Why Expats Are Moving to Uruguay
If you are interested in moving to Uruguay, then you may want to visit for a short period first to get a feel for the country. A valid passport is required for entry into Uruguay with the exception of citizens from the boundary countries. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to stay in Uruguay for less than 90 days. Business-oriented visas are available; contact the embassy for details.
Attaining Your Visa When Moving to Uruguay
Any foreign visitor can apply for a residency visa in order to move to Uruguay, and should apply to the immigration office in his or her country of residence. In general terms, the requirements are owning a property in the country, and/or a bank account with adequate funds, having a clean police record in the country of residency, and having proof of income in Uruguay or a work permit. All documents will have to be authenticated by a public notary. Any person visiting Uruguay for business purposes can go to the consulate or embassy.
According to Uruguayan immigration law, people who move to Uruguay and are granted permanent residency in Uruguay are also entitled to a Uruguayan passport. This applies to the primary visa holder, as well as the spouse and children (under 18 years of age). The law states that you (and your dependents) are entitled to a pasaporte común (common passport). A common passport is one that is not diplomatic or military in nature. Most Uruguayans have this type of passport. You can apply at the Department of Immigration.
You might ask yourself why a U.S. citizen would want a Uruguayan passport, given that the U.S. passport is much more flexible to travel with. Good question. First, a Uruguayan passport entitles you to enter Brazil without a visa. There are also a few practical reasons. One is that some countries have cumulative limits on how long you can stay within their borders in a given year. If you alternate the use of passports, you can double your stay time, which would be handy if you have a part-time home in such a country. Also, you can avoid reciprocal fees and visa requirements imposed on U.S. citizens in places like Chile and Brazil, among others. (These fees are imposed in retaliation for similar fees or visa requirement imposed on their citizens by the U.S.) Some countries also waive their airport exit fees for their neighbors if you’re carrying their passport.
Moving to Uruguay and Bringing Your Possessions With You
Moving your household goods: There are several people at work on your behalf when bringing shipments into Uruguay. On your departure end, you’ll have a local moving agent who works with you on getting the entire move booked. On the Uruguayan end, you’ll have the Uruguayan moving agent. This one works for the moving company who is completing your move in Uruguay, and is your primary authority when you have questions about Uruguayan regulations. He processes these moves every day for diplomats, expats, and business people, and knows how the system works.
A despachante is a private professional who specializes in import/export. He provides the point interface between various moving agents and the Customs agent. You, as the shipper, will normally not have contact with this person.
The Customs agent is a government employee who performs inspections and enforces Customs regulations. The public does not interface directly with this agent.
Moving with your pets: Uruguay is a pet-friendly country, where animals are generally well-treated and few strays are seen. To bring your pet to Uruguay, the process is relatively simple and there is no quarantine period once you arrive with the animal. You do not need to be a resident to bring your pet.
The animal must be accompanied by a USDA-endorsed health certificate, even if you don’t live in the U.S. When in doubt, use the International Health Certificate USDA-APHIS 7001 form.
Rabies vaccination is required for all dogs and cats over three months of age. It must be given more than 30 days and less than one year before the arrival date in the country.
Firearms: Firearms for sporting purposes are admitted into Uruguay as long as a permit is obtained via the Servicio de Material y Armamento of the Comando General de la Armada,Avd. De Las Instrucciones 1925, Montevideo, Uruguay; tel.+598 (2) 393-702 or +598 (2) 353-434. If passenger arrives with fire arms and declares them at customs the arms are left in custody of the authorities and the permit is obtained within one day.
It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Uruguay in Washington, DC, or one of Uruguay’s consulates in the U.S. for specific information regarding customs requirements.
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