Paraguay at a Glance
Working in Paraguay
Since gaining independence from Spain in 1811, Paraguay has emerged in recent years as a major economic force in South America; between 1970 and 2013, it had a growth rate of 7.2%, the highest in South America. Paraguay has also co-founded the economic committee Mercado Común del Sur (Mercosur) with Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
In 2014, its GDP of 57.87 billion USD, 8,400 USD per capita, was split between services (62%), agricultural production (20%) and industry (18%). Its primary export products are soy beans (of which it is the world's fourth largest producer), stevia (world's second largest producer), and tung-oil (world's second largest producer). It is also the world's sixth largest exporter of corn. Other major exports include beef, wheat, and many other crops.
The local industry has also expanded significantly in the past decade, and Paraguay now has large automobile, clothing, and energy manufacturing plants. Expatriates working in Paraguay tend to do so in the industrial sector or as English teachers.
Work Permits for Paraguay
Expatriates looking to work in Paraguay will need a permit to do so. Usually you will need a concrete job offer from a prospective employer in order to begin the application process for a visa that also includes permission to work. As there is a lack of skilled workers working in Paraguay, it can be easier to obtain a work permit for certain job roles that would be of benefit to the Paraguayan economy.
Permanent employees are also often preferred, so if you are taking up a long term position you have more of a chance of succeeding. Your prospective employer will provide copies of official documents including your passport, CV, employment contract, educational certificates and records of achievement, and work history. You may also need references from previous employers.
You can contact your local embassy or consulate for more information on what documents will be required. In some instances, for example if your spouse or partner already has a permit to work in Paraguay, then you may not need one, but you should always check with your local embassy or consulate before relocating.
Taxation in Paraguay
As an expatriate working in Paraguay, you will be required to pay income tax on your earnings. The fiscal tax year runs from 1 January to 31 December, and the progressive tax system means that the amount of income tax you pay depends on the total amount you earn minus expenses.
The income tax rates for working in Paraguay were as follows for the fiscal year 2014:
- In excess of 120 x MMW — 10%
- 60–120 MMW — 8%
- Under 60 MMW — Exempt
- MMW = 1,824,055 PYG / 422 USD
Until 2017, the lower threshold for the 8% bracket will be decreased by 12 MMW per year. As such, only income under 36 MMW will be exempt from taxes in 2017.
Additionally, extra charges for social security taxes will also be deducted from any income earned by expatriates whilst working in Paraguay.