- This commment is unpublished.· 24/03/2023@MichaelHello Michael,yes the processing time of visa applications varies heavily for no apparent reason. Some applications are approved within a few weeks, others take months.From feedback I got from our readers on average it takes around three months from application to approval. If you don't hear back from Migraciones four months after your application it might be a good idea to check with them.And yes, you can use the chat on the Agencia Digital for that. Over the past few weeks waiting times have improved and if you are lucky you have someone on the chat within 10 to 15 minutes (before it was an hour or more, if someone answered at all). Another option is to call their new callcenter under 1800 from any mobile or landline number.GreetingsEva
Priests, nuns, and missionaries who want to stay in Peru to perform religious or missionary activities can apply for a religious visa, called “religioso residente”.
The religious residency only allows its holder to carry out activities in the area of pastoral work and care in fields such as health, education and others; it does not allow you to work or receive a remuneration for any kind of professional activity (however, if necessary, you can apply for a work permit separately).
- Legal background for a religious visa application in Peru
- Requirements for a religious visa application in Peru
- Last steps before your religious visa application in Peru
- Step-by-step guide to apply for a religious visa in Peru
- Buzon Electronico
- Getting your Carné (foreigner ID)
- Things you should know living in Peru on a religious visa
Legal background for a religious visa application in Peru
Officially, you can apply for a religious visa if you are still outside Peru or if you are already in the country, for example, as a tourist.
However, while for decades Peruvian consulates abroad handled residence visa applications from giving information and handing out the right forms to fill in, to accepting the application and, if approved, issuing the residence visa, since August 2021, the Peruvian diplomatic missions abroad only handle tourist and business visa applications and refer foreigners, who want to apply for a residence visa, to Migraciones in Peru.
So, foreigners, who can enter the country visa-free (so, who don’t have to apply for a “real” tourist visa at a Peruvian consulate), should come to Peru as a tourist and then change their immigration status - make a so called Cambio de calidad migratoria (as opposed to a Solicitud de calidad migratoria if you apply from outside Peru) - at Migraciones.
Those foreigners, who cannot enter Peru visa-free (so, who must apply for a “real” tourist visa at a Peruvian consulate), officially must apply for residency from outside Peru; a complicated, lengthy, and sometimes frustrating process. We explain in detail how it’s done in our article “Peruvian residence visa application from abroad”.
Peruvian residence visa application from abroad
For foreigners planning to stay longer in Peru and to apply for a resident visa, the most important laws and regulations are the Decreto Legislativo 1350 (which only stipulates general rules), the Decreto Supremo 002-2021-IN and the TUPA. Helpful as well is to check out the Peruvian government website. All these documents are, of course, in Spanish.
While below under "Requirements for a religious visa application in Peru" you find the necessary documents described in English, the official list of requirements (in Spanish) can be found, for example, in the Decreto Supremo 002-2021-IN on page 38, in article 84-B “Procedimiento administrativo de cambio de calidad migratoria a religioso residente”. If you prefer to check out the TUPA you find the information on page 161.
Requirements for a religious visa application in Peru
Below you find the requirements to apply for a religious visa, accurately to make a so-called "Cambio de calidad migratoria" (change of immigration status), in Peru.
Please be aware that Migraciones has the right to request other and/or additional documents at any time.
Required documents to apply for a religious visa include:
- Form PA - Cambio de Calidad Migratoria (automatically filled in during application)
- Interpol clearance - Ficha de canje internacional not older than 6 months (see below)
- Receipt for paid application fee (code Migraciones 07568; concept Cambio de calidad migratoria religioso residente; S/.162.50 in 2023)
- Antecedentes policiales, penales y judiciales (Police clearance certificate, criminal record and judicial matters check) issued in the country of origin and, if the applicant lived in another country before coming to Peru, in the country of residence covering the last 5 years (*) + (**)
- Request issued by the religious entity, which must be recognized by the Peruvian state, where the applicant finds his home in Peru. The request must be signed by the legal representative of the religious entity and must include name(s) and surname(s) of the applicant as well as the time he or she stays in Peru
- Sworn statement of the legal representative of the religious entity affirming the details of the official registration and his/her power of representation or an official document confirming his / her powers.
- "Recibo" (so a water or electricity bill proving your address; doesn't have to be in your name)
(*) As we get many question about the “Antecedentes policiales, penales y judiciales” we dedicated a separate article to the topic where we explain in detail what kind of document you need, where you get it and what to watch out for when applying for it.
International document corresponding to the Antecedentes policiales, penales and judiciales in Peru
(**) All foreign documents need an Apostille or, if the country in which they were issued didn't sign the Apostille Convention (like Canada, for example) they have to be legalized by a Peruvian consulate abroad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peru. Additionally, all documents, apostilled or legalized, have to be translated into Spanish by a certified translator in Peru, a so-called traductor publico juramentado, in case they are not solely in Spanish! The translation then has to be legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Applying for a religious visa is a simple and straightforward process, but might be a little confusing here and there if you are not familiar with the process and the steps involved. Usually, the religious order or mission supports you with your application. So, please see our walk-through below as general guidance, which introduces you to the procedures awaiting you.
Last steps before your religious visa application in Peru
Hopefully, you brought the criminal record check with Apostille / legalization from your home country that now needs to be translated by a certified translator, a so-called traductor publico juramentado. You find lists of these government-approved translators on the Peruvian government website. Just click under point 3 on the language of your original document and the list of translators for your language appears. The translation then has to be legalized again by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (RREE) in Lima or a RREE branch in the provinces.
And before you can even start your religious visa application process, you first have to get the so-called “Ficha de Canje Internacional” from Interpol in Peru. Find a detailed description of how it’s done in our article “Interpol - Ficha de Canje Internacional”.
Interpol - Ficha de Canje Internacional
Once you have the Ficha and all documents together, pay the fee of S/ 162.50 for the Migraciones administrative procedure “Cambio de Calidad Migratoria” under code 07568 with concepto "Religioso residente". As you already paid the Interpol fee, you know how the systems works, otherwise check again in our article "Paying administration charges and processing fees in Peru".
And last but not least, make PDFs from your passport (page with your personal data and entry stamp), and from all other required documents.
Finally, the time has come to apply for your religious visa. Be aware that in case you need to leave the country during the processing time of your religious visa application you have to apply for a special travel permit (Permiso especial de viaje, officially as well called Autorización de estadía fuera del país) before you leave the country, otherwise your application is null and void.
Please be aware that you have to be in the country on a valid visa (for example, a tourist visa or "authorization to enter as a tourist") when applying for your religious visa in Peru.
Step-by-step guide to apply for a religious visa in Peru
One remark before we start: The Agencia Digital is in Spanish only. We highly recommend to not using a translation program which automatically translates the page from Spanish to your preferred language to avoid system errors. Additionally, often translation programs have difficulties "understanding" the bureaucratic language used by Migraciones, which results in translations that don't make any sense or are more difficult for you to understand than the Spanish original. If you can't understand the one or other field, enter the description for this field in a translator. If you still can't make sense of it, feel free to leave a comment below and we try our best to explain what to fill in. And to avoid further system errors, we highly recommend to not using a VPN and switching off any ad blockers you might use.
Once you have done all the preparation work, open the Migraciones Agencia Digital and click on Entrar.
On the next page, select "Extranjero". Then choose in the drop-down menu the document with which you entered Peru (most probably passport), enter your passport number, your birthdate, nationality, the date you entered Peru and the captcha. Click on Verificar.
No matter which forms you fill out in Peru, always enter your personal data exactly (!!!) as in your passport!
Now you are on the main page of the Agencia Digital. Here you can either use the search field or find in the menu on the left under “Cambio de calidad migratoria” the point Religioso residente. Click on it and proceed to the next page.
1st page of the religious visa application
Here, you first have to select the Migraciones branch which should handle your application (for example, Lima, Cusco, Arequipa, …). In the second field, you must enter a “data update code” which you most probably don’t have. Below this field is a quite small link.
Click on it and you are re-directed to the Sistema de Actualizacion de Datos page. Choose Option 2. On the next page fill in your nationality, select the document with which you entered Peru (most probably passport), enter your passport number, and your birth date, select your gender and enter the captcha; you can leave the field with the "preinscription code" blank. Then you end up on the quite extensive questionnaire.
Data update questionnaire
Be aware that you only have 1 hour to complete the questionnaire and as the system doesn’t save your information, even though there is an option to save, once you started you must finish it within an hour otherwise all your progress is gone, and you have to start from scratch. The questions are quite unorganized and partly a bit strange, so to give you an idea what questions you have to answer and might need to prepare for here an overview:
In the first two categories, you have to fill in your personal data including full name (as in your passport!), document with which you entered Peru, document number, gender, marital status, country of birth, if you have a criminal, police or judicial record, if you are pregnant.
The third category asks for your address in Peru, your e-mail address, cell phone number and landline phone number. Here you must upload a “recibo”, so a water or electricity bill to prove that you live at that address. The recibo doesn't have to be in your name, just must show the correct address.
Then you are asked for the information of an emergency contact, including ID, name and e-mail of your emergency contact. This is followed by questions about your employment situation and where you were born (continent, country, town).
In the next category, you have to enter your hair and eye color, height in meters, weight in kilograms, religion, marital status, date of marriage, vaccinations and if you have a disability or disease. You are then asked if you arrived in Peru alone or if someone was accompanying you. If so, you must enter the personal data (passport number, name, last name, birthdate) of that person. Now you are asked if you have lived in other countries previously and in which country before coming to Peru, when you last entered Peru, how you came to Peru (plane, bus, car).
The last questions check your living conditions (are you living in a house, number of rooms, accommodation connected to water, sewage, electricity, and internet), ask for some financial info (bank accounts in Peru or other countries, shares, or stock in Peru, bank loans in Peru) and want to know if you have a car and a driver’s license in Peru or other country.
As soon as you have completed the last page of the questionnaire, the system accepts all your answers and sends the data update code to your e-mail.
You made it!
Back to the 1st page of the religious visa application
Now fill in the data update code and click on Siguente.
2nd page of the religious visa application
Here you must fill in some data and/or upload all for the religious visa application necessary documents as PDF.
Those who just want to verify the requirements or double check if the requirements have changed can do so on this page. Then just click through the tabs but do not upload any documents and do not click on Siguente; once you finished just leave the page.
To continue with your religious visa application, click on the little arrows next to each requirement, and certain fields appear depending on the requirement. Just fill in the fields as requested and upload the corresponding document.
Under “Pago por derecho de tramite” you are asked to enter certain information of the bank receipt. If you don't know where to find the requested bank information on your receipt, click on the question mark.
Under the Interpol tab, you must upload the Ficha de Canje from Interpol and the criminal record check you brought from home. Be aware that both fields are mandatory, and you can’t continue without having uploaded both documents.
And below upload other documents required and finally, fill in the required information of your passport and upload a copy.
Once you uploaded all your documents, click on Siguente.
3rd page of the religious visa application
You then get to a page showing the fields of the Form PA - Cambio de Calidad Migratoria already filled in with your personal data. The only fields you can change here are your cell phone number and your e-mail address. If everything is correct, click on “Guardar datos y generar tramite” (Save data and generate procedure).
Please note: seemingly randomly this page is displayed during some applications, while not during others. So, don’t panic if you don’t get this page. You just skip this page and automatically end up on the next page.
4th page of the religious visa application
You now get the "Registro de Solicitud de Cambio de Calidad Migratoria" displayed on your screen. That's your confirmation of the successful application. Download and/or print the form and keep it safe (if downloading isn't possible, make a screenshot of the complete page, don't miss the second page)!!!
At the top right of the document under the bar code you find your Numero de expediente (file number) which sometimes is also called Numero de tramite. It consists of 2 letters (usually some abbreviation of the Migraciones office where you applied; LM for Lima, for example; or CY for Chiclayo, etc.) and 9 numbers. At the bottom of the first page, under the signature / fingerprint field, the Fecha de publicacion (application date) and a Codigo de verificacion (verification code) are shown.
If you later want to check the status of your application online, which can be done here or if you, for example, want to apply for a travel permit to leave the country while the approval of your application is still in process, you will need these numbers / codes.
Additionally, at the bottom of the first page you as well find your login data for the Migraciones electronic mailbox (see below).
If you didn't print or save the page when you had the chance during your application, retrieving your file number and verifiaction code is nearly impossible.
On the second page of the "Registro de Solicitud de Cambio de Calidad Migratoria" page you are asked to make an appointment for having your biometric data (photo, fingerprints, signature) taken with a provided code. This code is your numero de expediente (file number).
As waiting times sometimes can be long, especially in Lima, we suggest following provided link and make the appointment immediately. If you want to make it at a later time, you can enter the Agencia Digital and make an appointment under "Citas en Linea", subpoint "para registro de datos biometricos".
The Buzon Electronico is your personal Migraciones electronic mailbox which you should check regularly for notifications from Migraciones (for example, request to upload missing or additional documents, approval or denial of your visa application, etc.).
You can access your buzon by clicking on the "Buzon" button on the top of the main page of the Agencia Digital or by using this direct link. The username (usario) and password (contraseña) is on the "Registro de Solicitud de Cambio de Calidad Migratoria", the confirmation of your successful application (see above under 4th page).
Be aware that notifications sent via the buzon are considered "officially delivered". If you don't react to a deadline Migraciones usually gives in these notifications, your application can be dismissed.
If you didn't download or print the form, you can get your login details by entering the buzon and clicking on ¿Olvidaste la contraseña? and you get to the "Verificacion de Datos" page. Here enter your nationality, passport, passport number, last name(s), first name(s) and your birthdate. After submitting your information by clicking on Siguiente, you get an email with the "usario" and a link to reset or create a password.
Getting your Carné (foreigner ID)
Biometrical data appointment
On the day of your biometric data appointment, be at the Migraciones office (in Lima it's the one on Jr. Carabaya 494 in the city center) 15 - 30 minutes before your appointment with your documents. Usually you will only need your printed (!) appointment and passport, but to be prepared for any unforeseen events you may want to take the folder with all other documents with you.
At the door you just have to show your appointment and passport. At the Lima Migraciones office you get a ticket with a number on it. Then just join the line and wait until your number is shown on the screen. When it's your turn proceed to the counter where you have to sign on a signature pad, you are digitally fingerprinted and a biometric photo is taken.
Do not wear a white shirt or a top in light or pastel color! Migraciones might refuse to take your photo. Best wear a simple black shirt or something in a dark color such as dark blue, dark green, dark brown.
Until recently the process in the Migraciones office in Lima was quick and astonishingly well organized and you were done in less than half an hour. However, over the past few weeks some foreigners reported that their appointment time wasn't respected and they had to wait for anything between one and three hours until they made it to the counter where the process was quick and smooth. So, plan accordingly. At the Migraciones offices in the provinces, the whole process is usually quick and painless.
After your biometric data appointment, all you can do is check your Buzon regularly and wait until you get a notification from Migraciones either telling you that they aren't happy with a document you uploaded or that a document is missing or that your visa is approved.
According to feedback we got from our readers, visa processing times can be anything from 6 weeks to 3 or 4 months. In case you haven't heard anything from Migraciones 4 months after your application, you should check with them what's going on.
Registration in the foreigner database
As soon as your application is approved, pay the fee of S/ 49.70 on pagalo.pe under code 07561-Formulario F-SPE-001 for the registration in the foreigner database and issuance of the carné under concepto "Expedición del carné de extranjeria".
Then once again enter the Agencia Digtal to do the online registration under “Inscr. Reg. central extranjeria”. As before, just follow the steps as indicated. Check that all information is correct. At the end, you get a confirmation which you should download and/or print and keep safe.
Please note: as of January 2023, after having sent you the resolution about the approval of your residence visa, Migraciones sends as well a letter informing you how to make an appointment to pick up your carné. This letter doesn’t mention the Registration in the foreigner database or an additional payment for the issuance of the carné. And foreigners who just made the appointment could pick up their carné without having registered in the foreigner database (this might be done now automatically) and without having paid the additional fee for the carné.
However, the Peruvian government website (updated January 15, 2023) still says that you must register in the foreigner database and pay the fee for the issuance of the carné to get your carné.
As so often in Peru the situation is confusing and until now (March 7, 2023) we couldn’t get an answer from Migraciones if the registration and the payment is still necessary or not.
Picking up your carné at Migraciones
Then make an appointment on the Agencia Digital under “Citas en linea” to pick up your carné. Once again, download and/or print the confirmation and keep it safe.
On the day of your appointment, arrive at the Migraciones office (in Lima it's the one on Jr. Carabaya 494 in the city center) 15 - 30 minutes early. Take your passport and your printed appointment as well as all documents and receipts (which you most probably won't need) with you. Migraciones personal will point you in the right direction where you are handed your carné.
Congratulations! You made it!
To familiarize yourself with your carné we highly recommend to read our glossary article Carné de Extranjería - Peru’s ID Card for foreigners.
Things you should know living in Peru on a religious visa
The religious resident visa (so the residence permit) is valid for one year and then has to be extended. Our article "Residence visa extension" explains how it's done.
Residence visa extension in Peru
The carné (so the Peruvian foreigner ID) is usually valid for four years and then must be renewed. For more details, check out our article "Renewal of the carné".
Renewal of the Carné de Extranjería
Foreigners being in Peru on a religious visa have to be in the country at least 183 days per year, otherwise their resident status is canceled. If you have to be outside the country longer, before leaving apply for the Autorización de estadía fuera del país por 183 días, and you won't lose your residence permit.
If you are living in Peru on a religious visa, you are not allowed to work or receive a remuneration for any kind of professional activity in Peru. However, you can apply for a special authorization to work, the so-called Permiso de trabajo extraordinario, which allows you to work and earn money in the fields of health and education.
If any information provided when applying for your religious visa changes, Migraciones must be informed about it within 30 days. So, if you get a new passport, move to a new address, etc. you have to apply for a so-called "modificación de datos en el registro central de extranjería". Be aware that in some cases, a new carné has to be issued after the application is approved.
Whenever you, as a foreigner living in Peru on a religious visa (without a special authorization to work), want to leave the country for short or extended periods of time, for example, to go on holidays, you must present the so-called “Declaración jurada de haber realizado actividades que no impliquen la generación de rentas de fuente peruana” at immigrations before you are allowed to leave. So, just download Formulario 1495, fill it in, sign it and show it to the immigration officer when leaving Peru.
In case you have the special authorization to work and earned money, you have to present the "Certificado de Rentas y Retenciones". This form is issued by your employer, who confirms that the income tax corresponding to your earnings was retained according to the Peruvian tax legislation. The physical form, Formulario 1492, is rarely used anymore. Instead, your employer has to enter his/her Sunat Virtual and fill in the Formulario Virtual 1692°, then print and sign it and give it to you. The form expires 30 days after it was filed with Sunat; so, you must leave Peru within these 30 days.
Religious visa holders can get the Peruvian nationality by naturalization after having legally lived in Peru for at least two years.
If you don't want to get the Peruvian nationality or can't because your home country doesn't allow dual nationality, after three years of legal residency in Peru on a resident religious visa, you can apply for a permanent resident visa - make a so-called Cambio de calidad migratoria a permanente residente (religioso residente); no more extensions and an indefinite residency.
And finally, if you, as a foreigner living in Peru on a religious visa, are leaving Peru permanently, you have to cancel your residence visa. Once the application is approved, you have 15 days to exit the country.
Please note: We from LimaEasy are not the Peruvian immigration authority Migraciones or a Peruvian consulate. All information is published to our best knowledge and should be seen as general guidance introducing you to Peruvian procedures. All information is subject to change, as regulations, requirements, and processes can change quickly without prior notice! Therefore, we recommend checking the current regulations with the nearest Peruvian consulate or, if you are already in Peru, with Migraciones!