Learning Uruguay

Every day brings ????

Residencia Legal

Posted by urufish on July 13, 2007


The quest is over.  Picked it up today. 

Called for the past 2 days and there was a cancellation for July 13th at 16:10 (you get appointments for a date and an exact time).  My wife took the car to Minas yesterday.  My wife’s best friend Critstina, offered to take me to the Geant mall. 

She picked me up at 15:50 and we got there at 16:12.  You are supposed to come in alone.  Cristina went shopping.  I went in and handed over my Residentia en tramite with the ‘invitation’ from Immigracion to trade it for the ‘difinitiva’.  One of the 2 clerks at the front took both and punched two holes in my Cedula, (this voids it) and gave it back to me.  She told me to sit down and wait for my name to be called.

Within a few minutes, one of the clerks on the left side called my name.  I sat down and she asked me to take off my glasses.  The camera was well behind her head.  She adjusted it and said it was Ok to put my glasses back on.  Then she asked me to confirm the information on the cedula, line by line.  She was reading it from the computer screen.  I kept saying OK..  When we got to my address, I told I had moved.  I gave her the new address and telephone number.  She typed for a few seconds and then printed the information out.  She read the form and called over her supervisor for a consulta. 

After a few minutes, she ripped up the form, entered more information into the computer, printed it out and gave it to me to sign.  Then she printed out my cedula and asked me to sign it.  Then she asked me for my right thumb, inked it and rolled it on the cedula.  I asked her what went wrong before and she said dont worry.. (be happy).  Then she told me to go around the office, wash my hands, and wait for my name to be called.

I went to the right side of the room and waited with 6 other people.  I stood so I could see the 2 other clerks preparing the cedulas for heat sealing.  Each of the 2 clerks sat at a comuter.  Behind each, on a separate desk, was a screen with the pictures of all the people assigned to this person to process.  When 4 pictures appeared on the screen, the original clerks handed over 4 sets of documents and the ‘final’ clerk started processing them one by one.   She puts them into a heat sealing machine.  When the’re all out, she takes them one by one, and compares front and back to the image of each on file.  She carefully checks the thumbprint.  If she’s not certain it’s clear under the plastic, she uses a custom magnifying mechanism to see them in more detail.  When she’s satisfied the laminated product is perfect, she calls your name and gives it to you.  Then you go out, with the new title, ‘Residencia Legal’.  Mine’s good until 24/4/2010.  I thought it would be for 10 years, but I think citizens get 10 years.  Looks like residents get less.  Total time, 22 minutes.  

NB…  Notice that the top right corner of the back shows your Lugar de Nacimiento (place of birth).  When you open a bank account, they must see your Cedula or Passport.  If you’re born American, this is an automatic reject at banks like ABN, that operate in the US and refuse to cooperate with IRS reporting rules.   

9 Responses to “Residencia Legal”

  1. JP said

    Congrats for obtaining your
    permanent Residency completed


  2. Brazzie said

    Time to celebrate! Now three more years and you can become a real Uruguayo!

    I somehow thought they would only list the country of birth, not the city and Country. Not that it matters.

  3. April said


    Been following your blog because we’re collecting information on a possible dream move. I’ve already lived in Mexico in the 70’s and my husband and I are fluent in Spanish, making a move to South America a bit smoother.

    Here’s the question (about banking) — my husband is a US citizen, but was born in Israel. Does this exempt him from the embargo on US citizen accounts in the banks down there? Hmmm!

    Thanks for your postings!

  4. urufish said

    The best advice I can give someone who is either still a US citizen or a US resident, regardless where you were born or currently live, is to bank where they dont care and dont ask about your US affiliation.

    Banco Republica Oriental del Uruguay (the national bank) is the cleanest choice. They dont care and they dont ask. I was recently told that Americans are welcomed at BBVA and Discount also but I haven’t drilled into them to find out if there are any complications that arent obvious.

    If you’r just asking about a place to put money to pay bills, there’s nothing more to it. But if you’re lucky enough to have money to invest, and you wish to bring it with you, I’d recommend not using BROU.

    I’d recommend going to the freezone (www.zonamerica.com) and choosing a world class operation with solid assets outside the reach of Uruguay. Although Uruguay is the most stable (IMHO) of all countries in SA, the past is not always an accurate predictor of the future. Companies in ZA are prevented from doing business with Uruguyans, so you cant open an account with your cedula. You have to use your passport. If he has Israeli and US, use the Israeli passport.

  5. Ant said

    They have a peculiar system for Visa extensions here. Although I have a 2 year Visa, it seems I have to get it ‘extended’ every 3 months and step out of the country every 6. Since I’m almost at my 3 month mark, I had to go to the immigration office (somewhere near Pza. Independencia) last week. Some one who knew the ropes came along with me. It was a painless process. Go to the desk, present the clerk with your passport and the Point of Entry slip (that you get at the airport when you land here). Get a new form printed, and sign it. He spelled my name wrong twice. 2 new printouts and signatures later, head to the cash counter with 276 pesos. Pay another clerk there. Get the receipt and head to a 3rd counter. Show the receipt and get a stamp on the paper printout. 15 min. and I had an extension.

    No complaints about the clerks. They were very friendly. But 3 counters? I’m sure you could get the same job done with one.

  6. urufish said

    That’s Uruguayan bureaucracy. Helps keep unemployment low.
    It’s interesting what they have you do. Sounds like you’re authorized to stick around for 2 years, but the system only issues 3 month Visas. I’m surprised about the 6 month re-entry… That must also be part of the system’s requirements.

  7. Brazzie said

    I think in most countries the validity of the tourist visa on your passport is independent of how long you can stay.

    The visa stamp basically says that you are allowed to enter the country as a tourist anytime over the next two years. However, once you enter you can only stay 90 days. After 90 days there are mechanisms (as Ant described) to extend your stay as a tourist. If you have a student (or other type of) temporary visa the length of the legal stay may be longer than 90 days.

    For example, my wife has a 5 year tourist visa to enter Brazil. But like Uruguay, once she enters the country she can only stay 90 days. I believe it can also be extended for another 90 days. I know the US has a similar system.

  8. Ant said

    Another interesting to note was no stamp was made on my passport. It was just a receipt that I have to keep. Even if you do get the stamp after 90 days, theres no entry made in your passport as a permanent record. You just pay 450 (mas o menos?) pesos instead of 276. This is for a business visa. Im not sure about the process for tourist / student visa. Havent met anyone with one yet.

  9. Paul said

    Since tourist visas for 3 months are automatically granted for most countries extendible to 6 months, just curious the benefit of a 2 year visa that has the same limitations. I guess if you are not a tourist then perhaps you need that to work or study there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: