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).
Officially, you can apply for the religious visa at a Peruvian consulate abroad or at Migraciones in Peru. However, some diplomatic missions, especially in countries where nationals can enter Peru as a tourist without having to apply for a tourist visa at a consulate first, either don’t or prefer not to issue resident visas or processing times can be long as Migraciones in Peru has to approve the application.
And most orders and missions recommend to their missionaries to enter 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 at a consulate) - at Migraciones.
After your application for the religious visa is approved, you receive the so-called "Carné de Extranjería". Please be aware that your resident visa is usually only valid for one year and then has to be extended.
Requirements for a Peruvian religious visa
In mid-July 2021, the new TUPA (Texto Unico de Procedimientos Administrativos; Single Text of Administrative Procedures) went into effect, which is mainly based on the Peruvian Supreme Decree DS N° 002-2021-IN. This new legislation changes a few immigration processes, procedures, and requirements for some Migraciones paperwork.
So below, find the requirements according to the July 2021 TUPA. As the document is quite confusing, we recommend that those who prefer to read the original requirements either check out the official website of Peru or the corresponding text passage of the Supreme Decree DS N° 002-2021-IN on page 38 in article 84-A “Procedimiento administrative de solicitud de calidad migratoria religioso residente” (when applying at a Peruvian consulate) or in article 84-B “Procedimiento administrative de cambio de calidad migratoria a religioso residente” (when applying in Peru). However, please be aware that Migraciones has the right to request other and / or additional documents at any time.
If you prefer to apply for your religious visa from abroad, please contact the nearest Peruvian consulate. As most missionaries apply in Peru, find below the requirements and a walk-trough of the application process at Migraciones.
Please note 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 the visa in Peru.
Here now the requirements and a walk-trough of the application process in Peru.
Required documents to apply for a religious visa include, but may not be restricted to:
- Interpol clearance - Ficha de canje internacional (see below)
- Receipt for paid application fee (code Migraciones 07568; S/.162.50 in 2022)
- Passport (you will have to upload the page with your personal data and the one with the entry stamp as PDF)
- 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.
(*) 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.
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.
Getting started …
Before you can even start any temporary or resident 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”.
Make PDFs from your passport (page with your personal data and the one with the entry stamp), from a passport photo and your signature as well as from all other documents.
Once you have the Ficha and all documents together, pay the fee of S/ 162.50 (2022) for the Migraciones administrative procedure “Cambio de Calidad Migratoria” under code 07568 with concepto "Religioso residente" at any Banco de la Nacion branch / ATM or on pagalo.pe. 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".
Applying for a religious visa in Peru
Then it's time to apply for your religious visa - if you need to leave the country during the application process, you have to apply for a special travel permit before you leave the country, otherwise your application is null and void.
Open the Migraciones Agencia Digital. Choose "Extranjero" and enter the data requested. Enter your personal data exactly as in your passport.
On the next page you find on the left under “Cambio de Calidad Migratoria” the point “Religioso Residente". Click on it and then just follow the steps as indicated; nothing you can do wrong. Always check that all personal data you entered (or was automatically filled in) is 100% correct and as in your passport.
If you apply for the first time, your signature and passport photo are not in the system yet. So, you have to download the app "Enrolamiento Móvil Migraciones" (available for Android and iOS), then scan the code that appears on the Agencia Digital and upload your photo and signature - there are rumors that this feature might be included soon into the Agencia Digital.
Please note: On May 3, 2022, Migraciones announced the biometrical data (photo, fingerprints, signature) of resident visa applicants is taken exclusively in person at a Migraciones office. So, it seems that above mentioned app served its time, but now isn’t necessary anymore. Instead, everyone applying for a resident visa now has to make an appointment on the Migraciones Agencia Digital under “Citas en linea para registro de datos biometricos” to get his/her photo, fingerprints and signature digitized. We are not sure at the moment at what point of the process you have to make the appointment but assume (!!!) it’s after your application was approved.
During the process, the system shows you a list with all documents you have to upload. And under “Pago por derecho de tramite” you are asked to enter certain information of the bank receipt (click on the little arrow and the fields appear). If you don't know where to find the requested bank information on your receipt, click on the question mark.
At the end of the process - if everything works smoothly - you get the confirmation of your application. Download this document and / or print it and keep it safe! On the bottom of this document, you find the login data for the “Buzon Electronico” which you should check regularly for notifications from Migraciones (for example, approval of your visa or request of uploading missing / other documents).
Getting your Carné (foreigner ID)
Once you get the confirmation that your religious visa was approved, pay the fee of S/ 49.90 on pagalo.pe under code 07561-Formulario F-SPE-001 for the registration in the foreigner database and issuance of the carné; concepto "Expedicion de carné de extranjeria".
Be aware that on May 3, 2022, Migraciones announced the biometrical data (photo, fingerprints, signature) of resident visa applicants is taken exclusively in person at a Migraciones office. So, it seems that the former app used at the beginning of the application process is outdated and now everyone applying for a resident visa has to make an appointment on the Migraciones Agencia Digital under “Citas en linea para registro de datos biometricos” to get his/her photo, fingerprints and signature digitized. We are not sure at the moment at what point of the process you have to make the appointment but assume (!!!) it’s after your application was approved or after the below mentioned registration in the foreign data base. If anyone went through the process, please let us know.
Then once again enter the Agencia Digital 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!
With the confirmation in hand or on your mobile device, the carné is in the process of issuance and you can make an appointment on the Agencia Digital under “Citas en linea” to pick it up. Once again, download and / or print the confirmation and keep it safe!
On the day of your appointment, arrive at Migraciones 15 - 30 minutes early. Take your passport and confirmation(s) with you. Migraciones personal will point you in the right direction where you are handed you carné.
Congratulations! You made it!
Be aware that the religious residence visa is only valid for one year and then has to be extended. 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.
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!