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Marrying in Peru

Marrying in Peru

A guide to tying the knot in Peru

You are planning to marry in Peru? First, “Congratulations”! Tying the knot in Peru is a simple and easy process, at least if you have a general understanding about the process and, in case a foreigner is involved, have all the necessary documents on hand.

And as with all bureaucratic processes in Peru, expect a delay here and there, some running around and the one or other frustrating day before you finally can say “I do”. To make the entire process easier and smoother for you, find below a detailed overview of what it involves in getting married in Peru.

 

Overview

 

Civil Wedding in Peru

Only civil ceremonies are legal in Peru. So, if you plan to wed in church, have a romantic celebration on the beach, the blessing of a Shaman, an adventure wedding or whatever, you first have to get legally married.

The civil ceremony is performed at the municipality where you plan to marry. Be aware that at least one partner has to be a legal resident of Peru and that most municipalities request that at least one partner is living in this municipality.

As regulations change quickly in Peru and necessary documents and processes vary a bit from municipality to municipality, the first step on your way to marriage is to check the exact requirements with the municipality where you plan to marry; so when you submit your paperwork all your documents are in order and, especially important for foreigners, no surprises come up that may delay your special day for weeks or even months.

To give you an overview about the general requirements, here a list of documents usually required.

Requirements of civil marriage in Peru

  • Application form: The application form includes general information about the bridal couple and the witnesses. The bridal couple has to declare their will to marry before the municipality (usually each municipality has a form letter available)
  • ID: original and a readable copy of the up-to-date DNI (Peruvians) or passport / carné de extranjería (foreigners)
  • Birth certificate: Peruvians need to present an original certified copy of their birth certificate (depending on the municipality not issued over 3 months ago), foreigners an original birth certificate with Apostille or legalized and if necessary translated into Spanish (depending on the municipality not issued over 3 to 6 months ago) *
  • Certificado de soltería: The “certificate of being single” is an official document stating that you are single, divorced or widowed, so free to marry. Depending on the municipality, Peruvians can either provide a so-called “Constancia Negativa de Matrimonio” issued by Reniec or a sworn statement declaring their civil status. For foreigners, it’s more complicated, as in many countries such a certificate doesn’t exist. So, it’s time to get a little creative. If you are already in Peru, one option is to ask the municipality where you plan to marry if an affidavit signed in front of a notary in Peru is accepted. If yes, great; just go to the nearest notary and sign; problem solved quickly and easily. If not, another option is to get in contact with your embassy and asked them to notarize a sworn statement in which you declare that you are single (unmarried, divorced, widowed). As you are not the first with this problem, many embassies will do so and are prepared (check with the municipality, if they accept it, most do). Be aware that in most cases, this document issued by the embassy has to be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and, if not in Spanish, be translated by an official translator. If the municipality where you plan to marry won’t accept above two options and you hopefully have someone back home able to help or if you are still in your home country, check if there are any official government-issued documents in your home country stating your civil status or if any government office can issue a document confirming your civil status. If these two are a no, you have two options left: sign an affidavit in which you declare that you are single (unmarried, divorced, widowed) in front of a notary public in your home country or ask the authority responsible for issuing marriage certificates in your home country for a copy of your one. If you are unmarried, they won’t find anything and you will have an official paper stating this. Know that this document issued outside Peru as well needs an Apostille or has to be legalized and translated into Spanish.*
  • Domicile certificate: Most municipalities request that at least one partner is living in the municipality where the wedding is taking place. If one partner is Peruvian for some municipalities the address on the DNI is enough, others request a sworn statement from a notary and still others ask for a utility bill (electricity, water, phone) including copy.
  • Certificado médico prenupcial: Most municipalities request a medical exam, the so-called certificado médico prenupcial, before they allow you to marry. Best ask at the municipality which doctor / clinic to use. Both partners have to go together. The medical exam includes a quick general health check, some talk about STIs / STDs and giving a blood sample which is tested for HIV/AIDS and other STIs / STDs. The results and the certificate are usually ready in a day or two.
  • Witnesses: Most municipalities request the presence of two witnesses when submitting the paperwork and the same two witnesses on the day of the ceremony. The witnesses shouldn’t be family members, should know the couple for a longer period of time and have to present an official ID (DNI, passport, carné de extranjería) including copy. As the wedding won’t take place if a witness present when submitting the paperwork doesn’t show up on the big day, choose reliable and trustworthy people.
  • If divorced: additionally to above-mentioned requirements, most municipalities request some sort of proof that a former marriage was resolved legally. This could be the final judgement of the divorce, a divorce decree, a municipal divorce resolution, or any other official divorce documentation. Please ask at the municipality where you plan to remarry which documents are required. If these documents were issued outside Peru, they need an Apostille or have to be legalized and, if necessary, translated into Spanish.* Be aware that some municipalities have a waiting period before divorcees can remarry. Some municipalities as well request a pregnancy test from women who want to get remarried within less than 300 days of their divorce.
  • If widowed: usually only the death certificate of the former spouse is requested, but some municipalities as well ask for the former marriage certificate. So, to be on the safe side, please ask at the municipality where you plan to remarry which documents are required. If these documents were issued outside Peru, they need an Apostille or have to be legalized and if necessary, translated into Spanish.* Be aware that some municipalities request a pregnancy test from women who want to get remarried within less than 300 days of the death of their former spouse.

* Any foreign document used in Peru

All documents issued outside Peru even so-called “international” certificates, including birth certificates, affidavits, marriage certificates, divorce papers, death certificates etc. are only accepted in Peru, if they have an Apostille (if they were issued in a country that signed the Hague Agreement). If the documents were issued in a country that hasn’t signed the Hague Agreement, they have to be legalized by a Peruvian consulate in the country of origin and then by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peru. In case they aren’t solely in Spanish, after that all documents, apostilled or legalized, have to be translated into Spanish by an official translator in Peru.

As soon as you have all the paperwork together, the worst part is over and you can relax a bit. The next step is to submit all documents to the municipality (don’t forget to bring your witnesses), pay the fee for the ceremony and choose the day for your wedding (after submitting the paperwork there usually is a waiting period of at least a week or two until you can marry; be aware that in case the municipality is busy, the next free date might even be 2 or 3 months away). You can as well choose if the civil ceremony should take place in the municipal building or if the official should come to a special location to perform the ceremony (extra costs involved). Most municipalities then request that the bridal couple publish a marriage announcement in a local newspaper and submit the entire page with the marriage announcement as soon as it's published.

You are nearly done. The last step to get legally married in Peru is the civil ceremony itself. As in most countries around the globe, it’s usually nothing spectacular or super festive; a private affair mostly celebrated only with the closest family members and best friends. The ceremony might take around 20 to 30 minutes. The official performing the ceremony might talk about marriage as the union of two persons, the legal responsibilities that come with it, the rights and obligations of the spouses or similar. The only things for you to do, are listening, saying “Si, quiero” or “Si, acepto” at the right moment, otherwise all your hard work of the last weeks or months would have been in vain, and sign the marriage certificate.

Congratulations! You made it and are now legally married in Peru.

After the ceremony, there usually is only a small lunch or private reception with close family members and best friends. Only if the couple doesn’t have a religious wedding later, the big celebration follows (see below under Wedding reception).

Don’t forget to register your marriage with Reniec (Peruvians have to change their marital status on their DNI) and, if applicable, with the embassy of your home country.

 

Religious Wedding in Peru

As already mentioned above, you can only be legally married in a civil wedding. A religious wedding is optional and can only be held after the civil ceremony. Nevertheless, the religious wedding is a huge affair in Peru and most couples decide to give their vows in front of God, the extended family and friends in a church as well.

Each religion has its own requirements to marry in church, but as over 80% of Peruvians are catholic, here a general overview of the requirements for a catholic wedding in Peru. For exact requirements, please get in contact with the corresponding congregation.

  • ID (DNI for Peruvians, passport or carné de extranjería for foreigners)
  • Birth certificate
  • Baptismal certificate (legalized by the ecclesiastical notary of the Archdiocese)
  • Certificate of Confirmation (legalized by the ecclesiastical notary of the Archdiocese)
  • Religious pre-marriage counselling
  • 4 witnesses (2 for the groom, 2 for the bride), can’t be family
  • Official marriage certificate or proof that the civil ceremony is arranged and held before the religious
  • “La proclamación” (public announcement of the upcoming religious wedding either during the Sunday mass or in the church magazine or on the notice board of the parish)
  • Fee or donation

While for the civil ceremony you are in most cases bound to the municipality where at least one partner of the bridal couple lives, the religious ceremony can usually take place in whatever church you choose. However, entering marriage in the presence of God in popular churches or even impressive cathedrals might come with a waiting period of several months and an elevated price tag. You should consider that you have to transport your wedding party to the church, then to the reception venue and back home.

 

Wedding Reception in Peru

The religious ceremony is followed by a huge reception at the most beautiful or prestigious venues the couple or their parents can afford. It often includes lots of delicious food and an open bar, wedding cake, photographer, music and dancing, an entertainment program with professional dancers or animators, for example, and party games; so generally, a large night-long celebration.

Most couples hire a wedding planner to organize everything or book a special wedding package, which often includes a catering and event planning service at one of the countless hotels or clubs. But honestly, it’s not rocket science to organize it (partly) on your own and if you shop around, save some bucks along the way. This brings us to the costs of a wedding in Peru.

 

Wedding costs in Peru

As everywhere around the globe, you can celebrate a beautiful and memorable wedding on a budget, but as well spend tens of thousands of dollars for a luxury event.

Depending on the type of wedding (only civil ceremony with small or large reception, religious ceremony in Lima’s cathedral with huge reception, destination wedding, adventure wedding,…), chosen venue (garden of your in-laws or 5 star luxury hotel), number of guests (0 or 250), self-planning or wedding planner, home-cooked food or exclusive caterer and other choices such as dress / suit, rings, decoration and flowers, photographer, music and entertainment, necessary transport and accommodation costs and all the other little expenses, you can spend a few thousand or tens of thousands. The sky or better the budget you are willing to spend, your or your parents’ financial resources, savings or limit of the credit card is the limit.

The largest investment of a wedding in Peru is usually the venue of the reception, catering, and decoration. But other important though most often smaller expenses such as invitations, dress, ring, make-up, hairstyle, flowers, music, entertainment, cake, photographer, car and transport add up quickly and shouldn’t be forgotten.

So generally,  the overall costs for a nice, average wedding in Peru with 50 to 100 guests is around US$ 8,000 to US$ 10,000. You can do it for less, but as well more if you add the one or other “luxury”. Average larger weddings (100-200 guests) with more luxury might set you back US$ 15,000 up to US$ 30,000 and huge weddings (over 200 guests) and / or super exclusive events can easily reach up to US$ 50,000.

No matter if you plan a wedding on a budget or an exclusive event, it’s always worth to shop around; the most expensive isn’t always the best.

 

Destination wedding in Peru

Because of its diverse landscapes, countless attractions and rich historic and cultural past Peru offers a wide range of wedding or vow renewal options for everyone: from a religious ceremony in one of the many impressive churches, to a romantic ceremony on the beach, to a rustic ceremony at a private hacienda or bodega, to a traditional Andean ceremony with Shaman in the Sacred Valley, to an exclusive ceremony in one of the numerous luxury hotels, to an exotic ceremony in the jungle, to an adventure event around Machu Picchu or on the Amazon River…

All the above options are only symbolic ceremonies. So, couples usually first marry officially in their home country (or if at least one partner is a legal resident of Peru at the local municipality) and then “elope” to Peru for a once in a lifetime experience.

 

Same-sex marriage and civil union in Peru

To this day, the Peruvian Constitution defines marriage as a stable union between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriage or civil unions are not possible in Peru and same-sex marriages performed abroad aren’t recognized.

And even though prominent gay representatives are already pushing for years for a new legislation that would allow same-sex couples to wed and even the one or other judge ruled in favor of gay couples fighting for their right to marry or to have their foreign marriage recognized, the conservative voices in Peru’s Congress, the powerful Roman Catholic Church and other government institutions until now successfully prevented such a thing.

When in January 2018 the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Costa Rica ruled that countries in the region that signed the American Convention on Human Rights (which Peru has) should legalize same-sex marriages or unions, supporting marriage equality in Latin American countries, the hopes were high that Peru finally had to act. A law change was expected in a reasonable timeframe, but unfortunately until today nothing of the kind happened.

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  • This commment is unpublished.
    Evelyn F · 28/06/2022
    I am an american woman in a relationship with a peruvian man. We are living in the united states but he is ready to go back to peru to retire. He wants me to go with him. If I marry him when we are in peru before my tourist visa is up, will that be enough that I can stay? Of course if we provide the documentation and stuff... or... do I need to apply later for actual naturalization later on? Can I just exist there after proving we are married and get the marriage visa and thats enough? If not, do I need to speak fluent spanish in order to take another step? -- Thanks!! I am so lost and very afraid he and I could become separated in this world...  
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 28/06/2022
      @Evelyn F Hello Evelyn,

      All good, first of all take a deep breath and relax. I can assure you no need to worry, just the option to marry the man you love (congrats) and a chance of a new adventure in your life. And nobody will forcibly separate you from your partner.

      But I highly recommend to carefully prepare this step and thoroughly inform yourself before (!) heading to Peru. Hopefully, LimaEasy can help with the one or other article; otherwise, you are always welcome to get in contact with me. If you don’t want to do this here in the comments publicly, just scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on “contact us” and send me a private message.

      Anyway, regarding your questions:

      Yes, if you marry your partner in Peru (or elsewhere), have your marriage registered at Reniec (or a Peruvian consulate) and have all other necessary documents you can apply for a family visa in Peru which allows you to stay in the country for a year as a resident (after that you can easily extend the visa). If you read through the family visa article, the requirements, preparation, and application steps might be overwhelming at first. But if you work off each step as described, you shouldn’t encounter any huge obstacles.

      After three years of legal residency in Peru, you can switch to a permanent resident visa (no extensions anymore and indefinite residency in Peru if you aren’t outside the country for more than a year).

      Or after two years of living legally in Peru, you could (but aren’t required to - I didn’t) get the Peruvian nationality. But you would get it by marriage with a Peruvian national, not by naturalization (it’s another administrative procedure). But honestly, right now, this isn’t important. First steps first.

      If you decide moving to Peru, yes, you should learn Spanish. But nobody expects that you are fluent from day one. When filling out necessary forms, for example, at least basic knowledge is helpful, but you still have your partner who hopefully speaks his native language and who can not only introduce you to his home country, its customs and traditions and its sometimes crazy bureaucracy but as well help with the language barrier.

      The only thing that worries me a bit is getting everything done in the timeframe you have on a tourist visa in Peru. Be aware that your tourist visa must be still valid on the day you apply for your family visa. When entering Peru, most nationalities only get 90 days to stay in Peru and that’s not a lot of time for all the bureaucracy awaiting you. In my opinion it is nearly impossible to prepare the necessary paperwork for your marriage, finally get married, then get your marriage certificate and have your then husband’s DNI updated with the correct marriage status, and after that start with the preparation work for your family visa and here especially the Interpol clearance (see the family visa article) and finally apply for your resident visa in the three months.

      So, here either extremely good organization skills are required, and nothing goes wrong (unlikely in Peru) or you fly one time to Peru to get married, then leave the country and return to apply for your residency or you have your civil wedding already in the US and get the Peruvian marriage certificate at a Peruvian consulate there and then enter Peru to directly start with your visa application process.

      To come to an end, I don’t know your circumstances and if you have ever been to Peru before, but I always highly recommend to at least visit the country for a few weeks before packing all your bags and permanently moving there. Peru is a beautiful country but living there is quite different from what you are used from back home. As every country around the globe it has its pros and cons. The question is if for you all the great stuff outweighs the negatives.

      Anyway, I wish you all the best. And feel free to contact me anytime if you have more questions.

      Greetings
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    J · 25/06/2022
    Hello! 

    I am an American citizen and my fiancé is Peruvian. We are in the middle of the fiancée visa process, however, we are interested in having an “inka wedding” or spiritual wedding in Ollantaytambo but I want to make sure this would not impact our current fiancée visa process as I am aware that if we were to get married the fiancée visa would be void. 

    Thanks so much! 
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 25/06/2022
      @J Hello J,

      Honestly, I’m not familiar with resident visa applications for the US. So, it might be wise to check with the US embassy in Lima what they have to say.

      However, your “spiritual wedding” isn’t anything official; you are not getting legally married according to Peruvian law and won’t get a marriage certificate. It’s usually only a symbolic ceremony, so I doubt that this could in any way have an impact on the visa application of your fiancée.

      Greetings
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    oliver · 22/06/2022
    Hello, 

    If i got married in peru end want to apply for a  family visa, I only need my official married document and an official document of my origin country that i don't have a criminal status? 
    Like this website says:  https://www.gob.pe/12876-solicitar-calidad-migratoria-de-familiar-residente-para-mayores-de-edad

    Or do I need a Interpol - Ficha de Canje Internacional as well?

    And is it a problem to start the process if my tourist visa is already ore almost expired?
    (while staying in Peru)

    Thanks a lot!

    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 22/06/2022
      @oliver Hello Oliver,

      All the information you need, including a list of all requirements and a walk through the process, can be found in our article “Peruvian family visa”.

      And yes, if you were married in Peru, for the application of your family visa you need next to other documents which are listed in the article linked above

      - your Peruvian marriage certificate issued by RENIEC

      - the official document of your home country that you don't have a criminal status (with Apostille or, if your home country hasn’t signed the Hague Convention, legalized. If the document isn’t in Spanish, it has to be translated by an official translator in Peru. )

      - the Ficha de canje issued by Interpol in Peru

      Not sure what you mean by “almost expired”. On the day you fill in the necessary fields on the Agencia Digital, send in your application and then get the confirmation of your application, your tourist visa must be still valid. If it’s only expired for one day, the application won’t be accepted, or the application process won’t even work.

      However, if your tourist visa expires shortly after you send your application and receive the confirmation, you won’t have any problem.

      Greetings
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    MJ · 09/03/2022
    Hello,

    I am from the US and just got married in Peru! My now wife is from Peru. We were told that i have to register my marriage in the US or else it is as if i were single and never got married. I cant find any information on where i need to "report/register" my marriage. Do you know what steps or where i have to do this? As far as i know as long as it was a legal wedding there is no need for me to do this but i am getting different answers from everywhere. 

    Thank you for your help!
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 09/03/2022
      @MJ
      Hello MJ,

      First of all, congratulations and all the best for your life together.

      I’m not from the US and have to admit that except for some general knowledge, I have no idea about US laws and regulations (already more than busy keeping up to date with the ones from Peru and from my home country).

      When I remember (!!!) correctly, the US has no marriage registry on federal level, and marriages are just registered on state level. In general, foreign marriages, however, are recognized and considered valid in the US without additional registration if the marriage was performed according to the laws and regulations of the country where the wedding took place. The foreign marriage certificate (with Apostille and translated into English) is usually accepted for official purposes.

      As far as I know, the US embassy isn’t really helpful and for further information and questions in regard to marriages abroad /recognition in the United States, US citizens should contact the Office of the Attorney General of their state of residence in the US.

      Sorry, I can’t help any further.

      Greetings
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lee · 07/02/2022
    Hi there,

    I am from the UK, and my now wife, Peru. We recently married in Arequipa (this article was really helpful to us, so thanks a lot) and due to an emergency I had to return home to the UK without my wife due to the visa applications etc. We have not yet finalised the details to change her DNI or to inform the UK embassy of our wedding. So I was just wondering what this means in terms of the matrimony? Do we have a certain timescale that we must do this? Or what is the legal status of our marriage? 

    Any help greatly appreciated, 

    Thanks
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 07/02/2022
      @Lee Hello Lee,

      When you married, you should have gotten a copy of the Acta de Celebración de Matrimonio. Usually, the municipality sends the original acta within 2 weeks after a marriage to Reniec who then is supposed to register the marriage in the civil registry and to issue a marriage certificate. As this process often isn’t done in a timely manner, it is recommended to pay Reniec a visit after a marriage and request the inscription of the marriage.

      In the time frame from marriage to inscription / getting the marriage certificate you are legally married in Peru, however, you don’t have the correct document to prove it. For any administrative procedures such as changing the civil status of your spouse in Peru, registering your marriage either at the UK consulate or in the UK, applying for a visa in Peru,etc. you need a copy of the Peruvian Acta de Matrimonio. So, it’s in your own interest to get your marriage registered in Peru as quickly as possible, so you can update the DNI of your wife, register your marriage in the UK / at the consulate (if this isn’t done you and your wife might be married, but not legally considered so in the UK as you don't have the correct document to prove and register your marriage), update your civil status and / or proceed with the visa application.

      First, best check if your marriage was already automatically registered with Reniec. This can be done on the Reniec website either under “Consultas en linea” and then “Consulta de actas registrales” or under "Copias certificadas de actas/partidas” and then “Verificar acta/partida Paso1”.

      If your marriage is already registered, your wife can do the Rectificacion del estado civil online under above-mentioned link; you are not needed for this.

      I’m not sure how long after marriage Peruvians have to change their civil status, so I checked on the Reniec website where I found a) Peruvians have a period of 120 days to update their marital status after marriage and b) those who married must update their marital status within a period of 30 days. So, not sure what is correct.

      If your marriage isn’t registered yet, one of the spouses (so, if you aren’t in Peru at the moment, no problem) can request the registration of your marriage at any Reniec office. So, your wife should get this done and then change her civil status as described above.

      Greetings
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Bharat · 28/01/2022
    Hi, I’m an Indian citizen and a Canadian permanent resident. I want to marry my Peruvian girlfriend, she lives in Lima. 

    Peruvian immigration told her that in order  to carry out a marriage between a foreign person and a Peruvian there would have to be a minimum relationship of 1 year, in which either of the two parties would have to come to the country more than one or two or three times, and demonstrate the couple relationship in which they not only through social network.

    Is it true that there has to be a minimum of 1 year of relationship?
    Please guide us.

    Thank you.
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 28/01/2022
      @Bharat
      Hello Bharat,

      I never heard of it. And even though I highly recommend getting to know your future wife in person and thoroughly (I know my husband for 33 years and we are married 24), I wonder why your girlfriend would ask Peruvian immigration. In charge of civil marriages in Peru is the municipality where you plan to marry (in most cases, this has to be the municipality where the Peruvian partner lives).

      But as things change, I just checked the requirements for marriages between a Peruvian and a foreigner again listed on the websites of a few different municipalities in Lima and on the Peruvian government website. Nowhere is anything mentioned related to a minimum time of your relationship or to proving anything about the way of your relationship. So, as far as I see, to get married in Peru you do not have to prove a minimum of 1 year relationship or 2 / 3 visits to the country.

      The same applies to getting a resident family visa in Peru once you are married. While in this case Peruvian immigration (Migraciones) is in charge, there is no such thing as minimum relationship time or proof of anything in regards to your relationship on the list of requirements.

      Additionally, I know a few foreigners who got married to a Peruvian in Peru and while some municipalities made the way to marriage more difficult than necessary, no-one had to prove anything regarding their relationship to the municipality or later, when applying for their visa, to Migraciones.

      Greetings
      Eva


  • This commment is unpublished.
    Lissette · 06/01/2022
    I got Married in Peru , came to the US and years later got divorced in the US. If I were to want to get remarried, do I need to also be divorced in Peru for my new marriage to be valid?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 06/01/2022
      @Lissette
      Hello Lissette,

      You not really have to get divorced again in Peru, but your divorce must be recognized in Peru, otherwise you remain married before Peruvian law in Peru with all legal implications such as for example support obligations or inheritance claims. So, in your own interest you should make sure that you are not only legally divorced in the US but also in Peru.

      You must request the recognition of your US divorce at the Peruvian Judicial Power (Exequatur); the procedure is called "reconocimiento de sentencia de divorcio en el extranjero".

      For that it's not necessary to be in or to travel to Peru. Any Peruvian consulate can inform you about the exact requirements and the process and can help with the necessary paperwork.

      Greetings
      Eva


  • This commment is unpublished.
    Alexandra · 03/01/2022
    Hey all! Anyone can explain how it works with the last name if a woman is getting married to a Peruvian man? 
    Is it possible to get the name of him? 
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 03/01/2022
      @Alexandra
      Hello Alexandra

      The Peruvian names consist of first name(s), father's surname (apellido paterno) and mother's surname (apellido materno); if a woman is married she keeps her two last names and, if at all, adds "de and the husband's father's surname".

      So if Juanita (first name) Perez (father's surname) Gonzalez (mother's surname) marries Juan Torres Gomez, she either remains Juanita Perez Gonzalez or she will be Juanita Perez Gonzalez de Torres.

      It's absolutely unthinkable that a Peruvian woman will renounce her names and take her husband's names. Additionally, if you take your husband's name, from the name you become your husband's sister; and getting the names correctly registered for possible future children will be a nightmare.

      I married a Peruvian abroad under foreign law and took my husband's (father's) surname. As long as we lived abroad we didn't have any problems . However, when moving to Peru and finally registering our marriage and our children with Reniec convincing the officials that I'm my husband's wife and not sister and getting our children the father's surname and the correct mother's surname (and not a second time the husband's name) was challenging and time consuming.

      So, my recommendation keep your name and just add the "de and husband's surname). Makes your life a lot easier, if you plan to live in Peru or other Latin American countries.

      Greetings
      Eva
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Grace · 22/03/2022
      @Sunflower Hi eva, thanks for your recommendation to add the 'de and husband's surname. I assume you have done this and having children with surname issue as you mentioned it was challenging n time consume.

      Could you share more in detail experience, what you do in order registering your marriage and your children with Reniec convincing the officials?
      Did your children still facing any issue relating the surname in Peru now?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 22/03/2022
      @Grace Hello Grace,

      No, as described above, I haven’t done it, I was stupid enough to take my husband’s surname which many years later gave us lots of problems registering our marriage and our children with correct surnames at Reniec in Peru.

      I still have my husband’s surname and didn’t change it to the Peruvian naming as I would have had to change my name in my home country, then get my name changed on many documents including my passport, marriage certificate, etc. and only then could have registered our marriage at Reniec. So no, never did that.

      Instead, we went to court and had a Peruvian judge officially rule that I’m not my husband’s sister but his wife; while Reniec didn’t want to accept and seemingly couldn’t understand my birth certificate with my maidan name (so, my father’s surname) and our marriage certificate which shows my maidan name and at the bottom has a paragraph explaining that according to xyz law in my home country I took my husband’s surname which as well becomes the surname of our family, the judge had a closer look at both documents and after questioning my husband ruled in our favor and ordered Reniec to register our marriage.

      Reniec then did register our marriage but told us that they only can do it with my name as in my passport which is first names, husband’s name “born” my maidan name. So, my husband’s surname is now my apellido paterno and my maidan name which is my father’s surname is now my apellido materno. Absolutely stupid, but we agreed under the condition that they would register our children correctly with first names, my husband’s (their father’s) surname and then my maidan (their mother’s) name.

      So, while now my name is completely “wrong” in Peru, my children’s name is correct, and they don’t have any problems. The only thing important to me.

      And just for your info, all this happened nearly 20 years ago, so, not sure if Reniec today is more understanding and accommodating.

      What you have to do to register your marriage? Depends on where you were married. If you were married in Peru, the municipality is supposed to automatically send the Acta de Celebración de Matrimonio to Reniec, who is supposed to register your marriage and issue the Partida de Matrimonio. However, as this often takes ages, you can request the registration of your marriage at Reniec to speed up the process. Super simple process and, when I remember correctly, there is no discussion about the wife’s surnames as the Peruvian way of naming is applied. If you were married abroad, you are supposed to register your marriage at a Peruvian consulate. Advantage: they know the differences regarding the names and are usually more accommodating (but best check with them before changing your name). Disadvantage: your marriage is registered at the consulate and your marriage certificate issued by the consulate, not Reniec; so, in the future when you are in Peru you can’t get copies of it from Reniec but have to request them from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you married abroad and didn’t register your marriage at a consulate, you can as well do so at Reniec in Peru. If the names on birth certificates, marriage certificates, DNI of the Peruvian part and passports are the same, no problem. But as soon as something is out of the ordinary, be prepared for lots of discussions.

      Registering a child at Reniec as well usually is a simple process if it was born in Peru. You and the baby just pay Reniec a visit (have ID with you and the Certificado de nacido vivo (CNV) which you get at the hospital where the child was born), do lots of paperwork and within 2 weeks you have the birth certificate. Naming is done according to the Peruvian rule, so father’s surname and mother’s surname as registered with Reniec or in case a foreigner is involved according to the name on the carné or in the passport. During the pandemic, Reniec started online registering births. So, if the mother is Peruvian, she can register the child online either through the DNI BioFacial app or through the Reniec Mesa de Partes. Not sure, if this is still possible. If the child was born abroad, it should be registered at a consulate, otherwise it can be done later at Reniec in Peru. However, you only have 60 days after birth to register the child. After that, you have to do an Inscripción de nacimiento extemporánea; this late registering is possible for any Peruvian older than 61 days and even adults that never were registered.

      Greetings
      Eva
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Grace · 04/04/2022
      @Sunflower Hi eva,
      so i am asian and planning to be married but facing the same surname rule issue, so lets say my full name grace angela. And my fiance is peruvian, his name Silvio Cueto Lopez.
      Based on reniec nameing rules, is my last name ‘angela’ considered as family name? Our internal discussion is saying it is part of given name, not family name.
      Before marriage, should i change my name with Grace Angle ‘De Lopez in order to align with reniec rule? Or just keep it as grace angela?
      should i keep it simple with marry abroad from peru? But however i should register our marriage in both of our origin country

      what is the court suggestion when this u deal with ur children naming?
      If i keep it as grace angela…. Will be an issue if my future children naming?
      example Maria Cueto Angela is correct based on reniec?

      please advice based on ur experience 🙏🏻 Or at least i can get heads up to what should be prepare in documents
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 04/04/2022
      @Grace Hello Grace,

      Sorry, but I have the feeling that you either didn’t understand the Peruvian naming system and why I had problems with the name (see below example 3) or are overthinking things, making them more complicated than they are.

      Why would Reniec not accept your name(s)? And why would you think of changing your name? Do not do it, you make things even worse and create your own little hell. The naming problems mentioned only arise if you marry abroad and take your husband’s surname! If you marry abroad and keep your surname, all is fine; and if you marry in Peru, there is no problem.

      And you don’t know which of your names are first/given names and which surnames? Have a look at your passport. I just checked passports from different Asian countries (China, India, Correa, Japan) and all had a “Given name” field and a “Surname” field. So, you should be able to identify if your first name is only Grace or if you are Grace Angela. And as authorities in Peru will use the names as in your passport, there is no discussion and moving around a first name, making it a surname.

      There might be discrepancies only with the surname(s). The thing is that Peruvians usually have their first/given name(s)(nombre(s)), then the father’s surname (apellido paterno; first surname) and then the mother’s surname (apellido materno; second surname).

      In many other countries, people only have one surname and that might or might not be the father’s. So, in case you only have one surname, even if this is not your father’s (it could be your mother’s or your husband’s), in Peru this surname will be considered as “apellido paterno” (father’s surname). In case you have two surnames, the first will be considered as “apellido paterno” (father’s surname) and the second as “apellido materno” (mother’s surname), no matter if these two names really are your father’s and mother’s first surnames.

      The naming of children is super simple. As described above, the child is given his or her first names by the parents, then the father’s first surname and the mother’s first surname is added. To make it clearer, find attached three charts.

      Example 1

      As mentioned by you, father’s complete name is
      Silvio (first name) Cueto (father’s surname) Lopez (mother’s surname)

      Mother’s complete name is as mentioned by you
      Grace (first name) Angela (father’s surname) ??? / n/a (mother’s surname; I don’t know, if you have a second surname; if not, it’s just dropped) If you are married to Silvio you can add “de Cueto” to your name.

      Child’s complete name would be
      ??? (first name) Cueto (father’s first surname) Angela (mother’s first surname)

      Usual Peruvian naming: first name(s), father’s first surname, mother’s first surname. All good.

      Example 2

      Father’s complete name is
      Silvio (first name) Cueto (father’s surname) Lopez (mother’s surname)

      Mother’s complete name is
      Grace Angela (first names) ??? (father’s surname) ??? / n/a (if applicable,mother’s surname)

      Child’s complete name would be
      ??? (first name) Cueto (father’s surname) ??? (mother’s surname)

      Usual Peruvian naming: first name(s), father’s first surname, mother’s first surname. All good.

      Example 3

      Father’s complete name is
      Silvio (first name) Cueto (father’s surname) Lopez (mother’s surname)

      Mother’s complete name is
      Grace (first name) Cueto (you took your husband’s name, which now is considered as your father’s surname)

      Child’s complete name would be
      ??? (first name) Cueto (father’s first surname) Cueto (mother’s first surname)

      So, when you take your husband’s name, your surname is now considered being your father’s first surname, from the name making you his (half) sister. Your child will get the father’s first surname and the mother’s first surname (which, as you have taken your husband’s first surname, is again your husband’s name).

      I hope, the topic is now clearer.

      The documents you have to prepare for marrying are listed above. However, as they can vary a bit, best ask at the municipality where you plan to marry.

      Greetings
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Timo · 31/12/2021
    Hi. If you get married in Peru does leaving the country after marriage affect when you can apply for full residency (like it does for work visas)? I got stuck here during the pandemic and my tourist visa expired. I want to get married to my Peruvian partner but I also need to go back to my home country for 6 months to a year. If after my marriage I leave Peru for 6m/1y will this affect when I can apply for full residency? 
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 01/01/2022
      @Timo
      Hello Timo,

      No, leaving Peru after marriage won't affect your application for a family visa when you return.

      Once you are married make sure to have your marriage correctly registered at Reniec, so when you want to apply for your visa, some of the groundwork is already done and you just have to get a new copy of your marriage certificate. Additionally, your spouse should update her DNI at Reniec with the correct marital status. And make sure to bring the police clearance certificate from your home country when you return. With all this done, once you are coming back to Peru, you just have to get the Interpol clearance and can apply for your family visa without major hurdles.

      Happy New Year

      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Ana · 22/09/2021
    Hi, I’m Peruvian and my fiancé is an American citizen and a Protestant. We have been looking into doing our religious ceremony through the Protestant church as opposed to the Catholic one but can’t find any pastors to perform the ceremony. Would you be able to point me in the right direction? 
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 22/09/2021
      @Ana
      Hello Ana,

      Already 30 years ago I had the same problem with my wedding and later with the christening of my children. It’s a shame that the two main denominations of Christianity make it so difficult for interdenominational couples.

      Anyway, unfortunately I don’t know any pastors who would perform the ceremony. If you are envisioning a traditional wedding in a typical church, personally I would try to find two pastors, one catholic and one evangelic, hoping that they are willing to perform an ecumenical ceremony in one of their churches; this would make everyone happy.

      Or I would try to find a church or chapel to rent for the ceremony and hope that a pastor comes with it or can easily be arranged. The Decameron El Pueblo in Santa Clara, Ate, Lima, for example, has an absolutely lovely little chapel on their premises where this is possible if the reception is held there as well. Checking out hotels and resorts with churches or chapels or offering wedding packages might bring you a step further. Or a wedding planner might have contacts.

      Another option could be to check out the “expat” churches in Lima, which are usually more open and welcoming to everyone; however, I’m not sure if the invited family approves. The Union Church, for example, is an international, interdenominational Christian Fellowship in Miraflores, Lima, but in my opinion, the church building isn’t what one typically envisions for a wedding. Probably a nicer option could be the Good Shepherd Church in Miraflores, Lima which not only serves the English-speaking expatriate and non-Roman Catholic community, but also has a Spanish-speaking congregation and also serves as the cathedral of the Anglican Diocese of Peru; the small cathedral building is really lovely and everyone at the church usually welcomes and embraces anyone. However, I’m not sure if they are open to non-members; it costs nothing to ask and even if they are not willing to perform the ceremony, they might have the one or other contact.

      Sorry, I couldn't be of more help.

      All the best,
      Eva
  • This commment is unpublished.
    Beverlyn · 20/08/2021
    I'm a filipino and my fiance is a british national and we want to get married in peru. Is it possible?
    • This commment is unpublished.
      Sunflower
      • LimaEasy
      · 21/08/2021
      @Beverlyn Depends. As extensively described above, if you plan to have your civil wedding in Peru, at least one partner has to be a legal resident. Additionally, most municipalities require that at least one partner is living in the municipality where the wedding takes place. And furthermore, getting all the documents together, submitting them and finally getting a wedding date, sometimes needs weeks or months, so marrying in Peru might only make sense if at least one partner lives in Peru and is surely nothing you can do during a vacation. However, if you have your civil marriage in one of your home countries and plan either your church wedding or a destination wedding in Peru, you don't have any problems and most probably a very special and once in a lifetime experience (see explanations in our article above). Have a nice day Eva

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