Argentine nationality law
|Argentine Citizenship Act|
|Parliament of Argentina|
|Enacted by||Government of Argentina|
|Status: Current legislation|
Birth in Argentina
Any person born in Argentine territory acquires Argentine citizenship at birth, excepting children of persons in the service of a foreign government such as foreign diplomats. This can be also applied to people born in the Falkland Islands, a disputed territory between Argentina and the United Kingdom.
Citizenship by descent
Argentina accepts jus sanguinis, meaning that the child of at least one native Argentine parent acquires Argentine citizenship.
Naturalization as an Argentine citizen
The current laws governing citizenship (Ley 346, Ley 23.059, and Decreto 3.213/84) set forth very simple requirements:
- be 18 years old or older;
- have been living in Argentina for 2 years; and
- apply for citizenship before a federal judge.
Citizenship can be denied if applicants:
- have been in jail for more than 3 years in the last 5 years;
- are under criminal prosecution;
- have an illegitimate source of income. To work without a legal permit is considered an illegitimate source of income for most of the chamber of appeals.
As the citizenship law has existed essentially unchanged since 1869 (with modifications by laws 16.801, 20.835, 24.533 and 24951), there are many precedents based on which the Supreme Court is able to resolve almost any immigration-related problem. Citizenship has been granted to immigrants who were not legally resident, worked without a legal permit, or entered the country illegally and, in exceptional cases, even to immigrants with criminal records.
In 2011 the Federal Chamber of Paraná established that nobody can be considered an illegal alien in Argentina, since the concept of legality applies only to actions violating criminal laws. The violation of the immigration law is a simple administrative issue that can be remedied by applying for residency or citizenship.
The continuous 2-year residency requirement means that applicants need to make Argentina their home. However, since applicants enjoy the same civil rights as Argentines, including the right to travel, they may leave the country.
For historical reasons, federal courts are still reluctant to recognize the rights of "irregular" immigrants. They usually request the following requirements related to the abolished law 21.795:
- Legal residency
- Legal work
- Spanish-language ability
- Birth certificate apostilled and translated by public notary
- Certificate of a clean criminal record from home country
- Certificate of a clean criminal record in Argentina
- CUIT or CUIL number
Dual citizenship is accepted by Argentina. However, dual nationals are recognised only as Argentine citizens within Argentine territory, and must enter Argentina using an Argentine passport, except when visiting with a passport of nationalities that has an agreement. They must present the identity card to prove the Argentine nationality. In case the country does not have an agreement they can enter up to 180 days, after that time, they must leave with the Argentine Passport.
Deprivation of nationality
Unlike many other countries, Argentine citizenship cannot be renounced, as it is considered a human right in many Supreme Court rulings. Consequently an Argentine citizen may not be able to acquire the citizenship of a country that requires renunciation of other citizenships; however, many countries waive this requirement if renouncing the other citizenship is impossible.
- CIUDADANIA Y NATURALIZACION - LEY 346 Y NORMAS REGLAMENTARIAS Y COMPLEMENTARIAS [Citizenship and naturalisation - Law 346 and complementary rules] (PDF) (in Spanish), Cámara de Diputados de la Nación, 23 November 2004
- "Fallo de Cámara asegura que "ningún ser humano es ilegal"" [Chamber ruling states that "no human is illegal"]. Centro de Información Judicial (in Spanish). 14 June 2011. Retrieved 6 September 2017.
- (IN SPANISH). "Argentina Convenio de Doble Nacionalidad".
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