Uruguay Basics – 1 of a new series

Plaza Fabini, Centro, Montevideo
Plaza Fabini, Centro, Montevideo ©2011 Mark Mercer

Starting a new series of posts here at Uruguay Expat Life, with just the basics. We get lots of questions in our email, social media. and other channels. Much of it keeps coming back to some of the same questions. Our several years of posts have touched on most of the regular questions, but have been in the context of larger stories, anecdotes, photo essays, commentary on news articles, or other topics.




Let’s start with some real basics. These will get admittedly simplified answers, but are some of our top questions we get directly, or see others asking on Uruguay-related sites.

Basic questions about moving to Uruguay:

  1. Can I visit Uruguay?
  2. Can I move to Uruguay?
  3. How much money do you need to have to move to Uruguay?
  4. What do I have to do to move to Uruguay?
  5. Can I bring my household items to Uruguay?
  6. Will my <fill in the blank> work in Uruguay?
  7. Can I bring my car to Uruguay?
  8. Can I bring my pet to Uruguay?
  9. Can I use my credit/debit cards in Uruguay?
  10. Can I get a bank account in Uruguay?

Each of those is worth a “basics” or a longer, full, post, by themselves. Many of them Lisa and I have addressed in existing posts, so please search via your favorite search engine, or the handy on-site search widget at the top of every page. Also look for our posts at our social networks, which have handy widgets on the sidebar to help you get to them. But let’s take a quick shot at each.

Answers to basic questions about moving to Uruguay:

Continue reading Uruguay Basics – 1 of a new series

UK expats losing their Barclaycards. Plus tax hassles! – reblog from ExpatsBlog.com with our take on it.

Image of Barclaycard Platinum Visa card
Keep Calm and Kiss This Card Goodbye

Reblogging this financial bad news from ExpatsBlog.com, for the benefit of our many readers who are from the United Kingdom. Uruguay’s largest contingent of English-speaking expats most likely are from USA, but UK is right up there near the top. Usually the bad financial news, in terms of home-country-induced major inconvenience, is hitting the US folks. FATCA, FBAR, and being fired as a customer from every bank in Uruguay except for BROU. Along with some reports of US-based banks closing accounts for US citizens who moved here. (Fortunately has not happened to us, but we do have a US address too.)

This time it’s you Brits who are suffering. Well, along with the Scots, at least till the referendum, the Welsh, and the Irish in Northern Ireland, who have moved here or elsewhere. Barclays is closing your credit cards: Continue reading UK expats losing their Barclaycards. Plus tax hassles! – reblog from ExpatsBlog.com with our take on it.

Why Is My US Brokerage Firm Closing My Account? – ExpatFocus.com

Initial thoughts

on this column, which I just got via my email subscription to the Expat Focus – Argentina group on Facebook. As a Uruguay resident-in-processing, I do try to keep up with what goes on next door in our “big sister”, Argentina, so I subscribe to it.

ExpatFocus.com logoWell whether you are in Uruguay, Argentrina, Switzerland, Thailand, or Namibia, you may have yet another unpleasant surprise courtesy of Uncle Sam, if you are a “US Person” (a US citizen, or a US legal permanent resident):

Why Is My US Brokerage Firm Closing My Account? – Financial – Articles | ExpatFocus.com.

(Uruguay Expat Life does not have an opinion on the services provided by the author of the linked article, which, while giving good information, is also soliciting customers of that author’s tax services. Caveat lector.)

Just freaking lovely. Continue reading Why Is My US Brokerage Firm Closing My Account? – ExpatFocus.com

Uruguay raises reserve requirement to fight inflation

Uruguay central bank ups reserve requirements to combat inflation | Reuters.

This report broke on my Google News Uruguay filter, just as I was making some notes for an upcoming Cost of Living post. That’s probably a few days away, but yes, we are having some inflation problems. This move by the central bank, BCU, to raise the fractional reserve requirements is a big one, and it does make a lot of sense. I don’t know if it will help the inflation problem, but it does help keep our banking and monetary system a lot less likely to crash than, for example, the USA.

Photo of several denominations of Uruguayan currency
Not worth quite as much as when we arrived, but isn’t it pretty?
Photo credit mercopress.com

Relatively short explanation of the “reserve” requirement concept. For a filmed version, re-watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” for Jimmy Stewart’s explanation of why the money on deposit isn’t in the bank. Except nowadays it’s more like Mr. Potter’s bank, not the good old Building and Loan!

Simply put, when you deposit money into the bank, it creates new money. Continue reading Uruguay raises reserve requirement to fight inflation

It’s Not All Chivitos and Ponies – part 2 – Banking for USA folks

Marcos here, with another “it has its hassles” post for you. Lisamaria and I are dedicated to bringing you the truth about life here in Uruguay. Remember, we love it overall, are thrilled that we are here, and have every intention of remaining in this welcoming and thriving country.

That said, especially if you are estadosunidense (literally USA-ian, and far less offensive in English than appropriating two whole continents for the name of one country), you are going to have one heck of a problem banking here. Because every bank in Uruguay is “firing the customer” if you are a US citizen. It isn’t their fault. It is the fault of the USA. The USA is trying to make every bank in every other country into an IRS Enforcement Agent. Hey, if I was running a bank I’d fire every US customer too, to avoid the Wrath of Obama (plenty of Republican blame on this one too, bipartisan arrogance in trying to rule the world.)

Of course there is one bank remaining that will still open account for US people. The bank run by the Government, Banco Republica, or more fully, Banco República Oriental del Uruguay, BROU. Especially if you already have a cédula like me, because that means you have to be treated with full Uruguayan rights under our very liberal and friendly immigration laws. They cannot refuse a cédula holder, and as of my inquiries last week, they still even will open accounts for non-residents with US passports.

Picture of hand grenade and BROU logo that looks just like a grenade.
Someone set us up the bomb – in their ATMs

There is one little problem with that. Continue reading It’s Not All Chivitos and Ponies – part 2 – Banking for USA folks