How to get Paraguay residency and citizenship in 2021

Written by Andrew Henderson
i

Last Updated April 30, 2021

Dateline: Ubud, Indonesia

A surprising land-locked country that few people have heard of, people usually look at Paraguay as a place to get “easy, cheap, and fast” residency and citizenship. 

One of the main things that foreign investors like about Paraguay is that one doesn’t have to physically live there — just one day every three years will suffice for you to maintain your residency. That, coupled with the relatively low investment requirement, puts Paraguay on many people’s radar.

With a Paraguayan passport, you can access the European Union (EU), Russia, the United Kingdom (UK), and Ireland — so it’s a pretty good deal and a decent passport too. It’s also a part of the Mercosur trading bloc in South America, so you can also go anywhere in South America without a visa; just an identification card will do.

Another commonly held belief is that Paraguay is one of the fastest ways to get citizenship. On paper, and in some instances, that may be true. Technically, you could become a naturalized citizen of Paraguay in just 3 years.

However, as with every residence and citizenship by investment program, there are challenges that we will spell out in this article. 

For one, you have to understand that in many countries what is written in the letter of the law may not always follow in due process. What is said to be possible is not necessarily how things pan out — especially with regard to citizenship.

The fact that the law states that in Paraguay you can apply for citizenship after three years doesn’t guarantee you anything. It means you can apply and that they must consider your application but beyond that, nothing is certain.

So, then why Paraguay? 

Why Should You Get Paraguay Residency and Citizenship

A small and obscure country, Paraguay sure has its fair share of problems.

A decade ago, it was in the top 10 of the most corrupt countries in the world according to Transparency International. Luckily, the situation has improved and Paraguay ranks 123rd in the world currently — still a long way to go to an honest and democratic government but an impressive improvement.

Approximately a quarter of Paraguay’s seven million citizens live below the poverty line.

Essentially, the government’s tax policies have meant that very little tax is collected, and no cash can be spent on social services and poverty-reducing initiatives.

It’s estimated that three-quarters of Paraguayan land is owned by 1% of the population — highly concentrated in the hands of the wealthy few. The government has pretty much-done nothing to implement any sort of land reform.

What’s more, the main industry of agriculture is mostly automated, which means fewer laborers are needed.

And when you combine all of those factors, you’ve got a political and economic situation that’s unstable and full of surprises.

But there are a few glimmers of hope for Paraguay.

Firstly, the median age in the country is just over 26 years. You’ve got a workforce that’s young, robust, and ready for employment opportunities.

Secondly, the tax policies of the country, some that have the unfortunate side-effect of imprisoning some people in poverty, are also highly attractive to foreign investors.

All foreign-sourced income is completely tax-exempt, and the government has been pretty set on this, with promises to never reverse that policy.

And finally, the investment required to become a resident of Paraguay is really low, which makes it an affordable option for many.

How to Get Paraguay Residence and Citizenship

As we’ve already mentioned, many people choose Paraguay because the process of getting residency takes very little time and almost zero effort, not to mention it’s very cheap.

It’s most suited for people who are: 

  • Looking for a permanent residence with a minimal physical presence requirement. Requires that you spend only one day every three years in-country. Another way to look at this is that Paraguay isn’t exactly known for its livability.
  • Unable to qualify for tax residence elsewhere because they travel too often. Similarly, if you need tax residence somewhere but you are constantly on the move, then Paraguay could be a good solution.
  • Looking for a low-cost residence, tax residence, and citizenship. You can’t beat Paraguay’s prices, but don’t forget to consider the drawbacks.

So, if the country appeals to you, you’ll need to make some decisions as to how you’d like to invest in order to get your residence.

First, you’re able to make a simple bank deposit of 35 minimum monthly wages, which is approximately $5,000. The only condition required to take advantage of this option is that you have visa-free (or visa on arrival) access to Paraguay.

The deposit can be made in any Paraguayan bank and will usually be non-interest bearing. As soon as you’re granted residence, you can withdraw the deposit in full.

Second, you can opt to set up a company and invest Paraguayan Guarani 50,000,000 (approximately $7,500). It’s also possible to purchase land for agricultural activities.

You will also need to submit a business plan and show that you’ll spend $70,000 minimum in 10 years.

Finally, you can get residence in Paraguay if you’d like to retire in the country. If your retirement income is at least $1,300 per month, you can go this route. There is no age limit.

Also note that as a retiree, you will benefit from import tariff exemptions on your personal effects, mostly your household items.

From start to finish, the process takes around 2-3 months and requires multiple week-long visits to the country.

You’ll be issued with a permanent residence card that is valid for 5 years.

However, within 6 months of receiving the card, you must fly back to Paraguay to apply for a local ID card. Thereafter, you can apply and go through all the motions to become a tax resident, all in one visit.

Here are the documents you’ll need to apply: 

  • Passport
  • Clean police record
  • Birth certificate
  • Certificate of marriage or divorce (if applicable)
  • Medical certificate (must be issued in Paraguay)
  • Affidavit (must be issued in Paraguay)
  • Document issued by the National Police, Identifications Department of Paraguay
  • Proof of residence in Paraguay (must be held throughout residency)

All of your documents from abroad must be officially translated to Spanish, apostilled, and notarized.

Paraguay Citizenship

It’s possible to obtain Paraguayan citizenship after 3 years of being a permanent resident.

As mentioned, the process for acquiring residency is relatively easy, inexpensive, and quick. The process for acquiring citizenship is far more involved.

You will need to spend at least 183 days of each of those three years in the country. Plus, you’ll need to pass a Spanish language exam, as well as know about the country’s geography, politics, and history. 

You’ll also need to show that you have genuine ties to the country, such as real estate, a local company, or at least continuous fiscal residence.

Those are the legalities of a Paraguayan passport, but consider the big picture for a minute.

And the bigger picture in Paraguay is one of the extended wait times as a result of poor legal representation and bureaucracy, coupled with the current climate of heightened security and tighter policies.

The actual process of getting Paraguayan citizenship can take several years longer than that attention-grabbing headline of 3 years.

Still, every country has a trade-off between the benefits of citizenship and the process by which it takes to achieve it. Paraguay has good things going for it (low taxes, a good passport, and its laissez-faire attitude) but it’s not the only (or cheapest, or fastest, or easiest) option to get a second citizenship.

And having a second passport as an insurance policy is definitely a good idea, but why not evaluate other options? Here’s how to choose the best second passport for you.

If you’re a Westerner looking for more globalized travel, then the only place that Paraguay affords you freer access to is Russia.

And if you’re using Paraguayan citizenship to benefit from lower taxes and to save money, then there are better places to spend your time (and it is your time) jumping through hoops to get your second passport.

Why would you want to be wasting that time jetting off to Paraguay, in the middle of nowhere, at a moment’s notice to clear yet more red tape when you don’t want to live there?

There are other countries that have lower or no tax, closer to where you want to be.

Plus, if you are looking to renounce your citizenship, there’s a world of options that may be even better suited to what you actually want and need, even if that “headline” cost is more expensive.

Taxation in Paraguay

Paraguay used to be a tax haven and, in many ways, it still is. If you want to take advantage of the tax optimization strategies that residency affords you, here’s how.

As soon as you obtain an ID proving your residency status, you will need to collect the documents proving that you’re a tax resident of Paraguay.

Then, you’ll need to navigate a bit more red tape, such as registering at the Treasury office and participating in the official course for self-employed people in order to receive your tax number Registro Único del Contribuyente (RUC).

These are both processes for which you must be physically present. Plus, they are both fully in Spanish, but you are allowed a translator to help you navigate through the paperwork.

As soon as you have your RUC, you will need to file for value-added tax (VAT) each month — we’d advise having a trusted accountant to help you with all that. Alternatively, you can do it yourself via an online tax system called Marangatu.

Even though you won’t be paying any tax on any money that you make abroad, you will be liable to pay tax on onshore income made in Paraguay.

However, exemptions do exist, i.e., the first $20,000 is tax-free during your first year in the country, $19,000 the next year, and so on.  

You will easily be able to show your tax resident status to any tax authorities “at home,” because by this point you should have these official ties to Paraguay: 

  • Life and Residence certificate (the official proof of address in Paraguay from the police)
  • Tax authority’s certificate (as monthly VAT filing is obligatory, you’ll have a new copy of this document every month)
  • Landlord’s statement
  • Mobile phone contract
  • Bank account statements showing your local address

Weigh Your Options Carefully

Too many people believe Paraguay is such an easy road to a second passport that it must be a scam — a way to get one over on the “system” — which is what makes it worth a gamble to them just “to see” if they can get one.

The challenges to getting Paraguayan citizenship and a second passport in 2021 are:

  • It’s taking a lot longer than ever before to get your application even looked at
  • More applications are getting denied
  • No reason (or limited information) are being given for rejected applications
  • Immigration lawyers aren’t providing much help
  • The mythical “fast, easy, and cheap” just isn’t true

If there’s one takeaway from this it’s that you need to be clear about your end goal; define it and work backward to achieve the best results.

If your goal is to renounce US citizenship to save $500,000 a year on taxes, then it’s likely that your time is far more valuable than any paltry savings that may or may not be made in seeking Paraguayan citizenship.

In fact, by the time you’ve made your sixth visit to the country, making at least two stops along the way and waiting in airports the size of your laundry room just to fill out another form before returning home, you’ll probably have wasted more money than you’ve saved.

We’d say the last time Paraguay was a sensible option for most foreign investors was back in 2015.

There are better options now that are a lot easier with far more guaranteed success and, compared to how much time you can spend with Paraguay, cheaper in the long run in terms of your time investment.

The bottom line? We think Paraguay is just not worth it at the moment.

Don’t get us wrong. Paraguay is an amazing country and still offers plenty of opportunities. If you are someone who is looking for a frontier market (and maybe speak Spanish), you might find it the perfect bolt-hole. In which case, go for residency.

If you’re looking for Paraguay as a second passport you’re probably looking in the wrong direction; instead, you should be looking for a solution to your unique pain points and go from there. 

Get in touch with the Nomad Capitalist team and we can help you figure it all out.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: May 5, 2021 at 2:47PM

Start Your Offshore Journey Today

The Nomad Capitalist team has helped hundreds of people create and execute holistic offshore plans to help them legally reduce their taxes, become dual citizens, and live the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle of success

Start Your Offshore Journey Today

The Nomad Capitalist team has helped hundreds of people create and execute prolific offshore plans to help them legally reduce their taxes, become dual citizens, and live the Nomad Capitalist lifestyle of successWould you like to be next?

Get Our Latest Offshore Strategies

Join our email list and we’ll send our best articles, videos and exclusive content right to your inbox. 

Its Free.

Read this next..

56 Comments

  1. ejaz ahmed

    Hi

    Reply
    • Dhan pun

      Hi

      Reply
  2. Vanessa

    Hi there. I’ve recently discovered the ‘simplicity’ and accessibility to gain residency and passport for Paraguay. I am British and i don’t need a second passport but my boyfriend does. He is Cuban and we have struggled for years to get visitor visas to UK and other EU countries. Now i would love for him to get a Paraguary passport or even just residency so that he can visit and enter other countries with me. It seems simple. I know it is very hard for Cubans to travel so i would really appreciate your help, advice and support. Also, how would he even begin this process if he needs a visa to even get into Paraguay? You see my dilemma all the time! I look forward to your answer.

    Reply
    • Gandoo

      Why do you not marry your Cuban BF?
      And submit a spouse case to UKBA.

      Reply
    • Osvaldo

      I’m Cuban. If you’re still with your boyfriend let me know. I’m helping my cousin to leave the island.

      Reply
  3. Nidia

    Hi Andrew

    “There are better options now that are a lot easier with far more guarantees and, compared to how much time you can waste with Paraguay, cheaper in the long run in terms of your valuable time. The bottom line? Paraguay is just not worth it.”

    Could you perhaps elaborate on the “better options, more guarantees”, some examples of other countries with better investment opportunities as well as guaranteed residency / citizenship.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Regards,
    Nidia

    Reply
    • Dan

      What are the options?

      Reply
    • June

      100% correct. Paraguay is not worth it. Wish I had read this earlier.

      Reply
  4. Hamad aslam

    Can u please let us know about other countries for second passport or PR.

    Reply
  5. fazl e umer

    hi
    respected sir
    hope you will be fine and wth good health.
    i want to get Paraguay nationality/passport. can you help me in the matter or better advise?
    iam from pakistan.

    Reply
      • Saimon Anu

        hi this Saimon Anu from Bangladesh.please sent me that how can i get the PR or Citizenship in Paraguay as easily with in a short time
        Thank you very much
        kind regard

        Reply
        • Crime Watch

          How do you transfer required fund as far as Paraguay residency concern ?
          Legally , you just can’t as far as foreign currency regulations concern.

          Reply
          • Carolyn Dorrell

            Dear Crime Watch,

            You can legally transfer funds to Paraguay. Paraguay is not a fiscal paradise and all its banks and financial institutions operate in the international market. There are certain currencies that are not in high-demmand in the Latin market, therefore, you are not bound to find anyone operating with them; as I guess I wouldn´t find anyone operating with Guaranies (Pyan currency) beyond South America.

            Reply
  6. Abdul Chowdhury

    Hi I am a businessmen in Bangladesh. Want a permanent residency followed by citizenship in Paraguay. Please let me know how can you help me and what is the real picture of investing in Paraguay. Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Paul

    Paraguay’s residency is awesome for digital nomads working as contractors in terms of taxes. The income tax is of 10% but if your income comes from a country other than Paraguay, there is no tax. So it’s like a tax-heaven without really being it.

    Reply
  8. ABDUL YOUSUF KHAN

    Hello sir. I am yousuf khan mechanical engineer working in saudi Arabia pakistan national.i want to get paraguay citizenship.i need all details.

    Reply
  9. jong

    There is way too much BS being spread about Paraguay.

    First of all, Paraguay does not require a Lawyer or “fixer” to obtain residency.

    If you speak Spanish, or use a translator, you can do everything yourself. The immigration office in Asuncion will often have friendly, helpful workers that will answer your questions if they’re not too busy.

    Just read the requirements on their official website: http://www.migraciones.gov.py/index.php/tramites-1/radicaciones/radicacion-permanente

    Secondly, Paraguay is not that much different than other countries when it comes to approving citizenship. If you learn Spanish, become a productive member of society and perhaps even start a family, that would give you a fighting chance to obtain your second passport.

    If you arrive as an entitled foreigner with very few ties to the country, don’t be surprised if you never hear back from them.

    Reply
  10. Muthanna

    Dear Sir
    Greetings……I have this question please…i have read that if you put 5000 five thousands dollars in a bank in Paraguay then that will quilefying you to get a citizenship! so please i need to know is that real? or not?
    Best wishes

    Reply
    • Carolyn Dorrell

      Dear Muthanna, the $5000 deposit is part of the requirements to obtain your residency. It is proof of solvency and it will be reimburse to at the end of the process, once you have receive your residence card. Now, there are several documents that you have to bring from your country and present at the local offices here. As in any other country in the world, Paraguay has its own process. Now, it is absolutely worth it. The process is rather smooth (yes, there is burocracy just like in any other country) and the waiting time is between 4-6 months.

      Reply
  11. Faizal M

    Hi
    I havent idea of how to get the paraguay citizenship. Can u please guide me

    Reply
  12. Imran azam

    Hello sir. I am Imran azam working in Italy pakistan national.i want to get paraguay citizenship.i need all details

    Reply
  13. malik ahmad

    dear sir,

    i amd Ubaid ur rehman father in law i live in canada i want to know informotion for his immigration paraguay and can he come from pakistan with family how do should he apply for visa from pakistan and will you help him find permienent residency, i want to know all govt court, health card,PR card,SIN card applicable fees and youer fees. also where qill he apply for the visa. Dear sir, Ubaid ur Rehman is Mechanical Engineering Technologists 24 year Exp. thanks Malik Ahmad

    Reply
    • ZAFFRA IQBAL

      dear sir,

      I am Zaffar Iqbal & i want to know information for his immigration Paraguay and can he come from Pakistan with family how do should he apply for visa from Pakistan and will you help him find permanent residency, i want to know all govt court, health card,PR card,SIN card applicable fees and your fees. also where will he apply for the visa.

      Reply
  14. Tarek

    Hello,
    I’m Egyptian, and I would like to work with you to get the Citizenship of Paraguay. I followed the sign-up steps, but unfortunately my “Primary Nationality” didn’t pass through. So, is there any other way to work with you?
    Best Regards.

    Reply
    • MAGMAM

      What do you mean by ‘didn’t pass through’ ?. It means you they didn’t give you a visa or they refused to give you a permanent residence ?.

      Reply
  15. MOHAMAD THAYER KAWACH

    am very interested

    Reply
  16. Anjum Saeed Gill

    Hello sir. I am Anjum saeed Gill pakistan national.i want to get paraguay citizenship.i need all details .I am business man

    Reply
  17. Rubab batool

    Dear Andrew,
    Could you please elaborate on the” better options, more guarantees”, some examples of other countries with better investment opportunities as well as guaranteed residency/citizenship.
    Looking forward to hear from you soon.
    Regards.
    Rubab.

    Reply
  18. Wei Chen

    I have a criminal record. Can I emigrate to Paraguay?

    Reply
    • Martin

      Lots of Nazis went there.

      Reply
  19. Mariette Cilliers

    Hi Andrew
    I would like to know what do I need to apply for citizenship and the cost in Paraquay.
    I am still married by separated.
    Thanks

    Reply
  20. Saima

    Hi sir how are you?well i want to ask you that my boyfriend right now in germany as a asylum seeker if he want to come paraguay for pemit residense because he need documents he has been in germany since five years but no documents so is it possible that he can come from germany to paraguay kindly tell me as soos as posible thankyou.

    Reply
  21. venkateswara rao palepu

    hi
    respected sir
    hope you will be fine and wth good health.
    i want to get Paraguay nationality/passport. can you help me in the matter or better advise?

    Basically i would like to move to paraguay on residential status. kindly hep
    iam from India

    Reply
  22. Steve

    Andrew, why aren’t you responding to the posts asking for you to clarify on the countries that are easier to get a 2nd passport than Paraguay? If you’re going to make that claim, you need to back it up with facts. Otherwise you lose all credibility.

    Reply
    • Andrew Henderson

      Steve, I am busy helping people who pay for my services and prioritize them over people who consume information for free. Information in our articles is provided as a guide, but without support. If you feel that affects my credibility, you’re entitled to that opinion.

      Reply
    • web writer

      Countries that are easier to obtain a second passport will require very large up-front payments, but you won’t have to live there for years or play with the immigration system. Dominica (not Dominican Republic), Saint Kitts and Nevis, or Tuvalu are just a few examples.

      Go to Paraguay if you want to live there.

      Reply
  23. Gazan

    As an Arabic from the Palestinian territories, who are not supported buy your services, what’s the best way to apply for a second passport? Cost doesn’t matter.

    Reply
  24. iftikhar shah

    hello Andrew, I often read your blogs and always gets useful information. but the fact is everyone wants easy and cheapest residency, which one is the best for me to live with my family ,I can invest 120,000usd .I’m from Pakistan.

    Reply
  25. Amit Gupta

    Sir Good Day. As per your experience, which country has a better living for staying lifelong and easy to get permanent residence :
    Uruguay Or Paraguay

    Reply
    • collins

      both are good

      Reply
  26. nadeem mahmood

    I am interested in 2nd Passport.

    Reply
  27. Khalid

    Hi Andrew,

    I am interested in getting a second passport to be able to travel to the UK and the EU countries for meetings as a priority, with a possibility in setting up own business. Would be interested in your advisory service.

    Reply
  28. Razeeq P Mohammed

    hello, i need to know about paraguay residency, please send me email about this, thanks

    Reply
  29. vicky warjri

    What is apparent from your article is that Paraguay have bleak prospects for permanent residency. You could insert some good things about the country as I’m sure there must be a lot.

    Reply
  30. chandra mohan vodnala

    iam married age is 44 and have one daughter of 11 years wife is 39 years , have bankrupt record in india and iam indian citizen . like to go on permanent resident to Paraguay . can i get PR status in paraguay .please advice me sir .

    Reply
  31. Mehmood Ahmed

    i am doctor mehmood ahmed live in pakistan serving as sinor familiy physician last 13year year i am intersted to get employment or PR i am 42 year old married 4kids kindly guid me

    Reply
  32. Imran Nisar

    Hi sir I am imran and I wanna to get Paraguay nationality and I am a student please guide me thanks

    Reply
  33. SHAHZAD NIZAMI

    Hi sir,

    I am an Indian Lawyer , want to migrate Paraguary permanently.
    Hence , pls guide me , how to proceed , and how to qualify to get citizenship.

    Reply
    • Darren Griffiths

      Hi,

      I am interested in obtaining a Paraguayan Passport. Before I begin the process with you, please advise what services you will provide to aid this process and the associated fees.

      Thanks,

      Darren

      Reply
  34. Brian Clark

    LOL! Reading everyone’s comments above is hilarious! If you are a lawyer, a doctor, or whatever smart guy you claim to be, then learn how to read simple instructions and apply for these guy’s paid services. They say repeatedly that nothing is fast, cheap AND easy. Otherwise, you deserve to stay put wherever you find yourself.

    Reply
  35. Ananka Amarasekara

    hello sir,

    is this Paraguay citizenship program still available? Can you guide applicants to get benefit of that and what chargers it will cost in total?

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.