Buenos Aires is already one of the best cities in the world for digital nomads, with its unique blend of European and Latin American cultures, bustling cafe scene, vibrant nightlife, low cost of living, and steady Wi-Fi networks.
But now Argentina’s capital city is trying to sweeten the deal by introducing a special visa for international remote workers. The government hopes the program will boost the destination’s post-pandemic economy by attracting long-stay international visitors.
According to data from the Buenos Aires City Tourist Board, approximately 8,000 American and European visitors stayed in the capital for 90 days or more in 2019.
However, Buenos Aires officials believe the new digital nomad visa program could attract up to 22,000 long-stay visitors to the city by 2023, which could inject as much as $139 million USD into the local economy.
The digital nomad visa, which is being developed by Mayor Horacio Rodriguez Larreta’s administration, will allow foreign remote workers to stay in Buenos Aires for up to 12 months. It will also offer holders exclusive discounts and benefits in popular coworking spaces such as AreaTres, HIT, Huerta, La Manquinita Co. and WeWork.
The city has established a website where digital nomads can learn more about the region and register to receive a welcome kit upon arrival Ezeiza International Airport. The kit includes a cell phone SIM card, a SUBE card for transportation and a discount for the first night of accommodation.
The website also lists several of the reasons Buenos Aires is a great destination for remote workers, including:
- Being named 2019’s most livable city in Latin America by The Economist
- Being the third most affordable capital in the Americas
- Being the most environmentally-friendly city in Latin America
- Having a diverse, LGBT-friendly population
- Having a large academic community and a rapidly growing entrepreneurial ecosystem
The city also ranked seventh in InterNations’ 2020 Expat City Ranking, nabbing high scores in the expat networking group’s “getting settled,” housing and finance categories.
“Buenos Aires has a lot to offer people who want to spend more than a few weeks here,” said Fernando Straface, the city’s secretary-general and secretary for international relations. “The combination of good quality but a low cost of living, great culture, diversity, human capital and entrepreneurial spirit makes it one of the most competitive cities in the region.”
The U.S. digital nomad population has been steadily rising since 2014, but it skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a study by MBO Partners, there were approximately 10.9 million digital nomads in the U.S. in 2020, which was a 49% increase from 2019.
Popular digital nomad jobs include freelancer, writer, IT professional, language tutor, virtual assistant, graphic designer and social media manager.