With permanent and temporary immigration on the rise since 2010, the migratory flow in Uruguay registered an increase of 68% in the period covered by this report (2010 to 2013). At the same time, the stock of immigrants has decreased. While in 2010, Uruguay had 80,000 people born abroad, by 2013 it was home to 74,000 immigrants, which represent 2.2% of the total Uruguayan population.
In 2012, the emigration of Uruguayans to the OECD countries and Latin America was double the immigration flow that the country received in 2013. More than 10,000 Uruguayans left the country in 2012, of which 41% did so towards the neighboring country, Argentina. Compared to 2009, emigration has fallen slightly, although flows to Argentina have intensified.
In relation to the labor insertion of Uruguayan migrants in the markets of Europe and the United States, the total employment rate decreased from 65.5% to 63.3% in the period 2010-2013. It should be noted that the participation rate of women increased in the period by almost 6 points, while employment fell by one percentage point.
In Uruguay the number of asylum seekers remains very low. In 2013 there were 37 asylum seekers, a figure similar to that of the previous year. The most important countries of origin continue to be Colombia and Peru. For the same year, 203 refugees resided in the country.
In 2013, there was a small increase of 0.6% in remittances sent to the country, totaling 133 million dollars.
The National Statistics Institute prepared estimates of the number of returnees from the 2011 Census, calculating an average of 5,000 returnees per year since 2009 (February 2013). Most of them are of an economically active age, between 30 and 39 years old, and more than half of the returnees live with a person born abroad. According to the INE, Spain became the first country of origin for returnees and the relative weight of returnees from the United States also increased.
For returnees who have lived abroad for more than two years, the Return and Welcome Office offers various programs derived from agreements that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has signed with other public entities. The agreements cover areas such as health, communications, insurance and rent guarantee. Returned emigrants can access these programs only once and within the terms established by each organization or institution, not exceeding, in any case, one year from the date of arrival in the returnee’s country.
In 2014, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was granted the power to receive applications for permanent residence, making it possible from now on that the procedures can be done in the consular offices of the country in the world. The regulations are in line with the Residence Agreement for Mercosur nationals signed in 2002 in Brasilia and approved in Uruguay in 2005.
There is a project under consideration and it would modify the law on nationality, granting the status of natural citizens to the children of a Uruguayan father or mother who were born outside the national territory. In turn, on August 28, 2014, Law No. 19,254 was approved, granting “permanent residence” to spouses, common-law spouses, parents, siblings and grandchildren of Uruguayans, as well as to all those citizens of the Mercosur countries and Associated States.
Finally, a number of measures have been approved to facilitate the reduction of obstacles to the integration of migrants. Specifically, the cost of the health card for migrants has been reduced, the cost of the legalization process for documents that pass through the Foreign Ministry has been waived, and the requirement to translate documents for nationals of Mercosur countries has been eliminated.
Main indicators of migratory movements, the migrant population and the employment of emigrants
|Immigration (foreigners)||Number of people||Per 1000 inhabitants||Change in percentage|
|permanent and temporary||2183||1071||2426||3672||1.1||68|
|Total immigration by type||Number of people||% distribution|
|Emigration (nationals)||Number of people||% of the total||% change|
|Non-standardized data of destination countries||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012||2012/2009|
|All the countries||10827||9274||9205||10402||100||-3.9253717557957|
|Asylum applications and refugees||per million inhabitants||Number of people|
|Components of population growth||per thousand inhabitants|
|Natural growth (vegetative)||8.365||8.49||7.484||6.519||5.783|
|Foreign-born population||Percentage with respect to the total population||Personas||% change|
|remittances||Millions of dollars||% of GDP||% change|
|Macroeconomic indicators||Annual growth in %||Average annual growth||Level|
|Real Gross Domestic Product||8.4040874233699||7.3411835435951||3.6763673932549||4.3965970035582||5.9545588409446||–|
|Gross Domestic Product/per capita (PPP at 2011 international dollars)||8||7.001276301685||3.3367892725047||4.0452205137179||5.6095778501159||18966|
|Labor insertion of national emigrants in Europe and the United States||percentages|