Paraguay

Premier Areas of Coverage

  • Asunción

Country Details

Paraguay is a growing country and offers good opportunities for all foreigners moving in. The country’s demands in all fields; from Engineering, to Education, to Business Development, Infrastructure are vast.
The Paraguayans are very open and welcome foreigners. It is a bilingual country. Along with Spanish, the native guarani is widely spoken, and the “jopara” (mixture) adds a special flavor to the local culture.   
The country has a young population, with 60% of the population being under 35 years of age. Labor laws are generally more balanced than in other countries of the region. The tax system is simple and the taxes are low.   
With an improved international profile, Paraguay nowadays is becoming more attractive for investors. 
Paraguay’s main income derive from Agricultural and Cattling Bussiness. The country is the 4th largest Soy exporter, and 7th largest Meat exporter worldwide.
Electricity is plentiful and is exported to Argentina and Brazil.  
Paraguay offers a very good standard of living, distances are short, services are affordable, and crime rates are low.   

 

Asunción is a relatively small city, with a population of 800.00 in the city and a total of 2.000.000 in the whole great Asunción area.

It is considered a “difficult market” for Expats, because of some particular characteristics of houses. The houses, generally seem dark inside; a lot of wood is used in construction, and because Paraguay is very hot most of the year, the houses have wide porches, shutters and tainted windows to make the houses cooler. Also, older houses and not generally well maintained and are often ruled out by Expats. Newer houses and apartments are significantly more expensive, and have smaller gardens. Also, the Expat areas are very limited, because neighborhoods in Asuncion are not homogeneous.

Q&A

  • Is a guarantor needed? Yes. However, if the Expat is a diplomat, the guarantor is overlooked. Also, some owners would accept a security deposit of two month’s rent (the general norm is one month’s rent)  
  • Who pays rental commission? 50% is paid by the Landlord, and 50% is paid by the tenant. To applicable VAT on the commission is 10%
  • How much is the rental commission? The rental commission is equivalent to one month’s rent  
  • What is the standard lease term? One year, but Landlords prefer longer term contracts.  Negotiating upgrades and discounts on the rent is always easier with long term contracts
  • What currency is used to negotiate the lease and pay the rent?  US Dollars are widely accepted for expat properties, but rarely you’ll find a Landlord who demands payments in Guaranies, the local currency
  • Who are the funds held by? The commission is held by the Realtor
  • How often is the rent paid? Monthly, in advance. More months of rent are accepted happily too and this used to negotiate a lower rent amount
  • Is there a security deposit required? Yes. It is equivalent to one month’s rent 
  • Who holds the security deposit?  The Landlord
  • What language is the lease written in? Spanish
  • Who is the lease normally prepared by? Some  owners have their standard lease, that’s later reviewed by the Expat’s company’s Legal Advisor. And, sometimes, the Expat’s Company proposes their standard lease
  • Is a cancellation clause accepted? Yes, penalty free, if the expat is transferred away from the country for work reasons   

Utilities

Properties have basic utilities such as running water, electricity, and landline telephone services installed. The services will continue in the Landlord´s name; however you are responsible for paying them.

Cable

The only company providing cable TV service is TIGO TV and they offer a number of different plans. The application is submitted by phone, and once the payment is made, the installation will take place within 24-48 hours. There are companies providing satellite TV services, such as CLARO TV and PERSONAL.

Cell Phone

To obtain a plan, a copy of your ID or passport is needed; however pre-paid packages are also available. There are three main cell phone companies that offer reliable services:

Internet

Internet services are provided by a number of local companies, which offer different service alternatives and plans. Once the request for service is submitted, the installation of the service takes 48-72 hours. The most common companies are:

 

The school year in Asuncion runs from February to November. Public schools are not an option for Expats living in Paraguay. 
•    Day Care /pre-school: Day Care Centers operate during the school year, and offer summer camps on Holidays. 
•    Elementary School: Kindergarten (3-6 Years old), 1st grade (6-7 Years old), 2nd grade (7-8 Years old), 3rd grade (8-9 Years old), 4th grade (9-10 Years old), 5th grade (10-11 Years old); and 6th grade (11-12 Years old).
•    High School: 7th grade (12-13 Years old), 8th grade (13-14 Years old); 9th grade (14-15 Years old), 10th grade: called Primera de la Media  (15-16 Years old Years old), 11th grade: called Segunda de la Media (16-17 Years old), and 12th grade: called Tercera de la Media  (17-18 Years old) 


The most common schools for expatriate families are:
•    American School of Asuncion (ASA): It is a fully bilingual school and follows the American curriculum and calendar. 
•    Pan-American School: It is a fully bilingual school and follows the American curriculum and calendar.
    Saint Anne’s: It is a fully bilingual school and follows the American curriculum and calendar.  
•    Lumen: It is a bilingual school.  
•    Sek: It is a bilingual school. 
•    Goethe Schule: It is a German school.  
•    Colegio Frances: It is a fully bilingual school and follows the French curriculum and calendar.   

Registering your Children
Non-Spanish, except for Portuguese, records need to be officially translated. The necessary documentation is:
•    The school records, and curriculum of all subjects for all children after applying for second grade and above. 
Please note that school records have to be legalized by
•    The ministry of education from the home country
•    The ministry of Foreign Affairs from the home country
•    The Paraguayan Consulate at the country of origin, 
Once in Paraguay, the school records and birth certificate must be legalized by:   
•    The ministry of Foreign Affairs in Paraguay 
•    The ministry of Education, which will later issue a Resolution admitting the child in a specific school year  
Some schools may require an entry test. Your Premier Destination Services consultant will arrange all necessary appointments and will accompany you and your family as needed.

A local ID card or Cédula de Identidad is needed when living in Paraguay. This is obtained once you obtain your residency visa. 

International Police Registration Process

One of the first processes you will need to complete when you enter Paraguay is the International Police Registration Process.  Once you enter Paraguay with your visa, the registration process at a local police station and home country consulate must take place.

Visa

There are only two types of working/resident visas, a temporary residency visa which is valid for one year and the permanent residency visa. Applying for a work/residency visa can only be done in Paraguay however to enter the country you may obtain a tourist visa at your nearest Paraguayan consulate. This visa is only valid for 90 days. The requirements for a work/residency visa listed below. The first four items in the list are the documents that you have to bring with you. 

  • Copy of a picture ID: preferably passport.
  • Birth Certificate: It has to be stamped by the Paraguayan Consulate in your country of origin, and legalized locally by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Asunción.
  • Marriage Certificate or Divorce Certificate (if applicable): It has to be stamped by the Paraguayan Consulate in your country of origin and legalized locally by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Asunción.
  • Certificate of Good Conduct (Police and/or Court Report): Criminal or judicial records in the country of origin. It has to be stamped by the Paraguayan Consulate in the country of origin and legalized locally by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Asunción. Please note: United States citizens must request a FBI record/report; a state police report will no be accepted
  • Consular Visa (if applicable).
  • Proof of entry into Paraguay: A copy of the date stamped in passport
  • “Certificado de Informática”: this document is requested and issued by the “Departamento de Informática de la Policía Nacional”.
  • “Certificado Sanitario” A medical certificate issued by a locally registered physician. This certificate has to mention both physical and mental health, and infectuos/contagious deseases. This certificate has to be stamped by the National Ministry of Health.
  • Certificado de Vida y Residencia”: This document has to be issued by the nearest Police Office.
  • “Declaración Jurada de Acatar Leyes (Art. 23)”: This document is issued by any licensed Notary Public.
  • 4 (four) Passport type Photographs (2.5 x 2.5 cm.)
  • Proof of Economic Solvency, or Letter of Employment, or University Certificate:  The interested party must submit a copy in the local bank account with U$S 5.000.00 or more, a letter of employment issued by the contracting Company in Paraguay (with notary certification, and copies of the Company’s documentation), or a copy of the University Certificate stamped by the Paraguayan Consulate at origin, and legalized locally by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Asunción.

Important Note:

  • All documents must be submitted in duplicate (two copies of each document) and must be authenticated by a local registered Notary Public. 
  • All documents in a language other than Spanish or Portuguese must be translated by a certified translator.
  • The residency permit can be received 5 months to a year after submitting the request. However, you will be allowed to be in the country and work as long as the request has been submitted.

Once the permanent residency is obtained, we can proceed to getting a Paraguayan ID Card and then a Driver’s License. This Residency is also needed to enter household goods in the country. If you are traveling with your family, the requirements, and time frames will be similar.

Driver’s License

You will be required to obtain a Drivers License after the Paraguayan ID card has been obtained. You can use your current driver’s license to drive in Paraguay for up to a year after arriving. You must be at least 18 to obtain your license, the requirements are:

  • Blood test to determine blood type (or, another document –such as blood donor card- stating the blood type)
  • A psycho-technical test
  • A eye and ear test
  • A written test
  • A driving test 

The driver’s license is good for 5 years, but must be renewed every year. 

Bank Account

In order for you to open a bank account, you will need the following documentation:

  • A copy of your Paraguayan ID CARD.
  • Copy of the work contract
  • Copy of your passport

You may be able to obtain a bank account with your company which will open a corporate account for you without many requirements.

Furniture Stores

Should you need to purchase any household furniture, there are several major furniture stores throughout Asuncion such as:

The possibility of having tailor made furniture is also widely available, and affordable. 

Hospitals

The major hospitals and the ones recommended for expatriate families in Asuncion are:

Your Premier Destination Services counselor can guide you on which hospital would be the best based on where you will live.

Malls

The most common shopping malls in Asuncion are: