Paraguay: The most affordable immigration option for South Africans?

Paraguay seems to be the most affordable immigration solution from South Africa. The South American country is offering South Africans affordable citizenship and residency through an investment programme.

paraguay the most affordable immigration option for south africans 1024x683 - Paraguay: The most affordable immigration option for South Africans?

Paraguay has come a long way in the last decade and has become an appealing destination for migrants seeking a new place to call home.

The good news is that this country offers a simple and affordable immigration process for South African migrants.

WHERE IS PARAGUAY?

This landlocked country in South America is situated between Argentina to the south, Brazil to the east and Bolivia to the west. Though landlocked, the country has ports and beaches on the Paraguay and Parana Rivers flowing through the country. 

The country enjoys a subtropical climate, with distinct wet and dry seasons. Paraguay’s population consists of more than seven million people. The capital, Asuncion, is the most populated city with more than 500,000 inhabitants.

Paraguay is a bilingual nation. Both Spanish and Guarani are the official languages. Though English is not an official language, it is commonly spoken by younger people. 

Paraguay often ranks as the “world’s happiest place”, based on global polling data.

PARAGUAY’S GROWING ECONOMY

Paraguay is a developing country that is a member of the United Nations and Mercosur, a South American trading bloc which was established in 1991 by Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay.

The country boasts some of the greatest economic expansion in South America in the last decade. It recorded GDP growth rates of 14.5% in 2010 and 13.6% in 2013.

During the last 10 years, the Paraguayan economy has diversified dramatically, with the energy, auto parts and clothing industries leading the way.

Paraguay boasts one of the greenest and most sustainable energy supplies in the world. All of the country’s electricity is produced by hydroelectric power stations, which are reliable and environmentally friendly sources of electricity.

WHY CHOOSE PARAGUAY?

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Tourists at Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Image: Adobe Stock

Paraguay offers South Africans a safe environment to live in, investment opportunities, affordable housing, good schools and excellent healthcare. Immigrants will be pleased to know that foreign-sourced income is exempt from tax requirements. 

South African citizens can become permanent residents in just three months through straightforward and cost-effective residence schemes offered by the Paraguay government.

South Africans can enter on a tourist visa and then apply for permanent residence while remaining in the country. Immigrants are entitled to start a business or find a job while their permanent residence visa is being processed.

Affordable immigration process

The cost of Paraguay’s immigration process is lower than that of other countries. Migrants are required to pay taxes, administration costs, legal and agency fees of about €3,000 (about R52,500). They will also have to deposit $5,000 (about about R72,100) into a bank account for a period of three months, as proof of solvency.

To speed up the processing of permanent residence permits, immigrants may opt for residency by investment which requires a minimum investment of $70,000 (about R1,01m) for a period of 10 years.

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES IN PARAGUAY

Paraguay values immigrants with experience and expertise in a range of industries and sectors. For this reason, it welcomes immigrants to start businesses with straightforward application processes and affordable citizenship through investment programmes.

Since salaries are not high here, it is advisable for immigrants to start a business. There are good opportunities for entrepreneurs and anyone with sound business acumen.

The country has a pro-business climate, enabling residents and citizens to easily become self-employed.

The process for attaining self-employed (autonomo) status is simple and can be completed in a couple of days once one has permanent residence. Business is highly profitable and the country values investors who will contribute to economic growth.

PARAGUAY OFFERS MOBILITY

Paraguay is a full member of the South American Common Market Mercosur. This entitles residents and citizens of each country to  enjoy unlimited access to any of the other full-member countries (Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay) and associated members  (Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru).

Mercosur membership offers the right to residence and work throughout the bloc, with no requirement other than nationality. Citizens of these nine countries (including Paraguay) may apply for temporary residence for up to two years in another country belonging to the common market. 

Paraguay’s passport is desirable since it offers greater mobility than many other passports from developing countries. Paraguay’s passport holders enjoy visa-free entry to many countries including the European Union and the United Kingdom.

Find more information here.

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