Immigration Legal Regime

General Considerations
The Republic of Paraguay welcomes foreign nationals that can contribute to the development of the nation. The admission, entry, permanence and exit of foreigners in the Paraguayan territory is governed by the provisions of the National Constitution, Law 978/96 “Immigrations Law”, and regulated by Decree Nº 18.295, the purpose of which is to promote the population and work force flow required by Paraguay. Law 978/96 creates the Immigration Office, which is in charge of the execution of national migratory policies.

It must be noted that foreign nationals admitted as non-residents cannot work on their own or engage in a labour relation, unless expressly authorized by the Immigrations Office.

Exempted Persons
The persons exempted from this regime are diplomatic and consular service personnel accredited and recognized by the Paraguayan government. Administrative and technical official, family of the said officials and/or representatives previously mentioned are also exempted.

Admissions of Foreign Nationals
Foreign nationals may be admitted under the following categories: residents and non-residents (tourist or business visa).

Permanent Residence
Under this category, foreign nationals can enter the country to reside in it and to carry out any activity that the concerned authorities consider useful for the development of the country. The foreign national with permanent residence must obtain a Paraguayan identification card. Once admitted, these foreigners may remain in the country for an indefinite period of time, unless they incur in one of the causes that result in the cancellation of the residence or expulsion from the country.


The duration of the permanent residence document is 5 years, renewable for equal length periods.

Cancellation of Residence and/or Deportation
The court and/or the Immigrations Office may determine the cancellation of the residence of foreign nationals under any of the following circumstances:

  • Non compliance with the country’s laws and regulations, which could result in a criminal process, a fine or incarceration and the subsequent expulsion from the country;
  • Foreign nationals must exercise their profession and/or activity and/or comply with the conditions that motivated their residence in the country;
  • Absence without prior justification for a period longer than 3 years results in the cancellation of the residence permit.
Documents required for applying for residence
  • Identification Document (passport or other);

  • Police or Court Records of the country of origin of the applicant; *

  • Birth Certificate; *

  • Civil State Certificate; (married, divorced, separated, widowed); *

  • Health Certificate from the country of origin or of last residence; *

  • Consular tourist visa for the countries that require it;

  • Economic solvency statement, that may be proven as follows:

    • Deposit in a bank in Paraguay in the amount of at least five thousand dollars (U$D 5.000.-) in a savings or current account in the name of the applicant or its equivalent in local currency or any other currency at the date of the proceedings;

    • Real Estate property deed of a property located in Paraguay; or

    • University Diploma attached or work contract in Paraguay with the indication of the amount to be received as fees or salary. A commercial license will not be accepted. *

    * These documents must be legalised at the Paraguayan consulate in the country of origin. The identification document does not require legalisation. For residents in the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland or Iceland, see information on legalisation of documents PRIOR to their submission to the Consular Section of the Embassy of Paraguay.

Additional documents required to be obtained in Paraguay

  • Document issued by the National Police, Identifications Department of Paraguay;
  • Interpol certificate issued by the regional office in Asuncion, Paraguay;
  • Life and residence Certificate issued by the jurisdictional police station;
  • Proof of legal entrance to the country (visa or stamped passport), issued by the immigrations authorities at the control posts (airports or border);
  • 6 ID photographs in colour 3 x 3 cms.;
  • Affidavit confirming that the applicant will abide by the laws of the country signed by a Notary Public.

The sanctions established in the Immigrations Law include a fine, expulsion of the country or even a jail sentence. The Immigrations Office and the Criminal Courts are competent over immigration matters.

Jail sentence may vary from 3 months to 2 years in accordance to the particulars of the offence, which amongst other offences may include the use, forgery and modification of documents; re-entry without prior authorisation of a foreign national whom had previously been expelled from the country.

The fines may be imposed to foreign nationals that do not comply with the purpose stated at the time of application for residence in the country and any other obligation that arises from the said act.


In the application of a fine, the following must be taken into account: the nature, the background information and the recidivism factor of the infraction, as well as the background information of the transgressor