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Travel Advisories


Travel Advisories

Uruguay Travel Advisory

Travel Advisory
January 10, 2018
Uruguay – Level 1: Exercise normal precautions

Exercise normal precautions in Uruguay.

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Uruguay:

Travel Advisory Levels
1 Exercise normal precautions, 2 Exercise increased caution, 3 Reconsider travel, 4 Do not travel

Oriental Republic of Uruguay
Quick Facts

Must be valid at time of entry


One page required for entry stamp


No, for stays less than 90 days. A visa is required when traveling on a diplomatic or official passport.




$10,000.00; any amount greater must be declared with Uruguay’s Customs authorities


$10,000.00; any amount greater must be declared with Uruguay’s Customs authorities

Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Montevideo

Lauro Muller 1776
Montevideo 11200,
Telephone: +(598) (2) 1770-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 1770-2000 or +(598) (2) 1770-2000 (from the U.S.) 
Fax: +(598) (2) 1770-2040

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Uruguay for information on U.S. - Uruguay relations. 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You do not need a visa for a visit of less than 90 days if you are traveling on a tourist passport. You must have a valid visa if you are traveling on a diplomatic or official passport. Visit the Embassy of Uruguay website for the most current visa information. 

There is an airport tax “boarding fee” for departure. This fee is part of the airfare for international travel – contact your travel agency or airline to confirm. This fee is not included in airfare if you are transiting Uruguay for another country.  You may pay the fee, $44.00, at the airport with an international credit card or in U.S. dollars. 

Travel with Minors:  There are strict exit requirements for children under the age of 18 who remain in Uruguay for more than 365 days, regardless of citizenship or nationality. When a child remains in Uruguay for more than 365 days, and is traveling with only one parent, traveling alone or traveling with someone other than the parents, the minor child is required to have a Permiso de Menor (permission for a minor) issued by the Uruguayan National Immigration Directorate prior to departing Uruguay. If the minor child does not have a Permiso de Menor, the minor child will be prohibited from leaving Uruguay. 

Instructions on obtaining a Permiso de Menor can be found on the Government of Uruguay’s website (Spanish only). The U.S. Embassy strongly advises all parents of minor children to be in possession of U.S. documentation needed to apply for a Permiso de Menor prior to initiating their travel to Uruguay.  Please note that all U.S. documents used to apply for a Permiso de Menor must be apostilled by the U.S. state in which the document was issued to be considered valid by Uruguayan authorities.  The process to apostille a document varies from state to state. Failing to apostille the necessary documents prior to entering Uruguay will delay the process of obtaining a Permiso de Menor.  The Uruguayan government also requires documents to be translated into Spanish by a certified, Uruguayan translator (traductor público).  

Contact the Uruguayan National Immigration Directorate in Uruguay or the Embassy of Uruguay in the United States with questions about required documentation.

The Permiso de Menor requirement does not apply to children assigned to Uruguay on official U.S. government orders who are traveling on diplomatic or official passports.

The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to, or foreign residents of, Uruguay.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page. 


Safety and Security

Crime:  There is a high level of crime in Montevideo, and street crime in particular is common throughout the capital city.  Maintain situational awareness and practice good personal security at all times.  Even in areas with large numbers of tourists, such as Ciudad Vieja, the Rambla, and areas around the U.S. Embassy, armed robberies of both individuals and businesses occur, along with carjackings and auto thefts. 

Thefts, burglaries and robberies are common in upscale residential neighborhoods as well, including Punta Carretas, Pocitos, and Carrasco.  Montevideo continues to experience armed robberies at business establishments, and criminals may use improvised explosives to conduct robberies or to steal from ATMs. Criminals break car windows to steal valuables from vehicles that are parked or stuck in traffic. Sometimes, robbers approach their victims on motorcycles to rob them. The following Montevideo neighborhoods have higher crime rates and it is recommended that official U.S. government personnel avoid or limit travel to these areas:

  • 40 Semanas
  • Bella Italia
  • Borro
  • Casavalle
  • Casabó
  • Cerro
  • Cerro Norte
  • Hipódromo
  • La Teja
  • Marconi
  • Malvín Norte
  • Tres Ombúes
  • Villa Española

During the summer months (December-March), many cities in Uruguay experience an increase in the number of petty street crimes, residential burglaries, and robberies, especially in beach towns such as Punta del Este, la Paloma, Cabo Polonio, la Pedrera, and Punta del Diablo. 

Police cars are clearly marked and equipped with cellular phones. Most police officers do not speak English. 

Demonstrations: Demonstrations, some expressing anti-U.S. sentiment, regularly occur in Uruguay, particularly near the Legislative Palace, City Hall, Parque Batlle and the universities in Montevideo. Additionally, some protests directed toward the U.S. government, usually small in size, can occur around the U.S. Embassy. U.S. citizens visiting or residing in Uruguay should avoid large gatherings or events where crowds have congregated to demonstrate, protest, or cause damage as a byproduct of celebrating an event, such as after soccer matches. 

Victims of Crime:  Report crimes to the local police at 911 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (598) (2) 1770-2000. Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide information on our victim’s compensation programs in the U.S.
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport 

Scams: See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance. If you are in immediate danger, call the police at 911.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties:  While in Uruguay you are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.


Arrest Notification:  If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.


Customs Requirements:  Uruguay's Customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation or exportation of certain items. These include precious jewels, gold, firearms, pornography, inflammable articles, acids, prohibited drugs, plants, seeds, and foodstuffs as well as antiquities and business equipment. Uruguayan Customs also prohibits the importation of subversive materials aimed at overthrowing the government or promoting anarchy, genocide, or other globally condemned practices. Contact the Embassy of Uruguay in Washington, D.C., or one of Uruguay's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements.


Tourists are permitted to import personal effects, including jewelry, cameras, computers, sporting goods, etc., free of duty or taxes. Travelers bringing commercial goods into Uruguay must declare them to customs officers at the port of entry or face possible detention or seizure of the goods and criminal charges. Please see our customs webpage for more information.


Marijuana Policy: Recent changes in legislation allow Uruguayan citizens and permanent residents of Uruguay to purchase limited amounts of marijuana at government-monitored pharmacies, join a registered marijuana club or grow a limited amount of marijuana for personal use.  Please note it remains illegal for tourists and other foreign visitors in Uruguay to purchase marijuana. Anyone who purchases marijuana, and who does not fit into a legal category, may be arrested and prosecuted under Uruguayan law.


Faith-Based Travelers:  Faith-based travel includes a wide variety of activities, including pilgrimages, service projects, missionary work, and cruises, among others. See the following webpages for details:



LGBTI Travelers:  There are no legal restrictions on adult same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Uruguay.  See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.


Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance:  Uruguayan law prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities, but the government does not effectively enforce these provisions. Transportation services are generally not equipped for access by persons with disabilities.  Sidewalks and crosswalks are often in need of maintenance and/or accessibility ramps and can present challenges to persons with disabilities.


Students:  See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.


Women Travelers:  See our travel tips for Women Travelers.


Medical care facilities in Uruguay are considered adequate and most meet U.S. standards. The responsiveness of emergency personnel ambulance service is generally within U.S. standards. Ambulances are staffed with a medical doctor, enabling advanced treatment/care en route to the local hospital. 

The U.S. Government does not pay medical bills and U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost tens of thousands of dollars.   

Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most health care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation. 

Carry prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. There is no restriction on types of medication that can be imported for personal use. Some medications may not be available in Uruguay, so bring a sufficient supply for your stay. 

While rare, the Uruguayan summer can bring about an increase in diarrheal illness and mosquito-borne diseases, so the use of insect repellent is advisable.  


Vaccinations:  Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  There are no special vaccination requirements for Uruguay. 


Further health information:


Travel and Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety: Traffic fatalities are among the most common causes of death in Uruguay. According to the World Health Organization, Uruguay’s rate of traffic deaths per 100,000 people is 50 percent higher than that of the United States. According to the Uruguayan National Road Safety Unit, motorcyclists and bicyclists account for 70 percent of transit-related fatalities. 

Illumination, pavement markings, and road surfaces for secondary roads can be poor. Several of the main highways are particularly accident-ridden because of heavy tourist traffic speed-related accidents including:  Route 1 (between Montevideo and Colonia), the Ruta Interbalnearia (between Montevideo and Punta del Este), and Route 2 (between Rosario and Fray Bentos). The frequency of road accidents rises during the summer beach season (December to March), Carnaval (mid-to-late February), and Easter week. 

If you are in an accident involving injury, stay in place until a police officer arrives. The insurance company will generally respond to the scene as well. Some major roads are centrally monitored via live camera feeds and emergency response may arrive quickly. You should contact 911 immediately to report an emergency, and notify your rental company if in a rental car. 

Uruguayan law requires your vehicle to be equipped with a specific road safety kit (hazard cones, flares, reflective vest, fire extinguisher, etc.), which you can find at most grocery stores or gas stations. Rental vehicles should have these basic kits.


Dial 911 in an emergency. For emergency roadside assistance, call the Automobile Club of Uruguay at 1707 or "Car Up" at 2628 1555. Even if you are not a member, tourists can use this fee-based service.


Traffic Laws:

  • You may drive using your foreign driver’s license in Uruguay.

  • Driving is on the right-hand side of the road.

  • Seat belts are mandatory.

  • Headlights must be on at all times, day and night.

  • Children under 12 years must ride in the back seat.

  • Drivers must keep a first aid kit in the car, which can be purchased at local grocery stores or gas stations.

  • Motorcyclists must wear helmets and reflective vests.

  • The use of cellular phones, as well as texting, while driving is prohibited.

  • Right turns at red lights are prohibited.

  • Drivers approaching  an intersection from the right generally have the right of way, but this right is not always respected.

  • Drivers already in traffic circles generally have the right of way,.

  • Flashing high beams indicates intent to pass or to continue through unmarked intersections.

  • Drivers often ignore lane markers, change lanes and make turns without signaling, ignore speed limits and disregard traffic signs.

  • Motorists may make frequent and sudden stops on any road, especially when driving along the riverfront (Rambla).

  • Motorcyclists often drive the wrong way down one-way streets, use sidewalks to avoid lengthier routes, or drive between vehicles when traffic is stopped. 

  • If you plan to drive, use caution and drive defensively.

  • Cycling outside the capital or small towns is hazardous due to a scarcity of bike paths, narrow road shoulders, and unsafe driving practices. 


Public Transportation: Ride sharing services are monitored to ensure that they comply with safety standards at least equal to those applied to the taxi system. Taxis can be hailed from the street, by phone (141), or by using one of several apps. Most taxis do not have functioning seat belts in the back seat. Public buses can be crowded and patrons are sometimes targeted by pickpockets and bag snatchers. The public bus system utilizes pre-determined routes and is generally dependable.  

Regular labor strikes can halt public transportation with minimal advance notice. Travelers should have alternative plans, such as ride sharing apps, or consider hiring a private executive car (remise). All of these options are usually reliable during mass shutdowns of public transportation.  

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of Uruguay’s national tourist office and Montevideo’s Transit Authority Manual (Spanish only).


Aviation Safety Oversight: The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Uruguay’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Uruguay’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.


Hague Convention Participation
Party to the Hague Abduction Convention?
U.S. Treaty Partner under the Hague Abduction Convention?
What You Can Do
Learn how to respond to abductions FROM the US
Learn how to respond to abductions TO the US
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Montevideo

Lauro Muller 1776
Montevideo 11200,
Telephone: +(598) (2) 1770-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 1770-2000 or +(598) (2) 1770-2000 (from the U.S.) 
Fax: +(598) (2) 1770-2040

General Information

Uruguay and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction Convention (Hague Abduction Convention) since September 1, 2004.

For information concerning travel to Uruguay, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Uruguay.

The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA).  The report is located here.



Hague Abduction Convention

The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention.  In this capacity, the Department’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizen Services, Office of Children’s Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Uruguay.  Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.

Contact information:

United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Telephone:  1-888-407-4747
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
Fax:  202-485-6221

The Uruguayan Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Education and Culture (MEC).  MEC’s role is to carry out Uruguay’s obligations under the Convention and process Hague Abduction Convention applications that it receives.  They can be reached at:

Ministry of Education and Culture

Attn:  Dr. Daniel Trecca, Dra. Adriana Fernández
Reconquista 585, Piso 5
1100 Montevideo
Telephone: +598-2915-8836
Fax:   + 598-2915-9780
E-mail: urures@mec.gub.uy


To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Uruguay, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Uruguayan Central Authority.  The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Uruguayan Central Authority, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes. 

There are not fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Uruguayan central authorities.   Attorney fees, if necessary, are the responsibility of the applicant parent. Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.


A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in Uruguay.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.


A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Uruguay.  The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country.  The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.

Retaining an Attorney

Retaining a private attorney is not required in order to submit Hague Convention applications to a court in Uruguay. However, parents should consider hiring a private attorney to follow up on the case, to provide direct information to the court, and to generally advise as to the best course of action for their individual circumstances. A privately-hired attorney should contact the Uruguayan Central Authority as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed.  For parents who do not have the financial resources to hire a private attorney, Uruguay has public defenders who may be available to assist. Information on pro bono legal assistance through a public defender can be found on the website of the Public Defender’s Office in Family Matters. Parents may wish to contact the Legal Aid Clinic of the University of the Republic, which also provides pro bono legal assistance. Information on the University’s Legal Aid Clinic can be found here. 

The U.S. Embassy in Montevideo, Uruguay posts list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law. 

This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the following persons or firms. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.


Mediation in Uruguay is only available through Uruguay’s Courts of Justice.  There are no non-governmental mediation services available.  The Courts of Justice may be contacted here or through e-mail.

Exercising Custody Rights

While travelling in a foreign country, you are subject to the laws of that country. It is important for parents to understand that, although a left-behind parent in the United States may have custody or visitation rights pursuant to a U.S. custody order, that order may not be valid and enforceable in the country in which the child is located.  For this reason, we strongly encourage you to speak to a local attorney if planning to remove a child from a foreign country without the consent of the other parent.  Attempts to remove your child to the United States may:

  • Endanger your child and others;
  • Prejudice any future judicial efforts; and
  • Could result in your arrest and imprisonment.

The U.S. government cannot interfere with another country’s court or law enforcement system.

To understand the legal effect of a U.S. order in a foreign country, a parent should consult with a local attorney in the country in which the child is located.  

For information about hiring an attorney abroad, see our section on Retaining a Foreign Attorney. 

Although we cannot recommend an attorney to you, most U.S. Embassies have lists of attorneys available online. Please visit the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate website for a full listing.

For more information on consular assistance for U.S. citizens arrested abroad, please see our website.

Country officers are available to speak with you Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.  For assistance with an abduction in progress or any emergency situation that occurs after normal business hours, on weekends, or federal holidays, please call toll free at 1-888-407-4747. See all contact information.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. 


Hague Convention Participation
Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Is this country a U.S. Hague Partner?
Hague Convention Information

Uruguay is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore all adoptions between Uruguay and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.

While intercountry adoptions are legal in Uruguay, Uruguayan law explicitly favors local adoptions over intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents must live in Uruguay with the child they plan to adopt for a minimum of six months. A judge may reduce this time requirement on a case-by-case basis if he/she believes it is in the best interests of the child.

Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.

Who Can Adopt

Adoption between the United States and Uruguay is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Uruguay, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.

In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Uruguay also has the following requirements for prospective adoptive parents:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Prospective adoptive parents are required to reside in Uruguay for a minimum of six months.

    Simple Adoption Process: With a simple adoption, birth parents do not relinquish all parental rights over the child. It is important to note that while this may fulfill the adoption requirement in Uruguay, it will not necessarily fulfill the U.S. immigration requirements. Any person more than 25 years old and at least fifteen years older than the child to be adopted, who has had the prospective child under his/her care for at least one year, is eligible to adopt. Consent of the spouse is required if the adopting person is married.

    Adoption Legitimating Process: The legitimating process is an irrevocable release of parental rights by the birth parents. The child will be registered as the adoptive parent's child and a new birth certificate is issued bearing the adoptive parents' names. Adoption eligibility requirements for this type of adoption are as follows. Spouses more than 25 years old and at least fifteen years older than the child to be adopted, who have been married for at least four years, and who have had the prospective child under their care for at least one year are eligible. In the case of intercountry adoptions, the guardianship period may be shortened to six months.
Who Can Be Adopted

Because Uruguay is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Uruguay must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Uruguay attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Uruguay's requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.


Waiting Period DLAYA staff members make the final decision concerning the applicants' eligibility to adopt a child. Once approved, the couple is added to the waiting list. The length of the evaluation process varies according to staff availability. The average waiting time to complete an adoption from start to finish is four years.

How to Adopt


Departamento de Adopción y Legitimación Adoptiva (DLAYA or Department of Adoption and Legitimating of Adoptions


Because Uruguay is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Uruguay must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention's requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.

NOTE: If you filed your I-600a with Uruguay before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption. Your adoption could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions.  Learn more.

  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
  3. Be Matched with a Child
  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States
  5. Adopt the Child in Uruguay
  6. Bring your Child Home
  1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider:

    The first step in adopting a child from Uruguay is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Uruguay. Learn more.
  2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt:

    After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A) by the U.S. Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.

    Once the U.S. government determines that you are "eligible" and "suitable" to adopt, you or your agency will forward your information to the adoption authority in Uruguay. Uruguay's adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Uruguay's law.

  3. Be Matched with a Child:

    If both the United States and Uruguay determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the central adoption authority in Uruguay may provide you with a referral for a child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.

  4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption:

    After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the U.S Government, Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.

    After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application for to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy. The Consular Officer will review the child's information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he/she will notify the Uruguay's adoption authority (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.

    Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

  5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Uruguay:

    Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Uruguay, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Uruguay.

    The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Uruguay generally includes the following:

    • ROLE OF THE ADOPTION AUTHORITY: Adoptions through DLAYA and the Movimiento Familiar Cristiano follow a similar process with an initial interview with the prospective adoptive parent that is used to explain the adoption process, the documents required, the legal aspects and expectations. After the prospective adoptive parents submit the required documentation, an evaluation process begins through group activities and personal interviews with psychologists and social workers of DLAYA, including a home study.

      Once a child is assigned to a couple, a one-year period of legal custody (guardianship) begins. During this period, INAU periodically monitors the family to ensure the welfare of the child. Biological parents can claim the child during this period. Any such claim must be made through DLAYA and a judge is assigned to protect the privacy of the foster family. The four years listed above refer to the entire waiting period starting from the time prospective adoptive parents are first registered and a child is selected. Then, another year during legal custody and/or co-residency, which can be reduced to 6 months

    • ROLE OF THE COURT: Once the parental rights of the birth parents are terminated, the child has completed a one-year period of legal custody (guardianship) with the prospective adoptive parents, and INAU has submitted a recommendation for approval, a judge will finalize the adoption process by awarding all legal rights regarding the child to the adoptive parents.

    • TIME FRAME: The adoption process in Uruguay can take four to five years from start to finish.
    • ADOPTION FEES: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

      Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Uruguay include:

      The U.S. Embassy in Uruguay discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations," or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all future adoptions in Uruguay at risk.

      DLAYA provides legal counseling at no cost. Even though the whole adoption process is free, the Uruguayan authorities charge for required documents and services they provide, prior to the adoption, such as legalization of foreign documents, and/or marriage, birth, police certificates. There is no information regarding private attorney's fees.
    • DOCUMENTS REQUIRED: Original birth certificate of each prospective adoptive parent.
      • Local Police Records (Certificado de Antecedentes) issued by the Ministry of the Interior, for each prospective adoptive parent
      • An original marriage certificate for the prospective adoptive parents
      • Income certificate of each prospective parent.
      • Health certificate of each prospective parent.
      • Identification card of each prospective parent.
      • Voting Registration Card (Credencial Civica) of each prospective parent (if applicable)
      • Photocopy of marriage booklet (libreta de matrimonio), if applicable
      • Current color photographs of each prospective parent.

    Additional documents may be requested. If you are asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic, we can help.

    NOTE: Prospective adoptive parents of Uruguayan children should not consider the above list to be comprehensive or exhaustive. Since intercountry adoptions are not typical, prospective adoptive parents should contact DLAYA for further inquiries on documentary requirements.

  6. Bring Your Child Home Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:

    • Birth Certificate 
      You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

    • Uruguay Passport
      Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or Passport from Uruguay.

    • U.S. Immigrant Visa 
      After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.

    Once the adoption process is complete and the adoptive parents are in possession of all the required documents (listed below), they should contact the U.S. Embassy's Consular Section Immigrant Visa Unit to schedule a visa interview appointment. Phone (598-2) 418 7777 #2388 or e-mail to: MontevideoIV@state.gov.

    In general, the following original documents are required to process an immigrant visa for adoption cases:

    • I-800A (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a child from a Convention Country;
    • I-800 (Petition to Classify a Convention Adoptee as an immediate Relative) if it has not been filed directly with the USCIS in the United States;
    • Adoptive parents' valid passports
    • Child's Uruguayan passport.
    • Two (2) passport photos (5 x 5 cm. with white background).
    • Forms DS230 Part I and II
    • Child's original and new birth certificates legalized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and English translations.
    • Final court Adoption decree legalized by Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an English translation.
    • Immigrant Visa fees as per Schedule of Fees for Consular Services
    • Medical examination (done by the panel physicians designated by the Consular Section)

    Additional Documents: Since each case is different, it is possible that the consular officer may require additional documents after a preliminary review of the application of the prospective adoptive parent(s).

    Note: Visa issuance after the final interview now generally takes at least 24 hours and it will not normally be possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the appropriate consulate or embassy before making final travel arrangements.


For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.

For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.

*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.

Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.

Traveling Abroad


A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Uruguay. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print-all in one place.


In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Uruguay, see the Department of State's Country Specific Information.


Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.

The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.


When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there's a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Uruguay, registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

What does Uruguay require of the adoptive parents after the adoption?

We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Uruguay and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to that country's history of positive experiences with American parents.

What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it's another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.

Here are some good places to start your support group search:

Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. Government links does not imply endorsement of contents.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Uruguay 
Lauro Muller 1776
Montevideo, Uruguay
Tel. (598-2) 418-7777 Ext. 2365
Fax (598-2) 418-4110
E-mail: MontevideoACS@state.gov

Uruguay's' Adoption Authority 
Rio Branco 1394
Montevideo, Uruguay
Tel: (598 2) 908-3219
E-mail Minaudlaya@adinet.com.uy

Embassy of Uruguay
1913 I (Eye) Street, NW
Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 331-1313
Fax (202) 331-8142
e-mail: Mconuruwashi@uruwashi.org

*COUNTRY also has consulates in: Chicago, IL; Coral Gables, FL; New York, NY; Santa Monica, CA; and San Juan, Puerto Rico

Office of Children's Issues 
U.S. Department of State  
SA-17, 9th Floor  
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Tel: 1-888-407-4747
E-mail: AskCI@state.gov
Internet: http://adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) 
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC)

1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)

Reciprocity Schedule

Select a visa category below to find the visa issuance fee, number of entries, and validity period for visas issued to applicants from this country*/area of authority.

Explanation of Terms

Visa Classification: The type of nonimmigrant visa you are applying for.

Fee: The reciprocity fee, also known as the visa issuance fee, you must pay. This fee is in addition to the nonimmigrant visa application fee (MRV fee).

Number of Entries: The number of times you may seek entry into the United States with that visa. "M" means multiple times. If there is a number, such as "One", you may apply for entry one time with that visa.

Validity Period: This generally means the visa is valid, or can be used, from the date it is issued until the date it expires, for travel with that visa. If your Validity Period is 60 months, your visa will be valid for 60 months from the date it is issued.

Visa Classifications
Fee Number
of Entries
A-1 None Multiple 60 Months
A-2 None Multiple 60 Months
A-3 1 None Multiple 24 Months
B-1 None Multiple 120 Months
B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
B-1/B-2 None Multiple 120 Months
C-1 None Multiple 60 Months
C-1/D None Multiple 60 Months
C-2 None Multiple 12 Months
C-3 None Multiple 60 Months
CW-1 11 None Multiple 12 Months
CW-2 11 None Multiple 12 Months
D None Multiple 60 Months
E-1 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2 2 No Treaty N/A N/A
E-2C 12 None Multiple 24 Months
F-1 None Multiple 60 Months
F-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-1 None Multiple 60 Months
G-2 None Multiple 60 Months
G-3 None Multiple 60 Months
G-4 None Multiple 60 Months
G-5 1 None One 24 Months
H-1B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-1C None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2A None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2B None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-2R None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
H-4 None Multiple 36 Months 3
I None Multiple 60 Months
J-1 4 None Multiple 60 Months
J-2 4 None Multiple 60 Months
K-1 None One 6 Months
K-2 None One 6 Months
K-3 None Multiple 24 Months
K-4 None Multiple 24 Months
L-1 None Multiple 60 Months
L-2 None Multiple 60 Months
M-1 None Multiple 60 Months
M-2 None Multiple 60 Months
N-8 None Multiple 60 Months
N-9 None Multiple 60 Months
NATO 1-7 N/A N/A N/A
O-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
O-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-1 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-2 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-3 None Multiple 60 Months 3
P-4 None Multiple 60 Months 3
Q-1 6 None Multiple 15 Months 3
R-1 None Multiple 60 Months
R-2 None Multiple 60 Months
S-5 7 None One 1 Month
S-6 7 None One 1 Month
S-7 7 None One 1 Month
T-1 9 N/A N/A N/A
T-2 None One 6 Months
T-3 None One 6 Months
T-4 None One 6 Months
T-5 None One 6 Months
T-6 None One 6 Months
TD 5 N/A N/A N/A
U-1 None Multiple 48 Months
U-2 None Multiple 48 Months
U-3 None Multiple 48 Months
U-4 None Multiple 48 Months
U-5 None Multiple 48 Months
V-1 None Multiple 120 Months
V-2 None Multiple 120 Months 8
V-3 None Multiple 120 Months 8
Country Specific Footnotes

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.

Visa Category Footnotes
  1. The validity of A-3, G-5, and NATO 7 visas may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the person who is employing the applicant. The "employer" would have one of the following visa classifications:

    • A-1
    • A-2
    • G-1 through G-4
    • NATO 1 through NATO 6

  2. An E-1 and E-2 visa may be issued only to a principal alien who is a national of a country having a treaty, or its equivalent, with the United States. E-1 and E-2 visas may not be issued to a principal alien if he/she is a stateless resident. The spouse and children of an E-1 or E-2 principal alien are accorded derivative E-1 or E-2 status following the reciprocity schedule, including any reciprocity fees, of the principle alien’s country of nationality.  

    Example: John Doe is a national of the country of Z that has an E-1/E-2 treaty with the U.S. His wife and child are nationals of the country of Y which has no treaty with the U.S. The wife and child would, therefore, be entitled to derivative status and receive the same reciprocity as Mr. Doe, the principal visa holder.  

  3. The validity of H-1 through H-3, O-1 and O-2, P-1 through P-3, and Q visas may not exceed the period of validity of the approved petition or the number of months shown, whichever is less.

    Under 8 CFR §214.2, H-2A and H-2B petitions may generally only be approved for nationals of countries that the Secretary of Homeland Security has designated as participating countries. The current list of eligible countries is available on USCIS's website for both H-2A and H-2B visas. Nationals of countries not on this list may be the beneficiary of an approved H-2A or H2-B petition in limited circumstances at the discretion of the Department of Homeland Security if specifically named on the petition.  

    Derivative H-4, L-2, O-3, and P-4 visas, issued to accompanying or following-to-join spouses and children, may not exceed the validity of the visa issued to the principal alien.

  4. There is no reciprocity fee for the issuance of a J visa if the alien is a United States Government grantee or a participant in an exchange program sponsored by the United States Government.

    Also, there is no reciprocity fee for visa issuance to an accompanying or following-to-join spouse or child (J-2) of an exchange visitor grantee or participant.

    In addition, an applicant is eligible for an exemption from the MRV fee if he or she is participating in a State Department, USAID, or other federally funded educational and cultural exchange program (program serial numbers G-1, G-2, G-3 and G-7).

    However, all other applicants with U.S. Government sponsorships, including other J-visa applicants, are subject to the MRV processing fee.

  5. Under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canadian and Mexican nationals coming to engage in certain types of professional employment in the United States may be admitted in a special nonimmigrant category known as the "trade NAFTA" or "TN" category. Their dependents (spouse and children) accompanying or following to join them may be admitted in the "trade dependent" or "TD" category whether or not they possess Canadian or Mexican nationality. Except as noted below, the number of entries, fees and validity for non-Canadian or non-Mexican family members of a TN status holder seeking TD visas should be based on the reciprocity schedule of the TN principal alien.

    Canadian Nationals

    Since Canadian nationals generally are exempt from visa requirement, a Canadian "TN' or "TD" alien does not require a visa to enter the United States. However, the non-Canadian national dependent of a Canadian "TN", unless otherwise exempt from the visa requirement, must obtain a "TD" visa before attempting to enter the United States. The standard reciprocity fee and validity period for all non-Canadian "TD"s is no fee, issued for multiple entries for a period of 36 months, or for the duration of the principal alien's visa and/or authorized period of stay, whichever is less. See 'NOTE' under Canadian reciprocity schedule regarding applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality.

    Mexican Nationals

    Mexican nationals are not visa-exempt. Therefore, all Mexican "TN"s and both Mexican and non-Mexican national "TD"s accompanying or following to join them who are not otherwise exempt from the visa requirement (e.g., the Canadian spouse of a Mexican national "TN") must obtain nonimmigrant visas.

    Applicants of Iranian, Iraqi or Libyan nationality, who have a permanent resident or refugee status in Canada/Mexico, may not be accorded Canadian/Mexican reciprocity, even when applying in Canada/Mexico. The reciprocity fee and period for "TD" applicants from Libya is $10.00 for one entry over a period of 3 months. The Iranian and Iraqi "TD" is no fee with one entry over a period of 3 months.

  6. Q-2 (principal) and Q-3 (dependent) visa categories are in existence as a result of the 'Irish Peace Process Cultural and Training Program Act of 1998'. However, because the Department anticipates that virtually all applicants for this special program will be either Irish or U.K. nationals, the Q-2 and Q-3 categories have been placed only in the reciprocity schedules for those two countries. Q-2 and Q-3 visas are available only at the Embassy in Dublin and the Consulate General in Belfast.

  7. No S visa may be issued without first obtaining the Department's authorization.

  8. V-2 and V-3 status is limited to persons who have not yet attained their 21st birthday. Accordingly, the period of validity of a V-2 or V-3 visa must be limited to expire on or before the applicant's twenty-first birthday.

  9. Posts may not issue a T-1 visa. A T-1 applicant must be physically present in the United States, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands or a U.S. port of entry, where he/she will apply for an adjustment of status to that of a T-1. The following dependents of a T-1 visa holder, however, may be issued a T visa at a U.S. consular office abroad:

    • T-2 (spouse)
    • T-3 (child)
    • T-4 (parent)
  10. The validity of NATO-5 visas may not exceed the period of validity of the employment contract or 12 months, whichever is less.

  11. The validity of CW-1 and CW-2 visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (12 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.

  12. The validity of E-2C visas shall not exceed the maximum initial period of admission allowed by DHS (24 months) or the duration of the transition period ending December 31, 2014, whichever is shortest.



General Documents

Please check back for update

Birth, Death, Burial Certificates

Birth Certificate

Available. Birth certificates (Partida de Nacimiento) may be obtained from the Civil Registry (Direccion General del Registro de Estado Civil). There may be a fee for this service plus an additional fee if the document is to be issued immediately.

Death/Burial Certificate

Available. Death Certificates (Partida de Defuncion) may be obtained from the Civil Registry (Direccion General del Registro del Estado Civil). There may be a fee for this service plus an additional fee if the document is to be issued immediately.

Marriage, Divorce Certificates

Marriage Certificate

Available. Marriage certificates (Partida de Matrimonio) may be obtained from the Civil Registry (Direccion General del Registro de Estado Civil. There may be a fee for this service plus an additional fee if the document is to be issued immediately.

As of August 5, 2013 same-sex marriage is legal in Uruguay. Same-sex civil unions have been legal since 2008. The marriage certificate will look like any marriage certificate registered at the civil registry. Same-sex couples can legally adopt children as of 2009 and the adoption documents will be the same as for heterosexual couples. Transgender Uruguayans can legally change their name and gender on all civil documents including National ID (Cedula) and passports.

Divorce Certificate

Available. Divorce decrees (Sentencia de Divorcio) may appear as a footnote to the marriage certificates issued by the Civil Registry (Direccion General del Registro de Estado Civil) or as a document issued by the Justice of the Peace Office (Juzgado de Paz) of the district where the divorce took place. There is a fee for normal processing time (48 hours), plus an additional fee if processing is to take place while you wait. There is no fee from the Justice of the Peace Office.

Adoption Certificates


Identity Card


Police, Court, Prison Records

Police Certificates



Fees: Yes

Document Name: Certificado de Antecedentes Judiciales, previously known as Certificado de Buena Conducta.

Issuing Authority: Direccion Nacional de Policia Cientifica in Montevideo or the Jefatura Departamental de Policia of each of the nineteen departments of Uruguay.

Special Seal(s) / Color / Format: N/A

Issuing Authority Personnel Title: N/A

Registration Criteria: N/A

Procedure for Obtaining: N/A

  • Police records are available for applicants age 18 and over. Police certificates are not issued to minor children under 18 years old.
  • Persons living abroad may apply through the nearest Uruguayan Embassy or Uruguayan Consulate. Applicants may also obtain their police certificates by sending a copy of their identity card (cedula) to a relative in Uruguay who will then obtain the certificate from Direccion Nacional de Policia Cientifica in Montevideo.
  • Non-Uruguayan residents may only obtain police certificates by presenting an Uruguayan identity card (cedula) that was issued to them while they were residing in the country. If the indivdual never applied for and received an Uruguayan ID, he/she will not be able to receive a police certificate.


Certified Copies Available: N/A

Alternate Documents: N/A

Exceptions: Police certificates are not issued for minors under the age of 18 years old.


  • The Ministry of Interior will send the requested police certificate directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be apostilled. You may pick up the certificate from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Cuareim 1384 esq. Colonia, Montevideo, Uruguay – Monday – Friday, 10am – 3pm).
  • You do not need to send the police certificate to the National Visa Center (NVC).
  • Uruguayan police certificates are valid for ninety (90) days.


Prison Records

Available only through the applicant's attorney from the Court Office (Juzgado) where the trial took place.

Military Records

Available. Military records (Antecedentes Militares) are issued by the Chief of Staff, Uruguayan Army, Navy, Air Force or Police Force to persons who have served in the armed forces. Discharge certificates are issued to all persons who have served in the armed forces upon termination of service. There is no compulsory military service in Uruguay.

Passports & Other Travel Documents

Diplomatic passports are black; official passports are red; tourist passports are blue; special passports/travel documents are brown. Emergency passports, issued abroad, consist of a single trifold document with an MRZ located along the bottom – this document is valid for regular travel for a period of one year.   As of  October 16, 2015, all new Uruguayan passports contain an e-chip.

Other Records

Not applicable

Visa Issuing Posts

Montevideo, Uruguay (Embassy)

Unit 3360
DPO AA 34035

Visa Services

All visa categories for all of Uruguay.

Foreign Consular Office Contact Information

Washington, DC (202) 331-4219/1313 (202) 331-8645

Chicago, IL (312) 642-3430 (312) 642-3470

Los Angeles, CA (310) 394-5777 (310) 394-5140

Miami, FL (305) 443-9764 (305) 443-7253 (305) 443-7802

New York, NY (212) 753-8191 (212) 753-8192 (212) 753-1603

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Montevideo
Lauro Muller 1776
Montevideo 11200
+(598) (2) 1770-2000
1770-2000 or +(598) (2) 1770-2000 (from the U.S.)
+(598) (2) 1770-2040
Uruguay Map

Search for Travel Advisories
Additional Information for Reciprocity

Although care has been taken to ensure the accuracy, completeness and reliability of the information provided, please contact the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply if you believe this information is in error or if you have further questions.