Bijgewerkt op: 30 nov. 2021
There are many reasons that you might want to immigrate to another country.
Examples vary wildly, but they include Government oppression, High taxation, bad weather or just wanting a new start.
One country that definitely doesn’t have high taxes or bad weather, is Paraguay.
This landlocked South American nation has flown under the radar to the rest of the world for nearly it’s entire existence, but can be an appealing destination for both western and eastern immigrants.
Paraguay is a former colony of Spain, just like nearly all other south American nations. Conquistadores arrived in 1524, and a decade later they founded the now capital city of Paraguay: Asuncion.
The native guarani people, under Spanish rule, were converted to Christianity by the Jesuits and introduced to European culture. To this day, Paraguay is quite a religious country, and the native guarani and Spanish culture have fused together to form the Paraguayan identity.
Paraguay gained independence from spain in 1811, and was ruled by dictators for most of the 19th and 20th centuries. It lost a war against it’s neighbors Argentina and Brazil, won a war against Bolivia in the 30’s, and the borders have remained the same since then. In the event of nuclear warfare, it would be an extremely safe place to be as it is far away from all potential targets. In 1989, the then dictator of Paraguay, Alfredo Stroessner was overthrown in a military coup, ever since, the country has remained democratic and relatively stable. Since those early years of colonization and hardship, the population of Paraguay has grown to 7 million, with nearly half that number living in Asuncion.
The economy has been growing at a good pace and It’s cost of living is shockingly low, and it has a territorial tax system meaning you will only pay tax on income generated in Paraguay itself. Since the country is located below the equator, winter is between may and august, but even then the temperature in the capital does not drop below 10 degrees Celsius. Paraguay’s climate is quite diverse, with a large temperate, tropical and arid zone.
So what does it take to move to this paradise?
Just a few documents and around 6000 dollars.
Unlike the majority of countries where immigration is either impossible or a cumbersome process involving sponsorship or large investments. Paraguay is by far the easiest country to immigrate to. Moving to Paraguay is not difficult, but it is time consuming, in all, the entire process will take around 90 days and cost anywhere from 1000 to 1500 dollars. First, it is important to be able to access the country. This is done with a visa.
A large number of countries’ nationals luckily have visa free access, but for those that do require a visa, it is best to get a multiple entry visa at your Paraguayan embassy, this will cost anywhere from 100 to 150 dollars (or equivalent in your local currency).
Before putting on your shorts and jumping on a flight, it’s important to bring some documents. These include your birth certificate, a police certificate and optionally, a marriage certificate. These need to be notarized in your home country, as well as apostilled for Paraguay. The Paraguayan embassy may be able to assist with getting your documents apostilled, but else your local government can also perform this service as Paraguay is a signatory to the Hague Apostille convention.
Besides these documents, you’ll also need to have the equivalent of 35 monthly minimum wages either sitting in a bank account, or in cash. This is just over 31 million guarani or 4500$. Once all this is covered, you're ready to head to Paraguay.
When you’ve landed and cleared immigration, it’s paramount that you find a good lawyer. Law firms in the capital are not difficult to find, and can take you through the entire process for 500 to 1500 dollars depending on the difficulties encountered. Once you’ve hired an attorney, it’s time to get to work on your residency application.
The first step there is to deposit the 35 monthly minimum wages into a bank account in Paraguay, this is not a traditional checking account, but more of an escrow account.
The deposit can be either in dollars or the local currency guarani. It’s recommended to make this deposit in dollars, since this is a more stable currency and the account is non-interest bearing.
After this, you’ll need to see a doctor and undergo a routine medical check-up. This is straightforward and since the cost of living in Paraguay is so low, it might be the cheapest medical exam in your life.
You’ll also need to visit a local police station to make sure you don’t have a criminal record in Paraguay, as well as an Interpol office to make sure you haven’t got international warrants out for your arrest.
The last step involves visiting the immigration office with your completed application, arrive early as just like the DMV it can be really busy and you might end up waiting several hours. Once the application has been lodged. The real waiting begins.
Bureaucracy in South American nations is notoriously slow, so you can expect to wait about 90 days for your application to be approved. Once this is done though, you will receive your Residencia and are officially a resident of Paraguay.
This status means you can apply for a national ID card. This ID card is super useful when renting an apartment or opening a checking account, and can also be used to travel without a passport and visa free to most South American nations.
There is no physical presence requirement in Paraguay to maintain your residency, so if you like to travel a lot, your permanent residency in Paraguay will not be affected by this.
Permanent residency does not have to be the end game, as after 3 years of living in Paraguay and learning Spanish, you could apply for citizenship and get your hands on a Paraguayan passport. This passport offers visa free travel to both the EU and Russia, as well as lots of other nations. I hope this article has been helpful, please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions. Best of luck!