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Exploring Paraguay As Your Expat Retirement Haven

9 min read

Exploring Paraguay As Your Expat Retirement Haven

After decades of hard work, your golden years await – but they might not be as golden in your home country. 

Clients of mine who are about to retire or already retired share concerns about safety, astronomical living costs, and the attack on personal freedoms in the West. That’s why I take the time to travel the world and find the jurisdictions and opportunities for each of my private clients. 

In November 2023, I travelled to Paraguay, an overlooked country that greatly surprised me with its wide range of benefits for expats, including retirees. Located in the heart of South America, it is a country that will likely facilitate your relaxation and stretch your savings and pension further than you imagine. 

This article dives deep into why Paraguay should be at least on your radar, touching on benefits like its scenic landscapes, favourable tax regime and welcoming community. If you want to know how to live comfortably and enjoy your retirement years in this country, keep reading.

 

View of the city from the side of the Paraguay river, Asuncion, Paraguay

View of the city from the side of the Paraguay River, Asuncion, Paraguay

COST OF LIVING 

Paraguay is an example of affordability, appealing to retirees. The cost of living is significantly lower than in most Western countries. Housing is the primary concern for retirees, but you can find excellent properties for pennies on the dollar. According to Numbeo, a 3-bedroom rental in the city centre can cost under $750 USD monthly. 

Healthcare is also affordable and accessible, with high-quality services that won’t drain your retirement funds. Daily expenses like groceries, utilities and transportation are cheap, so you can enjoy a comfortable lifestyle without the hefty price tag. The country’s official currency is the Guarani (Gs.), with an exchange rate of approximately $1 USD, equaling around 7000 Gs., so retirees can enjoy phenomenal purchasing power.

 

Related content: Why Paraguay Is A Gateway Of Opportunities For Expats

 

FAVOURABLE TAX REGIME

On top of a low cost of living, Paraguay presents an appealing tax regime and expat-friendly policies. Firstly, the country has a territorial taxation system, which means that any income generated outside Paraguay is tax-free. This signifies important tax savings for retirees, especially if your pension comes from abroad. Income generated within the country is taxed at a maximum of 10%, which is still better than in other countries. Moreover, the government does not impose wealth, inheritance or gift taxes, making it an interesting choice if you want to pass on the fruits of your labour to your loved ones. 

 

Related content: Diversifying Your Portfolio: Investment Options For Expats In Paraguay

 

FOOD AND WATER INDEPENDENCE

In the event of another (manufactured) crisis, such as supply chain disruptions, you must pay attention to something as essential as food and water. While other countries’ farming industries are under constant harassment, Paraguay is still an agricultural nation boasting a variety of fresh, local produce. Also, the country is on top of a large sandstone aquifer, facilitating water independence, clean water sources and growing your food. Paraguay might be the right spot if you’re looking for a healthier lifestyle and self-sufficiency!

 

Aerial view of the Cerro Jhú (Cerro Negro). This hills are one of the visual landmarks of the city of Paraguari in Paraguay

Aerial view of the Cerro Jhú (Cerro Negro). These hills are one of the visual landmarks of the city of Paraguari in Paraguay

FINDING THE RIGHT VISA TO RETIRE IN THE COUNTRY

Paraguay does not offer a specific visa for retirees, unlike other Latin American countries such as Panama. Still, there are suitable residency permits for retirees interested in moving to Paraguay and enjoying all the lifestyle benefits mentioned above. Let’s see how you can turn this South American nation into your retirement home. 

 

Related content: Complete Guide To The Best Visas To Move To Paraguay

 

NON-MERCOSUR NATIONALS

If you’re not from a Mercosur (a South American trading bloc including countries like Brazil and Paraguay) member state, you have two routes available:

The first route is becoming a temporary resident and then a permanent one after two years. When you become a temporary resident, you will get a Paraguayan ID (Cédula de Identidad Paraguaya) issued by the National Police Identification Department. During the visa processing, you’ll be granted the “precarious resident” status, enabling you to get in and out of the country.

Here’s how the application process works:

  • Proof of Identity: Original and authenticated copy of valid ID or passport from the country of origin. The three options are Valid national ID, Valid National Identity Card or Valid Passport;

  • Consular Visa Documentation: Original and authenticated copy of Consular Visa, verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs if required;

  • Confirmation of Entry: Original and authenticated copy of Proof of Entry into the country. The two options are a stamped migration form upon entry or a passport entry stamp;

  • Birth and Civil Status Documents: original and authenticated copy of Birth Certificate from the competent authority in the country of issue; original and authenticated copy of Civil Status Certificate (married, divorced or widowed);

  • Criminal records: original and authenticated copy of Criminal or Police Records for those aged 14 and above, visaed, and legalized or apostille;

  • INTERPOL Certificates for those aged 14 and above;

  • Additional Declarations: Declaration of commitment to comply with Paraguay's laws and declaration of profession, activity, or trade and the fixed address in the national territory. 

 

There are additional requirements for applicants under 18:

  • Parental Documents: original and authenticated copy of valid ID or passport of parents or legal guardians;

  • Special Power of Attorney: In case of parental absence, an original and authenticated copy of Special Power of Attorney is issued by a Public Notary in the country of origin, authorizing the designated guardian to handle the immigration process. A power of attorney must be signed by the absent parent(s); if issued abroad, it must be visaed, legalized or apostilled; and the guardian must reside in the country or be a Paraguayan citizen;

  • Parentage confirmation: Original and authenticated copy of the Birth Certificate to determine parentage.

The fee to obtain this visa costs 2,577,275 Gs. (approximately $347 USD)  and also includes the “Residencia Precaria” and the change of category. In case you exceed the permitted stay of 2 years, you’re liable to pay a fine of 618,546 Gs. Finally, the Residency Certificate (Certificado de Radicación) costs 206,182 Gs.

After two years, you must apply for permanent residency. The documents you need to submit are:

  • Original and one authenticated copy of a valid ID from the country of origin. You can submit a valid Identity Card, a National Identity Document or a Passport;

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the current Paraguayan Identity Card or a report of theft or loss;

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Temporary Residence Card or a report of theft or loss;

  • Original and one authenticated copy of documents proving any changes in civil status, profession, occupation, name, or other personal details;

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Certificate of Criminal Records for Foreigners, issued by the Police Department's IT Division (Required for individuals aged 14 and above);

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Certificate of Good Conduct issued by the Police Department's Identification Division (Required for individuals aged 14 and above);

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Certificate of Life and Residence issued by the Jurisdictional Police Station;

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Certificate of Judicial Records (Required for individuals aged 14 and above);

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Certificate of INTERPOL Records (Required for individuals aged 14 and above).

 

Here are the additional requirements for applicants under 18:

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the valid ID of parents or legal guardians. You can submit a valid identity card, national identity document or passport;

  • In case of the absence of one or both parents, you must include the original and one authenticated copy of a Special Power of Attorney issued by a Public Notary in the country of origin, authorizing the processing of documentation at the National Directorate of Migrations with the accompanying designated guardian. Note that the special power must be signed by the absent parent(s); if issued abroad, it must be visaed and legalized or apostilled; finally, the guardian must be residing in the country or be a Paraguayan citizen;

  • Original and one authenticated copy of the Birth Certificate to establish parentage.

That said, if you want to live in Paraguay as a retiree, you need to prove your economic solvency through an original and authenticated copy of the retirement, pension, or annuity certificate issued by the relevant institution in your country, stating the amount received, duly endorsed and legalized or apostilled. No specific amount is needed, but I’d suggest showing an income of at least $1,5000 USD. 

 

National Pantheon of the Heroes in Asuncion, Paraguay

National Pantheon of the Heroes in Asuncion, Paraguay

Now, let’s check the second route for non-Mercosur nationals:

The second route is a bit more expensive, requiring more commitment upfront. If you can invest $70,000 USD and create five jobs, the investor’s visa might be a good choice. The documents you need to submit are:

  • Original and two authenticated copies of a valid ID document from the country of origin (Options: National ID, Passport);

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the Consular Visa, verified by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when necessary;

  • Original and authenticated copy of the entry record into the country issued at the Immigration Control Point of the National Directorate of Migrations (Options: stamped migration ticket or passport entry stamp);

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the Birth Certificate, issued by the competent authority in the country of origin, with visa and legalization or apostille;

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the Certificate of Civil Status (Options: Marriage Certificate for married individuals, Divorce Decree for divorced individuals, or Death Certificate of the spouse for widows/widowers), with visa and legalization or apostille if applicable;

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the current Criminal or Police Records, visaed, legalized, or apostilled (mandatory for individuals aged 14 and above). Depending on the residence history, different options apply.

Additionally, applicants must provide:

  • Original and two authenticated copies of INTERPOL Records (mandatory for individuals aged 14 and above);

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the Certificate of Good Standing for Foreigners, issued by the IT Division of the National Police (mandatory for individuals aged 14 and above);

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the Certificate of Life and Residence issued by the Jurisdictional Police Station;

  • Original and two authenticated copies of the Certificate of Judicial Records (mandatory for individuals aged 14 and above);

  • Original and two authenticated copies of documents proving financial solvency;

  • Sworn Declaration before the National Directorate of Migrations, committing to comply with the Paraguayan Constitution, laws, and regulations.

Also, you must submit an original and two authenticated copies of the Investor Certificate issued by the Paraguayan Ministry of Industry and Commerce, indicating the applicant's adherence to the SUACE regime

This regime also entails a set of obligations: 

  • 1 (one) original of the Foreign Investor Certificate Application Form, which should be filled out electronically and signed once printed.

  • 1 (one) authenticated copy of the National Identity Document from the country of origin or passport.

  •  1 (one) authenticated copy of the Criminal Record Certificate from the country of origin (Federal, not State), apostilled or legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay.

  • 1 (one) authenticated copy of the Interpol Certificate from Paraguay.

  • 1 (one) authenticated copy of the Certificate of entry or residence in the country.

  • 1 (one) original of the Sworn Declaration of commitment to open a company before SUACE, accompanied by the signature certification sheet. The security sheet number must be stated on the Sworn Declaration.

  • 1 (one) Original Investment Project Profile, signed by the investor.

  • Valid Special Power of Attorney granted by the holder to the attorney-in-fact, with special authority to represent and act on their behalf if necessary, and a copy of the attorney-in-fact's National Identity Document.

  • For companies already in operation whose partner wishes to modify their immigration status, the following must be submitted:

  • Authenticated copy by a notary of the Company Constitution and Assembly Minutes designating the interested party as a Member of the Board and the legal entity certificate issued by the Subsecretariat of State for Taxation (SET).

  • Provide supporting documentation verifying your financial solvency (e.g., bank account, property deeds, vehicles, others, in the name of the applicant).

  • The company must generate a minimum of 5 (five) jobs.

  • Also, you must outline other data, such as the company’s name, address, what products or services you’ll sell, etc.

 

The Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls

MERCOSUR NATIONALS

Like the rest of the applicants, Mercosur nationals (e.g. persons from Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Colombia and Ecuador) must first become temporary residents for two years. Here’s how the application process works:

  • Original and Authenticated copy of a valid national identification document (Options: Identity Card, National Identity Document, or Passport);

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the Birth Certificate issued by the competent authority in the country of issuance, with visa, legalization, or apostille if issued abroad;

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the Police or Criminal Record Certificate issued by the competent authority in the country of issuance or by the consular representation in Paraguay, valid nationally (required from 14 years of age), with visa, legalization, or apostille if issued abroad;

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the valid Certificate of Criminal Records for Foreigners issued by the Department of Informatics of the National Police (required from 14 years of age);

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the Certificate of Civil Status issued by the competent authority in the country of issuance, with visa, legalization, or apostille if applicable. Options include a Marriage Certificate, Divorce Decree, or Death Certificate of the spouse;

  • Sworn Statement of having no international criminal records (Provided by Migrations at the beginning of the Residence process);

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the Certificate of Entry into the country (Options: Stamped immigration form, Passport entry stamp, Sworn Statement provided by the National Directorate of Migrations, or any other document proving presence in the country).

 

The additional requirements for applicants under 18 are: 

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the valid Identification Document of the parents or legal guardians (Options: Identity Card, National Identity Document, or Passport);

  • In the absence of one or both parents, attach an original and Authenticated copy of the Special Power of Attorney issued by a Public Notary in the country of origin, authorizing the minor's travel and processing of their documents before the National Directorate of Migrations with the accompaniment of the designated father or tutor. The special power must be signed by the absent parent(s) and, if issued abroad, must be visaed, legalized, or apostilled;

  • Original and Authenticated copy of the Birth Certificate to determine kinship.

 

After two years, Mercosur nationals can apply for permanent residency.

Here’s how the application process works:

  • Valid MERCOSUR Temporary Admission Card or Police Report (in case of loss of the card);

  • Original + Authenticated copy of a valid national identification document (Options: Identity Card, National Identity Document, or Passport);

  • Original + Authenticated copy of the valid Certificate of Criminal Records for Foreigners issued by the Department of Informatics of the National Police (required from 14 years of age);

 

The additional requirements for applicants under 18 are: 

  • Original + Authenticated copy of the valid Identification Document of the parents or legal guardians (Options: Identity Card, National Identity Document, or Passport);

  • In the absence of one or both parents, attach an original + Authenticated copy of the Special Power of Attorney issued by a Public Notary in the country of origin, authorizing the minor's travel and processing of their documents before the National Directorate of Migrations with the accompaniment of the designated father or tutor. The special power must be signed by the absent parent(s) and, if issued abroad, must be visaed, legalized, or apostilled;

  • Original + Authenticated copy of the Birth Certificate to determine kinship;

  • Original + Authenticated copy of the Certificate of Studies (If the applicant is studying primary or secondary education in Paraguay).

To demonstrate your economic solvency as a retiree, submit an original and an authenticated copy of the Retirement Certificate stating the monthly amount received. The monthly amount should be at least 100 minimum daily wages in force in Paraguay, approximately Gs. 10,309,100 monthly ($1,414.69 USD).

 

Asunción, Paraguay_ government HQ

Government HQ in Asunción, Paraguay

CONCLUSION

Paraguay is an affordable and laid-back country for those seeking a serene retirement. With a cost-effective lifestyle, an enticing tax regime, and abundant natural resources, this South American nation warmly welcomes expats. Depending on your situation, you can choose any of the visas discussed in this article, facilitating access to a country that allows you to live, thrive, and enjoy your golden years the way you deserve.

 


WORK WITH ME

I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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