According to the article named “Uruguay: South America’s best ketp secret?” by Veronica Psetizki for BBC News, Uruguay has seen an increase in migration and, after 44 years, the number of applicants to get resident permits has tripled in four years.
- 3,825 residence permits were awarded in 2009, compared with 1,216 in 2005
- 50% of new legal residents come from Argentina and Brazil
- 288 Americans obtained their residence in 2009
- Europeans make 15% of new residents, with Germans and Spaniards leading the pack
Source: Uruguayan Office of Migration
Americans value Uruguay’s “clean water, good and healthy food, a good educational system, and good infrastructure, both in terms of roads and of internet access.”
Mr Ronald Yoder, an American entrepreneur and investor, decided to move to Uruguay after reading about the country on an investing newsletter. Uruguay has been rated as a good place to live and invest.
For a Paco Bermejo, a Spanish entrepreneur who came to start a landscaping business “in Uruguay, you feel optimistic about the future, something you don’t find in Europe anymore”.
Michael Brown, who came from California says: “you get good food, good wine, nice people, plus there is no rush-hour traffic, and I can get by speaking almost no Spanish at all”.
Carlos Flanagans, director of consular affairs at the ministry of foreign affairs explains that “Uruguay is a politically stable country, it is one of the few Latin American countries that was not affected by the economic crisis, and investors see it as an attractive option. Plus, in 2008, a pioneering migration law was passed that gives immigrants the same rights and opportunities that nationals have”.
Uruguay is atractive to people who are looking to retire and would like a better quality of life. Uruguay is a safe place and the living expenses are lower.
Mr Yoder said: “When you find something good you tell other people about it. A lot of us are telling friends to come and visit. It [has become] a trend, and it is definitely a growing one”.