Preparing the immigration papers by yourself – Part 1

How to prepare your immigration papers, permanent residence permit and identity card for Paraguay by yourself

Preparing immigration papers – Part I – The preparation in the home country

The whole project can only succeed if you have already done good preparatory work in your home country!

Birth certificate

The first document you need is your birth certificate.
You can get the birth certificate from the registry office, or you can apply for it online!
Since you need your birth certificate abroad, apply for the “International Birth Certificate” in 10 languages.

Your birth certificate will be certified with the Apostille. You can do this by mail, but plan a generous time frame for it. Do not forget to call the authorities regularly to check on the receipt or progress of your documents!

Once this is done, we still need to have the birth certificate (and all stamps) translated.
Yes, also the International Birth Certificate; and by a licensed translator.
You can find a current list of the Embassy of Paraguay here.

This translation can also be done in Paraguay; usually at a lower cost.
Takes a day or two, however, and will correspondingly delay the rest of the process after your arrival in Asuncion and require extra travel.

Important: The name on the birth certificate must match the name on your passport EXACTLY!
In case this is not the case, because you got married or divorced, then you need additionally

Marriage certificate (original and certified by the Regierungspräsidium)
Divorce decree (with signature of the local court and certification by the district court)
Death certificate (certified by the Regierungspräsidium)
Name declaration (registry office)

These respective documents must not be older than from 2010 (if you have us as a helper, the birth certificate can be from 1936 in extreme cases) and must be certified with the Apostille. After that all documents will be translated by the authorized translator including all stamps!

Important! In case of immigration of a family, each member has to present the required documents. The application can only be made in person in Paraguay.

Police Certificate of Good Conduct

The next document is the police clearance certificate.
This must not be older than 3 months (Austria/Switzerland etc. 6 months) when submitted in Asuncion.

Since you are subject to a certain time pressure here, you should apply for the certificate of good conduct relatively shortly before departure. The police certificate of good conduct must also be certified with an apostille. Once this is done, the translator comes into play again.

Children under the age of 14 are not yet of legal age and therefore cannot have a criminal record. Therefore, this document is not required for children under 14.

If you find entries of previous convictions in your criminal record, then you have reached the point where you should talk to a professional at the latest. Depending on the type of criminal record and the duration of the conviction, you may still be able to apply for your residence permit in Paraguay; but this will not make it any easier in any case.


To enter Paraguay, you will need a valid passport with at least 6 months left on it. If you are smart, redo it in the year of your emigration and it should be valid for 10 years.

Learn Castellano

Knowing the local language is always recommended when emigrating.

But since you want to do everything yourself, this basic rule is 2x or 3x as important for you.
In Paraguay you will have to negotiate with taxi drivers in the first days after your arrival at the airport.

  • have to negotiate with cab drivers
  • talk to doctors and answer their questions,
  • pass a psychological evaluation with many questions,
  • discuss the intricacies of Paraguayan bureaucracy with numerous officials,
  • go to the police, to Interpol, to the bank,
  • and much more

all this will not be easier without a really solid knowledge of the language.
Taking a translator with you to some (or all) of the stops listed may be a good idea.

Plan on a generous cushion of time and appropriate funds to remedy any communication problems.


Even if you do everything yourself, you will need money.

Purely the fees for the application of the residence permit amount to about 220, – Euro and are to be paid in cash. Then there are cab costs, medical costs, laboratory costs (for health certificate) and much more.

Not to forget the (PYG) 31.055.000, which have to be deposited at the National Bank as proof of your financial strength (more about this in part II).

Per person the import of U$ 10.000 in cash to Paraguay is possible without any problems; you should use this limit.

Optional: Documents that not everyone needs

Do you have children? The last school report of the children should also be certified if they want to go to a good school here later. This is not a condition for applying for a residence permit!

Important! If you travel to Paraguay with a child without the second parent, then you must have a written (!) declaration of consent from the other parent. This must be notarized.

Are you a pensioner? Having your pension certificate notarized might be helpful.

All documents that say something about your professional qualification, if you plan to work in Paraguay.

Continue with Part II