Paraguay is increasingly becoming an attractive country to expand to. One benefit of starting or expanding your business in Paraguay is its geographic location. With powerful neighbors like Brazil and Argentina, the country offers easy access to some of the region’s largest markets. As of 2019, Paraguay’s economy is worth close to US$30 billion and is expected to perform well in the coming years.
Besides these advantages, Paraguay is also welcoming to foreign investment. With a relaxed approach to obtaining residency, setting up your business will not pose many difficulties. Learn how you can obtain permanent residency quickly with the right local support.
What is the best choice of permit in Paraguay?
When immigrating to Paraguay, you can immediately apply for a Permanent Residence Permit. As opposed to other Latin American countries, permanent residency status for Paraguay can be obtained within a few short months. Obtaining permanent residency status eliminates insecurities around visa expiry dates or future political changes.
Note on entrance visas
Depending on your citizenship, you may need an entrance visa to get into Paraguay. Paraguay’s layered visa regulations exempt 60 countries and jurisdictions from its entrance visa requirements for various lengths of stay (as long as they have a valid passport).
Citizens of the following countries can get a visa on arrival: Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Oman, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and United States. A reciprocity fee applies to visas for these citizens and is charged in US dollars.
Applying for the Permanent Residence Permit
Obtaining the Permanent Residence Permit is simple and straightforward. Procedures are time-efficient, and it can take as little as 3 months to process your application.
Obtaining permanent residency qualifies you for a Paraguayan identity card. This card allows you to obtain the RUC (single taxpayer registration) necessary to pay your taxes in Paraguay. Furthermore, those with the Permanent Residence Permit are treated to certain tax benefits.
The application for a permanent permit requires an up-front deposit. The deposit amount is equivalent to 35 minimum monthly wages, which currently a total of PYG 24,554,600 or around USD 5000. This deposit can be made at the Paraguayan Central Bank (non-interest bearing) or any Paraguayan commercial bank. Once you are granted residency, you may withdraw the deposit in full.
Documents required for this application include a birth certificate and police check. These need to be apostilled by the issuing Government authority, either within the home country or at an embassy in Paraguay.
Note that the police check needs to cover 5 years of residential history. This means you will need police checks from any and all countries you resided in over the last 5 years.
The Permanent Residence Permit does not require renewing. Permanent residents simply need to visit Paraguay at least once every three years in order to keep their permit current.
Investors have government backing
Furthermore, Paraguay provides a different application procedure for foreign investors, with different benefits. An example of this is the SUACE (Systema Unificado de Apertura y Cierre de Empresas) procedure. This is a one-stop shop to assist investors with procedures related to company registration and residence permit applications.
In addition to the general requirements, investors must submit a certificate issued by the Vice Ministry of Industry and Commerce of Paraguay. This certificate accredits their qualification to SUACE. Note that this certificate makes a distinction between startups and company expansions.
In order to qualify, a new business must put up an initial capital investment. It is highly recommended that investors seek knowledgable legal and financial assistance to ensure a smooth and simple company formation process.
What about Paraguayan citizenship?
Permanent residence does not immediately make you eligible for citizenship. The National Constitution of Paraguay identifies permanent residents as eligible for citizenship after being a permanent resident for three years. For this process, you must demonstrate that you have ties to the country. This can be demonstrated through:
- Owning real estate
- Local company ownership
- Continuous fiscal residence
- Regular exercise of a profession.
Added benefits of Paraguayan citizenship include:
- Voting in elections: this allows you to have a say in the direction the country is headed
- Visa-free travel to 132 countries.
Fulfilling other requirements
Besides the specific requirements for permanent residency or citizenship, you may need to provide further documentation. This can include economic solvency statements, police record checks, health certificate, a tourist visa, and documents issued by national authorities.
While Paraguay’s permanent residency application process is one of the easiest to obtain in Latin America, attention must be paid to details and relevant documents throughout the application process. Engage with a local expert to obtain Paraguayan residency with minimum wait-time.
Contact us for help
Obtaining residency requires a lot of dealing with local offices and authorities. Consequently, knowledge of the Spanish language and knowledge of the processes necessary is required.
It’s therefore useful to engage with a local team. At Biz Latin Hub, our local and expatriate experts offer customized business solutions in market entry and back office services across Latin America, including Paraguay. This includes support for visa processing and company formation.
If you’re ready to establish your business in Latin America and want to take advantage of the Paraguayan economy, contact our friendly team at [email protected].