Intergate recently teamed up with Laura Cánepa from Mobility LC to offer South Africans the opportunity to gain residency in Uruguay. Uruguay is a safe, peaceful, soccer-mad South American country that offers residents a high quality of life.
Let’s get to know Laura
Laura Cánepa is a relocation, residency and immigration specialist. Her career stretches over 18 years. During this time Laura has worked for the Uruguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs and one of Uruguay’s biggest law firms, among others.
Today, Laura heads up Mobility LC. Here she offers comprehensive immigration services to new residents and anyone considering Uruguayan residency or citizenship.
Laura’s international experience and residences have helped her to understand what it’s like to be on the other side of the equation. She works to make the daunting task of moving to a new country a smooth and simple process for individuals, families and businesses.
About Mobility LC
Mobility LC is based in Montevideo, Uruguay’s capital. The company prides itself on:
- Providing immigration and mobility services tailored to suit each client’s individual needs.
- Making the immigration process feel as clear, smooth and positive as possible.
- Being able to offer support in 5 different languages – Spanish, English, French, Portuguese and Italian.
- Helping clients connect with Uruguay and its people, its culture, and quality of life.
As Mobility LC says to its clients – “Your success is our personal goal.”
Question and answer session
We asked Laura a couple of questions about her services and the residency process:
Q: How do you help those who seek residency in Uruguay
We understand how stressful it can be to start a new chapter of your life. Especially in a new country with another language! That’s why we offer a personalized, quality professional service that could answer all our clients’ needs.
We provide clients with all the information required in order to make the transition easier. We’re there for them every step of the way, following up on their application file.
We also help clients by:
- Preparing all their documents;
- Providing translations where necessary;
- Putting them in touch with experienced movers and real estate agents;
- Offering assistance with opening bank accounts; and
- Getting clients their Uruguayan IDs.
In a nutshell? We cover every step necessary to guarantee a client’s relocation to Uruguay is successful and stress-free.
Q: Do I have to make any investment to gain residency in Uruguay?
Uruguay has a stated policy of welcoming foreign nationals who wish to come and live in the country. There is no immigration quota, nor does Uruguay’s immigration authority discretionary reject applications. It is not required that the applicant invests in the country, either. Provided the applicant meets a few requirements, permanent resident status is always granted.
Q: How does the process work, from start to finish?
First, the customer contacts us and lets us know his or her intent to apply for residency.
During this conversation, we’ll establish the client’s travel plans. This is necessary because clients have to travel to Uruguay to file their residency application.
The next step is setting up an agenda that fits the client’s travel plans. We’ll agree on all dates for the different appointments with the client.
It is then time for the client to gather the necessary documentation as per our detailed instructions. Copies of all documentation must be sent to us of verification. The originals can be shipped or brought over when the client comes to Uruguay for the first time.
When it is time to come to Uruguay, the client will enter the country as tourist.
Some nationalities may need to apply for a visa prior to coming to Uruguay. Those coming from the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Japan, or Latin America, don’t need a visa.
The first appointment is with the National Migration Office (NMO) to submit the application. Upon submission, the client receives a document which enables them to request a temporary Uruguayan identity card. The temporary ID will be issued after 5 days.
The next important date is picking up the new temporary ID. The client’s status is now ‘Resident in Process’.
With temporary ID in hand, the client can now start his or her new life. The client can open a bank account, apply for a Uruguayan driver’s license, and look for a nice place to stay.
While the client is busy doing all of this, we monitor the processing of the client’s file. This is to ensure:
- All documents are presented and accepted by authorities.
- The application goes through every step until residency is granted.
Once residency is granted, we’ll notify the client. At the same time, we’ll organize a date to pick up their certificate. We’ll also issue a new document with their new status a Legal Resident.
Q: When do people meet with you?
We can always meet first through a conference call, to clarify any doubts people may have. We then continue our communication through email. Once in the country, clients are welcome to have a coffee with us. We’ll use this opportunity to check documents that weren’t sent or shipped to us prior to arrival.
We can also show clients around if they like. I personally like taking clients to different coffee places, bars or restaurants. This gives clients the opportunity to get to know city. I also like sharing info on Uruguay’s history, architecture and available activities.
We’ll again meet with clients on the day of their application appointment. We are always available to assist clients and provide as much information as possible.
Q: Can spouses or life partners and children join?
Yes! We definitely encourage filing for residency as a family as it makes it simpler for the process to move forward.
Also, remember that Uruguay allows same-sex marriage. This may be an encouragement for couples out there seeking to make their love official.
In fact, we have noticed lately that many gay and lesbian couples choose Uruguay as the place to celebrate their union. We are happy to advise on the necessary steps at the same time as the residency application.
Q: What are my rights as a resident?
Residents in Uruguay have the same rights as nationals with the exception of being able to vote.
However, citizenship can also be requested thus acquiring the right to vote. Married individuals can apply for citizenship after 3 years of living in the country while singles can apply after 5 years.
We help clients with the citizenship process as well, if they choose to pursue it. We’ll advise on all the necessary requirements to obtain Uruguayan citizenship, a passport and a voting document.
Q: Why do you love living in Uruguay?
I’ve lived in many countries and Uruguay still fascinates me. It’s relaxed, laid-back energy, the warmth of its people, its architecture, and its history. There are no rush hour or no traffic jams!
I love the outdoor lifestyle Uruguay offers. You only need to travel 30 minutes out of the capital to be at a ranch, riding a horse, or hiking in a forest.
Uruguay’s immense 500 kilometres of non-stop coastline and amazing beaches! The sports, of course, and the food. The wine too! Uruguayan wines get better every single year.
I love that you have free access to museums everywhere (no matter if you’re a tourist, a newly arrived resident, or a national of the country). I also love that we are, despite our size, very proud of our education and culture. We have a very abundant cultural life with international shows all year round.
Last but not least, I love Uruguay’s clear skies. I’ve lived in many countries where sometimes I wouldn’t be able to see the sun for days due to pollution. Uruguay always offers colorful and clear skies that boost your energy and heart.
Here’s what some of Laura’s clients have had to say
~ Debbie and Mike (Residency 2017): “I just wanted to tell you how uncomplicated Laura’s assistance has made the residency process for Mike and I. Besides being extremely professional, personable and efficient, the relationships she has within each department/organization involved proved invaluable. It has been a pleasure working with her, and we look forward to the next step in the process.”
~ Finn (Residency 2017): “In a country as relaxed as Uruguay, Laura is a remarkable go-getter that understands how to keep residency and immigration processes moving.”
~ Alyssa (Residency 2017): “Working with Mobility LC and specifically Laura was a wonderful experience! She expedited everything for us and was with us every step of the way through the Uruguayan residency process. My family quickly and easily obtained residency and her pricing was very competitive. I can highly recommend Laura and Mobility LC to anyone seeking Uruguayan residency!”
Securing Uruguayan residency for your family
There are so many reasons why residency in Uruguay is a good choice for your family.
Uruguay is one of the most liberal and socially developed countries in the world. Uruguay also has one of the lowest crime rates in Latin America and Montevideo is the city with the highest qualify of life in Latin America.
It might also appeal to you that Uruguay welcomes foreign investment in everything from real estate to farmland. It thus does not matter if your first love is the city or the farm, you can live your dream life in Uruguay.
Let’s not forget though that you don’t have to make a financial investment to gain residency. This is unlike many other countries in the world where investments worth millions are often required.
Taking the first step
Ready to take the first step towards securing Uruguayan residency for your family? All you have to do is contact us via the form at the bottom of our Uruguay residency page.
Make contact today and Laura will be able to secure your application date for November 2018.