ARGENTINA

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Country Description: Argentina is a medium income nation with a developing economy. The quality of facilities for tourism varies according to price and area.

Passport and/or Visa Requirements: A passport is required. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a tourist stay. For current information concerning entry and customs requirements for Argentina, travelers can contact the Argentine Embassy at 1600 New Hampshire Avenue N.W., Washington, D.C., tel: (202) 939- 6400, or the nearest consulate in Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, Chicago, New York, Houston, or San Juan.

Medical Facilities: Medical care is good but varies in quality outside major cities. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment for health services. U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States. The Medicare/Medicaid program does not provide payment of medical services outside the United States. In some cases, medical insurance with specific overseas and medical evacuation coverage has proved to be useful. For additional health information, travelers can contact the Centers for Disease Control's international travelers hotline at (404) 332- 4559.

Travel Warnings, Advisories and Areas of Instability: There are no specific threats directed against American visitors or tourists at the present time. Street crime is a problem in the metropolitan Buenos Aires area. Most crime affecting tourists or business travelers in Argentina is of the non-violent type: pickpockets, purse snatching, hotel burglaries and fraudulent dealings. However, it is recommended that caution be exercised when traveling about the city. Street robberies (muggings), while not common, are not unheard of in Buenos Aires. For additional crime information, travelers can contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy either before or upon arrival.

The loss or theft of a U.S. passport abroad should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department of State pamphlet, "A Safe Trip Abroad," it is available from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C. 20402. Also available from the same address is the Department of State's publication, "Tips for Travelers to Central and South America."

Adoptions: Argentine adoptions often involve complications and delays. In general, the adoption of Argentine orphans is possible but discouraged by the Council of Minors due to a waiting list of qualified Argentine couples wishing to adopt children. Updated information on Argentine adoption proceedings and U.S. immigrant visa requirements is available from the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy. Additional information is available by writing the Office of Citizens Consular Services, CA/OCS/CCS, Room 4817, Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20520, or by telephoning (202) 647-3712.

Dual Nationality: U.S. citizens also considered to be citizens of Argentina who remain in Argentina more than sixty days, are required to leave the country on their Argentine passports. They might also be subject to compulsory military service while in Argentina. Those who may be affected can inquire at an Argentine embassy or consulate to determine their status. In some instances, dual nationality may hamper U.S. government efforts to provide protection abroad.

Drug Penalties: U.S. citizens are subject to the laws of the country in which they are traveling. Penalties in Argentina for possession, use and trafficking in illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect lengthy jail sentences and fines.

Civil Aviation Oversight: In October 1992, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration assessed Argentina's civil aviation authority as in compliance with international aviation safety oversight standards for Argentine carriers operating to and from the U.S. The same level of safety oversight would typically be applied to operations to other destinations. For further information, travelers may contact the Department of Transportation at 1-800-322-7873.

Embassy Location/Registration: Americans are encouraged to register with the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires at 4300 Colombia, 1425, telephone: (54-1) 777-4533.

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