Thursday, July 16, 2009

Paraguay Visa Requirements, Part I

Obtaining a tourist visa for Paraguay is relatively easy. First, decide whether a single or multiple entry visa is the right choice. Second, send to the Paraguayan Consulate your passport and visa application. Third, wait for your visa to come in the mail. It shouldn’t take longer than three or four weeks to arrive. Pretty simple. I think my visa arrived about two weeks after I sent in my application.

If you plan on staying for longer than 90 days—which is what a tourist visa allows— you will need a one-year temporary resident visa. A 10-year permanent resident visa is available too, but I am going to stick with the visa that I am still attempting to procure. As you will see, the necessary documentation for the longer term visa grows by leaps and bounds. (As always, contact the Paraguayan Embassy to get the latest immigration information.)

The following is from a form I received at the Paraguayan Immigration Office. Keep in mind that everything is in Spanish and no one speaks English. Also be prepared to spend a lot of time—months—collecting all of the necessary forms, signatures, and stamps. And once you submit your forms, be prepared to wait some more to finally receive your visa.

The first four requirements (and number 12) are to be obtained in the country of origin and the next seven are to be obtained in Paraguay.

Visa Requirements

  1. 1. Document of Identity: Passport or ID license.
  2. 2. Birth Certificate.*
  3. 3. Marriage Certificate, Certificate of Divorce, or other documentation to show civil status.*
  4. 4. Local police record (from 14 years of age) from your country of origin or from where you lived for the last five years. For people from Argentina and Brazil it should be a Federal Police record.*
  5. 5. Background Certificate, obtained from the Department of Information from the National Police. (Boggiani and R.I. 2 Ytororo)
  6. 6. FBI Criminal Background Check. (Cnel. Garcia N 468 near Tte. Rodi)
  7. 7. Health Certificate, obtained from the Ministry of Health, evaluating the mental and physical health and making sure there are no infectious diseases. (Brazil and Manuel Domínguez)
  8. 8. Certificate of Life and Residence, obtained from the Judicial Police.
  9. 9. Your entry stamp, this is the stamp you received in your passport upon entry into the country.
  10. 10. Tourist Visa, from the countries that require it (verify by the Ministry of Foreign Relations). (14 de May and Palma)
  11. 11. Two pictures of fotocarnet size (2.5cm x 2.5cm).

Additional Requirements for a Temporary Residence Visa

  1. 12. A high school diploma or greater, authenticated by the Ministry of Education and Culture.*
  2. 13. An employment contract mentioning your salary, certified in front of a public notary in Asuncion.*
  3. 14. Statement of financial guarantee in the case that you are a student or unemployed.

Additional Requirements

  • · All documents from the country of origin or foreign residence (except the identification document) must be authenticated by the Paraguayan Consulate in the foreign country and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Asuncion.
  • · All of the documents presented must include the originals and two photocopies authenticated by a public notary in Asuncion.
  • · All documents that are in a foreign language (except Portuguese) must be translated into Spanish by a public translator in Asuncion.
  • · These requirements are subject to change.
In a subsequent post I will do my best to explain what to expect when trying to get all of the required documents. The list may look easy but there are a lot of things no on there that are good to know before you venture out into the great Asunción.

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