With an increasing permanent and temporary migration since 2010, the migration flows in Uruguay registered 68% from the period covered by this report (2010-2013). At the same time, the stock of immigrants has decreased. While in 2010, Uruguay was home to 80,000 foreign-born individuals, by 2013 that figure had decreased to 74,000, representing 2.2% of the country’s total population.
In 2012, emigration by Uruguayans towards OECD countries and Latin America was double the immigration flow the country received for 2013. More than 10,000 Uruguayans left the country in 2012, of which 41% did so for neighbouring Argentina. In comparison with the year 2009, emigration fell slightly, though outflows to Argentina have intensified.
The total employment rate of Uruguayans in the labor markets of the United States and Europe decreased from 65.5% to 63.3% between 2010 and 2013. The rate of participation of women increased in the same period by over 6 points, while employment decreased by 1 percentage point.
In Uruguay, the number of asylum seekers remains very low. In 2013, there were 37 asylum requests, 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, there were 203 refugees residing in the country.
The year 2013 saw a small increase of 0.6% in remittances sent to the country, adding up to a total of 133 million dollars.
The National Institute of Statistics has produced estimates of the number of returning migrants beginning with the 2011 Census, yielding a figure of 5,000 returnees per year since 2009 (February 2013). Most of them are of an economically active age, between 30 and 39 years, and more than half live with a person born abroad. According to the INE, Spain became the first country of origin of returnees. The number of those returning from the United States also increased.
For those returnees who have lived more than two years abroad, the Office of Return and Welcome (“Oficina de Retorno y Bienvenida”) offers different special programs based on agreements between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and other public entities. The agreements cover areas such as health care, communications, insurance and rental guarantees. Return migrants can access these programs on a one-time-only basis and within time limits established by each organisation or institution, not to exceed, in any case, one year from the returnee’s date of arrival into the country.
In 2014 the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was granted the power to process permanent residence requests in consular offices around the world. This regulation is aligned with the Agreement on Residence for Nationals of States Party to Mercosur signed in 2002 in Brazil and approved in Uruguay in 2005.
A draft bill currently under consideration would modify the law on nationality, granting the status of natural citizen to the children of a Uruguayan mother or father born outside the national territory. Also, on August 28, 2014 Law No. 19.254 was approved and grants “permanent residence” to the spouses, partners, parents, siblings and grandchildren of Uruguayans, as well as to all citizens of Mercosur countries and associated States.
Lastly, a number of measures have been passed to facilitate administrative procedures for migrants. Specifically, the cost of the healthcare card for migrants has been reduced; the fees for processing the legalization of documents through the Foreign Affairs Ministry have been dropped; and the requirement of translating documents has been eliminated for nationals of Mercosur countries.
Recent trends in migrant’s flows and stocks and in labor market outcomes of emigrants
|Migration inflows (foreign nationals)||Persons||Per 1000 inhabitants||Percent change|
|Permanent and temporary||2183||1071||2426||3672||1.1||68|
|Total migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Migration outflows (nationals)||Persons||% of total||% change|
|From unstandardised destination country data||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012||2012/2009|
|Asylum seekers and refugees||Per million inhabitants||Number of persons|
|Inflows of asylum seekers||6.2277580071174||5.9110633234481||10.897567869022||10.859796505024||8.4740464261528||37|
|Refugees resident in the country||56.049822064057||51.426250913998||53.30972389981||59.582126770807||55.091980912168||203|
|Components of population growth||Per 1000 inhabitants|
|Foreign-born population||Percentage of the total population||Persons||% change|
|Remittances||Millions of dollars||% of GDP||% change|
|Macroeconomic indicators||Annual growth in %||Average annual growth||Level|
|GDP/per capita ((PPP ) in constant 2011 international dollars)||8||7.001276301685||3.3367892725047||4.0452205137179||5.6095778501159||18966|
|Labour market outcomes of emigrants in Europe and the United States||Percentages|