One thing about having your own web site. You can write what you want WHEN you want and I decided this morning to send a special alert after I read an article on Yahoo regarding getting citizenship in Argentina.

The entire article stated the whole scenario that you need to spend three years getting permanent residency in Argentina and then two years to citizenship, and that all-important second passport that makes you that much more free.

We at Four Flags Journal consider options important. That is the reason we advocate planting several flags in many cases. Not all people need to do that, but those with assets beyond a simple pension probably do need to plant a few flags. (New subscribers see Planting Flags, and also More On Planting Flags.)

Because we know that good information is hard to come by, we don’t criticize those who err–unless we are sure that they know better. We sympathize with the challenge to find accurate information since we are doing our best to do that ourselves and it isn’t always easy. On the other hand, when it comes to giving erroneous requirements for citizenship in Argentina, we suspect that some lawyers know better.

I’m sending this alert especially to inform, once again, new readers and to remind long-term readers who may be confused by all the erroneous  information out there. The law requiring an immigrant to Argentina to get permanent residence first, and then citizenship, was changed 23 years ago. You do not need permanent residence status in order to apply for Argentina citizenship. Most people are eligible for citizenship after living for two years in Argentina.

And yet Argentina lawyers told me, several years ago, that I would need to get permanent first and I had no other information. I saw the same thing everywhere I looked–so why wouldn’t I believe it? This is part of the reason we are on the Internet. I will emphasize that it is sometimes difficult for even people like us to get reliable information but we do our best–and we are here and therefore we have contacts that can often help us.

We inform you again that permanent residency in Argentina is not a prerequisite for citizenship. The lawyer I worked with first told me it was, and I paid $1200 a year to that lawyer to renew my residency every year for four years (they said I was not in the country enough that third year and that I would need to be temporary until I showed my intention to live in Argentina). i had spent too much time that year in Uruguay, having no warning it would jeopardize my permanent status. Again, lack of good information.

Judge Photo

I was confident that I was on track when I consulted our current attorney. We discussed my eventual goal for citizenship and  and he asked if he could see my residency information. When he looked at it he said, “You were eligible for citizenship in 2009.”  By then it was 2011.

What a shock! He began my citizenship procedure that very day. Only ten months, and just a few days later, a very personable, accommodating judge agreed to pose for a photo along with me, a brand new citizen of Argentina.

In addition to the money I had paid to the first attorney every year, there was the air fare to Argentina every year to renew my residency. My citizenship cost me about $10,000 plus my mother died while I was in Argentina renewing my residency and I was not there. And all of it was unnecessary and a result of erroneous legal advice.

THIS is why we are on the Internet. We do our very best to get accurate information to you. We can make mistakes, but if we do, it’s not because we were lackadaisical. I give the first attorney the benefit of the doubt. They seemed very interested in doing a good job for me and then did–on getting my residency. Consequently I think it is possible that, in Argentina, even some attorneys may still believe the old law is in effect. But it certainly can be costly.

If you notice the gift box on the judge’s desk, that is the congratulatory box of chocolates my lawyer brought me for the occasion.

We are now recommending our current Argentina attorney for various things including residency and citizenship because we have found him to be a principled and competent attorney. So far we have never had a single reader come back to us with a complaint about him. We did have a subscriber who went to another attorney, who referred him to yet a third attorney who confused him by quoting him the old law. He  then contacted us, trying to understand why the attorney’s information was different from my reports. Well . . . he’s consulting an attorney who is giving him a law that has been obsolete for over 20 years. It can be very profitable as I have shown from my own experience. Or–maybe the lawyer just didn’t know. But you certainly need a lawyer who knows.

We consult frequently with Dr. Celano, about different situations when you contact us. We do not ask any commission from our attorneys that we recommend. We ask one thing–that our readers be happy with their experience. That’s it! We have dropped our Paraguay attorney, not because of any fault on his part, but because of a health issue he reported to us that prevents his prompt response at times. If that changes, we may include him again, but for now we don’t know anyone that we can recommend with confidence in Paraguay. If you have good experience with an attorney in Paraguay, please let us know because the experience of other expats  is often what we go by.

As for Argentina, Dr. Celano tells us that he is expecting that country to return to the old law of getting permanent residency first and then two years to citizenship. As we keep repeating here, if you have a choice as to when you make the move to South America, we strongly suggest that you do it sooner rather than later. We think some may still be waiting to see how things progress in their current country.  Just don’t forget that it may be possible to wait too long.

There are some who are coming to set  up second homes as well as to diversify assets, even though they are still working elsewhere. We think that could work. And maybe someone in your family can even work on this end for you. I now have Argentina citizenship status, which opens the door for my children since they now have a “first degree” Argentina relative–me.

I also love Argentina–but that’s another subject. My Argentina citizenship gives me a certain status in MERCOSUR countries as well.  There is one more factor. There is the feeling of  freedom in the air where I am right now and, in the tradition of my forefathers, I love it. I am not ready to give that up for government handouts or anything else.

For our part, we expect eventually a huge wave of immigrants coming from the north, for several reasons. Obamacare is going to be part of it. Fukushima may well be part of it once the truth is known about Fukushima, and just general deterioration to the north. If you disagree, we respect your disagreement. In that case, feel free to tell everyone about it in the comments section.  We will cheer and we  hope you are right. But we try to cover all bases. This is our opinion and we continue to flash an alert in our newsletters that the longer you delay the harder it is likely to be. Countries become concerned when there is an overwhelming wave of newcomers. And that can raise the requirements for entry.

We have contacts within the Argentina government and we hear chatter that those in that position fear that so many newcomers will “change the culture,” and a few other things.  I guess they like the culture the way it is.  It would not surprise us if other popular countries down here in the south have people in government who are thinking the same. That includes Uruguay, Chile and Paraguay, to name a few.

So if you are coming to join us, we hope that it will be soon. In any event, we want you to be clear on this issue of citizenship in Argentina.

We are going to go to Monday and Thursday newsletters for a while, which will mean two newsletters a week some weeks since we have a lot to report right now. This is just a heads up so you won’t wonder what is going on.

Currently reporting to you from high on a mountainside in Chile, near Caburgua and Pucon. We get to this location only by cable car. How interesting is that? We will be telling you more later. We hope to see you soon . . . in South America.  A warm welcome awaits you here!


email: info@fourflags

To contact Dr. Gabriel Celano
(Note: Because of the large volume of inquiries, there is now a charge of $70.00 for initial consultation by phone, email or in person. If you then engage Celano & Asociados to handle your residency/citizenship, the amount for initial consultation will be applied to the total fee.)
Celano & Asociados Abogados
(+54 11) 4342 9433
Web site:

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