visa application process.

Can foreigners work in Argentina?

Yes, foreigners can work in Argentina as long as they have the legally required work permits or residencies.

To work in Argentina as a foreigner, you need to have a local ID number called DNI (Documento Nacional de Identidad).

The DNI is connected to your residency in Argentina. To get a DNI you need to apply and get approved for residency in Argentina.

There are different ways to get a residency in Argentina such as a student visa, residency on family ties, work permit, and sufficient funds (rentista) visa.

For a work permit, you need a local Argentine company willing to sponsor your permit and residency.

Few Argentine companies are interested in sponsoring foreign employees’ work permits because it’s a lot of additional work for them. However, you might be lucky to find a company that will sponsor your work permit.

What Do You Need to Apply for a Work Visa in Argentina?

To apply for a work visa or work permit in Argentina, you first of all need a local company sponsoring you.

Apart from that the sponsoring company needs to be registered at the immigration office as an entity authorized to provide sponsor work visas. Argentine companies are not automatically able to legally hire foreigners.

If you have the sponsoring company, you need to present the following documentation for the work permit in Argentina:

  • A valid passport
  • An Argentine criminal record/background check (antecedentes penales argentinos)
  • A criminal record from any country where you have been resident for more than one year over the last three years.
  • Address Certificate (Acreditación de Domicilio)
  • An offer letter, a pre – contract, or a contract between you and the sponsoring company
  • A Proof of employer registration with the Federal Public Revenue Administration (Administración Federal de Ingresos Públicos, AFIP)
  • Proof of registration of the employer in the Registry of the Single Registry of Requirements of Foreigners of the National Directorate of Migration (Registro Registro Único de Requirentes de Extranjeros del Dirección Nacional de Migraciones).
  • Proof of early discharge, issued by the Federal Public Revenue Administration (AFIP) and signed by the employer (must be presented within a period of thirty (30) calendar days from the start of the residency application)

Check out the Immigration Office for the full requirements for the work visa.

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

How to Find a Job in Argentina

Finding a new job can be hard. Finding a new job in a new country can be even harder!

Here I share some of my best tips for finding a job in Argentina. These tips are based on my experience job seeking in Buenos Aires, so you might find that these tips apply mostly to Buenos Aires.

Networking

Networking is always important when it comes to finding a new job, but in Argentina, it holds even more significance!

Many Argentine companies have well-established referral programs that encourage their current employees to recommend their friends and contacts.

The HR departments highly value the recommendations from their employees. This trend is commonly seen in medium to large-sized companies as they frequently have referral programs in place for their employees to refer potential candidates.

So, don’t hesitate to let your friends know that you are looking for a job in Argentina. One of them might offer to refer you to their company, which could be the perfect opportunity for you to secure a job in Argentina!

Personally, I was fortunate enough to secure my second job in Buenos Aires through a personal connection. My former physiotherapist kindly offered to share my resume with his girlfriend, who happened to work at a local start-up company. After some back-and-forth, I was hired for the position.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is widely used by Argentine companies to advertise job openings!

During my time in Buenos Aires, I have found that LinkedIn is the primary platform through which I have secured the most job interviews. I also got my last job in Buenos Aires through a LinkedIn job post!

My recommendation is to stay on top of new job positions coming up on LinkedIn for Buenos Aires!

Job Search Resources

Job Search Websites

Apart from LinkedIn, here are some local websites that you can use for your job search:

Facebook Groups for Job Search

There are also some Facebook groups focused on companies looking for expats and English speakers in Buenos Aires.

The most popular Facebook group is BA Expat Jobs.

Actually, I found my first job in Buenos Aires via a Facebook group!

Local Companies Looking for English-Speakers

These companies tend to be looking for English speakers in Buenos Aires:

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

Working as a Remote Freelancer in Argentina

Working as a remote freelancer is another option for working in Argentina. I don’t have as many details to share here as I never did it as a full-time job, but more as a side gig.

Working as a freelancer in Argentina, you need to solve many of the practical steps around visas and taxes yourself.

However, the big benefit of working remotely in Argentina is if you can get your compensation paid in a foreign currency!

Salary in a Foreign Currency

Getting paid in more stable foreign currencies such as USD, EUR, AUD, or even Danish kroner is a huge benefit in Argentina!

Income in a foreign currency will protect your economy from the devaluation of the Argentine peso. You will, of course, still be affected by the inflation in Argentina since your spending is in Argentina.

Also, working online for an international company will properly offer you a higher salary than if you worked for a local Argentine company.

Monotributo Tax Regime for Freelancers

Monotributo is a simplified tax regime in Argentina for freelancers and other small taxpayers.

The Monotributo combines the VAT, income tax, social security, retirement contributions, and health insurance contributions (obra social) into a fixed monthly fee based on your monthly income.

It is highly recommended to register as a monotributista as you will have the basics of taxes and social security covered. Read more about freelancing and monotributo in Argentina.

It is easy to register for the monotributo at the tax authorities, AFIP, website.

Visa Application for Remote Freelancers in Argentina

If you work remotely for an international company that does not have operations in Argentina, you cannot rely on them to assist you with obtaining Argentine work premit or residency.

Therefore, you need to explore alternative options to stay legally in Argentina. Some expats choose to remain in Argentina on tourist visas without applying for residency.

However, if you plan on staying in Argentina for the long term, it is advisable to explore the process of acquiring residency. Read more about the different options for visa and residency in my big survival guide to living in Buenos Aires.

Having residency and the local ID number, DNI, is essential for many activities in Argentina, such as opening a bank account or using online shopping platforms like Mercado Libre.

Digital Nomad Visa

The Digital Nomad Visa is a recent addition to the options for foreigners looking to work remotely from Argentina.

This visa allows individuals to stay in the country for up to 180 days, with the possibility of an extension.

While the visa is still relatively new, it is helpful to connect with Facebook groups or expat forums to gather up-to-date information and insights from those who have already gone through the application process.

To apply for the visa, you will need to complete an online application and provide the required documentation as outlined by the authorities.

Documentation for the Digital Nomad Visa in Argentina:

  • Personal information (name, surname, passport number, occupational activity, etc.)
  • A Curriculum Vitae (CV) summarizing the activities you are going to perform while in Argentina and any past experiences.
  • Documentation regarding the work you are performing (contract with a company, receipts for past work for a company, or other ways for documenting your source of income).
  • A photo of yourself

Learn more at the Immigration Office website on Digital Nomad Visa.

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

Conclusion: Moving to Argentina?

Working in Argentina as an expat can be an enriching experience. However, you need to consider if working in Argentina is the ideal situation for you because there are many things that are very different in the Argentina job market compared to Europe and the U.S.

Are you planning on moving to Argentina? Then don’t miss my complete survival guide to expat living in Buenos Aires and Argentina!

Good luck with your job search in Argentina!

Things you should know before starting to work in Argentina

Are you considering working in Argentina? Was any of these facts useful for you? Have you heard about any of these facts before? Or is there maybe something I missed about working in Argentina that you would like to add? Share your thoughts and knowledge below!

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