Paraguay is a great stepping stone to Latin America. The immigration to Paraguay is the easiest of all Latin American countries and surely one of the easiest in the world. Once you have your residency in Paraguay it becomes more easy to move on to the surrounding countries. That’s why many people choose the Paraguay residency to have a foot in the door of MERCOSUR. The benefits of Paraguay is not only that the immigration process is very cheap and easy, you actually also don’t need to live in Paraguay during the procedure and can explore other South American countries as a tourist – or after the procedure even as a MERCOSUR resident. But many people fall in love with Paraguay and therefore remain here. Let’s have a comparison of the currrent immigration rules in Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina (as of May 17, 2023).
Monthly Income Requirements
When it comes to the monthly income requirement for residency, there is a significant difference between Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Argentina has a low requirement, with only 30,000 ARS, which is roughly equivalent to 135 USD (due to the enormous inflation, it might be adjusted in the future). In contrast, Uruguay’s requirement is much higher, at approximately 1,500 USD. This means that individuals seeking residency in Uruguay will need to have a significantly higher income than those seeking residency in Argentina.
However, Paraguay stands out as having no monthly income requirement for residency. This means that individuals can qualify for residency in Paraguay regardless of their income level. However, it’s worth noting that for the final permanent permit after two years, individuals will need to make a temporary deposit of approximately 5,000 USD or show an apostilled university degree.
Paraguay is the option with the least amount of monetary commitment and therefore ideal if you are not yet sure where you want to reside permanently.
Validity before renewal
In addition to the monthly income requirement, another important factor to consider when comparing residency requirements in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay is the validity period before renewal.
Argentina’s temporary residency permit is valid for one year before it needs to be renewed.
In contrast, Uruguay’s permit is valid for a much longer period. It takes three years before it needs to be renewed.
Paraguay’s residency permit is valid for two years, which falls in between the validity periods of Argentina and Uruguay.
However, it’s worth noting that Paraguay and Uruguay offer the option for individuals to apply for permanent residency after two years, which could potentially eliminate the need for renewing the temporary residency permit altogether. Argentina offers that option after 3 continuous years in the country (for MERCOSUR citizen even after 2 years as well), so you would need to actually reside in Argentina.
In Paraguay one only gets the temporary residence permit and can apply for the permanent one after 2 years. However, no other country grants permanent residency more quickly than Paraguay. Therefore, Paraguay is the fast path.
Another important factor to consider when comparing residency requirements in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay is the documents required to apply for residency. Each country has its own specific set of requirements, which can include proof of income, criminal record checks, health insurance and other documentation. The following documents must be prepared already before entering the country.
In Argentina, individuals seeking residency must provide a valid passport, proof of income, a clear criminal record, health insurance, proof of an actual residence address in the country and a birth certificate. These requirements shall ensure that individuals seeking residency in Argentina are able to financially support themselves.
In Uruguay, individuals must provide a valid passport, ID card, birth certificate, proof of income, proof of an actual residence address in the country, and up-to-date vaccinations for measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus. These requirements demonstrate to the government that individuals seeking residency in Uruguay are committed to living in the country long-term and are taking steps to ensure their health and well-being.
In Paraguay, individuals must provide a valid passport, a clear criminal record no more than 6 months old, and a birth certificate. So, Paraguay is quite relaxed with their rules.
It is good to get all those documents ready if you plan to move to one of those countries. There are also some individual and varying on-the-ground requirements like local police and health check-ups, translations, notarizations, photo taking etc. Some of those might even be skipped with a smart immigration helper. However, all foreign documents must be apostilled in your country of origin or legalized in the respective country’s embassy which would be a time-consuming hassle.
As we can see, even for document requirements Paraguay is the least annoying. The bureaucratic hurdles are the lowest of all countries.
Issuing time for the first temporal residence permit
The issuing time for the first temporal residency permit is another important factor to consider when comparing residency requirements in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. The length of time it takes to receive the first temporal residence permit can vary significantly between these three countries and must be added to your calculation of reaching permanent residency.
In Argentina, individuals can expect to receive their first temporal residency permit within 45 days of submitting their application. This relatively short processing time makes Argentina an attractive option for individuals seeking a quick and easy residency process.
In contrast, the processing time for a first temporal residency permit in Uruguay can take much longer. Individuals applying for residency in Uruguay can expect to wait between 12 and 18 months before receiving their first temporal residence permit.
In Paraguay, the processing time for a first temporal residency permit can vary depending on whether or not the individual is working with a good migration helper. With the assistance of a smart and well-connected migration helper, individuals can expect to receive their first temporal residency permit within one to two months of submitting their application. However, without the assistance of a migration helper, the processing time can be as long as six months.
As long as you have a smart immigration helper the processing time in Paraguay is one of the best. Plan P can connect you to capable immigration experts. But you automatically get your visa extended to whatever waiting time there is, so you don’t need to worry.
Required minimum time inside the country for getting the permanent residence permit
The required minimum time in the country for reaching permanent residency is another important factor to consider when comparing residence requirements in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Each country has its own specific requirements regarding the amount of time an individual must spend in the country before one is eligible to apply for permanent residency. This is especially critical if you don’t plan to stay there immediately but just want to have a refuge option for the future and continue to live and work in your home country.
In Argentina, there is no officially defined time that an individual must stay inside the country to be eligible for permanent residency. However, individuals must be able to prove continuous residency, meaning they have an apartment in the country for the whole time. Certain other proofs may apply. This requirement emphasizes the importance of establishing roots in the country and integrating into the local community.
In Uruguay, the minimum time required for eventually reaching permanent residency is 9-10 months in the first year, followed by 6 months per year after that. This requirement emphasizes the importance of establishing long-term ties to the country and demonstrates a commitment to living in Uruguay for an extended period of time before gaining a permanent permit.
Only in Paraguay there is no defined time that an individual must stay inside the country to be eligible for permanent residency. However, establishing ties with the local society and having utility bills in your name can be beneficial when someday applying for citizenship – but is not required for permanent residency.
This makes Paraguay the optimal backup plan since you don’t need to commit to anything. You might even start the residence program by having a 3-day vacation trip to Asuncion and then return to your home country for the following 2 years.
Road to Citizenship
The road to citizenship is another important factor for many people to consider when comparing residency requirements in Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay. Each country has its own specific requirements regarding the amount of time an individual must spend in the country before they are eligible to apply for citizenship.
In Argentina, an individual must have 2 years of permanent residency before they are eligible to apply for citizenship. Dual citizenship is allowed in Argentina, which means that individuals can hold citizenship from Argentina and another country simultaneously.
In Uruguay, an individual must have 3-5 years of overall residency before they are eligible to apply for citizenship. Multiple citizenships are allowed in Uruguay, which means that individuals can hold citizenship from Uruguay and multiple other countries at the same time.
In Paraguay, an individual must have 3 years of permanent residency before they are eligible to apply for citizenship. Dual citizenship is also allowed in Paraguay, but it is based on reciprocity with the applicant’s country of citizenship.
Once you reach citizenship in one of those countries you will gain freedom of movement in the other MERCOSUR countries. That includes much easier access to residence and work permits than described in this article. So, if you don’t yet want to settle down in South America, it might be prudent to first gain citizenship in Paraguay and then decide where you want to live or retire later.
The time you need to wait until you can apply for citizenship is basically all the same in those countries: 5 years.
Key Facts Table
|Monthly Income||30,000 ARS (approx. 135 USD)||Approx 1,500 USD||None, but for the permanent permit after the 2 years you need to make a temporary deposit of approx. 5,000 USD or show an apostilled university degree|
|Validity before renewal||1 year||3 years||2 years|
|Upgrade to permanent residency||3 continuous years (2 for MERCOSUR citizens)||2 years||2 years|
|Documents required||– Valid passport
– Proof of income
– Clear criminal record
– Health insurance
– Proof of actual residence in the country
– Birth certificate
|– Valid passport
– ID card
– Birth certificate
– Proof of income
– Proof of actual residence in the country
– Up to date vaccinations: Measles, Mumps, Rubella, Tetanus
|– Valid passport
– Clear criminal record max. 6 months old
– Birth certificate
|Citizenship||2 years of permanent residency||3-5 years of residency||3 years of permanent residency|
|Dual Citizenship||Allowed||Allowed||Based on reciprocity|
|Issuing time for temporal residency||45 days||12-18 months||1-2 months with good migration helper, otherwise 6 months|
|Time in country||—||9-10 months in the first year, after that 6||—|
It’s challenging to determine which country has the best residency program as it depends on the individual’s needs, preferences, and circumstances. Each country has its own advantages and disadvantages, which may vary depending on the individual’s goals.
Argentina offers a relatively low monthly income requirement for residency and a short processing time for the initial temporary residency permit. Additionally, dual citizenship is allowed in Argentina, which may be attractive to individuals who wish to maintain citizenship in their home country. However, the yearly renewal process is very annoying and does not provide much peace of mind.
Uruguay has a longer processing time for the initial residence permit, but it has a longer validity period before renewal. Additionally, multiple citizenships are allowed in Uruguay, which may be attractive to individuals who want to maintain citizenships in multiple countries. However, the high monthly income requirement for residency and the strict time requirements for reaching permanent residency may be a drawback for some individuals.
Paraguay offers a relatively easy and affordable path to residency, with no monthly income requirement and low bureaucratic requirements for the residence permit and a short processing time for initial temporary residency. Additionally, dual citizenship is sometimes allowed in Paraguay. The best thing is that you can just apply for the residency without needing to get an apartment address in the country.
Furthermore, Paraguay is the only country that has a territorial tax system. That means foreign income will be tax free – for example if you earn your money online and invoice your clients through a tax- and bureaucracy-free offshore company. Plan P can help you setting up such an entity in many jurisdictions around the world, consult you with residency and citizenship programs around the world and refer you to competent local assistants such as immigration helpers.