Thursday, June 18, 2009
Immigration in Paraguay
We just returned from spending the morning down town at the Immigration office. I always get a sick feeling when I have to got to Immigration. I dread it because we had so many terrible experiences in Venezuela. In 20 years, I only had one identity card that was actually current.
Nothing could ever be done without paying a special 'fee'. In the early years the fees were reasonable but towards the end, it was not uncommon for them to be hundreds of dollars for each person. Smugly asked for by someone in red with a poster of HIS HIGHNESS HUGO on the wall behind him.
So far, here in Paraguay, we have paid ZERO bribes or 'fees'. And today...we received our Carnets showing our status as Permanent Immigrants. We do not even have to renew it! It's really permanent!
Paraguay has a bad reputation as being one of the most corrupt countries in South America, and I suppose it may be true. It seems the corruption is higher up in the corparate level and politcs, but for the avergae man on the street, Venezuela is MUCH worse.
Just wanted to let you know we are thrilled to have this process finished!