Paraguayan temporary and permanent residents can travel to other MERCOSUR member states and the associated countries with their ID cards (cedula). Let’s see the details!
The Mercosur Agreement regulates the travel of Paraguayan residents between MERCOSUR member states and the associated countries. (Source: ACORDO SOBRE DOCUMENTOS DE VIAGEM DOS ESTADOS PARTES DO MERCOSUL E ESTADOS ASSOCIADOS ) They created the conditions for the free circulation of people in the community, almost like in the Schengen zone (according to the Treaty of Asunción, the Protocol of Ouro Preto and Resolution nº 75/96 of the Common Market Group;)
The agreement states that the member states and the associated countries recognise the other countries’ travel documents, which in the case of Paraguay are the passport and the ID card.
I translated the text of the relevant regulation regarding the travel of MERCOSUR residents; please note that this is not a legal and official translation.
“Transit: the movement of nationals or regular residents from the territory of any of the MERCOSUR Member States or Associates to another MERCOSUR Member or Associate State, it not being necessary that their departure is from their country of origin or residence.
Regular residents: are those foreigners who obtained a permanent, temporary or provisional stay or residence under the corresponding migratory legislation of the State Party or Associate of MERCOSUR where they reside whenever, as a consequence of this, the legislation enables them to be the holder of any of the travel documents listed in the Annex.” (the Annex includes only the passport and the ID card from Paraguay)
Paraguay’s temporary and permanent residents can travel in the MERCOSUR with ID cards.
It is essential to consider that citizenship is stronger than residency. It means that you must apply for an entry visa if you are a passport holder of a country that does not allow you to travel visa-free in a MERCOSUR member state.
In which countries can you travel with your Paraguayan ID card?
Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela allow you to enter with your Paraguayan cedula.
When do you need your passport as a Paraguayan resident to travel to other Mercosur states?
Let’s take a look at the regulation:
“Art. 30 – Foreigners legally residing in a MERCOSUR Party or Associate State may carry the documents established in the Annex in the territory of the MERCOSUR Party and the Associate States whenever due to nationality, the consular visa is not a requirement for entry into the other State. If this is not the case, you must use the passport of your nationality and the corresponding visa.”
Here is a practical case. A Chinese citizen becomes a Paraguayan resident and wishes to travel to Uruguay. With his Chinese passport, they need an entry visa to Uruguay, so more than the Paraguayan ID is required; they must obtain an entry visa.
How long can a Paraguayan resident stay in another MERCOSUR country?
According to the MERCOSUR Residence Agreement, Paraguayan citizens can stay in another MERCOSUR country for up to 90 days within 180 days without a visa, extendable for another 90 days.
Can I travel with my Paraguayan residency permit?
No, the Paraguayan residency permit is not a travel document. You will need the Paraguayan Cedula, which is the ID card. To get the ID, first of all, you must become a temporary or permanent resident and following a second separate process; you will obtain the Paraguayan ID card. It is a must to get because this is a useful document; the residency permit only serves to prove your residency. You will only need it when you extend your resident status. (or when you change from temporary to permanent resident or when you lose your ID card and must apply for a new one)
So, if you are a resident of Paraguay and because of your citizenship, you can enter visa-free in another MERCOSUR country; you do not need to show your passport. However, according to my personal experiences during the last decades, it is always better to bring your passport. Because independently from the laws and regulations at the internal borders of the MERCOSUR, several times had to show it. Bring your passport, but only show it if necessary; the ID card is enough.
And finally, a piece of handy information: if you arrive at Pettirossi airport in Asuncion, try to pass with your ID card at the biometric gate! If it works, I save half an hour instead of queuing at the passport line!
Do you want to become a temporary or permanent resident of Paraguay? Send an email to email@example.com or ask for a consultation here!
Copyright Bence Zákonyi – Tucanoprod 2023 – Asuncion Paraguay