Unlike the European Union, the driving force behind the Mercosur agreement was to find a solution to irregular migration and not to pave the way for an internal market, whereas this was Mercosur`s original institutional objective. The main objective of the agreement, as explained in the preamble, is to resolve the situation of intra-regional irregular migration while deepening the process of regional integration and providing a policy of free movement of people. This difference is essential for understanding the very structure of the agreement. Various international agreements and national laws have allowed migrants from other former Spanish possessions in the United States to receive even better treatment than foreigners in general, including preferential access to nationality, recognition of diplomas and consular protection abroad. In other words, as early as the 19th century, the Spanish-American regional citizen had emerged as a legal figure between foreign and foreign. However, regional migration flows were rare, with most migrants coming from Europe, including Argentina and Brazil. With regard to the implementation of the agreement, the 2014 IOM report highlights several problems for some countries. These include the lack of administrative resources for applications, the introduction of additional requirements that are not included in the original agreement, or the lack of information generally available to those who could benefit from them. In addition, the agreement has not been implemented consistently in all countries.
Unlike free movement within the European Union, where EU law is subject to national law, the mercosur agreement is an international treaty implemented by individual countries. For example, Chile applies a large number of regional migrants from Ecuador, Peru and Colombia, but does not apply the agreement to nationals of those countries, but Argentina extends the agreement to the other 11 South American countries, including those that have not yet implemented it: Guyana, Suriname and Venezuela. In return, Uruguay grants a permanent stay directly to those who apply for permission, instead of initially offering a temporary stay of two years. Finally, the agreement mentions the right to equal treatment with regard to social, cultural and economic rights, but does not define it any more. As a result, discrimination is widespread in aspects such as social benefits. Moreover, unlike the European regime of free movement of persons, where EU migrants have to justify employment or sufficient resources after three months, there is no such requirement in South America. Given the high degree of informality in the South American labour market, which, according to the International Labour Organization, affects up to 47% of non-agricultural workers, such a condition would render the agreement insignificant for a large part of the population. When a migrant decides to live permanently after two years, he must justify sufficient resources to feed himself in the host state. With regard to free movement, the South American model is based, at least on paper, on a vision of globalization in which the individual plays a predominant role.