This detailed post clarifies all aspects of becoming a citizen of Paraguay and how to receive the Paraguayan passport at the end of your immigration process. I show you how to become a permanent resident in Paraguay, and later a Paraguayan citizen step by step in this practical guide. You can check the list of necessary documents for the Paraguayan citizenship and all the requirements. 

This post contains the following information:

  • Who can become a citizen in Paraguay and hold a Paraguay passport?
  • How can you become a permanent resident in Paraguay in 2019?
  • The process of the application for the citizenship of Paraguay
  • The necessary documents during the naturalisation process in Paraguay

There is so many false information online about Paraguay immigration. I am the co-owner of the First Paraguayan Immigration and Investment Consultancy, and you can find all relevant information about Paraguay on my site: tucanoprod.com. Yes, my colleagues are Paraguayan immigration lawyers and registered official investment attorneys in Paraguay (at your service). Our immigration lawyers in Paraguay will hold your hand through the process, but first of all, let us show you the entire process of becoming a citizen of Paraguay.

What is Paraguay Permanent Residency?

Permanent residents of Paraguay have the right to live and work in Paraguay. They can use their Paraguay ID Card (cédula) to travel visa-free in the MERCOSUR countries, like Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, etc. Paraguay permanent residency means as a tax resident, your foreign sourced income is tax exempt.

What is Paraguay citizenship?

Citizens of Paraguay can live, work and vote in Paraguay. As holders of the Paraguayan passport, they enjoy the freedom of travel and qualify for the US E2 investors’ residency programme. There is no Paraguay citizenship or citizenship by investment programme. 

Who can become a citizen in Paraguay and hold a Paraguay passport?

The source of truthful information is the Constitution itself and let’s find your situation in it. First of all, some people have family ties with Paraguayan citizens:

NATIONAL CONSTITUTION: CHAPTER III OF NATIONALITY AND CITIZENSHIP

Article 146 – NATURAL NATIONALITY (not a legal translation, but I tried to do my best)

Who are Paraguayan nationals?

  • people born in the territory of the Republic;
  • the children of a Paraguayan mother or father who, being one or both in the service of the Republic, are born abroad;
  • the children of a Paraguayan mother or father born abroad, when they are settled in the Republic permanently, and
  • the infants of parents ignored, collected in the territory of the Republic.

The formalisation of the right enshrined in subsection 3. will be made by a simple declaration of the interested party when an applicant is an adult person (+18 years old). If they have not yet been fulfilled, the declaration of their legal representative will be valid until that age, subject to ratification by the interested party.

There is one exciting piece of info here for you:

Article 147 – OF THE NON-DEPRIVATION OF NATURAL NATIONALITY

No natural Paraguayan shall be deprived of their nationality, but may voluntarily renounce it.

This is the most important part for my readers:

Article 148 – OF NATIONALITY BY NATURALIZATION

  • Foreigners can obtain Paraguayan nationality by naturalisation if they meet the following requirements:
  • coming of age:
  • Minimum filing of three years in national territory;
  • exercise in the country of some profession, trade, science, art or industry, and good conduct, defined in the law.
  • Article 149 – OF MULTIPLE NATIONALITY
  • Multiple nationalities may be admitted through an international treaty by reciprocity of constitutional rank between the States of the native of origin and that of adoption. (Do you understand this part? You can only keep your original citizenship if there is a relevant agreement between Paraguay and your country, like in the most recent case: Italy and only Colombian and Spanish citizens for sure can keep their original and Paraguayan passports)

Article 150 – OF THE LOSS OF NATIONALITY

Naturalized Paraguayans lose their nationality by virtue of the unjustified absence of the Republic for more than three years, declared judicially, or by the voluntary acquisition of another nationality.

The Judicial Power will have exclusive competence to understand in these cases.

Summarising the information: permanent residents of Paraguay can become citizens of Paraguay and get the Paraguayan passport if they reside for at least three years in Paraguay and there they do something.

How can you get Paraguay Permanent Residency in 2019?

There are two main options for applicants who want to immigrate in Paraguay. You can become a Paraguayan resident through the most welcoming and straightforward solution of the world by the deposit in the National Bank. However, this option is only allowed for those foreigners who can enter in Paraguay without a visa, or they can pick up an entry visa upon arrival (mainly at the airport of Asunción). It is challenging to get an entry visa. There are several jurisdictions without diplomatic connections, or there are Embassies and Consulates in countries, but the citizens still must obtain entry visas.

Citizens of the developed nations can enter without a visa or pick up one upon arrival as EU Member States, US, Paraguay passportCanada, Russia, Taiwan and South Africa. However, citizens of for example India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Sri Lanka, Nepal must obtain an entry visa. I know that you are a particular person, who can get an entry visa everywhere in the world. However, in Paraguay, you need a registered invitation letter to obtain the entry visa. Our consultancy may register invitation letters at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for investors and not for tourists. The inviting party has personal responsibility for the invited person. Believe me; nobody will invite you. Some people accept at least 3,000 or 4,000 thousand dollars to register an invitation letter, but of course, they never do that.  Paraguay signs more and more international visa exemption agreements. Here you can find your actual entry visa situation in Paraguay, of course in Spanish. 

The process to get a Paraguay entry visa for investors

  1. We register the invitation letter at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for investors.
  2. The Ministry issues the invitation letter after a strict due diligence process and sends it to the relevant Embassy and us.
  3. We send the copy to the client and help to set up the visa interview at the Embassy and to fill the necessary forms and to have the required documents.
  4. You visit the Embassy for the visa interview.
  5. The Embassy sends the documents to Asunción, where it receives many stamps and arrives back to the Embassy, where they issue the entry visa.

Paraguay Permanent Residency Permit Programme (it is the deposit option)

You can read here all the detailed step by step information about the Paraguay residency through deposit option.

This simple and straightforward scheme is opened for those applicants, who can enter in Paraguay and start the process. Moreover, these lucky foreigners are the citizens of the visa-exempt countries like the EU Member States, US, Canada, South America, Russia, etc. Interestingly, this option is opened for those applicants who can pick up a visa upon arrival, like the South African or Russian citizens. It is not allowed to apply for the permanent resident status under a tourist visa. However, we can change your “tourist” status to “short time visitor”, and that status allows you to apply for the permanent residence permit.

Most of the applicants and interested clients, who contact me would like to obtain the Paraguayan PR (Permenant Residency) through this Paraguay passportoption — however, citizens of developing countries, like India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nigeria (among others) must obtain an entry visa to be able to come and start the immigration process in Paraguay. Generally, they need an officially registered Invitation Letter to issue their visa. Nobody will invite you. We, as legal immigration service providers only register invitation letters to investors (and their family members) or high-skilled individuals.

You need the following certified and officially translated documents

  • Birth certificate
  • Clean police conduct certificate
  • Certificate of marriage or divorce
  • Copy of passport.

The application process takes a maximum of five working days. Then the Migrations has three months to issue the permanent residence permit. After receiving the pr permit of Paraguay, you will have six months to apply for the ID card.

Paraguay Residency by Investment Program (SUACE)

It is the most affordable such program in the world, known as “Paraguay permanent residence permit through company forming”. “SUACE”, is the official authority for foreign investors and investments. The minimum amount of investment is 70,000 USD, but you have to invest this amount in ten years. For example, you can spend 10×7,000 USD. You can also qualify under buying real estate and land, providing services or do commerce, agriculture, etc. This immigration and business option contains three processes:

  • Registering the invitation letter and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and obtaining the entry  visa
  • Applying and obtaining the Paraguay Permanent Residence Permit and the ID card (Cédula)
  • Form a company (it can be unipersonal or limited, etc)

If you need an entry visa to start your immigration process in Paraguay to become a citizen, then this scheme is the most affordable and fast solution.

You can find all the detailed information on the Paraguay Residency by Investment Program here.

Okay, you are now a holder of the Paraguay Permanent Residence Permit, and you also obtained the ID card (cédula). However, how long does it take to become a Paraguayan citizen and have a Paraguay passport? As you saw above, you have to reside in Paraguay for three years and have to practice your profession to be able to apply for the Paraguayan naturalisation process.

Is it necessary to reside physically and move to Paraguay to become a citizen?

You have to spend at least a couple of months per year in Paraguay; you should pay tax, social security and learn the Spanish (Castellano) language. A couple of months means 183+ days per year, but if you are an international businessperson, logically you will travel a lot, so there can be a reasonable explanation to spend less time in the country.

How many citizenships grants Paraguay annually?

According to the secretary of the Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court of Justice, Pierina Ozuna, 70 naturalisation letters are received each year and between 30 and 35 letters of renunciation of nationality. During 2016, 60 resolutions of naturalisation letters and 17 Paraguayan citizenship were granted.

Paraguay Naturalization Letter

What is the Paraguayan naturalization letter?

The Naturalization Letter is the legal instrument by which the granting of Paraguayan nationality to foreigners and children of foreigners is accredited.

What is it for?

It is requested to access the benefits recognized only to nationals of Paraguay.

Citizenship exam in Paraguay

Yes, there is an exam. To pass the exam, you should learn Spanish and read a little bit about the history of Paraguay. It’s not difficult but still, you must be prepared.

Paraguayan citizenship requirements and necessary documents during the application for the citizenship

  • Be of legal age
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Photo postal and profile (15 x 10cm)
  • Original passport (or other documents) with which you have entered the country
  • An authenticated photocopy of the passport
  • Legalized translation of the passport
  • Birth certificate authenticated copy
  • Certificate of clean police certificate of good conduct of the country of origin (authenticated copy)
  • Immigrant Card
  • Certificate of Registration with the date of entry into the country
  • Health certificate issued by a local doctor
  • Certificate of Life and Residence (this is the proof of your place of residence/address in Paraguay)
  • Police clearance certificate (from Paraguay)
  • Certificate of Police Background for foreigners
  • Criminal record
  • Identity Card (authenticated copy)
  • Certificate of Work with the letterhead of the company, Commercial Patent, identification of the Unique Taxpayer Registry (R.U.C.)
  • If you have registered property, accompany authenticated testimony

Some practical steps during the Paraguay immigration

  • An application under the sponsorship of a lawyer (you can’t become a Paraguayan citizen without the support of an immigration lawyer)
  • Approach the Judicial Income Taxpayer Service office of your Judicial District (2nd Floor North Tower of the Palace of Justice in Asunción) or enter the website http://www.pj.gov.py/investments to complete the settlement. With the printed liquidation, go to the collections mouths or authorised banking entities to pay the administrative fee of G. 28,062.
  • Entities authorised for payment: Itaú Banks, Vision, Continental, Regional, Sudameris, National Development, Itapúa, Red Pago Express and Red Practipago.
  • Payments through a bank or bank payment windows have a bank fee of up to G. 4,400 VAT included. Payments through Home Banking are free.

And finally: Sign Sworn Statement issued by the Supreme Court of Justice

If you think that any important piece of information is missing, please let me know in the comments!

Do you want to become a permanent resident of Paraguay and later a citizen? Contact us to set up a consultancy with our Paraguay Immigration lawyer!