09-09-09 sounds like a magical date, and of course it is : it is the day that we moved to Argentina. Although it looks like we chose that date, we didn’t. It’s the immigration officer who noticed ‘the magic’ of the day when we arrived. That is 3 now years ago.

It is a date that does not go by unnoticed, because every year around that time, we have to renew our one year visa. Now it is our 3th time, which means we can -finally- apply for permanent residency. Why do we want permanent residency so badly, you might wonder. Well, one reason might just be to avoid the yearly tramite we have to go through.

Tramite is one of those Argentine words that can’t be translated. There is no English or Flemish word for it. It means that you have applied for something and you have to go through a (mostly long and often complicated) procedure. It means you asked for something, and you have to be (very) patient until you get it.

For example, when we arrived here, we were ‘in tramité‘ to get our D.N.I (local ID) for 11 months, and then they told us they can’t give us one because our visa was about to expire. But then finally 13 months after our arrival we received it.

You would think that after the first renewal it’s just a piece of cake, you know how it works exactly, but every year the law had changed, and we had  yet to present other documents. Our first renewal was the hardest : they had changed the law and had forgotten to add “our” category. We were considered inexistent, our status changed into ‘precarious’ and our files were send to the legal department.

So no we go for permanent residency, and we are changing our status forever. Knowing, or at least expecting it to be slightly more complicated then just a renewal, we started the procedure about a month ahead, which means nothing more then trying to find out what documents we need to present this time. And when we, the whole family, finally presented ourselves at migraciones, they gave us a the ‘certificado de residencia precaria’ : they need another month to ‘consider us’, before they finally put the correct stamp in our passport.

After that we can start our next tramite, we need a new DNI too, we already have our date : in the beginning of November. Then a new drivers license, then… Ok, let’s just do one thing at a time.

Long live Argentina! I am (almost) here to stay!

And I wonder : is it equally hard to get a visa in Belgium? I most definitely doubt it…

N.B. for all the Belgians now fearing that we have given up our Belgian nationality, don’t worry : residency has nothing to do with nationality!

13 responses to “migraciones”

  1. Congratulations!
    Belgium doesn’t allow double nationality of its citizens? Or have I misinterpreted something?

    By the way, trámite comes from italian, and literally means “entre (tra, in italian) medio (mite)”
    Thus a trámite would be something in between someother things, generally the lawyer and his client on one side, and the juzgado and its burocracy on the other, lol.

    • How interesting! None of my Spanish teachers ever knew that!

      Residency is not the same as nationality. Nationality is the passport (mine is Belgian), residency is the ID (mine is Argentine), and tells you in which country you are registered/live. When I am in Belgium they often ask my ID for something, and they don’t seem to understand I can only show my passport.

      Since 2009 we Belgians can have double nationality. But getting an Argentine passport is not the same as living here. I may be ‘argentinized’, I am no Argentine! 🙂

      • Yes, I do understand the difference between those two concepts (I am studying to be an “ave negra” a.k.a “lawyer” at UBA, lol :D, I’m about to finish the career)
        Whilst you may be no argentine, will you choose citizenship when the 5 years minimum has been reached?

        By the way, do Belgians have something akin to a DNI, or do you use a driver’s license/passport/some other form of identification?

      • We have an ID in Belgium that is supposed to be the same in the whole of Europe. It’s a credit-like card with a chip that contains all your information, including your criminal record. When I left belgium 3 years ago, only few places had the card-reader. When we moved, we still had our ID, but when you put it into a reader it said “moved to Argentina”. My kids still used the ID in when in Belgium. But now they are expired…. They have a clearly visible date on them 🙂

        The tramite to get one in belgium is similar to here : my son had to get one when he moved back to Belgium. You go to the town hall. They put you in the computer (this is easy, as we are still registered in the state registers. We all have personal number), then the police goes to your house to see if you actually live there. This took him 5 weeks. Then you get an invitation to go to the town hall with a photograph and a few weeks later you get your ID. This whole tramite took 2 to 3 months…

  2. Well your trámite in Belgium is quite fast, I’d say (even though when I was 18 I got my DNI in 2 weeks, I clearly was an exception as I happened to find a rarity, an efficiently run C.G.P., the one in Belgrano neighbourhood )
    Allow me to satisfy my curiosity one more time and press the issue: will you people choose citizenship when the 5 years minimum has been reached?
    [If you feel you shouldn’t answer this, please allow me to apologise in advance]

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