How to Get a Visa on Arrival for Paraguay
Americans are highly blessed and fortunate to be able to have relatively easy access to a large part of the world. South America is one of those regions that is fairly welcoming to Americans inside their borders. While a majority of the South American countries will grant Americans visa free entry upon presentation of a passport, there are a handful of countries in the region that will require a visa for entry.
Paraguay is one of least visited countries in South America that is routinely passed over by travelers in favor of other more popular places. However, for the intrepid and curious traveler, Paraguay is a place that still has many places to explore and enjoy.
Unlike a lot of other South American countries, Paraguay requires a visa for all Americans. However, unlike Bolivia, which requires a significant number of documents, Paraguay is much simpler and only requires paying a fee.
There are two ways to acquire a Paraguayan visa. The first way is to pay a visit to the Embassy of Paraguay in Washington DC or a Paraguayan consulate and pay the fee of $160. If you have spare time, this is probably the best way to get a visa.
However, for those who are short on time or don’t want to deal with the bureaucracy of dealing with embassies, it is possible to get a “visa en arribo” (visa on arrival) at Silvio Pettirossi Airport in Ascunción. As far as I know, this is the only place to get the visa on arrival. I cannot speak with any certainty about whether this option is available at other land crossings.
Items Needed for a Visa on Arrival at Silvio Pettirossi International Airport:
2) Hotel Reservation
Upon arrival at Silvio Pettirossi, there are the immigration desks with border guards. If you already have a visa, then head into that line. However, just to the left of the desks is a visa desk. For those who want to get a visa on arrival, this is the desk you need to go to first.
When I went to Paraguay, I got into this line. I was the only one who went to the visa desk. I gave the attendant my passport and a copy of my hotel reservation. The attendant looked at both items and then asked for the $160 fee.
IMPORTANT: Make sure to have brand new and crisp dollars. From my previous experience in Central and South America, I have noticed that people tend to be quite discerning when it comes to dollars. They want the brand new bills. Any bill that has creases, ink stains, discoloration, or shows age is usually rejected even though it is still perfectly legal tender. Therefore, I would recommend checking your money before leaving and making sure it is in almost perfect condition.
Once I paid the fee, the attendant printed out a visa and stuck it in my passport. The Paraguayan visa is a multiple-entry visa that is good for 10 years. All told, the process took less than 15 minutes. Once I had a visa, I took my passport to the immigration desk where the immigration officer stamped it. I was now officially in Paraguay.
Overall, getting a visa on arrival in Paraguay is extremely easy and quick. It is just important to make sure that the visa fee is paid in dollars and not credit card. I did not notice any credit card machines while there. It is also important to check to make sure the US dollars are in near perfect condition lest they get rejected. If you have those items, getting a Paraguay visa on arrival should be a breeze.