Uruguay is the latest country to pass legislation to welcome digital nomads
Digital nomads and remote workers can now obtain a residency permit to work legally from Uruguay for six to twelve months.
Uruguay: a sweet spot between the US West coast and Eastern Europe
“Uruguay is in the sweet spot between the US West coast and Eastern Europe” says Chris Roe, 42, a global communication coach from New York City. “I have a new client from Dubai and when we meet: it’s 9am for me in Uruguay and 4pm for him.”
Roe found himself stuck in Uruguay in 2020 when the borders closed during the pandemic and opted to stay for over a year. He returned for the Uruguay summer season (December-February) this year.
He has loved the great internet connectivity, finding it easy and very affordable to connect on high-quality wifi anywhere in Uruguay—from the beach to the hills as well as the city.
Roe, who has been a digital nomad for over three years and worked out of countries as far flung as Indonesia and Mexico, praises the quality of life in Uruguay. “There's a really nice work-life balance that doesn't exist in other places that I've been.”
Lack of community is a big issue for many digital nomads. In Uruguay, Chris found himself approached by business contacts on LinkedIn interested in inviting him out for a coffee.
Unlike most countries where digital nomads tend to stick together out of necessity, Chris says “the locals in Uruguay are actually willing to help and they want to meet you. It’s so refreshing.”
Uruguay’s president Luis Lacalle Pou has stated his desire to attract 300,000 foreigners to live in Uruguay. Coming to work remotely is a great way to test Uruguay as a future home. It’s an easy place to fall in love with and now remarkably easy to apply to live and work legally as a digital nomad for six to twelve months—and eventually apply for permanent residency.
Why is Uruguay one of the 50+ countries in the world to provide a digital nomad permit?
Since the pandemic tens of countries have launched special residencies designed specifically for remote workers. Commonly called "digital nomad visas", they allow independent business people and remote workers for multinationals and other companies to live and work abroad legally.
Countries as diverse as Brazil, Dubai and Spain offer digital nomad visas. Now Uruguay—celebrated by The Economist as “modest yet bold, liberal and fun-loving”, renowned for its quality of life and with a population of just 3.5 million people—has opened up the possibility for travelling professionals.
A very simple application process
The residency is for people who work for themselves or for companies abroad.
The process is two-part. To apply to stay for six months as a digital nomad, after entering Uruguay as a regular tourist, applicants complete an online form with personal details and sign an affidavit that they have the means to support themselves financially.
After six months, applicants can apply for a further six-month extension or—if they love Uruguay and want to settle—permanent residency.
For the digital nomad extension, applicants must prove they have a clean criminal record in all of the countries they have lived for more than six months in the previous five years. A vaccination certificate issued in Uruguay is also required.
It is worth noting that in Uruguay the export of technology services is tax-exempt. A great advantage for digital nomads working in tech.
At this time there is no salary requirement but this—and other requirements—may change in the future.
Digital nomad process: step by step
Alejandro Ferrari, Gerente de inversiones y Aftercare, Uruguay XXI email@example.com
Crio. Mayor (PA) (CP) Esc. Soledad Sánchez, Coordinadora Administrativa de la Dirección Nacional de Migración: firstname.lastname@example.org
Chris Roe, Roe Studio email@example.com +1 773 428 8538
Karen A Higgs, CEO Guru’Guay firstname.lastname@example.org 099 707068
Learn 8 reasons why Uruguay is a great place to be a digital nomad
Learn how to complete the form to apply for a digital nomad residency.