Home > Paraguay, Residency > Obtaining Permanent Residency In Paraguay

Obtaining Permanent Residency In Paraguay


What do I need to do to gain permanent Paraguayan residency?

It is not a difficult process to gain permanent Paraguayan residency but there are a few hoops to jump through. It is advisable to contact an immigration lawyer to clarify your personal circumstances.

Documents you must provide from home.

1 Birth Certificate.

2 Marriage Certificate. If you are divorced or widowed you should bring your decree absolute or copy of your spouse’s death certificate.

3 Police check. This needs to be from where you have lived for the last 5 years. For persons holding citizenship of one country, but residing in another, further proof of address is necessary from the country you’ve been living in. Drivers license should be sufficient, and/or bank statements or utility bills showing residency dates.

4 Educational Certificates. If you plan to work in a related field, these certificates are needed.

It is also recommended to bring letter of reference and statements from your bank. This is not necessary for immigration but is needed at the bank for know your customer procedures.

All these documents need to be legalised at the Paraguayan consulate or embassy in the country that they were issued in. In some countries such as UK it is necessary to have the documents legalised at the foreign office before they are presented to the Paraguayan consulate.

When you arrive in Paraguay it is necessary to have these documents legalised again and have certified translations done of all the documents and passport. In addition to this some other documents need to be obtained. Citizens that need a visa to enter Paraguay also need the visa legalised. It is worth mentioning that when you obtain your visa the category is for tourist visa. The form states that you do not intend to obtain residency. We checked with the Paraguay consulate in London, and they told us that it is the correct form and it is ok to enter Paraguay and then apply for residency using this visa.

While there are sites on the internet that state it is possible to prepare for submission of residency documents in one week it is advisable to plan for a trip of about 3 weeks. Government offices are only open in the morning and it often takes more than one trip to obtain documents, therefore taking longer than anticipated to obtain desired documents. If you finish sooner it is a bonus.

Documents obtained in Paraguay.

1 Certificate of Antecedentes for foreigners from national police.

2 Certificate of Interpol

3 Certificate of life and residence from local police station.

4 Certificate of mental and physical health and blood tests for infectious diseases.

5 Letter from local bank confirming that you have made a deposit. This used to be for $5000.  The amount has now been reduced but it is still recommended to have the larger amount.

6 Declaration made at a notarising escribana, stating that you agree to abide by the Constitution National and laws of Paraguay.

When these documents have been obtained 2 authenticated copies of all documents need to be made and submitted to Migraciones.

When you submit your application for residency, your state changes to ‘in tramite’ and you may stay in Paraguay all the time that your application is being processed. You are given a receipt that is valid for 90 days. However the process of having your application approved takes about 115 days. You do not need to renew any documents during this time.

You may also choose to give your lawyer a limited power of attorney that is solely for the residency application process to help with the procedure. With power of attorney your lawyer can go to Migraciones and check on the progress of your documents and have access to them if there are any queries. If you choose to leave Paraguay while your application is in progress, your lawyer with power of attorney can collect your documents when residency is granted. Your original documents will be returned to you but not the copies.

The proper residency document is a carnet. This causes some confusion as gaining residency is frequently referred to as getting your cedula. The cedula is the next stage and end of the process.

You have to obtain your cedula within 180 days of being granted residency or your residency is rescinded. I believe this is a fairly new change in the law. You must apply for your cedula in person.

To obtain the cedula you need to submit authenticated copies of your birth and marriage certificates, passport, and original translations of the non spanish documents. A legalised Interpol certificate, a renewed Antecedentes certificate and a delitos certificate which is to review whether there are any misdemeanours on your file.

The cedula is issued one month after application.

Categories: Paraguay, Residency Tags: ,
  1. Rich
    July 31, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Thanks for all the useful information…..

  2. bob
    October 27, 2011 at 11:30 am

    The cedula part is not clear. You apply for the cedula after the residency is approved? That would mean 115 days. Or do you apply for cedula as part of the iniitial residency application process?

    • November 5, 2011 at 12:09 pm

      You apply for the cedula after you have been granted permanent residency. The cedula takes 1 month to be issued from the date the application is submitted.

  3. Dr. Paul Tai
    June 12, 2012 at 1:48 pm

    I don’t have a birth certificate because I was born in China in 1947 at home, at that time, no birth certificate was issued. what other document can I use instead? I have USA naturalization document and passport.

    • July 5, 2012 at 10:46 pm

      Dr Paul. The requirement for residency is a birth certificate. It is possible that you may be able to use your United States naturalisation document and the documents that you used to obtain this. It would be advisable to contact the appropriate Paraguayan consulate in the United States to confirm what they would require and get them to legalise these documents for you before coming to Paraguay.

  4. July 4, 2012 at 10:40 pm


    If I obtain the residence permit how often I should stay or come back in Paraguay?


    • July 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm

      Marco. Currently there is no definite amount of time that you have to stay in or return to Paraguay. I have heard of incidences where someone has obtained their cedula and not returned until they needed to renew it 10 years later. If you wish to gain citizenship, you will need to come to Paraguay yearly and it is recommended that you stay for a period of at least 15 days on each occasion.

      • July 6, 2012 at 9:16 am

        Thankyou for reply. So if I gain citizenship and I don’t come back to Paraguay for more then 1 year I can lose the citizenship? So in my situation that I don’t care about citizenship If it’s in this way is better to have only the cedula and come back only when I can (also anymore) to mantein the permanent residence, right?


  5. July 10, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Marco. Not quite. Currently there is no in country time requirement for residency, although this may change. However if you wish to obtain citizenship you must come to Paraguay yearly to qualify. Once you have obtained citizenship you must come at least every three years or risk losing citizenship.

  6. Jeremy
    August 24, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    Thanks for this information.

    Would I be able to find someone in Asuncion who could help me get the local paperwork as I don’t currently understand or speak Spanish very well?

  7. Jeremy
    August 27, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    Also, do you know of any places maybe on the outskirts of Asuncion where one could buy a house with a little property because I like a little nature?

    • September 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

      Thank you. I shall shortly be writing some posts on other areas of Paraguay and property purchase.

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