Uruguay is a hidden paradise away from the financial turmoil gripping the United States. With its beautiful beaches and gently rolling hills of vast farmland, I can understand why so many people are considering investing in Uruguay.
Thursday’s real estate tour got attendees one step closer to both a second home and a great investment to both protect and grow their wealth.
But what about attaining a second residence or even a second citizenship? Is it mind-numbingly hard and complicated? In today’s sessions, Juan Fischer and Carla Piaggio explain that it certainly doesn’t have to be…
Real Estate Without the Bubble
Before the real estate tour on Thursday, Sancho Santayana of 360 Terra International Realty spoke to attendees about the real estate market in Uruguay. He commented, “Nothing ever happens in Uruguay”: which is a good thing! The country enjoys mild weather all year long, suffers from no natural disasters and has huge water resources. Uruguay has excellent education with a 97% literacy rate, wonderful healthcare and a very low crime rate.
Overall, property taxes are very low. There are very few mortgages. All real estate is bought in cash, so there will never be a real estate bubble/crash, making this a very secure market. In Punta del Este, you could buy a condo and rent it out for the months of January and February, and the amount of money you will generate over those two months will cover all your expenses, taxes, etc… for the entire year.
He explained that the average return on investment for property in Punta del Este is about 3% per year. Investing in Uruguay isn’t a get rich quick real estate market, but a great way to store and even grow your wealth over the long run.
Painless Second Residence
Taking that first step to attaining a second residence or even a second citizenship can be daunting. Just the thought of all the paperwork makes you want to sit down and weep. But it doesn’t have to be difficult and you don’t have to do it alone. Carla Piaggio is the Director of the Residency and Relocation Department of Fischer & Schickendantz, and she kicked off the presentations this morning, walking attendees through the process of acquiring residency or citizenship in Uruguay. An incredibly welcoming and friendly country, applicants are not required to make an investment and the process is relatively simple (if a bit bureaucratic). Overall, it takes about 12 months to acquire permanent residency and three to five years to acquire citizenship and a passport.
There are two key things that are required for residence and citizenship. The first is proof of income. While there isn’t a minimum, you do have to prove that you have income enough to support your lifestyle, such as a pension, retirement fund, work contract in Uruguay or abroad, or dividends or income from investments. Uruguay also requires that you spend time in the country. It isn’t looking to sell their citizenship like some other countries. It wants people who actually want to be in Uruguay. For the first year, applicants are required to spend at least eight months in the country.
There is a bit more paperwork involved but Carla Piaggio and her team can help you navigate the process with ease.
The Uruguay passport is well respected and can provide you with a viable option for your personal Plan B.
If you’re considering residence or citizenship in Uruguay, then you’re going to need to bank in the country as well. Juan Fischer and Carla Piaggio talked about banking in Uruguay today, revealing that Uruguay is actually the financial center for the region, serving Brazil, Argentina and Chile’s needs. Rated investment grade by Moody’s S&P and Fitch, Uruguay’s banks treat foreign and local investors equally. In fact, 25% of bank accounts belong to non-residents.
In Uruguay, there is no forced conversion, so you can hold your money in pesos, U.S. dollars, or euros if you want. There’s also no restriction or taxes on transferring your money into or out of the country.
Uruguay has a solid legal system with a strong reputation for respect of contracts and private property.
Juan and Carla also walked attendees through the simple process of opening a bank account in Uruguay, listing what paperwork would be required.
It’s Not Too Late
Later this afternoon, there is a panel featuring our Uruguay experts so that attendees have a chance to ask their questions about living and investing in Uruguay. Today, attendees will also have the chance to hear from an American expatriate who moved to Uruguay. He will be providing in-depth details on what it took to make the move, from signing the first bit of paperwork to moving his personal items to what his daily routine in Uruguay is like.
I won’t be able to get all the details, but you don’t have to miss out. The Offshore Investment Blueprint will have videos of all the panels and presentations, as well as videos of the two tours. For more information, please click here.
Your Conference Insider,
Sr. Managing Editor, Sovereign Investor Daily