Photo by Roberto Tietzmann
Here's one of the main reasons you want to consider Uruguay: any foreign visitor can apply for a residence permit. In fact, Uruguay is becoming well-known amongst expats for its ease of entry. Show up on a tourist visa, prove a steady income, apply for residency. It's a touch more involved than that (such as proving you have no criminal record), but honestly, it's one of the easiest countries to immigrate to. One Peter Stross on a Uruguayan expat web site listed the legal steps you need to apply for residency.
- Certified copy of Birth Certificate, duly legalized by Uruguayan Consulate closest to or at place of birth.
- Certified copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable), duly legalized by Uruguayan Consulate closest to or at place of marriage.
- Certified copy of Divorce Sentence (only applicable, if applicant is divorced and has intentions to get married again), duly legalized by Uruguayan Consulate closest to or at place of divorce (please ask for more specifications if this is the case)
- In case of minors doing the process alone or with only one of the parents, please ask before travelling.
- Good Conduct Certificate issued by country’s National Police (i.e. FBI for U.S.) of country of birth, duly legalized by Uruguayan Consulate closest to or at place of residency.
- Good Conduct Certificate issued by country’s National Police (i.e. FBI for U.S.) where applicant has lived for the past 5 years (if several countries, than from each country), duly legalized by Uruguayan Consulate closest to or at place of residency.
- In case that you have a Police Record, prove of accomplished sentence, duly legalized by the corresponding Uruguayan Consulate.
Photo by Christian Ostrosky
Warning: I am not a lawyer and you'll have to do your own research. For example, you can't buy a one-way ticket. Your return ticket can be for a few months out, but you must have it (doesn't mean you have to use it).
Just because you can immigrate somewhere doesn't mean you'd want to (think "Somalia"). What's so compelling about Montevideo that you'd want to live there?
Just recently my former employer released an article about Uruguayan immigration today. Bounded by an economically prosperous Brazil to the north and a struggling Argentina to the West, Uruguay is enjoying very low unemployment levels and very high rates of growth. Today it's one of the most politically and economically stable countries in South America.
Photo by Vince Alongi
Of course, they're also very green, have fantastic freedom of the press and extremely low corruption:
All things considered, Uruguay is a very tempting target. Great infrastructure, great economy, low corruption, very green, very tolerant. I think more and more Americans are going to start hearing about it and heading down there.