The time had come to renew our temporary visitor's permits for Uruguay. Some people call these a visitor's visa, but they are not technically visas. Uruguay gives you 90 days and then you have to leave the country and re-enter to extend your permit. We knew about this and were planning a weekend trip to Buenos Aires with the extension in mind. We didn't want to go to Buenos Aires quite yet and had heard a mention of extending your permit for the first time at the Uruguayan immigration office in the Ciudad Vieja barrio of Montevideo. We looked at the forums for information about this and found very little. Well, it was either the immigration office or an impromptu trip to BsAs for the weekend, so we thought we'd try here in Montevideo first.
The Dirección Nacional de Migración office is located at Misiones 1513, esq. 25 de Mayo in Ciudad Vieja. When you walk in, take a number which is on a large column and wait in the main area. Even though the place was packed with people, the numbers flew by. Pay attention as it is not posted anywhere what number they are on.
Our number was called, we went up to one of the desks, sat down and told the clerk that we need "Prorroga de permanencia temporaria" (temporary extension of stay). After they typed our information into the computer, out came official looking forms with our names/passport numbers, etc. We brought the forms to the caja (register), paid UY$356 each (about US$15), then took our papers and passports to a third desk where we received stamps all over the sheets (but strangely not in our passports) which will extend our stay for another 90 days. All done in about a half an hour. I bet immigration in the USA isn't nearly this easy!
If you're late in renewing your temporary status here, don't fret. You won't be kicked out of the country but you will pay a fine. According to the Dirección Nacional de Migración website price list, it looks like the extension of an expired stamp is only US$8 more than the valid extension.
You can make this trip to the Immigration office every other time you need to extend your visitor's status here in Uruguay. The original stamp in your passport is good for 90 days. At the end of 90 days, go to the immigration office as described previously. At the end of the next 90 day period, you MUST exit and re-enter the country to renew your temporary status in Uruguay.
The visit to the immigration office is a great alternative to those who do not want to travel often, cannot afford it or simply don't have the time to travel when they need to renew their visitor status. Compared to other governmental services here, we found this process to be quick, inexpensive and efficient.