Paraguay

Why Paraguay Could Be A Good Choice For Immigration

Paraguay is a landlocked country in South America, bordering Bolivia to the north and west, Brazil to the east, and Argentina to the south and west. The name of the state translates to “water that goes to water”, derived from the language of the indigenous people, Guaraní. The world’s largest fresh drinking water reservoir known as the Gurani Aquifer is situated beneath the surface of Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay and estimated to contain about 8,900 cu.mil. of water. 

Low cost of living, stable economy, low taxes are few positive reasons why Paraguay can be made a good choice for immigration. Food and rent are also affordable. The country has modern reliable technological infrastructure like high speed internet, powerful telephone networks. The currency is very stable and its benefits from a stable market economy and a stable democratic government. Paraguay is termed as a rich country, but full of poor people because of unequal distribution of wealth and many loopholes in the government policies. It is one of the poorest countries in Latin America and has a population of 7.22 million as on 2020. You will see unemployed people, beggars and petty criminals along the streets. Paraguay is the world’s fourth largest producer of marijuana (cannabis). It is illegal in Paraguay however it remains the one of the most lucrative trade especially in the borders. This has also led to Drug Trafficking and Violent drug gangs fights. Paraguay is safer if compared with the major cities in the  neighboring countries, however caution has to be taken so that you do not land into petty crimes like mugging, robbery, scams. There is a high risk of pickpockets, bag snatching, jewelry theft, car theft, home invasions, grabs by thieves on motorbikes and other petty crimes like these, so always being alert and apply some safety rules will surely help.

Traveling information: 

Currently Paraguay is accepting only the vaccination certificate against Covid-19 with a complete and updated scheme for all travelers into the country. For those over 12 year of age and no vaccination certificate, then a negative PCR test report with negative result no longer than 72 hours after boarding the flight is mandatory. This applies to all travelers regardless of their nationality and origin country. The vaccination certificate must be in Spanish, English, French or Portuguese with the following mandatory information:

  • Name of the passenger
  • Date of Birth
  • Document or Passport number
  • Identification of the Vaccine Manufacturer
  • Batch number of applied doses
  • Dose application Date

Booster doses of the Covid-19 vaccine is recommended by the Ministry of Public Health and Social welfare. Travelers who already suffered from Covid-19 from 10-90 days before coming to Paraguay must submit the RT-PCR / LAMP / NAAT or positive antigen test report. 

For more detailed information on the government policies on travel requirements in Paraguay, please visit: www.migraciones.gov.py

Air and Land are the two convenient ways to reach Paraguay. There are flights from Chile, Brazil, Buenos Aires and Bolivia. There are daily flights from Miami. You can also fly to Paraguay from California and Dallas, New York and London. LATAM Airlines Paraguay is the national and flag carrier of Paraguay, which operates from Silvio Pettirossi International Airport in the capital city Asuncion. The 2nd biggest airport is the Guarani International Airport located in Ciudad Del Este.

There are Bus services from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Asuncion daily. From Brazil, bus services run regularly from Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Curitiba and Brasilia (weekly). Bus services runs from La Paz and Santa Cruz de la Sierra, Bolivia to Chaco Paraguayo.

How to immigrate:   

It is easy and cheap to immigrate to Paraguay. There are 2 types of visas in Paraguay – Single-entry and Multi-entry visa. The Visa fees must be paid only in cash and credit cards at the Embassy or Consulate of Paraguay. The single-entry visa is costs USD65 & Multi-entry visa costs USD100. Fees may be low or high depending on the nationality/country of residence.  

For a Paraguayan Visa the following documents needs to be submitted to the embassy or consulate in your country.

Visa Application Form– It must be complete and signed.

Valid Passport– Valid for months from the date of entry into Paraguay. The passport along with personal data pages must be submitted. The passport must have blank pages so that visa can be stamped.

Recent Photo–  Digital Photo must not be minimum 1.5MB and not more than 3 months old. Background must be plain or off-white. Photo must be full-faced looking at the camera with both eyes open and neutral expression.

Flight/Travel Itinerary – Must attach a return Flight/Travel Itinerary from your country to Paraguay

Previous Visa – If you had traveled to any other country before, please attach the Previous Visa/s.

Proof of your financial status–  Documents showing your financial condition to support yourself during your stay in Paraguay must be attached. Proofs documents may include Bank Statement, copy of the credit card, Property documents, Appointment letter indicating salary.

Proof of accommodation– Hotel reservation with full address and contact details. Family letter and identity card of the family host if staying with some family in Paraguay.

Company/Institution Letter – On business trips. Letter must have all relevant information like length of stays, dates contact details etc. Event Invitation Letter in case visiting for conferences, sports events, study etc.

Click here to find out the name of the Visa-Free states for Paraguay.

People: 

Paraguayans are very warm, polite and expressive people. They are generally very hospitable and family oriented. Families play an important part of Paraguayan culture, they are very traditional and protective of their children especially girls. Children especially girls are expected to tell parents where they are going out. Like in most countries, the household responsibilities rests on the wives while the husbands work outside. Weekends are usually family time, picnicking, partying or even going for movies together. Children here place a lot of value on education and spend their free time on studies. 

Meat, Vegetables, Manioc (Cassava), Maize and fruits are the popular and common food here. Corn, rice, potato and wheat are staple foods. Food are sold on streets and its very common for people to eat or drink their meals in public squares. Paraguayans like to drink tea, tereré (cold herbal tea) and mate (hot herbal tea) with friends and family. They prefer light breakfast, usually milk, coffee with bread.

Job offers:

Paraguay is one of the fastest growing country in Latin America with a relatively steady GDP for the past two decades. Agriculture is the leading economy with manufacturing, trading and services are still undeveloped. There is room for skilled workers in Paraguay and finding a job is relatively easy. A residence and work permit is a is also easy to acquire however you need to have a job offer. The other option is that you can open a business in Paraguay.

The best jobs can be found on the job portals such as :Buscojobs; Opcion Empleo; Ultima Hora (newspaper); TEFL (Teach English for native speaker of English)

Unemployment rate:

The latest unemployment rate is 8.47% as on the 1st quarter of 2022, as per the General Directorate of Statistics, Surveys and Censuses of Paraguay. It increased to 6.80% in the fourth quarter of 2021 from 6.50% in the third quarter of 2021. The unemployment rate in 2020 was 7.61%.  The unemployed rate of Females is higher than Males, e.g. in 2020 the percentage of females were 10.02% and the males were 5.9%. Youths between the ages 15-24 were the highest with 16.97% in the same year.

 To get the updated unemployment rate, please visit the website: www.theglobaleconomy.com

Economy: 

The economy of Paraguay is largely market-based with an increasing focus on Soy production. It is the largest soy production in the world and large area of forest is being destroyed to produce it. Paraguay’s primary economic activities involve subsistence farming and agriculture contributes a large part to the nation’s GDP. 

Paraguay suffered recession due to drought & Covid-19 in the years 2019-20.  However, GDP grew by 4.2% due to strong investment growth in private and public construction work and in 2021 the GDP was $38,987 million. Though Paraguay was able to stabilize its economy to a large extent, it is currently facing rising inflation, a historic drought and a highly uncertain future like most other countries.

To read more on the economic status on Paraguay, please visit: www.heritage.org

Renting and buying of real estate’s for foreigners:

Buying:

Foreigners can buy property here in Paraguay. There are plenty of properties across the country at very affordable prices. Even land can be bought her and also a built house. In Asunción, the property ranges from G$5,000,000 to G$10,000,000 ($750-$1500, £540 – £1,080) per square meter. Additional value is then added to take into account the level of the fixtures and fittings. The most basic of accommodation will be less than $100,000 (£72,000). A property of international standards will start from $250,000 (£180,000). 

Renting

You can find an affordable, beautiful and long term rental house in Paraguay, if you take a little more time searching. Many expats have good experience in finding the best cheap accommodation through Facebook marketplace. Others have searched through online portals like – Clasipar, Infocasas, Clasiweb, Immobiliaria, Olx etc. However, searching personally by meeting and asking local people still remains the best option to find the most decent house within your budget. 

A property in Asunción, you can expect to be paying between G$1,500,00 and G$4,000,000 ($225 – $600 or £162 – £440) per month. It is quite possible to spend twice as much on a top of the range luxury apartment. A modern comfortable home in a town or the countryside within easy reach of Asunción can be found for as little a G$1,000,000 ($150, £110) per month. 

To get more information on Renting a house, kindly visit: tucanoprod.com

Climate: 

Paraguay is a Hot land. The climate regions are the subtropical Chaco and the tropical Paranaense. The temperature exceeds 100 (37 celsius) in Summer which is common and in mid-winter the temperature can rise upto 90 (32 celsius).  Nights during summer will be just a few degrees cooler and quite humid without air conditioning. The 2 major seasons are summer from October to March and the Winter is from June to August. Autumn and Spring last one or two months and are moderately warm and rainy. Spring is the shortest month during September. Paraguay is known for its weather mood swings as you will experience while exploring the savannahs, wetlands, rainforests and the Plateaus. 

Find out the climate and temperatures in Paraguay in specific months, please visit: weather-and-climate.com

Language: 

Spanish and Guarani are the two official languages in Paraguay. Guarani is a native language and Paraguay is one of the few Latin American countries to keep its native language official.  A combination of Guarani and Spanish known as Jopará is often spoken by the Paraguayans

Traffic: 

The main roads in the towns and cities in Paraguay are tarmacked, while the majority of the roads are still rough tracks of mud and cobblestones. During rains the road surface is washed away and potholes are exposed.  Therefore, it is always better to check the weather forecast and prepared as roads are prone to flooding.  It is estimated that only 85% of roads require a 4-wheel-drive vehicle and only 10% roads are paved out of the 37300 miles (approx.) of roads in Paraguay. 

Drivers here are known for reckless overtaking, many ignore traffic regulation, they drive fast and tailgate. Many drivers drive without any insurance, so it’s advisable to have an insurance and drive slow with seatbelt fastened, so you can greatly decrease the troubles that normally people face here.  Keep the following documents handy: 

  • Valid driver’s license – Mandatory
  • International driving permit – Mandatory
  • Vehicle registration document – Recommended
  • Proof of Insurance – Recommended
  • Rental company contract (in case of rent car) – Recommended

You can rent a car if you are above the 21 years of age. Most rental cars are Stick shifts (Manual) in Paraguay. It is recommended to rent a four-wheel-drive car for the countryside. 

Some basic traffic rules in Paraguay: 

  • Speed Limits – In the urban areas, the limit is 50 kph (31 mph); In the rural areas, the limit is 110 kph (68 mph); In the highways, the limit is 110 kph (68 mph)
  • Seat Belts – The Paraguayan law requires all to wear seat belts.
  • Drinking & Driving – The BAC required level is 0.08% (80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood)
  • Headlights – are required to be on continuously during night as well as day. If not you will be fined.
  • Use of Cell Phones – Using a cell phone while driving is illegal except for hands-free.

A few important things to note: There are very few gas stations in the country-side mainly along the Trans-Chaco Highway, so its good to get the fuel filled in the city. Toll booths accept only Guarani’s currency in Cash at the toll roads. If you a stopped by the police of whatever reason, remember they cannot ask for a spot-fine, its illegal. Fines are paid at the police station or a bank within 14 days from the date of offense. Request for ticket and pay the fine on time to avoid overcharge.  Emergency Number is 911 for any type of emergencies.  Specific number for ambulance service is 141 and for Fire department its 132.

Currency: 

The Paraguay Guarani (PYG) is the national currency of Paraguay. It is represented by the ₲. The currency is available in Banknotes are ₲1,000,  ₲2,000,  ₲5,000,  ₲10,000,  ₲20,000,  ₲50,000, and ₲100,000 while the coins are available in ₲50,  ₲100,  ₲500, and ₲1,000 denominations. 

The Central Bank (banco Central de Paraguay) issues and maintains the currency. The Guarani is not pegged to any other currency in the foreign exchange market and no currency is pegged to it.

payment transactions: 

Paraguay’s growing eCommerce market reaching $1.3 billion calls for adopting faster digital payment technologies. More than 92% of eCommerce transactions that are local are dominated by Credit card transactions. The following credit and Credit cards are used:

Master Card, Visa, American Express, Diners Club, Bancard, Maestro, Infonet, Discover, UnionPay etc. 

ID is required, such as passport while making a purchase with a credit card. In Paraguay there is not restrictions on the import or export of local or foreign currency.  US dollar is widely accepted throughout the country.  It is cautioned to use the official bureau de change for exchange of foreign currency and not deal with local people offering services as fake banknotes are common. ATMs are widespread in Paraguay and most of them accept Cirrus, Maestro and Visa Cards. The Bank operates from 0845 to 1500 hours Monday – Friday.

Cost of Living: 

Paraguay is less expensive than North America or Europe. Food is reasonable in supermarket as well as in good restaurants. Essentials like Water, electricity, public transport are very low. On an average cost of living will cost $572.21 USD/month for 2 people without rent. It costs just 35 cents to travel anywhere within Asunción. However, rent is considerable higher in Asunción than other places in Paraguay. 

We give below the cost of few necessities which will help you calculate the cost of living in Paraguay. The cost is of approximate value and change from time to time. 

Product

Quantity

Amount (Paraguay Guarani)

1 Bedroom Apartment in city Centre

Per square meter

2,007,405.08 Gs

1 Bedroom Apartment outside the city Centre

Per square meter

1,449,841.80 Gs 

Utilities – Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage

for 85m2 Apartment

352,083.33 Gs

Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)

60 Mbps or More

151,004.14 Gs

Gasoline

1 liter

7,700.01 Gs

Local Transport

One-way Ticket

3,500.00 Gs

Milk – Regular

1 Liter

5,671.88 Gs

White Bread – Fresh

500g

4,936.61 Gs

Eggs – regular

12

11,362.50 Gs

Drinking water bottle

1.5 liter

4,119.59 Gs

For the latest cost of food items, housing, clothes etc., please visit: www.expatistan.com or  www.numbeo.com

Taxes: 

Residents in Paraguay with no local income, are not liable to pay Paraguayan Tax. The personal income tax is 10% on income generated in Paraguay, not on the worldwide income. For example, if you own a property in Paraguay and earn the rent or work in local company in Paraguay, you are liable to pay income tax. 

The VAT (Value added Tax) is 10%, Capital Gains Tax is 10% for non-residents (20% on 50% gross; Property tax is between 0.5% – 1% annually. There are no tax on wealth and inheritance. There is no tax charged on bond yields as well, however 5% tax is charged on the dividends.

Health Insurance: 

In Paraguay the public and private healthcare activities are taken care and managed by the Ministry of Public Health and Social Welfare (MPHSW). There are other institutions which supports the government healthcare system. The citizens of Paraguay avail the public healthcare facilities which are understaffed. It is estimated that there are 11.1 Doctors & 17.9 Nurses per 10,000 people. Emergency services in a government hospital is not very reliable especially in the rural areas. Almost 70% of healthcare workers are there in Asunción, whereas only 30% of the population lives there. Ambulance service for the public is very scare mainly in remote rural areas.

Therefore, expats and travelers opt for private healthcare, which is expensive in Paraguay. The best quality private healthcare is available in Asunción. You can carry the prescribed medicines including antibiotics and blood pressure medications while travelling to Paraguay.  In case of serious medical emergencies, expats prefer to visit nearby countries like Brazil, therefore it is good to buy the Emergency Evacuation Plan, which includes overseas medical treatment. 

To know more about the private healthcare insurance, please refer to: www.insubuy.com

Important addresses:

Embassy of Brazil
Calle Coronel Irrazabal casi Eligio Ayala,
Casilla de Correo 22
Asuncion, Paraguay
PHONE+(595 21) 248 4000
EMAIL: parbrem@embajadabrasil.org.py

Consulate General of Argentina
alma 319 – 1er. piso,
Asuncion, Paraguay
PHONE : 00 595 21 442151

German Embassy
Avenida Venezuela 241, Casilla de Correo 471,
Asuncion, Paraguay
PHONE : +595 [0] 21-214 009,-10,-11

U.S. Embassy
1776 Mariscal Lopez Avenue,
Asuncion, Paraguay
PHONE: 595 21 213-715,595 21 248-3000

Italian Embassy
Calle Quesada, 5871 c/Belgica Asuncion
Assunzione
PHONE : 0059521615620

Silvio Pettirossi International Airport
Autop. Silvio Pettirossi,
Luque, Paraguay
Phone: +595 21 688 2000

Guaraní International Airport
G5V4+QHV, Ruta Internacional 7,
Minga Guazú, Paraguay
Phone: +595 644 20813

Summary: 

Paraguay is a beautiful country with rich history and places worth seeing. The motto of Paraguay is Peace and Justice (Paz y Justicia), which is depicted on the banner above a lion with a red cap. The Jaguar, America’s biggest Feline is found in Paraguay and a refuge for the jaguars is built in the Asunción’s Jardín Zoológico (garden zoo). The world’s largest Hydroelectric Power Plant known as the Itaipu Dam is located on Paraguay’s southeastern border formed by the Parana River. Though Paraguay is a landlocked country, it has a large navy that operates on the Country’s rivers and can get to the ocean by travelling down through Argentina. Paraguay is very popular as a new home for retirees and self-supporters. Self-employment is easier with few regulations and obstacles in order to run a business or a small trade. Low real estate prices and taxes and much more to make Paraguay a good choice of immigration. 

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