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!

19 comments:

Kathy said...

Wow! Way to go Paraguay! :) I'm so glad it went smoothly! Now I hope you can relax and enjoy a wonderful weekend coming up!

John_n_Tascha_Piatt said...

YEAH

Susan said...

Congratulations! We hope to get permanent resident status in Canada within the next year. It costs a few thousand though; in the process of saving for it.

I'm glad you had a much easier time than in Venezuela!

gecko said...

Great news!! It really is a fabulous feeling when things go your way, particularly when Government departments are involved.

Debbie said...

I'm happy for you! And so glad to hear you didn't have to cough it up in "fees".

FJ said...

It must be nice not having to face "la mordida" at every official turn. I wonder how long it'll be before we start paying it here in the states...

Gringo said...

I know a NH native married to a Peruvian who taught at the national university in Tucuman Argentina. As an employee of the national university, her husband was a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE.They went more than twenty years in Argentina before they got something to supplement their tourist visas.

You would think it would be a problem to be a GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE in the country on a tourist visa, but her husband worked over 20 years in that status.

Time and again they would send the appropriate documents off to the appropriate government offices to obtain their resident visas, and time and again the government would lose the paperwork.

I had a somewhat similar experience.I entered Argentina with a permanent work visa stamped into my passport, obtained relatively smoothly. However a year had gone by from the time I had delivered the appropriate documents to the local office to get my Documento Nacional de Identidad, without any action.


When I was in BA to replace my expired US passport, a process that took less than an hour, I went to the appropriate Argentine government office to inquire about my DNI. After four days of visiting that office, I informed them that they would have to mail me the DNI, as I had to leave BA.

"But it will get lost," was the response of the government employee. Within an hour I had my own DNI.

US citizens who complain about bureaucracy without having left the US have no idea what they are talking about.

ABNPOPPA said...

How do you do what you do? You have my admiration at your determination to spread The Word.

God Bless,

Pops

Kimberly said...

Yippee!

Most Rev. Gregori said...

Well, thank God you now have one worry off your mind and you can rest easy.

The corruption in Paraguay doesn't seem to be that much different from here in the U.S. of A, it is in the higher ups (politics and business).

Rosie Cochran said...

Cedula renewals in Venezuela. You're bringing back memories that maybe should stay buried! LOL! I will have to write a story of that on my blog. Ha!

Harry said...

You do put yourself through more aggravation than most of us do for your religious beliefs. My wife and I were discussing how strong belief (especially religious belief) is discouraged today and that it's led to a dampening of human spirit in general. You still have that spirit. Frankly, I find that inspiring and a sign of hope for all of us. Please keep it up.

Jungle Mom said...

Harry, My husband and I were discussing the same thing recently. although faith is a private matter, it should be expressed publicly through our life. This is discouraged and thus has removed faith from the everyday life of so many.
I know you are Jewish, but in our New Testament we have a scripture which says that 'faith without works is dead'. Nit that we work to earn our Salvation but that our Salvation will causes us to do good works.

Nina in Portugal said...

I'm thrilled for you.....we're still battling the system after 16 months ....guess it never ends, huh?!

Rhonda in Chile said...

isn't it great to have that? We go our permanencias years ago, and have never had to worry about them since.
We don't have to bribe people here either. Never in 26 years. Praise the Lord!

The Hermit said...

How do I get a job in the immigration service there? I sense an untapped income stream!

MK said...

Nice to see you made it JM.

sib's said...

That is a reason why I love Paraguay and why I also left Venezuela.

Jungle Mom said...

sib's ,I really would love to have a way to contact you! I see you also lived in Venezuela and are now in Paraguay.