DIY Residency Part 2

Time for an update on what’s happened since June

But first, for those so-called experts in the various online Expat Forums who keep telling us “you’re doing it wrong” because we did things in a different order than them, and got our “llegadas” the day we walked into Migraciones without yet the INTERPOL, Health, or formal financial documentation:

Mark's Uruguayan Cédula
Mark’s Uruguay “Cédula de Identidad Nacional”

Yes it’s “Provisional” and I (as well as Lisa Marie) have the status of “Residente en Trámite” – a Resident in Processing. But this, friends, is what they would call back in the USA a “Green Card”.

I also love how the Uruguay cédula has an image of South America, with Uruguay’s location circled, because otherwise nobody knows where we are.


So here’s what we did to get our cédulas: Continue reading DIY Residency Part 2

Uruguyan Residency Process – A long-time expat’s perspective & advice

Our friends over at Expat Daily News Latin America just wrote a great post on how residency in one South American country makes travel to others easier.

Jamie Douglas recounts the experience and options his and his wife, author of “Nine Months in Uruguay“, Julie R. Butler, have gained from living in Uruguay, Argentina, and other Latin American countries. He has great advice about how you can use residency in one country to your advantage. Alternately, how you can “visa-hop” between countries either for multi-month stretches at a time, or do a short hop to renew your base-country tourist permit.

We are happy to share this as another view and as a followup to our recent post on our own residency application process.

I left a comment on Jamie’s post with a couple of updates. Short version: Uruguay now gives you 90 days per entry, not 60, so fewer visa-hops. Argentina & Chile entry fees (one time per life of passport) just went up to $160 from $140 because the US just raised the cost for Argentinians and Chileans to $160 just to apply for a US visa (with no guarantee of getting it.) The “Reciprocity Fee” is entirely understandable, and those countries give US citizens a better deal and more respect than the USA gives to them. So it’s fair. But it’s still nice not to pay it!

DIY Residency Part 1

I’m overdue on this update – we have started the official residency processing. Lisamaria and I are doing this as much as possible “do-it-yourself” – both to save money, and because that’s the kind of people we are. At least in travel. Not so much on home repair, jejejeje.

Two weeks ago we made a day-trip into Montevideo, to visit the Dirreción Nacional de Migraciones – the National Directorate of Immigration. Quite friendly and helpful office. Purpose: to deliver our “Carta del Soliciud para Cambio de Categoria” – our letter of request for Change of Category, from Tourist, to Resident.

certificates of arrival as residents in processing

Said letter which I wrote myself, by the way, primarily in Spanish as the original language rather than translated. Simple language and phrasing, explaining as required why we wanted to become residents, how we could afford it, where we lived, and the bare facts (passport numbers, dates of birth, etc.)

Obviously we had done a lot of research ahead of time, and had chatted with cyberspace and local expat friends. However, we did not hire any kind of “expeditor”, of which there are many, nor an immigration lawyer. We had arranged a tradeout of editing-for-translation with one of Lisa’s clients. Because what would be a “Mark & Lisa have an adventure” experience without something going wrong, they had a conflict and couldn’t make it.  So we were on our own with my long-ago junior high, high school, college, and once-in-a-while self-studied español and Lisa’s 9  months in Uruguay osmosis-spanish for this first visit.

Result: Continue reading DIY Residency Part 1