To apply for residence in Uruguay you must be in the country, this is perfect for those that try out the country and decide to stay.
Uruguay’s Dirección Nacional de Migración (DNM, or Immigration) is the government office that deals with residence matters.
The complete process for obtaining permanent residence takes 12 and 24 months in addition to the time it takes to obtain the necessary documents.
Early in the process, when all your documentation has been submitted, you will receive a cédula (ID card) which will give you access to everything as if you were a permanent resident.
To gain residence in Uruguay you must submit a copy of your passport with a letter of intent to Immigration and obtain approval, get your police background check, a medical exam, and provide evidence of you financial means. Then you receive a temporary cédula while waiting for your final approval.
There are many different types of visas available.
The Rentista Visa requires an income considered adequate to support you and your family. While there is no specific amount, generally, an income of $1,500 per month will suffice for a single applicant.
An Employee Visa requires the presentation of a work contract or commitment from your employer in Uruguay. Notarized data about the company, your salary and your term of employment will also be needed.
Independent entrepreneurs will need a sworn notarized declaration about your business including its Uruguayan registration data, as well as your income.
Religious workers need certification from your church, identifying you and assuming responsibility for your financial support. A church certification is used in lieu of a notarization.
Students will need a notarized certification from your school showing that you are a student there, what you will be studying, and where you will be living. You will also need to prove that you have adequate financial support.
Before leaving your home country you should gather all the required documents that need to be obtained and apostilled (a kind of stamp) outside of Uruguay. They are your birth certificate, marriage certificate, and police record.
The birth certificate, marriage certificate and non-U.S. police records must be legalized at a Uruguayan Consulate in the country where they were issued. An official public translator must also translate them into Spanish once you arrive in Uruguay.
If you are a U.S. citizen an F.B.I. background check is needed instead of a police report. You can bring a legalized copy from the U.S., or start the process from the Interpol office in Montevideo.
A certification of your income is prepared for the Immigration office by a professional in Uruguay, called an escribano, after verifying your income.
Within 90 days of entering Uruguay as a tourist you need to petition immigration for a change in your immigration status. The request must be in writing and state your desire to change status from a tourist to that of a resident.
The letter must contain your name, place and date of birth, address and phone number in Uruguay, a copy of your entry card and a statement of your reasons for wanting to reside in the country.
Once the change in status is approved you may stay in the country without limitation. If your parent or spouse are citizens or legal residents you still need to request a change in status.
Once you’ve received approval for change of immigration you can assemble and submit the visa application package. This visa package must contain a current passport-sized photo, a copy of your passport, health checkup certificate, copy of the entry/exit card, criminal history check and documentation on how you intend to support yourself in Uruguay.
After you have turned everything in you are a residente en trámite and you can get your temporary cédula. Your cédula will be your photo ID that identifies you as a resident of Uruguay. To get this you will need two documents.
Certificado de Ilegada which means ‘certificate of arrival’, you will receive two of these once you become a residente en trámite. One will be addressed to the Dirección Nacional de Identificación Civil (DNIC) where you will get your cédula. You will also need a legalized copy of your birth certificate. The Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores must certify that your birth certificate was legalized at one of their consulates.
On gaining approval for residence you will once again be given two certificado de Ilegada. Take the one for DNIC to their office and they will give you a permanent cédula.
To gain a second passport you must go through the naturalization process. Uruguayan law allows you to apply for citizenship and to hold dual citizenship. Obtaining this status will take between three and five years, after you have become a resident.