Argentina visa process is the most difficult visa process i ever been through till date. Tourist visa for Argentina is FREE for Indians. But their documentation process is the most difficult thing i ever gone through. It is tough because even after i got the visa now… still i don’t know what documents were really needed for this visa process.
When i first call the embassy they told me to apply in Mumbai consulate and sent me a list of required documents for visa process. When i arrange all documents and gone to Mumbai consulate the receptionist said i followed wrong required document list and she gave another list of required documents that i need to prepare. Then i got frustrated and decided to go with a visa agent. He gave me a list of required document list which was different from both of the list i got earlier. Finally i followed the documents asked by agent and got my application accepted. The funny part is the documents list i prepared was totally different from the documents embassy asked me to prepare when i first contacted them directly.
I did google about Argentina visa process and found face to face interview is compulsory for Indian nationals. So i know that i have to travel either Mumbai / Delhi for this interview so i thought of doing application process also by myself. I thought this will save me some money as if i go though visa agent they said they will charge 5500 INR as service charge for the same. The website of Argentina embassy says that only Maharashtra passports will be accepted in Mumbai consulate and all other part of the India has to travel to Delhi for the same. So i called the embassy to check if there is any way i can process it on Mumbai as it is near by. They said ‘Yes’. And also they replied me on my email query with the application form and the list of documents to prepare.
I spent 3 days in arranging all documents, getting certain documents translated into Spanish, getting certain documents attested, etc… 2 days in bus to Mumbai from Bangalore (17hr bus journey). After all this i was there at the consulate on a fine Monday morning 9:30AM to apply for my visa. And i faced one of the worst day of my life in the recent times.
A male receptionist took my documents and he said he needs all columns of the application to be filled with something. I left some columns as it doesn’t suit me. But they still needs something there like ‘Not Applicable’. That was a decent request so i took my application and sit on a bench and filled those missing columns. By the time i come back to the desk i saw a lady arrived in and started taking over the job. As a formality i greet her and gave her the application with documents again. She said the picture i attached is not 4 x 4 size and it got 80% face zooming and she can not accept the application for that. Funny part is that the picture was attached to the application by that male receptionist only. Her tone was high and rough which felt irritating but i didn’t care much as i need my visa process to go on. I asked her if there is any nearby photo studio and she said there is something named ‘Atlanta’ and i can ask security about that. I checked with near by building security and found that studio on the next street from the consulate and brought the right size picture.
Thank god the studio was quick to give the photo, because the consulate wont accept application after 10:30AM i heard. Once i come back i attached new photo and submitted the whole application again. This time she checked the application further and asked why is that i attested some of the documents ? She said it is not needed !!! lol the lawer charged me 1000rs to get that documents attested and i felt so irritating that it was not needed at all. Their bloody website only says it has to be attested. And she said there are documents missing which is mandatory and returned my application. Then i showed her the email i got from the embassy of Argentina with the list of documents they asked for. She said that list is wrong and it is only for New Delhi applicants and i have to follow a different document list for Mumbai consulate. Though she was replying even rude and rude every time… i was standing there still and just trying to make her take the application inside and trying to find a way to send remaining documents by email as those are really not important documents on my view.
Embassy Vs Consulate
Finally it got completely messed up because of a mistake i made on the letters i submitted. I marked the letter to “Embassy of Argentina”, instead of “Consulate General of Argentina”. Honestly until that day i did not know the difference between ‘Embassy’ and ‘Consulate’. I thought it is all same. Learned from google that there will be only one ‘Embassy’ of other country in India and that too will be only on Capital of India which is ‘New Delhi’. All other outlets assist us in visa process outside capital is called ‘Consulate’. I wish i knew this already and not to screwed that day. She said irrespective of how much time i stand there and try my application wont be taken inside unless i change all letters address to Consulate. In fact she called someone though phone and asked if she can take it and they also told not to take the application in. So i knew my day is gone as the time almost passed 10:30AM and they are going to shut doors for new applications.
I saw a bit old lady came there to apply for her visa and this receptionist lady was speaking really rude with her for asking if there is a way the interview process can be done a bit soon as she came from a far place for this visa process. When i come back to hotel and saw the google reviews about the consulate and embassy i got to know that this people behaves the same with most of the individual applicants. I wish i have read this reviews already and avoided doing this visa process by myself.
Now i came out and decided to go with a travel agent. I called up IVS Holidays in Bangalore and they told they will do the service for INR 5500 but they will process through only New Delhi embassy. I said OK.
Now when i come Bangalore the agent gave me new list and i prepared that document and handover it to them. They made it successfully into embassy and i was called to New Delhi for face to face Interview. The last minute flight ticket to Delhi was 14000 and i laughed at myself that initially i thought Argentina visa costs nothing. It was supposed to be 8000 only even on last minute booking but due to Diwali holidays… there were demand in tickets… so the airline increased the cost.
The visa interview went very nice and it was very short. The embassy located in Vasant Vihar and it is not so far from Airport. I stayed 2 days but in actual we can come on morning flight and leave by evening flight. No need to carry any document for interview. We can just come with empty hand and attend Interview. I reached 9:30 AM itself but the security told until 10:00 AM i have to stand outside. About 10 people came for interview on that day. After 10:00 AM the security asked us to enter the building and visit the receptionist area. These receptionists also like same as Mumbai sending many applicants back saying this is not there… that is not there…etc… but at least their tone was not rude. So it is OK.
The interview was one to one interview on a separate room. When my turn comes i was asked to go and meet visa officer at his cabin in the first floor. When i gone there this is what happened…Me: Excuse me (i opened the door and gone inside and saw the visa officer was reviewing my application and other documents i submitted)
Visa Officer: Come in Joseph. How are you ?
Me: Am good. How are you sir ?
Visa Officer: Very well. So what you do Mr. Joseph ?
Me: (I explained about my career activities and then he asked few questions on top of that)
Visa Officer: Why do you want to go Argentina ?
Me: Tourism. Also i have a cruise which starts and ends at the port of Buenos Aires. So i want to go Argentina.
Visa Officer: Where does the cruise goes ?
Me: Antartica ( He also saw that cruise invoice i attached with my application )
Visa Officer: Why do you want to go Antartica ?
Me: Visiting all 7 continents of the world is one of my life time goal. I have already explored 5 continents and on this trip am visiting the remaining 2 continents i never visited before.
Visa Officer: What are all the continents you have visited before ?
Me: North America, Europe, Asia… (he interrupted…)
Visa Officer: You been to United States ?
Me: Yes ( i knew my visa is approved after this question… lol… )
Visa Officer: So now you want to travel Latin America ? (i did not understood this question)
Me: Now i want to travel South America and Antartica
Visa Officer: Have you been to Africa ?
Me: Yes Mauritius
Visa Officer: How is Mauritius ?
Me: Mainland was more similar to Bangalore where i live. The people, climate were almost as same as Bangalore.
Visa Officer: Argentina is not similar to Bangalore. Go and see for yourself. (this is how he said indirectly that my visa is approved)
Me: Thank you
Though he asked so many questions the interview happened so quick like a rapid fire round. He was on professional tone and very respectful until the interview ends. Am not sure why they can’t find a receptionist like that 😀 😀 😀
If your passport is from Maharashtra or Karnataka you have to apply only on Mumbai Consulate. Delhi embassy takes applications only from other states of India. I also saw a poster in the embassy which says if you submit any legal document which was given by Maharashtra or Karnataka government then you still has to go to Mumbai consulate only. My passport is from Tamil Nadu but some of the documents i submitted belong to Karnataka. Still my agent managed to push my application inside Delhi embassy. Not sure if that is possible by individual applicant as i see those receptionists were very strict and a bit rude. If your passport is from Tamil Nadu you can apply on both Mumbai Consulate or Delhi Embassy as they both accept.
Also make sure you apply at least 21 days before your travel date. When i was waiting for my interview i saw a guy requesting the receptionists to accept his application and they are being rude with him to take his application back and go away from the embassy. The issue is his travel date was less than 21 days from that day it seems. He was asking them for quick visa, emergency visa, etc… etc… they said we do not have any special process for anyone. You have to apply at least 21 days ahead of your travel date. He said he spent money on booking tickets and it will all goes waste. They simply replied… ‘it is not our problem’. After seeing them they are being very strict, i was also little scared because some of my documents i submitted are from Karnataka region and it was supposed to be processed with Mumbai Consulate. However my document was already reached visa processing unit from front desk already so i was hoping they won’t dig into it again.
With my personal experience with this embassy & consulate i highly recommend anyone to process your visa application through a visa agent, if you stay far from New Delhi or Mumbai. I see the visa agents were the only people going through easy process. Individual applicants are being banged by these receptionists with so many change requests. They don’t even talk polite. Also quick visa process was not entertained by them. Though i see in some comments that some people get the visa quick by requesting them, what i witnessed there is they simply won’t take your application if you can’t wait for their processing duration. So you may end up in staying in Mumbai / Delhi more than the planned duration.
Consulate Website For Mumbai Applicants : http://cgmum.mrecic.gov.ar/en
Documents Requirement Info For Mumbai Applicants: http://cgmum.mrecic.gov.ar/en/content/tourist-visa
Embassy website for Delhi Applicants : http://eindi.mrecic.gov.ar/en
Documents Required for Delhi Applicants: http://eindi.mrecic.gov.ar/en/content/information-concerning-visas-fees-application-form-general-considerations-and-specific-requi