September 3, 2014
By: Bobby Casey, Managing Director of GWP
Comparatively speaking, Paraguay is one of the easiest and most affordable countries in which to obtain residency, a passport, and ultimately citizenship.
Don’t cut corners. Do it by the book, and in a matter of a few years, you’ll have a legitimate passport and citizenship in your hands!
The Truth about Paraguayan Citizenship by Bobby Casey You may remember our recent articles about obtaining citizenship in Paraguay, “Second Passport in Paraguay – Too Good to Be True?”. You can also read up on Paraguayan residency and citizenship at GWP Insiders.
I was in the capital city of Paraguay – Asuncion – about 2 months ago when the news broke about Bettina Mueller getting arrested for falsified documents. She claimed to be able to produce citizenship and a passport in Paraguay in about 1 year. This is clearly against the Paraguayan constitution. You can read the full constitution here in Spanish or translate to English. Please note:
Chapter III, of Nationality and Citizenship Article 148 – Nationality by Naturalization
Foreigners may obtain Paraguayan nationality by naturalization if they meet the following requirements:
- establishment of minimum three years in the national territory;
- exercise at home in any profession, trade, science, art or industry, and
- good conduct, as defined in the law.
As you can see, Chapter III, Article 148 of the constitution allows no provision for obtaining a Paraguayan passport in 12 months or less. There is one exception to the rule though. Please note:
Article 151 – THE HONORARY CITIZENSHIP
May be awarded the honorary citizenship by act of Congress, foreigners who have rendered outstanding service to the Republic.
Just this week I was the target of some nasty allegations from one of Bettina Mueller’s unnamed business partners. I was even threatened physically by this person and his “posse” – who ironically touts himself as a believer of the non-aggression principle.
This person accused me of spreading lies and damaging his business. I only wrote the article to warn my own readers and clients about the dangers of acquiring citizenship and a passport under “grey” or “black” methods.
Fast forward to today. I just left a meeting in Asuncion, Paraguay with a high ranking official in the government who works very closely with the Director of Migration. I was told directly that Mueller is in fact out of jail and back home, however she has a pending case with the Paraguayan Ministry of Justice for falsification of documents. She has not processed one single application under Article 151.
I was also told directly by this government official that the Migration department is no longer accepting any residency or citizenship applications from Mueller or her clients. They have also seized her client files and each of her clients are currently under investigation.
The Ministry of Justice has identified her and her business partners as clearly subverting the laws by backdating residency documents and passing them through the migration department under false pretenses. The court case is now just a matter of time.
The process for acquiring residency in Paraguay is relatively simple. You must appear in person with the proper documentation (certified birth certificate and police report as well as visa to enter Paraguay), go through a series of appointments in various offices to complete paperwork, and voila – approximately 6 months later you are a Paraguayan resident with a residency permit and cedula.
Three years from the date of issue of your residency permit, you can then apply for citizenship. If approved, you will have your citizenship paperwork in about 6 months and shortly thereafter you can obtain your passport.
As explained to me by my contacts here, Mueller was backdating residency applications 3+ years in order to show the applicant as having been a resident for the required period of time for citizenship.
The problem with doing that in Paraguay is, the position of Director of Migration changes hands at least 1-2 times per year. That means after 3 years, there have been a minimum of 3 Directors in place and the one from 3 years ago is long out of the position.
It is not that difficult to discover the person who signed your residency application was not actually the person with authority to do so in the year you supposedly became a resident.
Now I am sure I am going to take a lot of heat for this article, but so be it. It is my job to make sure you have the most accurate information possible in order to make good decisions about the internationalization of your life and your assets. After all, we are all interested in freedom – but handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit severely dampers that goal.
I stand by my original claim, though, that Paraguay is one of the best residency and citizenship opportunities in the world. However, it is still absolutely critical that you do it the right way. Your freedom depends on it.
If you are interested in pursuing Paraguayan residency and/or citizenship contact us here for details.