Passports and Visas
As a U.S. citizen, you only need a passport valid for at least six months to enter Argentina for visits of up to 90 days—you'll receive a tourist visa stamp on your passport when you arrive. In late 2008 the Argentine government introduced a reciprocal entry fee scheme for citizens of countries that charge Argentineans for visas (including U.S. citizens, who would be charged $131). At this writing, however, the scheme had been postponed indefinitely for fear it would scare away tourists.
In Argentina you should carry a copy of your passport or other photo ID with you at all times. If you need to stay longer, you can apply for a 90-day extension (prórroga) at the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones. The process takes a morning and costs about 200 pesos. Alternatively, you can exit the country (by taking a boat trip to Uruguay from Buenos Aires, or crossing into Brazil near Iguazú, for example); upon reentering Argentina, your passport will be stamped allowing an additional 90 days.
Overstaying your tourist visa is illegal, and incurs a fine of $50, payable upon departure at the airport. If you do overstay your visa, plan to arrive at the airport several hours in advance of your flight so that you have ample time to take care of the fine.
Officially, children visiting Argentina with only one parent do not need a signed and notarized permission-to-travel letter from the other parent to visit Argentina. However, as Argentine citizens are required to have such documentation, it's worth carrying a letter just in case laws change or border officials get confused. Single Parent Travel is a useful online resource that provides advice and downloadable sample permission letters.
Dirección Nacional de Migraciones (Av. Antártida Argentina 1355, Retiro, Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires, C1104ACA. 11/4317–0234. www.migraciones.gov.ar. C to Retiro.)
Embassy of Argentina (www.embassyofargentina.us.)
Single Parent Travel (www.singleparenttravel.net.)
U.S. Passport Information
U.S. Department of State (877/487–2778. www.travel.state.gov.)