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Citizenship | Argentina |

Argentina Introduction Historical Developments Recent Developments The Immigrant Population Argentines Abroad Legal Frameworks of Immigration Citizenship Refuge and Asylum Challenges and Outlook References and Further Reading


Thomas Maier

/ 2 Minuten zu lesen

In Argentina, there has been a long tradition of immigration. Between roughly 1870 and 1930 about six million Europeans arrived in the country. Today, it is especially people from neighboring Latin American countries who immigrate to Argentina. Immigrants can acquire Argentine citizenship through birth on Argentine soil or naturalization. A reform in 2004 has eased the prerequisites for naturalization.

Members of a Bolivian community in Argentina dance in traditional costumes. (© picture-alliance/dpa)

Adult immigrants have the possibility to apply for argentine citizenship for themselves and their family. People born abroad and living in Argentina for a certain time can acquire the Argentine citizenship if they satisfy certain conditions. The rules regarding obtaining the Argentine nationality are regulated in the National Constitution, establishing a territorial principle for citizenship (jus soli), and were updated in 2004. Besides modernizing the naturalization process, the reform of 2004 mostly served to abolish restrictions that were implemented during the rule of the military junta (1976-1983), such as the need to be able to talk and write in Spanish and to have basic knowledge of the national constitution, and, probably most importantly, to present a regular work relationship.

Argentine citizenship can be acquired via different paths: Besides the birth right on Argentine soil, naturalization is possible for adults over 18 years after two years of permanent and documented residency in the country, which must be certified by the National Office of Migration. Argentina does apply, however, certain restrictions, based on criminal records, and applicants need to be independent from social benefit provisions, but do not need to provide records confirming formal relations of work. Also, marriage to an Argentine spouse and having an Argentine-born child provides for the immediate possibility to apply for citizenship.

As already noted, dual citizenship is a common phenomenon with Argentineans, but limited to countries with previous, bilateral agreement, including Spain, Italy, and Chile. Dual citizenship can also have an impact on political processes in European countries. In the Italian general elections for the Chamber of Deputies in 2008, holders of Italian passports with residency in Argentina participated strongly (56,9 percent) and arguably had a significant influence in the outcome of the election.

This text is part of the Interner Link: country profile Argentina.

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Thomas Maier is currently researching his PhD at the Institute of the Americas, University College London. His main focus of research is the history of labor and the welfare state in the Americas, particularly Argentina and the Southern Cone. Email: E-Mail Link: