The newly modified Immigration legislation was passed by Paraguayan legislators on October 18, 2022.
The Highlights of the 2022 Paraguay Residency Program in TLDR form:
- Instead of obtaining permanent residency directly, now you start with two years of temporary residency, after which you can apply for permanent residency.
- There is no deposit to leave in the bank for temporary residency if you wish to prove your solvency through a deposit (rather than a university degree, pension, etc.).
- You must DECLARE that you have a profession/money in order to survive in Paraguay, but you do not need to prove it in order to obtain temporary resident status.
- Temporary residents, like permanent residents, receive an ID card and the same privileges in everyday life.
- Nothing has changed in terms of tax residency, tax number, or international tax compliance.
Important changes to the Paraguay Residency program
According to the new Paraguayan residency law, you must first earn temporary resident status for two years before applying for permanent residency.
Originally, because of the six-month grace period, the new law will go into effect in February 2023, so you would still have time to apply. However, what we hear from sources on the ground, such as here and here, it seems these changes are now being implemented directly.
Paraguay is now following in the footsteps of several European countries and their various residency policies. Portugal, for example, has the same rule under the Golden Visa (ARI) residence by investment scheme.
Two years of temporary residency followed by three years of permanent resident is required to qualify for citizenship.
Until recently, Paraguay was the most straightforward permanent residency option.
What changes will be made to the Paraguayan immigration requirements?
Absolutely nothing. Except for the status you receive, the process for obtaining a temporary or permanent residency visa is nearly identical.
Documents required for the Temporary Residence Permit of Paraguay
The Paraguayan immigration process, like all other immigration processes in different countries, is purely bureaucratic. Several documents must be obtained in Paraguay during the procedure, but you will bring the following with you:
- birth certificate and a clean police report (dating 14 years back)
- marriage or divorce certificate (if one of these applies)
Changes for the principal applicant
Please keep in mind that nothing will change for an applicant; you will have to pay extra in state costs for a fresh process after the first two years.
You have to visit Paraguay to become a temporary resident, receive an ID card, and conduct business within or outside of the country. You can apply for permanent residence status after two years.
The statute (Article 46) defines the temporary resident status as follows:
“Temporary residency will be provided for a term of up to two years, with an equal amount of extension, and will be a prerequisite for awarding permanent residence.”
The official fee for a temporary residence permit is the same as the fee for a permanent residency permit, which is about $260 USD in guarani.
Is there any negative impact on the immigration law amendment in Paraguay?
Instead of two processes (permanent residency/ID card), there will be four processes (Temporary residency/ID card + Permanent residency/ID card) until you become a permanent resident.
Permanent residents and applicants who have already filed their documentation for a permanent residence permit are unaffected by the new law.
Surprisingly, permanent residents of Mercosur countries have an easier time settling in other Mercosur member countries. Mercosur nationals do not have to go through the temporary residence stage first (saving 2 years in the process).
Can you still become a permanent resident of Paraguay instead of going through a two-year temporary residence?
The SUACE residency by investment scheme remains unchanged. Investors will be able to become permanent residents without having to spend two years as temporary residents. If you want to relocate to Paraguay, this is an option to explore. The SUACE residence by investment program is an excellent tool if you wish to invest OR form a company and start a business.
You must reside in Paraguay and establish a business. The minimum investment amount is 70,000 USD, however you do not have to invest it directly or demonstrate that you have it in your bank account.
Keep in mind that the Paraguayan residency by investment program intends to keep businesses running and create jobs. That is, you must spend the investment amount within ten years.
You could start any business and pay off this debt in ten years. If you bring two containers of anything, that may be plenty (goods + shipping + customs cost), but if you open a restaurant, the venue’s rental fee will exceed $70,000 USD over ten years. And the fee is the same as it is when you become a temporary resident and register a unipersonal or other form of organization.
What happens to the deposit option while applying for Paraguayan residency?
There was no option to make a deposit. However, it was one among the alternatives for demonstrating your solvency, not the entire immigration stream.
So nothing has changed in the process of obtaining permanent residency in Paraguay. When applying for permanent residency, you can demonstrate your solvency with a deposit, pension, university degree, and so forth.
No deposit is required for the temporary residency process. However, Paraguay does require you to declare your occupation. This means that after obtaining temporary resident status, you will be required to justify your income as before the 2022 legislation revision.
Be cautious about what you declare during the temporary residence application procedure. Because you must defend this after two or four years during the permanent residency process. If you are a digital nomad, for example, you must declare and pay the deposit when applying for permanent residency.
Proof of solvency (or a university degree) is required for Paraguayan resident status
To demonstrate solvency, you do not need to present an Apostilled copy of your university diploma during the initial phase. However, you must state that you hold the degree. However, the Apostilled degree will be required throughout the permanent residency process.
One more note: In the prior permanent residency process, there was an interesting possibility to show your solvency. You could qualify if you rented or bought more than ten hectares of land. Even before the law was changed, this option was removed from the formal requirements.
What documents are required for temporary residency in Paraguay?
Nothing has changed in terms of the required paperwork. We get numerous documents for you, and you must bring the following with you:
- Original birth certificate (Apostilled)
- Original and clean police certificate (Apostilled)
- Marriage or divorce certificate, if applicable (Apostilled) your passport
Additional FAQs about the Paraguay Residency program changes
NO. If you want to start and run a business in Paraguay, you can become a permanent resident without having to wait the two years of temporary residency. Until now, visa-exempt citizens of developed nations have not taken advantage of the SUACE residency by investment scheme. Because the applicants became permanent residents and then made plans for the future and registered their businesses, it will be the simplest method to become a permanent resident of Paraguay beginning in 2023.
Some Paraguayan permanent citizens use their residency to live tax-free overseas as digital nomads, "location independent" freelancers, or eternal travelers. This structure has remained unchanged. They will be temporary residents, then permanent residents.
When you apply for residency in Paraguay, you will be classified as a temporary resident rather than a permanent resident. After two years, you can apply for permanent resident status or extend your temporary resident status in Paraguay for another two years.