Living in Paraguay – Questions and answers

Key data about Living in Paraguay

  • Paraguay is located in the heart of South America. It is a landlocked country of over 400,000 km², making it as large as Germany, Switzerland and Lichtenstein combined.
  • Paraguay has only 6.8 million inhabitants. In comparison, Berlin has 3.5 million, which is about 2 times the population of Berlin.
  • Over 70% of the inhabitants are under 35 years old. Therefore, Paraguay is a lively and vibrant country.

Why Paraguay?

The selection of Paraguay was based by the founders on a long list of parameters.

20 years of searching and 5 years of intensive research with an eternally long checklist led to Paraguay. No country (except maybe El Paraiso Verde) is optimal, but in “our country” the optimal condition is almost reached. Therefore, when reading the following, always ask, “What is the alternative?”

The USA had already become obsolete as a destination in 2001. The Caribbean is not suitable because of earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes, in Thailand you cannot establish real estate ownership as a foreigner, in Sri Lanka and in Burma the legal situation was too uncertain for us, the Philippines would have almost become it, if it had not been for politics. In Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina the economy is down and Brazil has a high crime rate.

In Canada, Australia and New Zealand, older semesters even with academic titles can’t get in because of the points system in residency, it’s expensive and you lose permanent residency in virtually all, above mentioned countries if you don’t emigrate within 1-2 years. Zero tax rate is also illusion there and regulations regarding alternative healing methods are almost as bad in many of these countries as in the EU (motto: “healing forbidden”).

And then came a country that we had already rejected before (after superficial analysis) because it is not located at the sea (that was my biggest objection) and because we had not considered the crime rate regionally. It was only upon closer examination that it met (except for the sea, they still don’t have that there) all the other criteria, some “over – met”.

In our part of Paraguay, people often leave the houses open when they go away and you can also leave the car key in it. The crime rate is far below that of Germany, where a home is broken into every 2 minutes.

Am I welcome in Paraguay?

Most certainly. The warmth of the exclusively Christian population is proverbial. People will approach you openly and treat you as a welcome guest. The warmth, openness, friendliness and helpfulness of the population around Villarrica was a very special experience for us.

Is there an internationally enforceable right from the contracts with the government, regardless of which junta is currently ruling the country?

Autonomous communities like we do (there are only 55 in the history of the country) have been protected by all governments in Paraguay (even dictatorships) because they create the jobs and produce the infrastructure.

This is exactly why we go to Paraguay, because this is not a given everywhere in the world (See Africa and Asia). There are investment protection agreements with Germany and Austria. This is international law and has also different governments (also the dictatorship Strössner who by the way did some good things in Paraguay). You can find these agreements on our website.

I am an enthusiastic boater, where can you sail or take a boat out?

In the south of Paraguay, on the border with Argentina, there is a simple extension of the Parana River that looks like a lake (you don’t see the other shore), with miles of sandy beaches and a beautiful carnival. Whether motor/sailboat or yacht. There are three airports around the lake. From our property you can be there in 2,5 hours by car or in 30 minutes by gyrocopter or helicopter.

In Posadas and in many other places there are marinas. To the south is Lago Isterios del Iberia, with an almost noble (13,000 km²) nature reserve.

The Atlantic Ocean is 1,000 km away. Many Paraguayans take advantage of the cheap flights and fly to Rio De Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Montevideo or Buenos Aires for a weekend and enjoy the sea and the famous beaches of Ipanema or Copacabana. By helicopter you can be at an international airport in 40 minutes and two hours later on your way to the beach: “Vamanos a la playa…”

I am an avid skier, where can I ski there?

Enthusiastic skiers who live in Paraguay simply hop on a plane (cost usually about 1/4 of the airfare in Europe) and fly to Argentina or Chile, where magnificent ski resorts with state-of-the-art lifts are everything a skier’s heart desires.

What about bribery and corruption in this country?

Unfortunately, there is the same here as in most other countries, only the amounts in Paraguay are much smaller and the corruption is more obvious more quickly because of the small amounts.

Relationships are important. We do not need to bribe anyone. All of our relationships work for us for free because we provide priceless value to the country through our immigrants. However, we do value charitable contributions, currently especially in the poor church in Villarrica.

How do you pay the locals who help you?

We pay at least the minimum wage plus food and bonuses for hard work. Other “big landowners” usually pay half the minimum wage. As a result, public agencies treat us very differently than other “big landowners.” Therefore, it is very desirable for locals to obtain employment at El Paraiso Verde.

The correct treatment of the locals that we carry out and the social contributions put more pressure on the authorities than if we bribed individual officials. So it also works legally with a very good “feeling” to be able to help.

What about crime in Paraguay?

Here is a big difference between the opinions of the visitors and the facts. Individual websites evaluate the SORTS of tourists like facts. Therefore, one should not fall into the same trap as we did when we had already looked at Paraguay 2 years ago and eliminated it because of the crime.

In principle, there is a north-south gradient in crime. Overall, the crime rate is lower than that of Brazil because there are fewer poor people (slums – favelas) and because you can find enough to eat everywhere in Paraguay. There is poverty, but no hunger.

Crime is mostly limited to acts within the drug community. People outside the drug scene have no experience with burglary, robbery or other crimes in the Villarrica area. We approached all the people we dealt with in this regard.

In the north of Paraguay, the crime rate is higher, but probably lower than the REAL crime rate in Germany (which is kept quiet by the media). In southern Paraguay, where we are, people leave houses open. A car key left in the car may lead to the loss of the car in Asuncion, but most likely not in Villarrica.

We always look at things on the ground, especially in big countries like Paraguay, because otherwise you come to the wrong conclusions.

What about Healthcare?

In Paraguay, there is both public and several private health insurance plans. The non-wage labor costs in Paraguay are significantly lower than those in Germany and Austria. You can choose to be insured by the public health insurance or you can also choose a private insurance. The medical care is very good. We have a small hospital in Caazapa (10 km from Paraiso Verde) and a university hospital in Villarrica (53 km from the property).

Are there Schools and Universities?

Three universities, an institution of the German Goethe University, as well as technical schools, agricultural schools and art schools.

Autonomous Community in Paraguay – Is it possible?

The basis of each independent community must be a joint stock company with at least 500,000 Euros (in Guarani) of equity. This joint stock company was founded by us (registration August 22, 2016). The corporation must buy an appropriately sized piece of land and establish the independent community on it. Such community has a duration of 99 years. The duration can be extended if the community is still upright after 99 years.

Tax liability for world income in Paraguay?

“I read in a Paraguayan internet newspaper (in German) that there is to be a change in the law in Paraguay, according to which in the future the world income of all persons living in Paraguay will be taxable. Is this true?”

Definitely no. This is a newspaper hoax (Fake News). A taxation of the world income would presuppose a registration – Mandatory of all persons living in Paraguay. This does not exist and would not be politically enforceable. Paraguayans are freedom loving and would not accept this.

The change in the law referred to by the newspaper concerns only income within Paraguay, which is to be better recorded in the future. Still large parts of the small trades have no tax number and pay therefore no tax. There one wants to remedy.

It is in no way intended by the parliament to even discuss a taxation of world income. This was confirmed to us on inquiry in the Senate and in the Chamber of Deputies. El Paraiso Verde will work to ensure that this remains the case in the future.

Therefore: No tax on international income in Paraguay and for residents of El Paraiso Verde.

What about the Taxation of Cryptocurrencies?

So far, the Paraguayan government does not impose any tax liability on dividends of any kind, including those earned by trading cryptocurrencies. Once you receive your cedula, you can use it to log in to a crypto exchange and use it to identify yourself. This makes it clear to the exchange that you are not liable for taxes because you live in Paraguay.

What about physical gold in Paraguay? Is it a business?

No, gold trading is hardly discovered in Paraguay. Paraguayans much prefer to acquire cattle or other livestock because it is an agricultural country. Therefore, it is wise not to take your gold reserves to Paraguay or to sell them beforehand and invest them elsewhere.

Is Paraguay also introducing compulsory vaccination?

I have read in a Paraguayan Internet newspaper (in German) that a well-known deputy in Paraguay wants to start a law initiative, after which the vaccination obligation is to be introduced in Paraguay. Is this true?

Definitely no. This is one of the many fake news that pop up every now and then. Compulsory vaccination in Paraguay would require – after the integrity and physical integrity is a concrete constitutional provision – an amendment to the Constitution with a 2/3 majority. This is unthinkable in Paraguay. If even a minority of 5% managed to prevent the change of the presidential electoral law supported by 2/3 of the population through protests, such a request for the introduction of compulsory vaccination would not find support.

We have received confirmation from the Senate and the House of Representatives that they are not even thinking of discussing compulsory vaccination. This was a profiling action of a single deputy (pharmaceutical lobbyist). We, El Paraiso Verde, will prevent the introduction of compulsory vaccination in Paraguay with all means at our disposal.

Will Paraguay also get 5G?

For El Paraiso Verde: definitely no.

For Paraguay: as of 2019: NO, in all likelihood NO in the future.

5G requires the installation of a very large number of transmission towers at distances of a few hundred meters.

El Paraiso Verde is located 10 kilometers from Caazapa in the middle of a grassy landscape where there is hardly any working telephone connection. The nearest cell phone tower is many kilometers away from El Paraiso Verde.

That is how we want to keep it. We have also rejected the installation of a cell phone tower at El Paraiso Verde and will continue to do so. We are building a health center, which will probably also take care of the new disease “microwave sensitivity”.

Due to the high density of 5G towers and the budget in Paraguay, which is not even sufficient for 3G, the introduction of 5G even in Asuncion is not possible at this stage.

As Paraguay monitors international reactions to 5G and an ever-increasing number of people, including a growing number of senators and deputies, oppose the technology, deployment even in Asuncion or in major Paraguayan cities is unlikely in the long term.

Can you buy a used car in Paraguay?

First of all, if possible, buy a four-wheel drive car, those who have land to plant and a house to build should consider a pick up truck as their first car in Paraguay.

Preferably NEW. There are warranties and if you keep up with regular service work you will certainly have a reliable car for 100,000 kilometers. Diesel cars are very popular here. They run inexpensively and the engine often lasts well over 300,000 km.

RELJUV S.A. prefers to buy new cars of FOTON brand. These are considerably cheaper than Toyota and Isuzu and we return them at the latest with 100.000 or after 3 years and exchange them for a new car. Everything else is often fraught with problems.

A used car in Paraguay can cause several problems:

  • All cars here are overly stressed by the bad roads. Therefore, even otherwise good cars (Isuzu Trooper, Toyota Hilux) are quite “used” already with 100-200,000 kilometers, depending on the driving style of the previous owner, although these cars can do 400,000 kilometers with an owner who takes care of the car.
  • Cars are often “souped up.” That is, the car’s exterior is fixed up and the mileage is turned down. A practice that was commonplace in Europe and has only now been curbed by the service databases of all major manufacturers. In Paraguay, this is not yet the case.
  • There are many used cars imported from Japan that originally had the steering wheel, gas, brake and clutch on the right side. These cars are then converted by the importers. The conversion is often not done professionally. Such converted cars, in our experience, often have repairs and according to our inquiries, they can become (if the conversion was not done properly) a significant safety hazard. Therefore, special care should be taken with such cars. They are easy to spot because the turn signals, headlights and power windows are on the “wrong side”.
  • You could buy a used car and then you may not own it really.

One of our expatriates (a mechanic himself, knows cars well) independently drove our rental car (we have 2 of them) to Villarrica to a used car store and also quickly found a pick-up truck in good condition. The price was negotiated and the roommate wanted to buy the car the next day with cash. We almost forced our help on him, as he was sure that as an experienced mechanic he could make the right decision on his own. At our request, our lawyers were present at the arranged notary appointment to buy the car.

Good thing: Conclusion: The car was reported as stolen. Of course, the car was not bought. If our roommate had bought the car, he would have been arrested at the first traffic control and the car would have been confiscated by the police.

Therefore: be careful when buying a car. Let our professionals advise you.