For anyone seeking to move to Paraguay one of the very first tasks is to apply for residency. Once obtained you will be able to then live in Paraguay for as long as you desire.

The residency process itself is not overly complicated. The most important thing is to ensure that the correct paperwork is gathered together in the correct form.

To ensure that anyone wishing to move to Paraguay can see what is required of them before beginning the process the government has produced a list of what is needed and from where. This is available from the government website or from a Paraguayan embassy.

I do need to point out though before going any further that I am not a lawyer. With that in mind everything herein should be taken as general advice and opinions. Not as absolute truths.

Additionally it is many years since I completed the residency process. Since then there may well have been a few changes to the procedure.

The very first step is to get hold of a copy of residency requirements document. It is quite clearly written and reading though you will be able to start to see what will be needed.

You will see that the great majority of what must be collected together is paperwork. Some from your home country and others to be acquired once you are in Paraguay.

First of all are documents of identification. Your passport. A National ID if you have one and if one is required to enter Paraguay your visa.

Next if you are married your marriage certificate. If you are divorced then the divorce certificate will also be required.

After that next on the list is your birth certificate.

Then the final document needed from your home country is a recent police report.

These will all need to be authenticated by your local Paraguayan embassy and then translated into Spanish in Paraguay.

The translations along with any others required need to be done by an official translator who is registered at the Paraguayan Supreme Court.

Next once in Paraguay there are local documents which will need to be obtained.

From the police an Interpol report from the Interpol office in Asuncion. Additionally from the police station local to where you intend to live a certificate of Life and Residence to confirm that you are or will be living there.

After that a medical report will be needed. This can be obtained following a check up at the central hospital in Asuncion.

That then will be the basis of the paperwork upon which the residency application depends.

One further document that will be required at some point is a sworn statement made in front of a Public Notary of your acceptance of the laws and regulations of Paraguay.

It is possible to complete the whole process unaided but as I am sure you can imagine that would involve a lot of time heading from office to office around Asuncion and then waiting for things to be done. Furthermore missing one item may well send you back round the same collection of offices whilst that is rectified.

A far simpler way to get things done is to pay someone who knows the system and has been through it on many occasions to do it for you. There are a number of specialized immigration lawyers in Asuncion who do just that. Dealing with overseas clients on a regular basis they are multi lingual.

As with anywhere in the world there are some tricksters out there. A little time though will find you a reliable lawyer asking a sensible price for his or her services.

Once everything is in place there is just one more requirement before the residency application process can be begun.

This is to place on deposit with the government the sum of $5,000. This acts as a guarantee that applicants do intend to live in Paraguay and are not simply seeking to get hold of an ID card.

When the process is complete and you receive your Paraguayan ID card the funds held on deposit will be returned to you.

There are two or three possible alternatives to a cash deposit but that is the option that is usually most appropriate.

Thereafter it is a simple matter of waiting whist everything is processed. Checking from time to time where in the process things are is also a good idea.

Then all being well and as long as everything is in order you should receive your Paraguayan ID card in about 90 days.

This Permanent Residency card like the ID cards held by Paraguayan nationals is valid for ten years. Upon expiry its renewal is straightforward although it is advisable to apply for a new one a few months before the old one expires.

Permanent residency is sufficient to do anything you may wish to do in Paraguay.

In theory it is possible two or three years after residency has been granted to apply for citizenship. That though is a much longer and more complicated process. One that rarely ends in success.

So if you do decide to move to Paraguay get residency but keep your national passport.

In doing so you will be able to enjoy all that Paraguay has to offer and live a good life in this interesting land.