Emigrate to Uruguay

⇒ culture of Uruguay

⇒ Climate

⇒ Language

⇒ school system of Uruguay

⇒ Health care system

⇒ Vaccinations and medical certificates

⇒ Tax system

⇒ Economy

⇒ Prices by index

⇒ Real estate

⇒ Company foundation

⇒ Visa

⇒ Safety

culture of Uruguay

The culture of Uruguay is rich and diverse, reflecting the country’s history, traditions and way of life. Here are some characteristics that distinguish the Uruguayan culture:

  1. Gastronomy: Uruguayan cuisine is characterized by meat dishes, especially the famous “asado” or barbecue. Uruguayans are proud of their cattle breeding and the quality meat they produce. Other popular dishes include “Milanesa” (breaded and fried cutlets) and “Chivito” (a sandwich with grilled meat, bacon and eggs).
  2. Tango: Tango, a traditional style of music and dance, is widespread in Uruguay. Montevideo, the capital, has a lively tango scene with many clubs and dance events.
  3. Carnival: The Carnival of Uruguay is one of the longest in the world and lasts several weeks. During Carnival, there are parades, dance groups and musical events that fill the streets of Montevideo and other cities.
  4. Mate: Mate is a popular drink in Uruguay and is made from the leaves of the mate bush. It is traditionally drunk in a special cup and is an important part of social life.
  5. Soccer: Football is a passion in Uruguay. The country has a rich soccer history and is home to the national team that has won the FIFA World Cup several times in the past.
  6. Music: Besides the Tango, the “Candombe” is also an important music style in Uruguay. It has African roots and is often played on large drums during carnival.
  7. Artistic Culture: Uruguay has a vibrant artistic scene with many talented writers, artists and filmmakers. Literature plays an important role, and authors such as Mario Benedetti and Juan Carlos Onetti are internationally known.
  8. Progressive legislation: Uruguay is known for its progressive laws in areas such as same-sex marriage, abortion, and legal cannabis. These laws reflect the liberal and progressive character of the country.
  9. Education: Uruguay places great emphasis on education and has a well-developed education system that is free and accessible to all.

The culture of Uruguay is characterized by openness, diversity and a mixture of European, African and indigenous influences. The people of Uruguay are known for their hospitality and relaxed way of life.


The climate in Uruguay is temperate to subtropical and is strongly influenced by the Atlantic Ocean. The four seasons are well defined in Uruguay:

  1. Spring (Primavera): Spring in Uruguay lasts from September to November. Temperatures are gradually rising and nature is awakening with flowering plants and trees.
  2. Summer (Verano): Summer extends from December to February. During this time, temperatures are at their highest and can become very hot in some regions. The average temperatures are between 25°C and 35°C. This is the most popular time for beach vacations and tourist activities.
  3. Autumn (Otoño): Autumn extends from March to May. Temperatures begin to drop and the landscape shows the autumnal discoloration. This is a pleasant time of year to visit the country as temperatures are milder.
  4. Winter (Invierno): Winter lasts from June to August. Temperatures can get chilly in some parts of the country, especially at night. The average temperatures are between 5°C and 15°C. At this time of year, the beaches are less crowded, but there are still cultural events and activities.

Uruguay’s coastal regions are popular year-round because the sea moderates the climate and temperatures are less extreme. Winters can be cooler in the northern regions of the country, such as Rivera, while the southern regions, including Montevideo, have milder winters.

Precipitation distribution also varies by region. In general, the southern half of Uruguay is wetter than the north. The summer months can be rainy, while winter tends to be drier.


The official language and the most widely spoken language in Uruguay is Spanish. Spanish is spoken by the vast majority of the population and is used in educational institutions, media and public life.

In addition, Uruguay has a small number of people who speak other languages, including:

  1. Portuguese: Due to its proximity to Brazil, Portuguese is spoken or understood as a second language by some Uruguayans. However, it is not an official language and is more commonly used in border areas and among certain populations.
  2. English: English is taught as a foreign language in schools in Uruguay, and there is a population that speaks English as a second language, especially in larger cities and among younger generations.

school system of Uruguay

For emigrating to Uruguay with your family, the school system is obviously of great importance:

The school system in Uruguay is public, free and compulsory for children aged 4 to 17. It follows an educational model developed by the Uruguayan government that aims to ensure quality education for all citizens. Here are some characteristics of the school system in Uruguay:

  1. Educational structure: The Uruguayan educational system is divided into different levels:
  • Inicial (Preschool): Preschool education is for children ages 4 and 5 and is not compulsory, but is strongly encouraged.
  • Primaria (Elementary School): Primary education is compulsory and lasts six years, from first to sixth grade.
  • Media (high school): High school education is also compulsory and lasts three years, from seventh to ninth grade.
  • Educación Técnico Tecnológica (Technical and Technological Education): In the last years of high school, students can choose technical or technological education subjects to develop skills in specific professional fields.
  1. Higher Education: Higher education in Uruguay is free and available to high school graduates. There are public and private universities in the country. The University of the Republic (Universidad de la República) is the main public university and offers a wide range of courses.
  2. Quality assurance: Uruguay has implemented quality assurance measures in education to ensure that educational standards are met. The National Agency for Education (ANEP) is responsible for monitoring and regulating the education system.
  3. Education promotion: The Uruguayan government emphasizes education promotion and has introduced various programs to improve education quality and accessibility. This includes measures to reduce educational disparities and promote inclusion.
  4. Language Education: In Uruguay, Spanish is taught as an official language and is the main language of instruction. In high school, English is taught as a foreign language, and students have the opportunity to learn other foreign languages as well.

The education system in Uruguay aims to make education accessible to all and to improve the quality of education. It emphasizes the importance of inclusion and the promotion of skills and knowledge to support the country’s social and economic development.

Healthcare system

Uruguay’s health care system is considered one of the best in Latin America and provides a wide range of health services to the Uruguayan population. Here are some important features of the health care system in Uruguay:

  1. Universal Health Care: Uruguay offers universal health care for its citizens and legal residents. This means that all citizens and legal residents have access to health care services, regardless of their income or insurance status.
  2. Public and private health services: The health care system in Uruguay includes both public and private health care services. The public health system is coordinated and operated by the National Ministry of Health (Ministerio de Salud Pública) and provides a comprehensive range of medical services. Private health care services are also widely available and can be provided by private hospitals and clinics.
  3. Health coverage: Health coverage in Uruguay extends to prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. This includes emergency care, immunizations, screenings, rehabilitation, and medical care for chronic conditions.
  4. Financing: The health care system is financed through taxes and social security contributions. Contributions are paid by employees and employers and help finance the public health care system.
  5. Quality of health services: Uruguay places great emphasis on the quality of health services and has implemented strict quality standards and controls. Medical professionals in Uruguay are well trained and the country has modern medical facilities.
  6. Medical Research and Education: Uruguay has an important medical research and education institution, the Universidad de la República. This contributes to the continuous development of the healthcare system.
  7. Medication supply: Medications are widely available in Uruguay and can be purchased at pharmacies with a doctor’s prescription.
Ein Auszug aus der Tierwelt von Uruquay

Vaccinations and medical certificates

No special vaccinations are usually required for emigration to Uruguay. However, it is recommended to keep the standard vaccinations up to date. This may include vaccinations against diseases such as measles, mumps, rubella, tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis, and hepatitis A and B. Vaccinations against yellow fever are usually only required if you are entering from a yellow fever-endemic country or region.

It is important to note that some visas have their own requirements, so current standard vaccinations and medical exams such as mammograms may be required for some visas.

Tax system

The tax system in Uruguay is progressive and includes different types of taxes on income, wealth, consumption and more. Here are some of the most important taxes and aspects of the Uruguayan tax system:

  1. Income Tax (Impuesto a la Renta de las Personas Físicas, IRPF): Uruguay levies an income tax on the worldwide income of residents and persons staying in the country for more than 183 days. Tax rates are progressive and range from 0% to 36% depending on your income. There are also tax deductions and allowances.
  2. Value Added Tax (Impuesto al Valor Agregado, IVA): The IVA in Uruguay is normally 22% on most goods and services. However, there are reduced rates of 10% and 0% for certain items and services.
  3. Social security contributions: Employees and employers pay social security contributions that help finance the country’s social security systems. Contributions are based on income and type of employment.
  4. Wealth tax: Uruguay levies a wealth tax on real estate, land and securities. The amount of tax depends on the amount of assets.
  5. Inheritance and Gift Tax: Uruguay imposes an inheritance and gift tax on assets transferred from one person to another.
  6. Capital Gains Taxes: Capital gains from the sale of assets may be taxable in Uruguay.
  7. Corporate taxes: Companies are subject to corporate taxes on their profits. Tax rates may vary and depend on the type of business.
  8. Tax treaties: Uruguay has entered into double taxation treaties with several countries to prevent income from being taxed twice.

Tax tricks

Uruguay offers some legal ways to optimize and save on taxes, although this depends on several factors, including your source of income, citizenship and tax status. Here are some common strategies for tax optimization in Uruguay:

  1. Use of tax treaties: Check if Uruguay has a double tax treaty with your country of origin. These agreements can help avoid double taxation and take advantage of tax allowances.
  2. Territorial tax principle: In Uruguay, only money generated within the country’s borders is taxed. Thus, income and assets abroad are not taxed. The exception to this is income from dividends and interest, which is taxed at a flat rate of 12%.
  3. Real Estate Tax Benefits: Uruguay has certain tax benefits for real estate, especially for domestic real estate investments. This may include the development of agricultural or industrial land and the purchase of rural land.
  4. Investing in Tax Havens: Some Uruguayan tax laws make it attractive for foreign investors to invest their funds in certain tax havens or foreign companies. This can help maximize tax deductions.
  5. Pension Visas: Uruguay offers special pension visas for foreign nationals who move to the country and can prove a certain minimum pension. These visas can provide tax benefits and reductions in income tax.
  6. Family Foundations: Establish a family foundation in Uruguay to manage assets and minimize taxes. This requires professional advice and compliance with certain requirements.
  7. Tax optimization for businesses: If you operate a business in Uruguay, you should review tax optimization opportunities for businesses, including tax incentives and deductions that are specific to certain industries or activities.


Uruguay’s economy is considered one of the most stable and advanced in Latin America. It is based on various sectors, including agriculture, livestock, trade, services, tourism and manufacturing. Here are some important features of Uruguay’s economy:

  1. Diversification: Uruguay has diversified economically in recent years and no longer relies solely on agricultural products. The economy now includes services, manufacturing and the tourism sector.
  2. Agriculture: Agriculture is an important industry in Uruguay and includes the production of beef, soy, wheat, rice and dairy products. Uruguay is one of the largest meat exporters in the world.
  3. Livestock: Livestock, especially cattle, is a significant part of the Uruguayan economy. The high quality of Uruguayan beef has led to the country’s international recognition.
  4. Services: The services sector has grown strongly in Uruguay and includes areas such as banking, IT services, logistics and business services.
  5. Tourism: Tourism plays an increasingly important role in the Uruguayan economy. The country attracts tourists with its beautiful beaches, historic cities and natural beauty.
  6. Investment: Uruguay has made efforts to attract foreign direct investment in recent years. The country offers investors political stability and a good business environment.
  7. Social Protection: Uruguay has a comprehensive social safety net and is known for its progressive social programs that make education and health care accessible to its citizens.

Prices by index

Since prices can change constantly even in an advanced economy like Uruguay’s, we refer here to the Cost of Living website. This constantly updates its values and thus keeps you up to date.

Real Estate

As an immigrant in Uruguay, you have the right to buy or rent real estate. Uruguay has no restrictions on foreign nationals purchasing real estate. You can acquire both land and buildings without the need for Uruguayan citizenship or special permits.

Here are some important information to consider:

  1. Buying Real Estate: If you want to buy a property in Uruguay, you should consult a real estate agent or lawyer to facilitate the buying process. You must ensure that the sale is legal and that the title is free of encumbrances or problems.
  2. Real estate renting: Renting a property in Uruguay is also a common practice. The rental market is well developed in most major cities and tourist destinations. You should sign a rental agreement that specifies the terms and conditions of the rental.
  3. Costs: When buying real estate in Uruguay, consider the costs involved, including property taxes, notary fees, and possibly the services of a lawyer or real estate agent.
  4. Legal Aspects: It is advisable to familiarize yourself with Uruguayan laws and regulations regarding the acquisition of real estate. This can help avoid problems and make the process run more smoothly.
Company foundation

As an immigrant in Uruguay, you can start a business. Uruguay has an open and investment-friendly economic policy and makes it easier for foreign nationals and immigrants to set up businesses. Here are some important steps and information about starting a business in Uruguay:

  1. Legal Requirements: You must comply with Uruguayan laws and regulations to properly register your business. This may include registering with the trade registry, obtaining a tax number, and complying with labor and environmental regulations.
  2. Capital requirements: Capital requirements may vary depending on the type of business. Sole proprietorships generally have lower capital requirements compared to public companies.
  3. Business Plan: It is advisable to create a detailed business plan that includes your business idea, target market, financial projections and business strategy. This can help with financing and starting a business.
  4. Government support: The Uruguayan government offers various incentives and support measures for foreign investors and entrepreneurs. Learn about these programs and how they can help your business.

Company forms

In Uruguay, immigrants have a variety of business forms available to them for incorporation. Choosing the appropriate business form depends on your business goals, the nature of your business, and other factors. Here are some of the most common types of companies in Uruguay:

  1. Sole proprietorship (empresa unipersonal): This is a popular option for sole proprietors and small business owners. As a sole proprietorship, you are the sole owner and responsible for all business decisions and financial obligations.
  2. Limited Liability Company (Sociedad de Responsabilidad Limitada, SRL): An SRL is a type of company in which the liability of the shareholders is limited to their contributions. This means that your personal assets are protected from the company’s debts. SRLs require at least two shareholders.
  3. Corporation (Sociedad Anónima, SA): An SA is a corporation in which the capital is divided into shares. This type of company is suitable for larger companies and requires at least two shareholders. Shareholders are only liable up to the amount of their shareholding.
  4. Branch: You can also establish a foreign branch of your company in Uruguay. The branch is legally an extension of the foreign company and is subject to the laws and regulations of the country of origin.
  5. Branch office: Similar to a branch office, a branch office is an extension of a foreign company. However, the branch operates largely independently of the parent company and is governed by Uruguayan law.
  6. Cooperative (Cooperativa): A cooperative is a form of business in which members work together to achieve economic benefits. Cooperatives are widespread in Uruguay and can operate in a variety of industries.

Various visa options are offered for emigration to Uruguay. Here are some of the common visas for immigrants to Uruguay:

  1. Pension Visa (Residencia Temporaria con Fines Rentísticos): This visa is for people who can prove that they have a regular pension or fixed income. The amount of income required varies depending on current regulations.
  2. Investor Visa (Residencia Temporaria para Inversionistas): If you intend to invest in Uruguay, you can apply for an investor visa. This requires the investment of a certain amount of money in Uruguayan real estate or in the Uruguayan banking system.
  3. Legal Residence (“Residencia legal”): This visa allows you to live and work in Uruguay. The requirement for this visa is a minimum income of 500 US dollars (per person), this can either be earned in Uruguay or come from abroad.
  4. Worker or Business Visa (Residencia Temporaria para Trabajo o Negocios): This visa is for foreign professionals who want to work in Uruguay or businessmen who want to start or operate a business.
  5. Family Reunion Visa (Residencia Temporaria por Reagrupación Familiar): If you have close family members in Uruguay, you can apply for a family reunion visa.
  6. Artist or Sportsman Visa (Residencia Temporaria para Artistas o Deportistas): This visa is for foreign artists or athletes who wish to work in Uruguay.
  7. Student Visa (Residencia Temporaria para Estudios): If you want to study in Uruguay, you can apply for a student visa. This usually requires enrollment at an accredited educational institution.
  8. Return Visa (Residencia Temporaria para Uruguayos Naturales o Nacionalizados): This visa is for Uruguayans returning to the country after living abroad.
Security in the country

Uruguay is often considered one of the safest countries in Latin America. It has a low crime rate compared to many other countries in the region and is often considered a safe destination for travel and emigration. Here are some reasons why Uruguay is considered safe:

  1. Political stability: Uruguay has a long history of political stability and is a democracy with a well-established rule of law.
  2. Low crime rate: Compared to many other Latin American countries, Uruguay has a comparatively low crime rate. Violent crime is rare, and tourists and residents generally feel safe.
  3. Effective police: The Uruguayan police are well equipped and work effectively to ensure the safety of citizens and visitors.
  4. Social Programs: Uruguay has a comprehensive range of social programs that promote social equality and improve the living conditions of the population.
  5. Education: The education system in Uruguay is highly developed, which contributes to an enlightened population.

Nevertheless, it is always advisable to inform yourself about the official warnings and safety instructions, we refer to the Foreign Office: Safety Instructions Uruguay.

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