A new immigration law since October 2022
On Tuesday, Oct18, 2022, the President of Paraguay enacted a new immigration law in Paraguay with immediate effect. This law had been in planning for several years and was being drafted in Parliament from September 2021. In September 2022, the bill was also approved in the Senate and ultimately enacted by the President of the Republic.
Law N° 6984/2022 has regulated immigration to Paraguay since October 19, 2022. Thus, the old law from 1996 was repealed with immediate effect and replaced by the new regulations.Read more
“Residencia Temporaria” is introduced
Probably the most important innovation by the law 6984/2022 is the introduction of a temporary residence permit for 2 years. From now on, the first step is to apply for a “Residencia Temporaria”, valid for 2 years. Only after this period, the permanent residence permit “Residencia Permanente” can be applied for.
According to the old law of 1996, a life-long residence permit was applied for and granted directly. In extreme cases, it was possible to obtain a life-long residence permit in the course of a single one-day visit. This is now no longer possible under the new law; at least 2 visits are required until the “Residencia Permanente” is obtained.
One first applies for the “Residencia Temporaria” very similar to the old application process. The requirements and costs have hardly changed compared to the old law.
With the receipt of the new “Mesa de entrada” on the day of the application one gets a proof of residence for 90 days. In this time frame of 90 days (allegedly) the residence permit is to be granted. If one has received his Residencia Temporaria, then one can also apply quite normally for the Cedula (also valid for 2 years). Subsequently, one can enter/leave the country freely as well as live and/or work in Paraguay.
Residencia Permanente is now valid for 10 years
Those who do not stay in the country can apply for the “Residencia Permanente” after 2 years on a second trip. This new “Permanente” is now valid for 10 years and will then be renewed according to the model of the Cedula with current data. This “Renovacion” after 10 years is only a fraction of the initial application in terms of effort and cost.
The exact requirements and procedures for this are still to be clarified internally by the authority. Essentially, this second application will be at least very similar to the original application for “admision permanente” under the 1996 law.
One day a year in Paraguay, or is it?
The old law from 1996 had the requirement that residence permit holders should be in the country for at least one (1) day within 3 years. However, this regulation has not been observed for the last 25+ years. Even in the case of gross violations (never been in Paraguay for 30+ years) there were no negative consequences.
The new law 6984/2022 has kept this original wording for the “Residencia Permanente”. For “Residencia Temporaria”, this wording has been slightly modified to require one (1) day per year.
What is not clear from the law is whether this one day per calendar year (1.1. to 31.12.) is to be understood, or whether 365 days since the last visit are meant here. In practice, it will then become clear whether this is a relevant question at all, or whether the authority (as before) does not apply this regulation at all.
Here Migraciones directly explains the benefits of the new law (in Spanish): https://www.migraciones.gov.py/index.php/noticias/la-republica-del-paraguay-ya-cuenta-con-una-nueva-y-moderna-ley-de-migraciones