Discovering Uruguay: 5 Compelling Reasons We Chose to Make It Home
Last month, we shared our blog “Why Did We Choose Uruguay to Live?” (https://www.pressstartevolution.com/blog/why-we-chose-uruguay-to-live/) and this time, we’ll delve into the 5 points on which our decision was based:
1. A country that was geographically closer to Colombia.
While Uruguay is closer to Colombia than Australia, it’s worth mentioning that traveling to and from Uruguay can be expensive and quite a journey. Living in Punta del Este, you have to drive for about an hour and a half to reach the Carrasco International Airport. If you go by car, you’ll need to budget for parking, which ranges from $13 to $15 USD per day. If you need a month of parking, the approximate cost is $165 USD. One advantage is that one of the airlines offers a direct flight of 6 and a half hours from Montevideo to Bogotá. Other airlines offer layovers, making the journey longer but more economical, at least in terms of the airfare cost.
2. A country with a friendly immigration environment, where the cost of permanent residency was not excessive.
Being that Colombia is a Mercosur-associated country, as Colombians, we had priority to go through the legal residency process, obtaining it in record time (6 months for temporary and 9 months for permanent), even though we went through the process during the pandemic.
In 2020, we were only required to meet 3 criteria to apply for legal residency. The first was having the vaccination scheme required by Uruguay, having a Colombian passport, and providing a criminal record for the past 5 years from the places where we had lived. In our case, this meant presenting the Australian police check and the Colombian criminal record. Regarding the vaccination scheme, we were able to obtain it for free in Uruguay, as we didn’t have the necessary certificates.
We obtained our Uruguayan identity card within 4 months of starting our residency process in the country, which is a significant advantage when you’re immigrating, as it gave us the same rights as Uruguayans, something that was not the case in Australia or the USA.
As for the cost of residency, it was approximately $80 USD per person, and the cost of the identity card for the first time was $10 USD per person. Unlike other countries, residency procedures in Uruguay are conducted on an individual basis, not as a family group
3. A country where studying was not a requirement (both of us already had master’s degrees).
While Uruguay is a country that seeks qualified personnel, they don’t require you to study, as many other countries do, for residency procedures. This is a significant advantage.
4. A country that offered us a good quality of life. While the response to quality of life is highly subjective, for us, part of that quality of life translated into safety.
Coming from Australia, a country known for its safety, we can say that we have felt very similar in Uruguay. Although in Montevideo, being the capital, there might be more insecurity, the ability to park your car on the street without feeling unsafe, walk around without concern, or have a phone conversation in public is something we have been able to do without ever feeling at risk.
Especially in Punta del Este, the city where we’ve lived for more than three years, we have never encountered any security issues, despite the fact that the city can feel quite deserted in some months of the year.
5. A country that was politically and economically stable.
This aspect is not insignificant when searching for a country in which you want to build your life and your children’s future. In this regard, Uruguay is known for its political and economic stability, offering favorable conditions to those who have undergone the migration process.
It’s important to note that Uruguay is considered one of the more expensive countries in Latin America, and it’s essential to understand that if you want to live outside Colombia, most countries will offer a higher cost of living. However, when comparing the cost of living in Uruguay with countries like the United States or Australia, it is much lower than in those countries but higher than in Colombia.
Why is this topic relevant to our company, Press Start? As we all know, companies are composed of people, and if these people are not comfortable in their day-to-day lives, they cannot perform their work to the best of their abilities. Based on this philosophy, Press Start has always operated remotely, understanding that everyone’s ideal place in the world is different.
If you are considering living in Uruguay or are on the path to entrepreneurship and would like more information on how to start a company, we can provide you with more details about our experience. Contact us for more information here https://www.pressstartevolution.com/contacts/.