Getting Your Residency Visa
This reader was originally trying to get a visa as an investor. As he states, the government does not allow people to get visas anymore simply by showing a purchase of property. Instead, investors must show a plan to start a business, employ workers, etc.
The resident's visa "with buying property" door has been closed - you are now required to show a 3 year business plan which has to be approved! And it could be turned down at any time.
Help me! I need a solution. Can you still operate in Argentina if you have a "Rentista" Visa?
Getting Your Visa
When I first contacted ARCA, they told me that I would be very foolish to apply for the investor visa for exactly the reasons you just pointed out. The visa calls for someone to invest $100,000 pesos of capital in a business here in Argentina. Immediately most people think about buying an apartment and just putting it under a corporate name. Wrong! They've caught on to that. Even if you plan on buying a property as an investment, they still won't consider that a productive business and will deny your application.
Despite the fact that I was starting a real IT business here and would be employing workers, I was still recommended not to apply for this visa. Quite simply, it is an arbitrary process. The authorities can deny you for any reason. If they don't like your business for some reason, they can just say no. This is why I was recommended to apply for the rentista vias.
Unlike the investor visa, the rentista visa has very simple rules. If you can bring in $2500 pesos per month into the country by means of an investment abroad, you get the visa. The investment could be anything -- a business, a stock, a bond, real estate, it doesn't matter. If you can show you have income that's not tied to a salary, you get the visa.
The only downside is that a rentista visa is a temporary visa that has to be renewed. However, on the third renewal, you get your permanent residency. The investor visa lets you get permanent residency right away. Then again, it is a LOT more expensive to apply for. You'll have to pay two lawyers here in Argentina -- ARCA for preparing your visa, and a corporate lawyer to handle all the paperwork for your company. You'll also have to prepare your complete business plan in Spanish, make sure it conforms to the way the government wants it, blah blah blah. At the end of all this, they can still deny you. That's why its just a lot more trouble than its worth to go with this visa. Just get your rentista visa, make sure you renew it, and in three years, it'll be permanent.