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Uruguay

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

 

Uruguay
Migration inflows (foreign nationals) Persons Per 1000 inhabitants Percent change
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 2013/2010
Permanent and temporary 2183 1071 2426 3672 1.1 68
Total migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type Persons   % distribution      
  2010 2012 2010 2012    
Family 568 354 26.019239578562 14.591920857378    
Study 118 164 5.4054054054054 6.760098928277    
Work 1326 1838 60.742098030234 75.762572135202    
Other 171 70 7.8332569857994 2.8854080791426    
Total 2183 2426 100 100    
Migration outflows (nationals) Persons       % of total % change
            outflows
From unstandardised destination country data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012 2012/2009
All countries 10827 9274 9205 10402 100 -3.9253717557957
Argentina 3712 2710 3240 4302 41.357431263219 15.894396551724
United States 2545 2038 2238 2037 19.582772543742 -19.960707269155
Spain 2416 2227 1768 1239 11.911170928668 -48.716887417219
United Kingdom na na na 1000 9.6135358584888 na
Asylum seekers and refugees Per million inhabitants         Number of persons
          Average 2010-2013  
  2010 2011 2012 2013   2013
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          
  1985-1990 1990-1995 1995-2000 2000-2005 2005-2010  
Total 6.41 7.23 5.9 0.26 2.8  
Natural increase 8.365 8.49 7.484 6.519 5.783  
Net migration -1.955 -1.26 -1.584 -6.259 -2.983  
Foreign-born population Percentage of the total population       Persons % change
          (thousands)  
  1990 2000 2010 2013 2013 2013/2010
  3.1549151575544 2.6761594427436 2.2616668772253 2.1581057227605 73.528 -4.5789747158444
Remittances Millions of dollars       % of GDP % change
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 2013/2010
  120 124 123 133 0.4 10.833333333333
Macroeconomic indicators Annual growth in %       Average annual growth Level
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2010-2013 2013
Real GDP 8.4040874233699 7.3411835435951 3.6763673932549 4.3965970035582 5.9545588409446 -
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          
  Men   Women   Total  
  2010-11 2012-13 2010-11 2012-13 2010-11 2012-13
Participation rate 86.58436 88.5136 71.9896 77.44414 78.52508 83.06942
Employment rate 73.72269 68.74654 58.78203 57.68459 65.4724 63.30606
Unemployment rate 14.85449 22.33222 18.3465 25.51458 16.6223 23.79138