How to prepare your immigration papers, permanent residence permit and identity card for Paraguay by yourself
Preparing immigration papers – Part II – After your arrival in Paraguay
You have successfully completed the preparations in your home country, and full of energy (which you will still need) you leave the airport.
If you plan to stay longer in Paraguay, you can now take a day of rest after the long journey. However, if you have planned only 2 weeks of vacation, then you must use this time well if you want to do everything yourself.
First find a cab and negotiate the price. Some have already managed to be driven through the city for about Euro 50,- for half a day, others pay 2 to 3 times as much for it; depending on luck and language skills.
With the cab it goes off the passport with entry stamp copy and this copy then with a local notary (escribania publica) certify let. This will later serve as “proof of legal entry” to Paraguay.
Certificate of good conduct from Interpol Paraguay
Continue your journey and you will arrive at Interpol, where you will give your fingerprints to obtain the police certificate of good conduct from Interpol Paraguay.
For this you will also need
- A copy of the passport (data sheet), notarized
- A copy of the entry stamp, notarized
- 2 passport photos
If all your documents are already translated, you will save about 3 days now (why? see Part I).
If you are having your documents translated in Paraguay, you will need an approved translator now – you can find one here.
While you are waiting for the translator, now is a good time to make an appointment with your doctor. It’s about your health certificate. You will receive this certificate from a general practitioner at the Ministry of Health in Paraguay. It certifies that you are physically and mentally healthy and have no contagious diseases (such as AIDS). In order to be able to confirm this, various examinations, such as blood analysis or a psychological report, are necessary.
Once the certificate is available, it still has to be confirmed by the Ministry of Health in Asuncion.
The cost depends on the type and number of examinations required; as a time frame you should allow at least 3 days.
Registration confirmation of your residence in Paraguay
Once this is done, we come to the confirmation of your residence in Paraguay. This is to be issued by the responsible police station.
Usually 2 witnesses + 2 copies of their cédulas (Paraguayan identity cards) and a small donation to the police are enough for this, and you will have your registration confirmation in your hand within 1 hour.
National certificate of good conduct for foreigners
With the certified copy of your passport (remember it?) you now go to the “Identificaciones” in Asuncion for the receipt of your “national certificate of good conduct for foreigners”.
You will need the original plus a certified copy of this later.
Nice and slow we are making progress and your “to do” list is getting shorter.
Proof of capital of Gs 31.055.000
Next stop is the National Bank to deposit the proof of capital of Gs 31,055,000. Even if you (I admire anyone who can do it) have managed without a professional interpreter so far, now is a good time to pay one. Once you have successfully explained your case, the bank will issue you a certificate for the deposited amount. The money can be repaid in cash at the same counter in Asuncion after you have received your residence permit.
- The law provides other ways of proving solvency;
- an existing employment for Gs 2.500.000,- per month (realistic: Gs 6M or more),
- also the proof of a higher academic degree can be used (certified and translated).
- a pension certificate of at least Eur 900,- per month (certified and translated).
In practice, however, it does not pay to take on the necessary paperwork as a lone immigrant. However, a good immigration officer can provide the pension certificate or an academic diploma as a substitute.
Still missing is the affidavit before the notary, original with certified copy.
In this you agree to abide by the Constitution and laws of Paraguay, according to Law 978/96, Art. 23.
Application for Permanent Residence in Paraguay at “Migraciones”.
Now you have all the necessary documents and you can apply at the immigration office (“Migraciones”) for the residence permit.
If you have even managed bank and affidavit without an interpreter, then at the latest now a Gestor is required.
During the application process, the documents are carefully checked for completeness and the presence of all stamps.
The deadlines (such as certificate of good conduct DE not older than 90 days) must be strictly observed.
If documents and/or stamps are missing, your application will NOT be accepted!
But we are lucky and you have worked correctly and efficiently – congratulations, your application has been accepted! You will now receive the “Mesa de entrada”. With this document, the authorities confirm your application and you can legally stay in the country for 6 months for the time being. The costs for the application are about 220,- Euro per person and have to be paid in cash at the time of application.
From now on, patience is required – expect a processing time of several months.
Your “Mesa de entrada” allows you to stay in Paraguay until the residence permit is issued.
However, if you wish to leave Paraguay in the meantime, it is wise to always have your passport stamped upon departure and re-entry.
Police registration for foreigners (Registro para extranjeros)
Once you have the “Mesa de entrada”, the journey continues to the “Registro para extranjeros” for the fingerprint card.
Here you will need:
- The certified copy of your passport
- 3x certified copy of the Interpol certificate of good conduct
- Notarized registration certificate of the place of residence
- Original + certified copy of the “Mesa de entrada
- 2 passport photos
- Application itself (to be filled out in Spanish)
Identity card/Cedula de Identidad
By now a lot of time has passed and you have already saved the number of “Migraciones” as a favorite in your smartphone.
After hearing 83x that your papers are being processed and that you would like to be patient, you have been told on the 84th call (to your shock!) that everything is now ready and you can pick up your residence permit. A day’s drive to Asuncion later, you finally have your “Admisión permanente” in hand and would now like to apply for your identity card (“Cedula”) as well.
The good news is that applying for the cedula is much easier and faster than applying for the residence permit. The application for the cedula can be submitted to the “Identificaciones” in Asuncion or to a local office in the country.
- You will probably have to get a new certificate of good conduct from Germany. Talk to the embassy about the exact procedure.
- New you need a national certificate of good conduct in the original and certified. You have already practiced where to get it and how to do it.
- Now you need a certificate of good conduct from Interpol in the original and 3 times certified. You have already practiced where to get it and how to do it.
- A certified copy of the permanent residence permit.
- A certified copy of the fingerprint card (now you finally know why you went to all the trouble last year with the foreigners’ registration office!)
- 2 passport photos
- the application itself (to be filled out in Spanish)
The processing time is about 30 days.
And that was it!
Congratulations on your organizational skills and angelic patience.
Cost breakdown for the residence permit plus Cedula
Even completely without immigration helpers, the following costs are still to be calculated.
- Fixed costs for the application, stamp fees and translations about Gs 4.000.000 (Euro 500,-).
Overnight costs in Asuncion are variable, but 3 nights for the residence permit and 1 night for the “Cedula de Identidad” should be expected. So a total of 4 nights for about 6 working days. In a hotel one night costs from Gs. 400,000, in very simple accommodations it is cheaper. Let’s calculate with Gs 1,200,000 total cost as a good average for a rather simple accommodation per person.
- Travel cost for cab or rental car for 6 days. Rental car for 6 days is U$ 35 a day upwards, so from about Gs. 1.200.000 (Euro 150,-). It is much cheaper with public transport, but everything takes much longer. Cab or Uber would reduce the Navi-stress, but increase the cost.
- Variable cost of rides. Parking fees are virtually always payable downtown. If you are traveling by rental car (or own motor vehicle), then there is a good chance that you will also get a ticket or two. These can quickly reach 1 million Guaranies. Let’s calculate Gs 500,000 as an average, since not everyone will pay a fine, but fuel and parking fees will.
- Variable costs for food and drink. If you want to have at least one good meal a day in a restaurant, then we should budget at least Gs 50,000 a day per person here. If you work 6 days, that’s Gs 300,000. If you want at least a decent meal, then we easily calculate double that.
- Time commitment and nerve costs. Since you will spend an estimated 6 working days on the whole process, time is not particularly important to you. Therefore, we evaluate the value of your time with 0 guaranies, since time doesn’t cost you anything and you can’t do anything more useful with it.
If we add up the above items, we come to about Euro 1.000,- cost price for the application of your residence permit and cedula in Paraguay.