Immigration to Uruguay is Up

(Paradise Uruguay12/9/10) A couple of friends sent me a link to an article in BBC’s Mundo last week. According the article, 2009 was the first year in 44 years that Uruguay’s net migration was positive.

So, who is coming to Uruguay?

Returning Uruguayans
Uruguay has the most highly educated population in South America. It has not been uncommon for many Uruguayan college graduates to move to countries like the USA, Australia, and Spain where they could find greater economic opportunity. However, as job opportunities abroad are becoming scarce, many Uruguayans are returning home to be close to their families and friends.

Many workers are attracted to Uruguay, where legal immigrants are given the same access to health care and social security as Uruguayan citizens. To qualify for residency, the new immigrant must show that he has a way to financially sustain himself. Jobs in Uruguay are generally attractive to people from less economically developed countries in Latin America. The Uruguayan government has suggested that workers from India may be good candidates to work in Uruguay’s vast countryside.

Uruguay’s real estate market continues to attract attention from international investors. Uruguay is one of the few countries that did not go into recession during the global financial crisis. Uruguay’s banking industry is strong, real estate development is robust, and property values are solid. Many investors also find Uruguay to be a convenient place to live while exploring investment opportunities in other countries in the region.

Some professionals who come to Uruguay for international work assignments end up staying and making a life. The reason is usually less about income potential and more about an enchantment that developed with the people and culture of Uruguay.

Many retirees are choosing Uruguay as a place to live. The decision to retire to Uruguay is usually more about overall quality of life and not just about affordability. (There are less expensive Latin American countries to choose, if cost of living is the driving factor.) Many people from both Europe and the United States report experiencing a “home” feeling in Uruguay.

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