Working in Argentina attracts many people, and rightly so.
The arguments in favor of Argentina, and its capital Buenos Aires, are many. The growth rate is high: 9.1% in 2010, 8.6% in 2011, according to the World Bank.
Consumption breaking records, companies are hiring.
Since my arrival in Buenos Aires, I have always worked independently, without seeking a job in a company. But I meet many people who want to work in Argentina. And during these conversations, it is always the same issues that come back, the same mistakes that waste time – sometimes several months. Don’t forget that Argentina remains a foreign country (or strange), a different environment.
Quite similar to the differences are not obvious, and that we might leave be lulled by this feeling of familiarity. But this impression is deceptive …
Here are three mistakes I encounter most often among foreign people who try to settle in Buenos Aires. These are the three biggest obstacles – master these three, and you will be well placed for a successful project!
1 – You NEED a visa
Anyway, if you are looking for a skilled job. For small jobs, it is less important.
To hire you, the company needs a tax number, the CUIT, and to get one, you need a resident visa. Whatever it is (a student visa, usually). This is the main mistake of young engineers and other professionals who arrive in Buenos Aires with good qualifications: believing that a company will hire them and take care of the papers then. Certainly, companies can apply for your visa for you.
Will they do it? If you are a genius footballer, yes: the club will handle the details for you. If you are a mere human being … companies have really anything else to do but take care of your papers.
I see too often young foreign graduates going to a job interview, relying on the fact that if their profile is suited to the position, the company will handle the administrative side.
The company, it sees a parade of candidates from Argentine universities, or Mercosur, which will not ask their extra effort.
Do not have too many illusions if HRD says “without a visa, it is difficult.” “Difficult”, in Argentina, it’s just a polite way of saying no. It does not say “I’ll try” or “there are opportunities.” It just means “no.”
If you ask the plumber to come Wednesday and that you respond “Va a ser dificil” is synonymous with “Thursday in the late afternoon.” That does not mean he will try to squeeze you between two appointments Wednesday. The idea has not even crossed. So find a job without a visa in Buenos Aires difficult.
Of course, there are the urban myth, the exceptional case. But the young brilliant framework that the company takes care of everything, I have not yet met. While people (equally brilliant) looking for work in Buenos Aires for several weeks, and then found in the month following the visa, I met. Several. For real. So do not hesitate: for working in Argentina, make your visa application early, asking a student visa for example.
2 – Have your schedule well ahead
Argentina and his administration have their rhythm, different from ours.
No more slow: just different. But it gets slower when you do not expect it and that we are left to accumulate delays that could have been avoided. Are you doing a clear timetable? Here are the two most frequent causes of delays:
Registration for the university: “you will be given the certificate in September”
To work in Argentina, you need a visa, and usually it’s a student visa.
To apply for a student visa, a number of papers are necessary, including to university enrollment certificate. Some give the facs upon registration (University of Palermo), which lets you take your case to Migraciones the next day. Other (UBA, University of Belgrano) does provide that the fall in March. If this requires you to wait three months, the rest of your file (birth certificate and criminal record) will be out of date. Where additional time, time to get new papers … and apostille do.
Educate yourself so before enrollment in college to see if you can have the certificate immediately, or you will have to wait until the next school year. If necessary, choose another university or language school. A simple calendar with the dates for obtaining various documents, and the dates which they will expire, you will not spend six months chasing after missing document. That sounds stupid, but the time up quickly, and soon disheartening.
Beware of the summer break
Summer is the worst time to look for a job in Buenos Aires … the summer is December and January mainly. Climate side, also in February, but in February the economy gets a little, and in early March, we went back to work for good. In December and January, for two months, Buenos Aires is empty. Those who could make a decision about your employment are in Punta del Este, Uruguay, Mar del Plata or Pinamar.
You may find a HRD, if his wife is about to give birth and can not take the car. But for him to do anything approved by his superiors, it will take them back to the beach. It’s not that they stay there two months, because in general, Argentina, the holidays are limited to two weeks per year. But everyone takes over this period, which hinders any activity at that time.
Some jurisdictions (such as the Ministry of Education, where one makes validate a Foreign degree), closed one month during this period, or operate reduced hours.
However, if you are already in Buenos Aires and already looking for a job, do not be discouraged: the job market as you see right now, is not in its usual state. Everything will resume in February, and more early March. The current lethargy is just temporary.
3 – Do not stay isolated
Certainly, the “contacts” met over drinks have no decision-making power in their business, in general. Or are too full job search. But you exchange will be aware of market realities, informal requirements, obstacles that you did not know, and perhaps solve them before they occur.
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Furthermore, the Chamber of Commerce can help. They have a branch “Employment and training” that can help you in your job search, and organizes meetings on job hunting in Argentina twice a month. They know local companies and their requirements, and these workshops are a must if you want to work in Argentina. Moreover, it is an opportunity to meet others who are also in the process of moving to Buenos Aires, and share experience and contacts.
Finally, do not limit your options. Working in Argentina, it is not necessarily to be an employee. If you have the opportunity, study the idea of working with your account or create your business in Argentina.