Thinking of Moving to Uruguay?
Uruguay’s top English-language site has got you covered
Why choose Uruguay?
Uruguay is an eye of calm in a global storm
We asked risk analyst Glenn Lawrence to share his evaluation of Uruguay’s strengths and weakness as a place for expats in an increasingly unstable world.
Cost of living
The average Uruguayan income is very low compared to the cost of living. It’s not easy to find well-paying employment. Most people make ends meet by living in extended families, and eating out rarely. Despite the fact that most people would be considered middle class, the majority cannot afford a car or to consider buying a home until they are well into their thirties. Public transport and bicycles are popular modes of transport generally out of necessity, not choice.
about living in Uruguay
Your opportunity to have private one-on-one time with Karen A Higgs, author, Guru’Guay founder and Uruguay’s foremost English-language expert.
Getting Uruguayan papers
OK, you know you have the means to support yourself in Uruguay. What next?
Getting to Uruguay
Due to the pandemic the borders are closed to non-residents. However there are exceptions including to learn Spanish (essential skill if you are planning to live here). Keep abreast of the latest details of how to get to Uruguay.
Applying for residency
Uruguay is probably one of the easiest countries in the world to immigrate to and obtain residency. You need a clean criminal record and be able to prove a monthly income of around 1500 USD per person. Learn what documents you need to gather to apply, how the residency application process works and how long it takes, and whether you should get a professional to help you.
Non-visa country nationals can live in Uruguay freely provided they leave the country for at least one day every six months. In that case, what are the benefits of getting Uruguayan residency? (more relevant than ever given the recent pandemic)
Vaccinations are mandatory
Authorities require proof that adults have the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination and tetanus. Children under 18 must have all the vaccines required for Uruguayan children. The list of vaccines required in Uruguay.
This measure from 2020 was aimedprincipally at Argentine nationals who are looking for ways to escape the Argentine tax man. Just getting a certificate of fiscal residence in Uruguay does not automatically mean that a person is not still also fiscally resident in another country.
Buying real estate
Property requirements, taxes and the buying process in Uruguay
Over the last ten years a growing number of Europeans and North Americans have been buying real estate in Uruguay. This is partly down global factors, increases in the value of farmland and the stability of Uruguay’s economy and laws. The latter is an open secret in South America with Uruguay regarded as a safe haven for Latin American investors particularly those from Argentina for decades. There are no restrictions on who can purchase property–except for those affecting rural property—but you must use a public notary to prepare the legal documents. The notary ensures the title deeds are in order and that there are no outstanding debts on the property.
Currency for real estate transactions
Uruguay has a legal regime which provides for the free entry and exit of foreign currency and also permits it to be freely converted into the local currency. All real estate transactions are carried out in US dollars. As will be seen below, for certain tax aspects the value is recalculated in Uruguayan pesos and taxes are paid in pesos, but the transaction itself will always be in US dollars.
The best local experts and service providers
Personal recommendations are essential to getting good service in Uruguay. Think of Guru’Guay as a friend sharing her favourite contacts. We only recommend people and companies we know personally and professionally and have vetted.
Uruguay residency, work permits, bank accounts, citizenship & whatever else you as expats in Uruguay need to make your landing smooth.
Team Haverkate specialise in finding dream Uruguay real estate for expats. They speak English, German, French and Dutch and can now offer you virtual tours.
Renovations and property appraisal are Uruguay architect, Stella Lorenzo’s forte. She manages your construction team so your rebuild is on time & in budget.
Finding an English speaking Uruguay immigration lawyer who can advise on real estate, employment law, & mediation, aswell, can be a huge relief.
Would you like to be part of the Top Picks? Let us know
Uruguay has a very affordable public-private healthcare system. Anyone can buy membership in Uruguay’s forty or so health institutions—the majority of which are known as ‘mutualistas’. Find out the coverage available and how to join the afforable ‘mutualista’ system as a tax-payer or employee.
When I moved to Uruguay I was surprised by significant differences regarding insurance compared to the UK and the US. Why did my car premium always go up though I’d never had an accident? How come my Uruguayan friends insist I use a broker when I was used to shopping around myself?
Travelling with minors
Uruguay has a strict legal regime to prevent children being taken from the country by a parent or third party without permission. It’s annoying red-tape for foreigners who want to travel with their children once you’ve obtained residency. And it catches out Uruguayans too. So if you’re planning your family life in Uruguay, you need to inform yourself about this.
Death & inheritance
Making a will in Uruguay is essential reading as the system is totally different to US or UK. For instance, a spouse or partner is not a statutory heir. Instead the children are. If you do not have children, if you make a will, your estate automatically goes to the government. Most Uruguayans do not make wills because of the clear regulations and no formal inheritance tax. So expect the making a will to involve considerable formality in signing and registering and accompanying costs.
So what can you do to protect your surviving husband or wife? Read about the rights of a surviving spouse or partner and what can be done to ensure that they are not adversely affected by legal restrictions.
Cover picture: The iconic Calle de los Suspiros (Street of Whispers) in Colonia del Sacramento
First Argentina’s rich & beautiful, then the Hearsts and Rockefellers. Just how did a rocky Uruguay peninsula with dirt roads become a jewel of the jetset?
With passion & soul
Written by a Brit with all the contacts and knowledge accrued over almost twenty years living in Uruguay, this guidebooks will make your holiday planning stress-free and ensure you have an unforgettable time in one of South America’s least-explored destinations. Buy the Guru'Guay guidebooks for your tablet, kindle and phone or get the paperback versions.