The first question we need to answer is always “Is Uruguay for me?” The first and most important thing to remember when moving to Uruguay is ‘this is Uruguay and not …….. (wherever it is you moved from). Things here are different and that won’t change just because you would like it too. So before making the move be absolutely sure that you can accept things the way they are and that there will be things you will have to do without.
Once you have moved keep an open mind, leave behind the stress and look forward to a new learning experience, and most of all stop looking over your shoulder and comparing it to the country you came from. Approach all tasks with a positive attitude and you will find the people to be very patient and helpful (even though you don’t speak their language).
Definitely come for a visit before deciding to make a permanent move. A tourist visa is valid for 3 months and it can easily be extended if you would like to stay a little longer. Uruguay may not be exactly as you expect. When visiting you should be prepared to rent a car and have a cell phone. You can buy a cell phone chip here, insert it in your phone, buy some airtime and you’re all set. In case you have an illness, research the quality of the assistance you will be able to get in Uruguay.
If you are uncertain about where to buy a property, I would highly recommend renting for a while until such time that you are certain about location. Making a mistake can be costly! Once you have decided that Uruguay will be your new home, try to take some Spanish classes before coming or immediately after your arrival. Speaking the language is the first step to successful integration in any new country. When dealing with estate agents or notaries (in the beginning stages of a transaction) always ensure that someone who speaks both languages is present. This is purely to avoid misunderstandings of any nature. It has recently become law that for the signing of any legal documentation a government certified translator must be present. Do not rely on the information you read about Uruguay on the internet. A lot of the information is outdated and inaccurate.
If you want to Rent an apartment be sure to check how many months deposit they want in advance. By law they are allowed to ask as much as 5 months. I believe its not the norm, but check before signing anything. There is another option of taking out an insurance (which is not refundable). be sure to ask the estate agent to explain all the options to you.
Do not underestimate the Uruguayan winter; it can be very wet, cold and windy. Make sure you bring your winter woollies. Do not buy the first house you see. Look around and ask the advice of someone who has lived in Uruguay for a while. They can guide you when it comes to “asking the correct questions”. If possible ask them to go along to view the property. If you are coming from the USA, where all electronics are 110V you will need to buy transformers because in Uruguay everything runs on 220V. This is not a problem for most electronic items (i.e.: computers). However, it would a very good idea to check the labels on everything you bring. Once you are in Uruguay you can buy a transformer for the 110V items and plug adapters for everything else. Wait until you are in Uruguay because there are lots of different sockets here.
If you have children, schooling plays an important role, which would also be a deciding factor. There are many private schools in Montevideo and in Punta del Este. Health care is readily available throughout the country. There are two health care systems: firstly the public health care: In the public system the free clinics can be slow and crowded but they do a good job. Secondly, you have the private health care system: The private health care system is efficient, well-equipped, and inexpensive.
Uruguay has a generally warm temperate climate. Warm summers from December to February, and crisp winters from June to August, although I must admit this last summer was extremely hot and the winter was very mild, but then we seem to be seeing noticeable climate change all over the world.
Public transport is excellent both inside and outside the cities. For those choosing not to own a car, you can get around very well with the public transportation system. Uruguay has a lifestyle and a region for everyone, depending on what you’re looking for in the way of a new life abroad. Whether you want to live in the city, on a smallholding where you can grow your own vegetable and become self-sustaining, or on a sprawling ranch in the heartlands, you can be sure that Uruguay has a place for you.
We offer guidance and information on how you too can make this move to the beautiful Oriental Republic of Uruguay. It is definitely possible and affordable if you know how to go about it. We’ll be sharing our knowledge with you, thereby saving you lots of frustration, time and money.
- Uruguay is a safe country without the presence of the evils afflicting other countries such as terrorism, kidnapping or political and social instability.
- Uruguay is legally simple and reliable. Respect for the principle of private property and with excellent property records.
- Uruguayan nature has completely untouched areas, unique beaches plus 600 km of coastline on the ‘De la Plata’ river and the Atlantic Ocean. Four seasons with moderate temperatures, and there are no natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanoes, etc
- Uruguay has a high quality of life. It has a population of mostly European origin. It has a literacy rate of over 95%, the highest number of university graduates and students of the continent and the highest level of communications in South America.
- According to the United Nations, Uruguay presents the best human development index of South America, an indicator that takes into account the income per capita, the life expectancy (72 years: the largest in Latin America) and the educational level (the highest literacy rate in the MERCOSUR).
- Uruguay, a country where everything is close and well connected by an extensive route network that connects all parts of the country, with 4 routes that connect with Brazil and 3 international bridges into Argentina.
- Natural Uruguay, located in the less polluted region worldwide, empowered by the benefits enacted by the Kyoto Protocol.
- Residency in URUGUAY is a fairly straight forward process. Foreigners wishing to reside in Uruguay can process the requirements without having to leave the country. It can be done personally at the Department of Migration of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Uruguay. Be sure however to bring with you all required documents for the procedure. (http://www.dnm.minterior.gub.uy/html/residencias.htm)
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