One of the Unexpected consequences of the Russian-Ukrainian war is that thousands of Russian families arrived in Argentina in the last year not only to avoid the war conflict but also to have their daughters and sons in the countrydue to the immigration policies that provide facilities to obtain citizenship for the newborn and for quality medical care.
Sviatoslav -who preferred to keep his last name- is 28 years old, is a project manager in a French company and told the Telam news agency that he traveled to the country last November with his wife Vera and their 1-year-old daughter Taissia, to have her second son here, Daniel, who was born on December 12 at Sanatorio Finochietto in Buenos Aires.
“Argentina has very good medical care and it is much cheaper to have a boy here than in Russia. At the level of development here it is better and there are not many countries in the world so open to migrants“, stressed Sviatoslav, who invested US $ 2,000 in the medical expenses of the delivery.
The man said that he began to organize the plan to migrate in August 2022 “a little before the reservists are called up for the war.” “I do not hide it, At first I thought of only coming for a few months to have my son here, but now I really liked the country. and the situation is getting worse in Russia, I don’t know if we have a future there,” said the young man, who settled with his family in the Buenos Aires neighborhood of Palermo.
A few days ago, the British newspaper Guardian published a note titled “Everyone is looking for options: Russian women fly to Argentina to give birth”, which narrates that since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, the country experienced a boom in “birth tourism” from Russia.
In the publication, they cite Georgy Polin, head of the consular department of the Russian Embassy in Argentina, who estimated that between 2,000 and 2,500 Russian women moved to Argentina in 2022, many of them planning to give birth in the country, and He predicted that this year “that number could grow to 10,000.”
In Guardian highlighted that Russian women they chose Argentina for the advantages of their passport“which allows you to visit 171 countries without a visa, including (those of) the European Union, the United Kingdom and Japan”, and for the high quality of its medical care, both public and private.
The impact of the war
Another of the Russian migrants who chose Argentina is Denis, who has been in the city of Buenos Aires since November with his girlfriend Elena, who has a date in March to give birth to her daughter at the German Hospital, in the Recoleta neighborhood, where they live.
The couple said it was “psychologically very difficult” for them to continue living in Russia because of the war. “When the war between Russia and Ukraine began, we realized that we could not continue living in our country because for us this war was terrible and unfair. It is our neighboring country and many Russians have families there,” Denis lamented, adding that ” the final blow was the military mobilization, I left the country immediately when it started, and Elena arrived shortly after.”
Denis referred to the mobilization ordered last September by President Vladimir Putin during a message to the Nation to face the counteroffensive launched by Ukrainian forces, seven months after the invasion of kyiv by Moscow troops.
Argentina, a country open to immigrants
According to what they said, Denis and Elena always had the idea of visiting Latin America because they had both learned Spanish at university and read a lot about local history, however, the arrival of their first daughter in the middle of the war made them rethink their future.
“In June we found out that we were expecting a baby and we already started talking about her future and where we wanted to have her. Argentina seemed to us to be a very open country for immigrants and if our daughter is Argentine from birth, she will have more options in her life.“, assured the young man.
“It is a very open country for immigrants, the laws are very favorable. Argentinian passport gives you many options, Russian passport now seems like something toxic in the world“said Denis and highlighted the “help and affection” of his new Argentine friends “in just a month and a half” of stay.
How much do agencies charge?
The arrival of people from Russia to Argentina often occurs through the advice of agencies, which provide them with information about the necessary documentation, do the translations or find housing. These intermediaries can charge between US$5,000 and US$10,000 for various services.
“Our service is to serve as translators or escorts. Many people come from Russia to Argentina, including many pregnant women. After the war, our number of clients increased fivefold,” Kirill Makoveev, founder of RuArgentina, one of the companies in the sector.
In this sense, he specified that “before, one or two pregnant women came from Moscow flights, but now there are 20 or 30”, which accounts for the trend of “birth tourism”. Makoveev commented that only in his company, per year, 5,000 families ask for advice.
According to the founder of RuArgentina, Russian families choose the country because “here nobody is going to persecute them, they have good conditions for passports and the medical service is very good.”
In addition, he estimated that each family group spends between US$20,000 and US$30,000 on airfare, medical care and rent.
One of the best passports in the world
“Argentina’s immigration laws allow you to go from being a tourist to a resident while you’re right here. When they have a baby, they get a passport quickly and they can return to Russia, and if they stay a while longer, the parents can get permanent residence,” Makoveev explained.
“Argentina has one of the best passports in the world and the second easiest to obtain. Russians need a visa to travel everywhere. They are looking for a normal passport to travel, they are people who are spending a lot of money to be able to live well,” she concluded.