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Complete guide to obtaining an Uruguay retirement visa, the required documents, and the best places for retirees

Uruguay, officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay, is a developing country in South America. It is ranked first in Latin America in democracy, peace, low perception of corruption, and e-government. 

The high standards of living, security, and tranquillity have made Uruguay a popular destination among expats looking for a new permanent home. 

If you want to move to Uruguay as a retiree, you need to obtain an Uruguay Retirement Visa. An Uruguay Retirement Visa is issued to retired foreigners abroad or who receive a pension abroad and want to get permanent residence in Uruguay.

Who Is Eligible For a Retirement Visa in Uruguay?

To be eligible for an Uruguay Retirement Visa, you must:

  • Obtain a property in the national territory of Uruguay destined for a house-room, which must have a minimum value of $100,000 and may not be alienated for a period of ten years, or debt bonds issued by the Government of Uruguay for a minimum nominal value of $100,000 which will remain in the Banco de la República Oriental del Uruguay (BROU) for a period of no less than ten years.
  • Receive a minimum of at least $1500 per month for retirement or other income generated from abroad.

How Much Does an Uruguay Retirement Visa Cost?

The application procedure for an Uruguay Retirement Visa does not cost any money. However, the consulate where you apply might require you to pay extra fees for their services. 

Document Checklist for an Uruguay Retirement Visa

For Uruguay Retirement Visa applications, you should present the following documents translated into Spanish and legalized:

  • Uruguay Retirement Visa Application Form. Complete the application form and print it for submission to the Uruguayan consulate. You do not need to print the application form for online applications.
  • Passport. Present a valid passport when submitting your documents and application form.
  • One photograph. Enclose a recently taken photograph in a passport-sized format according to the instructions on the application form.
  • Police clearance. Provide a police statement from your home country to prove you do not have any criminal charges and are not considered a threat to the Republic of Uruguay.
  • Proof of Income. Submit documentation proving you receive a passive income of the required amount to your bank account and that you have a steady stream of income to support yourself.
  • Medical report. A full medical report is needed as proof you cherish good health and do not have any contagious diseases. 

NOTE: The Uruguayan authority might ask for the additional document to be submitted.

How to Apply For an Uruguay Retirement Visa?

Whether you are applying from abroad or within the country, there are two ways available to carry out the application procedure for an Uruguay Retirement Visa:

  • Online
  • In-person

Online Application

For online applications you must visit the official website of the Ministry of the Interior – National Directorate of Migration, register, and complete the web form.
Keep in mind that at the time of application you must have all documents in pdf format to attach them with the application form.

In-person Application

For in-person applications you must appear at the Uruguayan consulate or at the Offices of the National Directorate of Migration of the Ministry of the Interior closest to your place of residence to submit the required documents and fill out the application form.

How Much Money Does it Cost to Retire in Uruguay?

The living costs of Uruguay might not be the cheapest country in South America, but they can still be affordable. You will not have to spend much to live well. For example, a single person might spend a monthly amount of around $760 for water, electricity, transportation, etc., without accommodation rent. The rent prices in Uruguay go from $350 to $1250 in the city center and $230 to $1500.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Uruguay:

ACCOMMODATION
Monthly Cost
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$480
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$390
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$810
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$750
FOODCOSTS
Milk$0.99
Rice $0.90
Eggs$1.35
Tomato$2.60
Potato$1.61
Apples (kg)$2.02
UTILITIESMONTHLY COSTS (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$125

Healthcare for Retirees in Uruguay 

Uruguay has a two-tier healthcare system with public and private health sectors. Both sectors provide medical services by polyclinics and hospitals.

Private hospitals are run by private enterprises, and government organizations run public hospitals. The National Healthcare Fund (FONASA) is responsible for collecting, managing, and distributing health money in the country. 

Although healthcare is not free, Uruguay provides free care to low-income patients and makes sure that every individual receives medical treatment.

Many Uruguayans opt for private healthcare and choose the Mutualista plans, which might cost around $100 to have access to the services of private hospitals. Private healthcare is provided by any health insurance company; therefore, it is advisable to choose an insurance company that offers international coverage

Benefits of Uruguay Retirement Visa

Obtaining an Uruguay Retirement Visa will grant you the following benefits:

  • You will be exempt from paying taxes and custom duties within the first six months of obtaining permanent residence.
  • You can import households and other personal belongings from abroad free from all exchange formalities and exempt from all kinds of customs duties, taxes, or related charges. 
  • You can transfer a car from abroad after a period of not less than four years from the date you enter the Republic, free from customs duties or taxes.
  • Maintenance of the validity and force in Uruguay of the life insurance policy.
  • Maintenance of the validity and force in Uruguay of insurance policy destined for retirement coverage contracted abroad.

Why Retire in Uruguay?

Here is why you should spend your retirement in Uruguay:

  • Healthcare. The state of Uruguay makes sure to offer health services to every citizen and provides free public healthcare to low-income citizens. Uruguay’s healthcare system is among the best, and you can choose between public and private healthcare.
  • Tax benefits. Once you obtain a retirement visa for Uruguay, you will benefit from tax exemption on household and vehicle importation for a period of six months after entering Uruguay with a retirement visa. 
  • Safety. Uruguay ranks 47th out of 163 countries when it comes to safety in the country and is one of the safest countries in South America. Tranquility and safety make Uruguay a famous getaway destination.
  • Locals. Uruguayans are known to be friendly and welcoming people. They are amiable, hospitable, and have an inherent trust in people. If you ever find yourself in need of help, do not hesitate to ask your fellow Uruguayan friend. Uruguayans will go out of their way to help others and start a friendly conversation with everyone.
  • Nature. Despite being a small territory, Uruguay will offer you some of the most mesmerizing landscapes you will ever see. The country has many beautiful mountains, beaches and lagoons, gardens and parks, and a variety of wildlife. 

Best Places to Retire in Uruguay 

No matter the region you choose to move in, one thing’s for sure, you will feel safe. Uruguay ranks high when it comes to safety and peace in the country, making it easier for you to accommodate.

Here are some of the best places to retire in Uruguay.

Montevideo 

Montevideo is the capital and largest city of Uruguay, situated on the southern coast of the country. The pleasant outdoor areas, shopping centers, and delicious Uruguayan food are just some of the reasons why many people settle in Montevideo.

You can enjoy a great lifestyle in the green city while also enjoying many other activities around Montevideo.

Salto

The second-largest city in Uruguay, is heaven for tourists all over the world. Salto is located in the most beautiful scenery of the northwestern part of the country and serves an important role in the country’s tourism status. With its beautiful and picturesque sites, clear water, stunning waterfalls, and parks, Salto offers you days of quietness and tranquility.

Ciudad de la Costa

Ciudad de la Costa is a city in the Canelones Department of Uruguay and home to impressive attractions and experiences. Ciudad de la Costa is a great place to visit and live in. The city has many beautiful beaches and some luxurious restaurants around the coast where you can enjoy a delicious meal.

Atlantida

A resort town, is always a great place to spend your retirement. Atlantida possesses a rustic charm and offers you the comfort you need. Its natural beauty makes Atlantida a tourist capital of the Costa de Oro.
The resort is perfect for retirees who just want to relax on the beach and in parks but also appreciate the culture of the city.

Piriapolis

Piriapolis is a coastal city and one of the country’s earliest resorts. The city is famous for its belle époque–style buildings, esplanade, and luxurious hotels. 

It is perfect for cycling around and seeing the beautiful sites around the city, but you can take tours to visit the zoo, museums, the port, or seaside resorts.

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