Uruguay, nestled between Brazil and Argentina, is a South American nation with a rich history and a unique blend of modernity and tradition. This small, hospitable country is known for its beautiful beaches, lush countryside, and a deep appreciation for art and culture. With a strong commitment to democracy and progressive social policies, Uruguay stands out as a peaceful and stable nation on the continent, making it a hidden gem in South America.
Acquiring residency in Uruguay, and subsequently pursuing citizenship if desired, follows a straightforward process. You have the option to choose between two paths: the equity route, necessitating a minimum investment in the country, or the Independent Means Visa, which requires meeting the minimum income criteria for Uruguayan residency.
- Streamlined Residency Process: Residency in Uruguay is easily attainable, and the country has expanded its tax incentives, showcasing a welcoming attitude toward immigration.
- European-Style Living: Thanks to its historical connections with Europe, Uruguay not only resembles Europe in many ways but also provides the advantages of a prestigious second passport. It’s often referred to as “The Switzerland of South America,” and its beach towns can even be likened to Monaco during the summer season, attracting affluent tourists from the continent.
- Tax Benefits: Uruguay offers some of the most appealing tax advantages in the Americas. Residents enjoy a tax holiday for several years, followed by a low tax rate on foreign-sourced income.
- Accessible Passport: Holding a Uruguayan passport grants you visa-free entry to all of South America and MERCOSUR, along with visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area. Future prospects may even include visa-free access to the United States.
- Economic Freedom: Uruguay provides both political and economic stability, an open economy, and a robust banking system, offering residents a level of economic freedom not found in all countries in the Americas.
- Strategic Location: Uruguay is uniquely situated above the Guarani Aquifer, an extensive water reservoir crucial for agriculture and farmland investments, making it an attractive location for those seeking such opportunities.
Eligibility for Residency in Uruguay:
Permanent Residency Privilege: Grants indefinite stay in Uruguay.
Required National Public Documents:
- Identity Document used for entry.
- Entry visa if required by your home country.
- Health card issued in Uruguay.
- Vaccination certificate.
- Clean police record.
- Birth certificate registered in the Civil Status Registry.
- Marriage certificate (optional).
- Proof of income.
- Proof of address and intention to stay.
- Passport-sized photo.
- Payment of current application fees.
- Documents not in Spanish need to be translated by a sworn translator in Uruguay, with an official stamp.
- Choose between online application or in-person filing at the National Migration Office (NMO).
- Schedule an appointment at the NMO, typically four to six months in advance.
- Submit all required documents on the appointed day.
Expect a decision within 12 to 18 months, with variations by location.
Types of Investments and Fees
Real Estate Investment Visa
The Real Estate Investment Visa allows foreigners to obtain permanent residency in Uruguay by investing in real estate. The minimum investment amount is US$390,000. The investment can be made in any type of real estate, including residential, commercial, and agricultural property.
Investment in Enterprise Visa
The Investment in Enterprise Visa allows foreigners to obtain permanent residency in Uruguay by investing in a Uruguayan company. The minimum investment amount is US$1.7 million. The investment must create at least 15 new jobs. The investment can be made in any type of business, including a new start-up, an existing business, or a franchise.
Investment in Public Debt Visa
The Investment in Public Debt Visa allows foreigners to obtain permanent residency in Uruguay by investing in Uruguayan government bonds. The minimum investment amount is US$1.7 million. The bonds must have a maturity of at least five years.
|Investment Type||Minimum Investment||Other Fees|
|Real Estate Investment||US$390,000||US$50,000 non-yield deposit, plus government processing fees and notary fees|
|Investment in Enterprise||US$1,700,000||US$50,000 non-yield deposit, plus government processing fees and notary fees|
|Investment in Public Debt||US$1,700,000||US$50,000 non-yield deposit, plus government processing fees and notary fees|
Please note that these fees are estimates and may vary depending on the individual applicant’s circumstances. It is always best to check with the Uruguayan government for the most up-to-date information on visa fees and requirements.
In addition to the fees listed above, there may also be other costs associated with the application process, such as legal fees and translation fees.
How can I obtain residency in Uruguay?
To secure residency in Uruguay, you need to submit an application either online or in person. During the review period, you’ll receive a temporary residency card. After a six to twelve-month application process, permanent Uruguayan residency is granted if you meet specific requirements, such as demonstrating a minimum income of $1,500.
Can a US citizen live in Uruguay?
Yes, a US citizen can reside in Uruguay. For temporary stays, you can apply for a temporary residency permit. If you intend to make Uruguay your permanent home, you’ll need to apply for a permanent residence permit.
How long can an American stay in Uruguay?
As a US citizen, you’re allowed to stay in Uruguay for up to 90 days at a time without requiring a visa, and you can repeat this process as frequently as necessary. If you wish to extend your stay beyond 90 days, you have the option to renew your tourist visa, allowing for 180 days per stay.
Make Uruguay your second home
81,588 (2023 est.)
GDP (per capita):
US$49,900 (nominal, 2023 est.)
GDP (purchasing power parity):
US$58,100 (2023 est.)
Capital city: Montevideo
Time zone: Central European Time (UTC+1)
Total area: 181,034 km2
Languages: Spanish (official), Portuguese, Italian, English
Currency: Uruguayan peso (UYU)
Main industry: Agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, financial services
Schengen/EU: Uruguayan citizens can travel without a visa into the Schengen Space
- Stability and Safety: Uruguay is celebrated for its political stability and safety, making it one of the safest and most peaceful nations in Latin America.
- Quality of Life: Residents in Uruguay enjoy a high quality of life with top-tier healthcare and education, beautiful landscapes, and a strong social safety net.
- Tax Benefits: Uruguay provides enticing tax incentives, including a tax holiday for new residents and favorable tax rates on foreign-sourced income, making it a tax-friendly destination.
The materials contained in this page are provided for general information purposes only and are not intended to provide legal or other professional advice. Processing times and costs will vary depending on a number of factors. CitizenMatch is not responsible for any changes to the time and cost estimates; we can provide specific information on an individual basis. All rights reserved.