Have you acquired a Paraguayan permanent residence permit? If so, would you like to become a full citizen of Paraguay? Please note that you do not have to reside in the country to enjoy all the benefits of having a Paraguayan passport. Below we discuss the process of obtaining citizenship of Paraguay.
Over the recent years, an increasing number of foreigners have been applying for legal residence in Paraguay. The legal resident status in the country brings several important advantages and acquiring it is rather inexpensive. All you have to do is make a fixed-time bank deposit of US$ 5,000 and keep the money in your account until you get the residence card (for not more than six months usually). After that, you are free to withdraw the money.
This text closes a three-article series about obtaining legal residence and citizenship of Paraguay. You can read the previous two articles here:
Acquiring Legal Residence in Paraguay: Stage 1
Acquiring Legal Residence in Paraguay: Stage 2
Here we discuss how you can turn your Paraguayan residence card into a Paraguayan passport with the view of the latest changes to the local immigration-related legislation. Let us see what procedures you will have to go through in order to obtain the passport.
Before we do so, however, we would like to remind you that before you can apply for a Paraguayan passport, you have to obtain legal residence in the country. The cost of the legal support that is required in the process is covered in three installments. You have to pay US$ 7,000 to the Paraguayan lawyers when you collect all the application documents and send them to Paraguay for appraisal. You have to pay another US$ 7,000 when you visit Paraguay to submit the application documents with the lawyer’s support. Finally, you have to pay the remaining US$ 7,000 after you acquire your Paraguayan residence permit.
Processing your application for Paraguayan residence
You are free to leave Paraguay when all the application documents have been submitted and other formalities done away with. Now you have to wait while your application is processed by the Paraguayan immigration authorities.
First, you will be issued a Permanent Residence Card and after some 20 day, you will get your Paraguayan ID card or cédula. The process of Paraguayan residence acquisition usually takes between four and six months.
When the identification documents are ready, you do not have to visit Paraguay again to pick them up. Your lawyer can do it for you as he or she will hold a Power of Attorney. Besides, your Paraguayan lawyer can use a courier service (such as FedEx, for example) to send your cédula to wherever you are.
Requirements for keeping your Paraguay residence permit
When you have your Permanent Residence Card, you do not have to extend it annually. It’s permanent. There is only one condition that you will have to meet not to lose your Paraguay residence permit.
In accordance with the Paraguayan legislation, the Permanent Residence Cardholder shall stay away from Paraguay for not more than three years. This means that you will have to pay a visit to Paraguay once every three years to keep the residence card. Please mind that it can be only a one- or two-day visit. This is a serious advantage that Paraguay has over some other countries granting permanent residence permits to foreign nationals.
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Acquiring citizenship of Paraguay by naturalization
Let us now discuss the steps in the procedure of acquiring Paraguayan citizenship for those who already hold permanent residence permits.
Citizenship of Paraguay via naturalization for residence card holders: naturalization period
After you obtain the residence permit, some time will have to pass before you can apply for citizenship of Paraguay. The country’s legislation required that a foreign resident hold the residence permit for at least three years before he or she can apply for citizenship of Paraguay.
The personal presence requirement remains the same: you have to spend only a day or two in Paraguay over three years to qualify for citizenship.
Citizenship of Paraguay via naturalization for residence card holders: age and nationality requirements
Only adult residence card holders (above the age of 18) are eligible to apply for citizenship of Paraguay. A child can be issued a residence permit if a family application for residence is filed but not a passport.
Besides, Paraguay does not welcome citizens of several Asian, Arabic, and African countries to apply for residence/ citizenship there.
Citizenship of Paraguay via naturalization for residence card holders: application documents required
The same application document package is required when applying for citizenship of Paraguay as the one required when applying for legal residence in the country (birth certificate, police clearance, marriage/ divorce certificate, and so on). Document copies have to be notarized as well.
Citizenship of Paraguay via naturalization for residence card holders: required tests
The applicant for Paraguayan citizenship will also have to pass certain tests to qualify. There is a written exam in history, culture, and geography of Paraguay. You have to speak Spanish to be able to pass the test.
We must note that this is not a multiple-choice test (sometimes referred to as a ‘multiple-guess test). You would not be able to guess the correct answer. Instead, you will have to demonstrate your real knowledge of the subjects.
Citizenship of Paraguay via naturalization for residence card holders: visit and application process schedule
You will have to take several trips to Paraguay when applying for citizenship of the country. As a rule, three visits are required after the three-year waiting period expires.
On your first visit, you can file the application for citizenship. On your second visit, you can take the test. On your third visit, you can make an oath of allegiance to your new home country. You can combine the second and the third visit but then you will have to stay in Paraguay for about two weeks.
Citizenship of Paraguay via naturalization for residence card holders: how to keep your passport
Naturalized Paraguayans have to follow the same rule as legal residents of the country if they want to keep their passports. If you are a naturalized citizen of Paraguay, you cannot stay away from the country for more than three years. A short visit to Paraguay once every three years will let you retain your passport.
Expert support in acquiring citizenship of Paraguay
If you want to save time and nervous cells that you will probably lose in the process of applying for Paraguayan citizenship, you can hire local lawyers to act on your behalf. In this case, you will have to pay US$ 40,000 for their services.
However, the price covers more than just submission and acquisition of various documents. It also covers preparations for the test to be taken when applying for Paraguayan citizenship. When you receive the training, failing the test is going to be hard.
Are you looking to acquire legal residence and then citizenship of Paraguay? If so, please apply for our consultations on the matter and professional assistance. Please write to firstname.lastname@example.org or use any other means of communication (see the Contact us icon above) to contact us. We always reply swiftly!