How to apply for asylum in Uruguay?

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In these times, many people face political and social difficulties or any kind of discrimination in their home countries, which violates their right to security and puts their physical and mental integrity at risk. For this reason, Uruguay extends its hand to provide international protection to those who need it most.

Thanks to this generous approach, in December 2020, Uruguay reached one of its highest records; by that time it was hosting more than 25,400 people, including applicants and individuals with approved refugee status. Approximately 55% of this figure corresponded to displaced Venezuelan nationals.

To date, Uruguay processes an annual average of 2,900 refugee applications, and approves more than 91% of the requests, favoring to a great extent, foreigners from Venezuela and Cameroon. Therefore, if you are in danger in your nation, do not hesitate to take steps to ask for help and emigrate from your country. Read on and find out how to apply for asylum in Uruguay.

First considerations to apply for asylum in Uruguay

In order to start the asylum application, it is mandatory that you are inside the Uruguayan territory. Once there, you have different electronic means to carry out the process, which we will explain in the following section. Remember that this is a free migration process, so you do not need intermediaries or agents.

It is important to know that, due to the worldwide health emergency caused by COVID-19, the government of Uruguay is one of the few that has enabled an email to make requests for international protection. This prevents people already in the country from having to leave their homes, being exposed to the virus and then needing hospital care.

Procedure for making an asylum request in Uruguay

In general, requesting asylum in Uruguay is a simple procedure; In addition, with the option of emails, the process has been greatly streamlined. In this sense, those who have already carried out the procedure recommend looking for a way to enter the countrylegally, to then give start to request.

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Step 1. Inform the desire to introduce an application

Contact the permanent secretary of the Refugee Commission (CORE) to announce your intention to request the protection of the country. To do this, you have the following emails:

Subsequently, the CORE members will send you, by the same means, a form that you will have to complete formalize the request. Here you will indicate your personal information and write a short explanation of the case. In addition, you will need to attach the following documents:

  • Passport or identity card. If you do not have them, explain clearly the reasons for not having them.
  • Letter explaining the events in the country of origin that prompted you to flee. Detail each aspect that you consider relevant; because, to a great extent, the approval of the protection will depend on this.
  • Proofs that support the facts narrated in the previous point.
  • Contact information. Remember to keep it updated; if there is any change, you can notify the new address or telephone number through the same email.


Step 2. Request an appointment with proof of the procedure

Wait for the acknowledgment of receipt from the requirements of step #1; which will also be done by email. Together with the response to formalize the request, they will also send you a certification that him international protection procedure is in process. With the record in hand, she calls the National Directorate of Migration (DNM) at 0800 1513, dialing option 5.

There you can request the appointment and process the arrival certificate to the country. Once you are assigned a meeting date, send a identity document photo (passport or ID) to the following email: Also, attach a copy of the COVID-19 vaccination certificate.

Step 3. Provisional identity card

Next, the DNM will issue a arrival certificate to the National Directorate of Civil Identification (DNIC); and from there, you can request an appointment to process a provisional identity card. To request a shift, contact the officials through the following phone numbers 2030 3700 / 2030 3710.

The benefits of having the provisional identity card include power:

  • Remain regularly in Uruguay.
  • To circulate freely throughout the national territory.
  • Work legally in the country, in accordance with the national employment regulations in force.
  • To have access to public services of education, health and justice.

It should be noted that the validity of identity card will last until such time as there is a final resolution about the asylum application. That is, after that, it will be worthless and, therefore, will stop applying the aforementioned benefits.

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Step 4. Personal interview

When CORE officials have reviewed all the information in your application, you will be notified via email of the date of your personal interview appointment. Remember, when you find out the date, you will need to send your ID and proof of COVID-19 vaccination immediately.

During the interview, you will have to explain again the reasons that forced you to flee your country of origin. You will also be questioned and will be required to answer each of the questions asked by the CORE officer. These questions will be related to the events that led you to leave your country.

The information provided in the interview will be confidential; that is, it will not be disclosed or communicated to any agent outside the agency, much less to the authorities of your country of origin. Therefore, you will be able to express yourself freely, describing every detail of the situation.

Step #5. Request Response

There are only two possible options and, depending on the response received, you will have to do the following:

  • Acceptance of the asylum application. If the petition is approved, they will send you a refugee certificate issued by the National Directorate of Migration (DNM). You will have to present it to the National Directorate of Civil Identification (DNIC) to process the identity card for foreigners; which will be valid for 3 years, with the option of renewal. With this document, you will have the opportunity to manage the reunification with your direct relatives (parents, legal partner and children).
  • Rejection of the asylum application. In this case there is still hope, because you will have the right to request a review of the decision. To do this, you will use a written revocation resource, where you will explain the reasons why you do not agree with the denial. Next, if no change is generated, you would have to seek legal help to regularize your immigration status in Uruguay.

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Rights and duties as an asylum seeker

Although Uruguay provides great support to refugees and applicantsoffering them a series of rights during the process and after the process; Similarly, it has established the duties of said persons. Know what they are:

No extradition to the country in which the person is at risk.Faithfully respect the laws of Uruguay.
Exemption from sanctions for entering the country irregularly, as long as the justification is valid.Respect the institutions and people of the territory.
Nondiscrimination.Inform the CORE about the intentions to travel outside the national territory, if the case arises.
Remain and move freely around the country, while waiting for the response to the asylum request.Keep contact information updated throughout the asylum application process.
Enjoy the health, education and justice system; without any cost.
Work freely or start your own business.
Request family reunification, once the refugee status has been approved.
Exercise religious activities, without any type of discrimination.

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Undoubtedly, Uruguay is a excellent opportunity for people who require international protection. In this sense, if you are persecuted or you have been violated in your native country, here you will find the open doors; as long as you comply with each of the required steps.

Maya Martinez

Legal advisor for immigration processes. In addition to providing support in the legal procedures, I offer integral and informative support in relation to the obligations that are acquired when arriving to a new country.

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