Immigrants face slightly more opportunities than obstacles for societal integration in Argentina, whose policies score 58 on the 100-point MIPEX scale. Although immigrants in Argentina enjoy overall halfway favourable policies, major obstacles seem to emerge on education and political participation.
Argentina’s approach to integration is classified by MIPEX as ‘equality on paper’ only. As in most Chile and Mexico, immigrants in Argentina enjoy basic rights and long-term security, but they do not enjoy equal opportunities.
Argentina’s current approach encourage the public to see immigrants as equals and potential citizens. but not as their neighbours. Internationally, the ‘Top Ten’ MIPEX countries treat immigrants as equals, neighbours and potential citizens, and invest in integration as a two-way process for society.
A country’s approach to integration matters because policies influence whether or not integration works as a two-way process. The way that governments treat immigrants strongly influences how well immigrants and the public interact and think of each other. Drawing on 130 independent scientific studies using MIPEX, integration policies emerge as one of the strongest factors shaping not only the public’s willingness to accept and interact with immigrants, but also immigrants’ own attitudes, belonging, participation and even health in their new home country.
Argentina’s integration policies are similar to other Latin American countries. Their policies are slightly more advanced policies than in Chile and Mexico but more restrictive than Brazil’s more comprehensive approach to integration.
- Labour market mobility: Halfway favourable: Immigrants enjoy equal access to the labour market, including self-employment. However, they only receive general and no targeted support to improve their professional skills and career.
- Family reunification: Slightly favourable: Only permanent residents enjoy favourable access and a secure status for family reunification with close relatives.
- Education: Slightly unfavourable: Immigrants have full access to compulsory education. However, the Argentinian education system does offer little targeted measures for immigrant pupils, intercultural education or support to access higher education.
- Health: Halfway favourable: While the right to health is recognised in law, immigrants cannot rely on specific measures or support to secure equal access to health services in practice.
- Political participation: Slightly unfavourable: While some foreign citizens can vote in local elections and participate in political parties, they receive little information about these opportunities and, since 2015, fewer opportunities for funding and consultation of immigrant associations.
- Permanent residence: Slightly favourable: Immigrants in Argentina, as in other Latin American countries, enjoy favourable conditions to become permanent residents with a secure status. However, permanent residents do not have equal access to social security and assistance in Argentina, unlike in most MIPEX countries.
- Access to nationality: Favourable: Ranking in the Top 3, Argentina recognises dual nationality and citizenship at birth and provides a favourable path to naturalisation for foreign-born adults who can meet the two-years’ residence and economic and criminal record requirements.
- Anti-discrimination: Favourable: Argentina’s favourable anti-discrimination protections and equality body require stronger mechanisms to enforce the law and help potential victims to seek justice.