One thing you will find once you arrive in Uruguay, is that paperwork is almost a habit. It is, sometimes, frustrating but it's part of the culture so you will just have to play along and hope for the best.
The following is the necessary paperwork to be able to obtain the Residence Permit to live in Uruguay as a foreigner. Once this is finished you will be given a Cedula de Identidad, the official ID Uruguayan document.
The fist step is to obtain an appointment to begin the procedure at the Dirección Nacional de Migraciones in Misiones 1513, Monday through Friday from 9.15 AM to 2.30 PM. For this it is necessary to present the document that was used to enter the country (Passport or other ID).
Once you have been given an appointment you will need the following:
a) A passport photograph.
b) Proof of income:
If you will be working in a Uruguayan company (could be the Uruguayan office of an international company): a certificate signed by a Notary Public certifying the existence of the Uruguayan company, Legal name, validity, legal period of the society, legal address in the country, registration before the BPS and DGI, people authorized to sign on behalf of the company, position, salary or average income in the case of directors. Local Notaries know how to prepare this document.
If you will be working on your own or will live on own income (retirement, etc.), proof of income (at least u$s 500 per month) certified by a local Notary Public.
c) Health Certificate issued for legal residency. To obtain it it is necessary to have an updated tetanus vaccine certificate. The Health Certificate can be issued by the authorized private health institution and the cost is about U$ 1.500 (u$s 80) per person. The Certificate must state "APTO PARA RADICACION O RESIDENCIA LEGAL EN EL PAIS".
d) Exact date of entry to the country presenting the entrance card.
e) Criminal Record certificate issued by the Federal Police institution (FBI or similar) and authenticated by the Uruguayan Consulate in you country of origin (the consulate located closest to your town) and then by the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This document can also be obtained from the Interpol office in Montevideo.
If before coming to Uruguay you have been living for more than 5 years in a different country (not your own) them you must present 2 Certificates, one issuee by this country and another one from you country of origin.
f) Identity Document that was used to enter the country (passport or ID in the case of Mercosur countries) and a photocopy.
g) In case the spouse is also requesting the residency, then it is necessary to present the Marriage Certificate authenticated by the Uruguayan Consulate in you country of origin (the consulate located closest to your town) and then by the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a photocopy.
h) Birth Certificate authenticated by the Uruguayan Consulate in you country of origin and then by the Uruguayan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and photocopies, of those who are requesting the residency, and of any Minor Children there might be. This document has to be presented in the Dirección Nacional de Registro Civil (Uruguay 933) where you will be given a Uruguayan legal Birth Certificate.
All documents written in English (or any other language) must be translated into Spanish, signed and stamped by a Certified Public Translator. If you do not speak Spanish then you will have to be accompanied by an interpreter.
This explanation covers most of the alternatives. For more specific information you can contact me directly.