Visas and Work Permits 9 min

Work permits and visas in Uruguay: an employer’s guide

Written by Sally Flaxman
Sally Flaxman

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If you’ve found the ideal candidate in Uruguay or want to relocate an existing employee to the country, you’ll have to make sure they have the right work permit or visa to live and work there.

Navigating different laws and regulations abroad while hiring employees worldwide can be complicated, even for well-established companies. Employers must pay close attention to employee eligibility and make sure they’re operating in full compliance with immigration laws in Uruguay.

Not securing the correct visa or work permit leaves employers open to legal risks if they don’t follow procedures properly. To cut down on the effort and hassle involved, employers can choose to work with an employer of record who can make it easy to manage all the processes involved in hiring international employees.

This article will provide an overview of work permits and visa requirements in Uruguay, and key considerations that employers must keep in mind while relocating an existing employee or hiring talent in Uruguay. 

Why is immigration compliance important in Uruguay

Ensuring legal compliance with Uruguay’s local laws is a must for both employers and employees.

Governments can enforce local legislation — levying fines, jail time, and deportation orders — if individuals or organizations are in breach of legislation. Therefore, finding out exactly what is legally required when it comes to work visas or permits should be an employee’s top priority before traveling abroad.

Business owners should also be aware of immigration requirements before extending an offer of employment, as they could face potential penalties if their employees do not have immigration documentation in order (whether this was intentional or not). 

Understanding immigration law requirements might seem like an added complexity while considering global employment, but making serious efforts to be immigration compliant can save businesses serious trouble down the line.

Who needs a work authorization check in Uruguay?

Any foreign national who is a non-citizen of Uruguay will need a work authorization check. Once the employee is eligible to work, they might need a visa to enter the country. Individuals from certain countries can enter Uruguay without a visa for up to 90 days.

If the individual wants to live and work in the country for a longer period, they will have to apply for a residence permit. To work in the country for more than 30 days after entry, applicants will have to possess a specific temporary or permanent residency permit.

Remote can make the Uruguay work permit process easier and faster. All documents can be verified, signed off, and stored in our secure online system — which can be accessed easily by companies or recruiters. We thoroughly analyze an employee's eligibility based on national laws. So, permission to work can be approved without any physical appointments.

If employees face any issues regarding their work authorization and immigration compliance, Remote's knowledgeable immigration experts are available 24/7 to provide help every step of the way in full compliance with government regulations.

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Do non-citizens need a work visa or work permit in Uruguay?

Non-citizens do require a work permit in Uruguay. However, note that Uruguayan regulations do not offer specific “work permits”. Instead, employees can work in Uruguay by getting themselves a residence permit. 

What are the eligibility requirements for a work visa in Uruguay?

Foreign nationals who want to work in Uruguay need to meet the following criteria:

  • You must demonstrate a genuine purpose for traveling to Uruguay. 

  • Your financial means should cover all expenses during your stay. 

  • Evidence of intention to return is essential; this could be proof of family ties, employment, or other commitments in your home country.  

  • A Criminal Record Certificate may need to be presented as part of the application process, and you must prove good character overall.  

  • Applicants are expected to meet the minimum health requirements set by relevant agencies before entering Uruguayan territory.

If you have previously violated any immigration laws or been deported from the country before, you will not be eligible for a visa or work permit in Uruguay.

What are the long-stay visa types in Uruguay?

There isn't an applicable long-stay visa for work in Uruguay, per se. 

There is a work or employment visa that allows you to enter the country for work up to 30 days, after which you'll then need to apply for a residency, which then allows you to stay long-term.

After applying for the work visa, remember, that you must enter Uruguay within 30 days and begin your residency process before it expires. To get approved, you need an employment offer from an authorized Uruguayan company or organization along with a photocopy of the ID from its reference person.

To stay in the country for longer, foreign citizens can apply for one of two visas, as described below.

  • Temporary Visas. It allows individuals to work in the country for up to two years and can be renewed. To be eligible for this visa, the applicant must have a contract with a company in Uruguay or outside the country.

  • Permanent Residence Visas. This is a long-term, indefinite visa granted to those who want long-term residence in Uruguay and can prove that they can work in-country beyond two years.

The Provisional Identity Sheet (Hoja Provisoria de Identidad) allows you to stay in Uruguay for up to six months before leaving, or once this period passes, employees have to apply for a temporary or permanent residence accordingly.

How do you get a work visa for Uruguay?

As mentioned, to be able to work legally in the country, foreign employees must become legal residents. They can do this by applying to the National Immigration Directorate. Once the employee receives their identity card, they must register with the Banco de Previsión Social (BPS) with this document to work legally. 

The mandatory documents that you’ll need to apply for all visas are:

  • Fully completed visa application form

  • Recent passport-size photo

  • Relevant original passport valid at least six months after your planned departure date from Uruguay

  • Photocopy of page one with personal details from your passport

Additionally, to apply for a work visa, you’ll also need the following documents:

  • A confirmed job offer from a legitimate business entity registered with the Uruguayan government. It should include details of their operations, registration information from DGI (Dirección General Impositiva), and the tax authority, and the state-owned social security institute BPS (Banco de Previsión Social). You also need the signature of the company's legal representative.

  • Photocopy of official ID belonging to the person who endorses your stay.

Once you have all the required documents, you can book an appointment with the Uruguayan embassy, consulate, or visa service in your country of residence. Documents can be sent ahead via courier service or simply brought along on your scheduled day.

Remote offers an extensive range of relocation services for employers relocating staff abroad. This includes providing advice and sponsorship on work permits and visas, as well as ensuring local immigration regulations are understood. Our team can help you navigate these complexities and ensure a successful transition while being compliant at each step of the way.

What is the process for employee work visa sponsorship in Uruguay?

Employers sponsoring a foreign employee who is moving to Uruguay must have a valid certificate, title, or document issued by the relevant authority in their home country. This needs to prove that they are part of an industry, profession, or craft that allows them and their family members to live independently without requiring social aid and having enough resources for this.

It is illegal in Uruguay for employers to hire foreigners with no legal residence status. 

Note that permanent residents and temporary residents are protected by labor laws in Uruguay, during the duration of the granted residency status granted. On the other hand, non-residents may only take up certain limited types of job functions that depend on national legislation and international instruments ratified by Uruguay. Any entity hiring foreign employees must stay informed about the relevant labor regulations to ensure compliance with national laws, similar to when employing citizens.

Remote can make your international employment plans in Uruguay a breeze. Our specialized Relocation team has been designed to simplify the process of settling and obtaining a work permit. Get up-to-speed on international employee relocation with Remote's comprehensive guide: How to handle international employee relocation

What are the visa requirements for digital nomads in Uruguay?

Uruguay does not have a specific digital nomad visa.

However, Uruguay’s version of a digital nomad visa is the newly amended Provisional Identity Sheet (Hoja Provisoria de Identidad) or short-term provisional identity cards that last up to 180 days. These were previously only available if you were employed or sponsored by a company from Uruguay. 

Before you secure your Provisional Identity Card, you first need to prove your source of income (since you’re not being sponsored by an employer). You can present documents from your home country demonstrating proof of funds and one's livelihood in Uruguay. After doing so, you can secure a provisional identity card valid for one year from the National Civil Identification Office. After these are accomplished, you will then be provided access to other services such as getting a driver’s license or setting up bank accounts.

Why use an employer of record to hire in Uruguay?

Even if employees are authorized to work in Uruguay, you must be able to hire them compliantly in the country. This means you’ll have to open a legal entity in Uruguay — a long-winded and costly process. Plus, legal compliance with local employment is always tricky while hiring abroad. 

That’s why many employers choose to partner with a trusted employer of record service that can take on the legal responsibility of international hiring on their behalf. An EOR handles onboarding, payroll, taxes, benefits, immigration, and compliance — making it much quicker and easier for you to hire globally. Learn more about EOR services work in our article below.

12 min

How to use an Employer of Record in Uruguay

Learn how to use an EOR in Uruguay and find out how an employer of record platform like Remote can make it easy to hire globally with full compliance.

If you're looking to relocate employees internationally, you need a good grasp of immigration laws in the country of hiring. You’ll also need to be aware of the risks of permanent establishment and income tax practices before you begin the process.

Obtaining a work visa or permit in Uruguay can be complicated, especially without a reliable provider of employer of record services. Finding a trusted EOR makes it easier for employers to hire and manage employees legally. 

But don't worry — Remote can help! Our global employment services make it quick and easy to hire in Uruguay and beyond. We can guide you on global payroll, onboarding, employee benefits, and work permits, all while ensuring compliance with local laws. With Remote, you can:

  • Evaluate employee work eligibility and help you understand relevant immigration regulations

  • Handle and process documentation for work visa applications

  • Offer expert guidance on every aspect of immigration compliance, from processing work permits to renewing visas.

  • Renew and extend work permits in time and ensure adherence to up-to-date labor rules

  • Manage ongoing compliance with local labor laws and tax practices.

Download Remote’s Relocation Guide for more insights into how you can make the process of employee relocation compliant and hassle-free. Or book a consultation with our expert team of Mobility specialists and get the process moving along today!

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