How To Get The Documento Nacional de Identidad for Foreigners

DNI Card

DNI Card

What is the DNI, and why is the DNI important?

All Argentines and those living in Argentina for longer than 90 days must obtain a Documento Nacional de Identidad (also known as the National Identity Card or NIC) in order to remain a legal resident in the country. The document contains all of your personal information, such as your sex, nationality, date of birth, as well as the expiration date of the document itself. The document also contains your address and a fingerprint. The DNI is extremely important to have because it validates your stay or residency within Argentina, without which you would be an unauthorized resident subject to immigration control.

In addition, the DNI entitles you to many of the same benefits that an Argentine is entitled to. With a DNI, it’s possible to open a bank account, obtain a cell phone, qualify for loans, and even get discounts at national landmarks – thus making the DNI card a very valuable document. The DNI, however, does not entitle you to work, as a separate document – Clave Unico de Identificacion Laboral (CUIL) – is required.

How Long Is a DNI Valid For?

Once you apply and are approved for your DNI, it is valid for 15 years from the date of issue. If your DNI is close to expiration, then it is recommended that you renew it in time to avoid its invalidation.

What Documents are Required?

The official list of required documents is listed here at the National Immigration website.  Foreigners seeking to obtain a DNI card must present a passport or ID card if the person is from a MERCOSUR country. In addition, you must also present Certificate of Domicile, which is obtained at the local police authority upon presentation of a utility bill, telephone bill, or credit card bill in order to prove that you are living where you claim to be living. If you are under 16 years of age, a birth certificate is required in order to prove your identity.

Identity: You should prove your identity with valid and current document to that effect (Passport or Certificate of citizenship for all countries, Identity Card only for Mercosur Members Countries or Associated).

Temporary Residence Card (with a minimum of 60 days of duration at the time of starting the procedure) or Permanent Residence Card issued by the National Direction of Migration.

Certificate of Domicile: Issued by competent police authority (in the Autonomous city of Buenos Aires, Argentina Federal Police) or proof attesting domicile (electricity, gas, telephone invoice, credit card summary, etc. with your name). At Buenos Aires Province the certificates of domicile are issued by the Civil Registries.

Birth Certificate: it is only necessary for those under 16 years old. It must be legalized by Apostille, rndorsed by the Argentine Consulate in the country issuing the document or Consulate of the issuing country in Argentina (only for MERCOSUR member countries and associated States).

How Much Does It Cost?

Check this table for the latest fees.

Where Do I Apply?

For those living within Buenos Aires, it is possible to apply for the ID Card online and present documentation at the local Registro Civil office, at which point, the DNI card will be mailed to you. Be prepared for long lines. For those not living in Buenos Aires, it will be necessary to visit the local delegation of the Direccion Nacional de Migraciones which is closest to you. Just remember to brush up on your Spanish before you go to the immigration office!

How Long Does It Take To Receive the DNI?

The DNI card will come to you quickly upon approval. This can be as quick as 2 weeks after the date your application is submitted, and the documents are verified. The online process has streamlined the application to make it quicker.

What Does It Look Like?

In the past, the DNI was a green booklet that looked much like a person’s national passport. Currently, the DNI is a plastic card which includes a photo and information about your name, date of birth, parents, city and province of birth, address, nationality, and the date of expiration of the card. The card itself is wallet-sized and is able to be carried from place to place easily. See the picture at the top of this page for what it looks like.

Further Reading

About Addison Sears-Collins

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