• Faster Permanent Residence Processing and Other Benefits for MERCOSUR Nationals, Relatives of Uruguayans
  • October 7, 2014
  • Law Firm: Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen Loewy LLP - New York Office
  • A new Uruguayan law will offer expedited 30 business day-processing of permanent residence permits and accompanying work authorization to MERCOSUR nationals. Certain relatives of Uruguayan nationals born abroad will be eligible for the same expedited processing of their permanent residence applications.

    To qualify for an expedited residence permit, the individual must have been born in a MERCOSUR member state (Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname or Venezuela) and have a valid passport from that country, or be the legal or de facto spouse, sibling, parent or grandchild of a Uruguayan citizen born abroad.

    It is expected that MERCOSUR nationals will be able to apply for permanent residence immediately upon arrival in Uruguay. Currently, MERCOSUR applicants must reside in Uruguay for two years while holding a MERCOSUR temporary residence permit.

    Residence permit applications - which will require fewer supporting documents - can be filed directly with the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs or at an Uruguayan consulate abroad.

    These changes will become effective in October. The government is expected to issue implementing regulations and specify application requirements within the next several weeks.

    What This Means for Employers and Foreign Nationals

    Nationals of MERCOSUR countries and certain relatives of Uruguayan nationals born abroad will benefit from a less burdensome permanent residence process. Applicants will no longer need to reapply for travel permits or renew their local identification card (cédula) annually, as the current process requires.