Applying for a Cedula & Permanent Residence in Paraguay: Your Comprehensive Guide

Living in Paraguay offers numerous benefits and opportunities, whether for people wanting to escape the hectic lifestyle in Europe or those looking to invest in a friendly and growing market. One of the first steps for successful integration and seizing these opportunities is applying for the Cédula, the Paraguayan ID card, and permanent residency permit. These documents are essential for working, living, and acquiring property in Paraguay.

Viva Paraguay, a pioneer in supporting expatriates and investors, plays a crucial role in this process. With extensive experience and a deep understanding of Paraguayan legislation and procedures, Viva Paraguay significantly eases the transition for newcomers from Europe. From initial consultation to the successful application for the Cédula and permanent residency permit, Viva Paraguay stands by its clients, helping make the dream of living in Paraguay a reality.

In this guide, we highlight what the Cédula is, why it’s so important, the prerequisites, and how the application process works. Additionally, we offer valuable tips and advice to make this process as smooth and efficient as possible. With Viva Paraguay’s support, you can be sure your journey to living in Paraguay is clear and straightforward.


What is the Cédula?

The Cédula de Identidad is much more than just a piece of plastic with a photo; it’s the key to public life in Paraguay. This document serves as the official proof of identity and is indispensable for almost all forms of social, economic, and legal engagements in the country. From opening a bank account to buying property to registering for public services – the Cédula is your access pass.

Differences between the temporary and permanent Cédula

In Paraguay, there are two main types of Cédula: the temporary and the permanent. The temporary Cédula is often the first step for foreigners who want to live in Paraguay. It provides a limited residence permit, which can be extended if needed. The permanent Cédula, as the name suggests, grants a permanent residence status. It is the end goal of many expatriates, as it allows full integration into Paraguayan society without the need for regular renewals.

Why is the Cédula important?

The importance of the Cédula cannot be overstated. It’s not just proof of your identity and residency status, but also a crucial tool for accessing services and participating in the economic life of Paraguay. Without a Cédula, many doors in Paraguay are literally and figuratively closed. It is a must-have for anyone planning to live, work, or invest in Paraguay long-term.

Prerequisites for applying for the Cédula

Applying for the Cédula in Paraguay is a process that requires careful preparation and understanding of the necessary documents. While the process is similar for all applicants, there are certain specifics, especially for citizens from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.

Necessary Documents

To successfully apply for the Cédula, you must present a series of documents confirming your identity, residence, and status. The basic requirements usually include:

Valid Passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six more months.
Birth Certificate: An internationally recognized birth certificate, which in many cases must be apostilled and translated into Spanish.
Police Clearance Certificate: A recent certificate of good conduct, also needing to be apostilled and translated.
Proof of Residence in Paraguay: This could be a copy of a rental contract or a document confirming your residence in Paraguay.

Specific Requirements for Citizens from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland

For citizens of these countries, it’s important to note that the apostille for the birth certificate and police clearance certificate is a crucial step to validate the documents in Paraguay. The apostille verifies the authenticity of a document across international borders. Additionally, an official translation into Spanish by a translator recognized in Paraguay must be performed. These requirements ensure that your documents are accepted by Paraguayan authorities.

The Application Process

The process of applying for the Cédula can vary in duration depending on your preparation and the Paraguayan authorities. To make the process as smooth as possible, it’s important to carefully plan all the steps and gather the required documents in advance.

Step-by-Step Guide

Document Preparation: Start by collecting all necessary documents. Ensure all documents that require an apostille have received one and that everything has been translated into Spanish.
Submission at the Consulate or Immigration Office: Depending on whether you are already in Paraguay or still abroad, you can submit your documents at a Paraguayan consulate or directly at the immigration office in Paraguay.
Processing Time: The processing time can vary, but typically, you should expect a few weeks to a few months. It’s important to be patient during this time and make inquiries if necessary.
Fees: The fees for applying for the Cédula can vary depending on the type of application (temporary or permanent). Be sure to inform yourself about the current fees in advance to avoid surprises.

Tips to Expedite the Process

Complete Documentation: Ensure all your documents are complete and correct before submission. Incomplete applications can lead to significant delays.
Early Application: Start the process as early as possible, especially if you plan to work or invest in Paraguay. Some processes can be initiated in parallel, such as house hunting, while waiting for your Cédula.
Professional Assistance: Utilizing services like those from Viva Paraguay can significantly simplify and expedite the process. Experts familiar with the local system can provide valuable assistance.
Investing in properties in Paraguay not only offers the opportunity to generate passive income but also to be part of an emerging market. Through careful planning, knowledge of the local environment, and strategic management, investors can fully exploit the potential of their investments while contributing to the development and growth in Paraguay.

Tips and Advice for a Successful Application Process

The journey to obtaining the Cédula and permanent residency permit in Paraguay can be significantly facilitated with the right information and careful planning. Here are some additional tips that can help make this process more efficient:
Common Mistakes to Avoid

Delays in document preparation: Often, the application process is delayed due to missing or incomplete documents. Therefore, double-check all requirements and have all documents ready before starting the process.
Incorrect or missing translations: All documents must be accurately translated into Spanish. Rely on professional translators to avoid mistakes that could delay your application.
Unawareness of current requirements: Immigration policies and procedures can change. Stay informed about the latest requirements and changes in the process to avoid surprises.

Utilize the Help from Viva Paraguay

Viva Paraguay is not only a partner for buying land but also a valuable companion in obtaining the Cédula and permanent residency permit. With comprehensive services ranging from document preparation to assistance with bureaucratic processes, Viva Paraguay can significantly simplify the entire application process.

How Viva Paraguay Can Help

The support from Viva Paraguay includes not only advising on document preparation but also assistance with bureaucratic hurdles and integration into the local community. Here are specific ways in which Viva Paraguay can help:

Support and advice on document preparation
Viva Paraguay has a deep understanding of the required documentation and can guide you through the document preparation process. This includes assistance with obtaining apostilles and translations.
Assistance with bureaucratic hurdles
Navigating the bureaucratic process in a foreign country can be challenging. Viva Paraguay offers support in communicating with authorities, ensuring all requirements are met, and helping to avoid common pitfalls.
Integration into the local community
Beyond the immigration processes, Viva Paraguay assists newcomers in integrating into their new home. This includes support in finding housing, introduction to the local culture and community, and advice on local conditions and opportunities.


Applying for the Cédula and permanent residency permit is a crucial step for anyone who wants to live and work in Paraguay. With the right preparation and support from experienced partners like Viva Paraguay, this process can be not only simplified but also accelerated. Paraguay offers numerous opportunities, and the Cédula is your key to fully exploiting these possibilities. We at Viva Paraguay are here to accompany and support you on this exciting path.

If you’re considering making the move to Paraguay, we invite you to get in touch with us. Together, we can lay the foundation for your new life in one of the most welcoming and burgeoning countries in South America.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on the Topic: Applying for a Cedula & Permanent Residency in Paraguay: Your Comprehensive Guide

What do I need to apply for a Cédula in Paraguay?

To apply for a Cédula in Paraguay, you need:

How long does the process of applying for a permanent residency permit in Paraguay take?

The duration of the process can vary and depends on several factors, including the completeness and correctness of your submitted documents and the current workload of the relevant authorities. Generally, you should expect a period of several weeks to a few months.

What costs are associated with immigrating to Paraguay?

The costs of immigrating to Paraguay include fees for applying for the Cédula and the permanent residency permit, costs for the apostille and translation of documents, medical examinations, and possible lawyer or consultant fees. It’s advisable to anticipate total costs ranging from several hundred to a few thousand Euros, depending on your specific circumstances and the need for additional services.

Can I work in Paraguay with a permanent residency permit?

Yes, with a permanent residency permit, you are allowed to work in Paraguay. The permit gives you the right to take up employment, start a business, or work as a freelancer.

Can I apply for the Cédula immediately after my arrival in Paraguay?

Applying for the Cédula requires that you already have certain documents, such as a health certificate from Paraguay and proof of your residence in the country. It’s advisable to inform yourself about the exact requirements and prepare all necessary documents in advance to expedite the process after your arrival.

Do I need to appear in person at the immigration office to apply for the Cédula?

Yes, a personal appearance at the immigration office or the relevant office is usually required to apply for the Cédula. There, you must submit your documents and possibly undergo further steps, such as fingerprinting.

How long is the Cédula valid?

The validity of the Cédula can vary, depending on whether it’s a temporary or permanent Cédula. The permanent Cédula generally has a longer validity period or is permanently valid, whereas the temporary Cédula must be renewed.

Can my Cédula be denied? What are the reasons for this?

Yes, the application for the Cédula can be denied for various reasons, including incomplete or incorrect documentation, the absence of required documents, or concerns regarding security or health. It’s important to carefully review all requirements and correctly prepare the documents to avoid rejections.

Can I travel to other South American countries with a Cédula?

The Cédula allows you to move within Paraguay and serves as an official proof of identity. However, for travel to other countries, you generally need a valid passport. Some countries in Mercosur, however, offer special agreements that facilitate travel with the Cédula. Be sure to inform yourself about the specific entry requirements of the respective countries before traveling.

Is there a way to expedite the Cédula application process?

While the official process stipulates certain timeframes, preparing and submitting all required documents completely and correctly from the start can help minimize delays. Additionally, utilizing services like those from Viva Paraguay, which have experience with the immigration process in Paraguay, can help make the process more efficient.

What benefits does the Cédula offer in Paraguay?

The Cédula offers numerous benefits, including:

The right to live and work in Paraguay.
Access to banking services and the ability to open accounts at local banks.
The ability to purchase property and conduct other financial transactions.
Easier access to public services and social benefits.