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Uruguay: Residency, Citizenship and Passport Carla Piaggio Director Residency and Relocation Department February 2012
Obtaining Uruguayan Residency Uruguay has a welcoming, friendly and open immigration policy No need to invest Simple though bureaucratic process It takes 12 to 18 months (avg.) to obtain permanent resident status After 3/5 years, one can apply for citizenship/passport
Obtaining Uruguayan Residency Steps to obtain residency: First, gather all the necessary documents (abroad) Then, enter Uruguay as a tourist (90 days, extendable for another 90 days) Find a property (it can be temporary until you find your permanent home) submit the application at the National Migration Office Once the application is filed, the person may stay in the country indefinitely, as a “temporary resident” As a temporary resident, you will be able to have a national identity card issued called “Cédula de identidad”
What documents do I need? Most documents are obtained abroad: 1.Birth certificate 2.Marriage certificate * 3.Police record from country of origin, country that issued passport and countries where the person has lived in the last five years. US citizens can get this document at the local Interpol office. 4.Documents that prove that you have income to support yourself These four documents need to be legalized (stamped) at the Uruguayan Consulate in the country where they were issued Once in Uruguay, we will ensure that they are legalized at the Uruguayan Foreign Ministry and officially translated into Spanish.
What documents do I need? Other documents that don´t need Uruguayan Consulate stamping: Tetanus shot report 3 passport size pictures For ladies pap smear and mammogram
Proof of Income: Key Requirement Residency applicants must prove that they have an income stream consistent with their living standard There are many options to prove this: Pension from abroad Mutual fund or Retirement fund income income from the lease of a property abroad or in Uruguay Dividends or interests Work contract in Uruguay (a work contract overseas is not acceptable)
Proof of Income: Key Requirement There isn´t a minimum required per person. Your income has to be consistent with your lifestyle. Income has to be received in Uruguay, so it´s convenient to open a bank account. If your proof of income document is from overseas, it will have to be stamped by the Uruguayan Consulate. In Uruguay, the documents that prove your income must be certified by a Notary Public (a type of attorney)
Proof of address and time-in-country requirement Uruguay requires that you provide an address, even if it´s a temporary one until you find your permanent home. If you have a lease or deed, it will also be convenient to submit it. As per the presence in Uruguay, you must show intention to reside by spending significant time in the country. We suggest you spend approximately half the year in Uruguay.
The Process Once you file for residency, you will have your temporary identity card issued. In case you want to bring your personal effects duty free, you can also get a special document from the National Migration Office to present at Customs From the moment you file for residency you are a resident in process and can stay in Uruguay indefinitely. No further action on your side. Once you get your permanent residency you will be issued with a definitive identity card that will enable you to travel within Mercosur countries without using your passport (with the exception of Brazil).
Bringing Personal Belongings What can I bring free of import duties and taxes? All your household belongings When can I bring them? The window to bring your personal effects is from the day you file for residency until it is granted. How do I bring my belongings? The moving agent will take care of your personal effects. The National Migration Office issues an arrival certificate for the National Customs Agency. The applicant has to deposit a bond with the Customs Authority, for the value of the import duties and taxes he/she would have paid if not applying for residency. When residency is granted, the bond is returned.
Bringing Personal Belongings Who helps me bring my personal belongings? A Customs Agent in Uruguay My shipping agent in the country of origin My attorney/the person handling my residency in Uruguay (all three must coordinate actions) What documents must I produce to bring my belongings? The National Migration Office authorization for the Uruguayan Customs Authority A special Act (16.340) allows pensioners to bring a car free of import duties
Act for retirees Benefits Quick access to Uruguayan passport, including spouse and minor children Possibility ot import vehicle duty free Requirements U$S 100,000 investment Minimum monthly income of U$S 1,500 Disadvantages Passport does not include citizenship Car cannot be sold in 4 years Property/investment cannot be sold before 10 years
Citizenship You can get Uruguayan citizenship AFTER you have obtained permanent legal residency status. Citizenship can be obtained 3 or 5 years since you have first arrived in Uruguay The process is done before Uruguay´s Electoral Court It takes between 4 and 6 months to become a Uruguayan citizen Requirements are simple but may take time to gather: proof of age and nationality, proof of residence, proof of entrance into the country, allegiance to the flag, proof of social insertion, proof of identity, clean police record.
Myths on Residency Myth: I need to be a permanent resident in order to own a house or to do business in Uruguay Truth: Residency is not required to own property or do business in Uruguay Myth: I can bring a car free of import duties Truth: Yes, but only under Law for pensioners, which requires that I prove USD 1,500 of monthly income, plus ownership of a property of U$S 100,000 that I won’t be able to sell for 10 years, and other requirements Myth: Owning a property in Uruguay automatically qualifies me in order to obtain residency Truth: No. Requirement is income proof, not ownership of assets
Tips on Residency Send your immigration lawyer copies of the documents you intend to submit, before travelling, so they can be verified and translated in time for the filing. Work on the wording of your income proof document with your immigration lawyer, to make sure it meets what is needed. Send your immigration lawyer and customs agent the list of belongings you plan to bring, so they can verify whether the list is reasonable or not. Open a bank account in Uruguay.