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From South Africa, India and Azerbaijan: the origin of immigrants arriving in Uruguay is diversifying

French chef Romain Alexandre Cheblal, 50, has managed to consolidate his professional prestige and is currently working in the big leagues. In fact, as told in this notewhen Coffee & Business communicated with chef Alex -as he is known colloquially-, he was in The Hamptons, New York, America’s quintessential luxury spa.

However, Romain Alexandre Cheblal is already finalizing details to come and settle in The Bar, in Maldonado, and, thus, change his residence from the American spa to the Uruguayan. The decision was made in conjunction with his wife, the Canadian artist Mino Netta, who is already based in Uruguay.

This is just one example of the foreigners who are coming to settle in the country.

The Andersen firm advises foreigners who wish to migrate to Uruguay and accompanies them by offering them investment options and facilitating their fiscal and tax disembarkation. The manager of the Andersen Firm’s Residency and Immigration Division, Francesca Magno, explained that, according to her professional experience, “The interest of foreigners to settle in Uruguay continues, but what is changing is the origin of the people.”

“Not only are we talking about people who arrive from other parts of Latin America, but we have received inquiries from North America and Europe, increasingly. These are strong destinations today,” she asserted.

In this sense, according to figures from the National Directorate of Migration to which Coffee & Business had access, during 2020 61 were granted Uruguayan residences to Germans, in 2021 the figure rose to 85 and in 2022 there were 130. This shows a clear interest on the part of the Germans in Uruguay. Although this is the most representative case, practically all the Western European countries presented this upward trend during the last three years.

For example, in 2020 only 5 Swiss arrived to settle in the country, the following year there were 18 and in 2022 33 arrived.

Likewise, they were granted from this body 353 residences for US citizens and 17 for Canadians During the past year. While in 2021, 73 and 6 had been granted to citizens of these two countries, respectively.

However, Magno expressed that interest in Uruguay has aroused in other destinations, both to live permanently and to work and invest here. “They are new in the sense that before we did not receive as many inquiries from those areas, as South Africa or Japan” Magno added.

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Punta del Este and Montevideo are the destinations chosen by foreigners when settling in Uruguay

Indeed, according to the data provided by Migration, during 2020, 5 Uruguayan residences were granted to residents from that African country. In 2021 this number climbed to 12 and, during 2022, 13 of these documents were delivered. Although the growth was not as important from 2021 to 2022 as it was from 2020 to 2021, Magno explained that Andersen has recorded important levels of consultations from that country, which shows a growing interest in Uruguaysomething that before “did not occur or did not occur frequently”.

Who chose Uruguay to live in 2022?

From Migrations, 6,310 Uruguayan citizenships were granted during 2022. The main applicants came from Cuba (with 2,304). Gone are the Argentines, with 784 issues. In third place were citizens from India with 429 residences granted.

Russia was another Of the countries with a significant number of residences, in fact, during 2022, 105 Russians obtained Uruguayan residence. Its trend was growing and registered a peak last year, after registering, in Migrations, 39 residencies granted in 2021; and 18 during 2020.

If we remain in that region, during those three years 534 residencies were granted to citizens of Romania; 16 to originating from Belarus and 71 to Lithuanians.

while Turkey recorded 124 awards of this document between those three years.

Other remote destinations with interest in Uruguay were Azerbaijan (24 residences were granted in 2021 and 54 in 2022); Kazakhstan (1 in 2021 and 10 in 2022); and uzbekistanwhich took 2 residences in 2022 through Migrations, with no registration of concessions in the previous two years.

China, for its part, was another of the countries whose concessions for Uruguayan residences grew year by year if we consider the period 2020-2022 (9, 49 and 51, respectively). while since South Korea they added 11 Uruguayan residences in those three years.

Magno also expressed that they are registering queries from other Latin American countries, such as Colombiawho previously did not consider Uruguay as a possible destination to settle their homes and develop their jobs or businesses.

During the past year, 159 Colombians obtained residency through Migrations; in 2020, 81 Colombians and in 2020, 30. These figures show the interest on the part of people from that country.

From South Africa, India and Azerbaijan: the origin of immigrants arriving in Uruguay is diversifying

Ines Guimaraens

Cuba, Argentina, India, the United States and Brazil were the top five during 2022, in terms of citizens who confirmed their residence.

Stability, remoteness and projection

The phenomenon of Uruguay as a “second destination”, that is, “foreigners who had previously chosen another destination before, see that they will not be able to live their entire lives there for different reasons and now they opt for Uruguay,” Magno asserted. “It happened to us with clients from Europe who chose to go to Panama and now live in Uruguay,” he exemplified.

“The legal stability offered by Uruguay is essentiala super attraction that we have so that whoever comes can be projected in the country,” added Magno.

Europeans perceive Uruguay as a country that has “life security from now to the future,” the lawyer said. This is because “it is far from potential nuclear wars and conflicts — a trending topic in the inquiries we receive,” he added. The professional acknowledged that she has dealt with clients who, in order to decide where to settle, ask for studies of the geographical scope of the atomic bombs. “They know that Uruguay, like New Zealand or Australia are the possible alternatives,” he added.

“Uruguay has always been considered a distant country. Today, that distance is attractive,” Magno completed.

These factors added to political stability, beyond the political party in power, are essential when deciding to settle in a new country. “It is essential that the rules of the game do not change from one year to the next” so that people can carry out their businesses and establish themselves in Uruguay.

According to the experience of those who arrive in Uruguay at the hands of the Andersen Punta del Este consultancy and its surrounding areas is the favorite destination to settle and Montevideo is the second “although it is growing”.

“The profile of the immigrant that is coming to the country is with foreign capital that seeks to invest in different sectors —such as agriculture or technology— and create jobs,” Magno elaborated.

The cultural and language barrier is the most consulted when making these decisionsTherefore, they recommend that the foreigner spend a few days in the country as vacations to test their experience. Once they complete that experience, “they are delighted to leave Uruguay,” he concluded.

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