- This commment is unpublished.· 03/10/2022@Sean Hello Sean,
I don’t understand what advice you are looking for and what your plans are.
Do you want to move to Peru now? Or when you retire in a few years?
If you are planning to move to Peru when you retire, your best option is to apply for a rentista residente visa. You find more information about this resident visa, including requirements and how to apply in our article “Peruvian retirement visa”.
If you want to move to Peru now, depending on your circumstances, getting a proper resident visa might be difficult. As a tourist, you can only stay in Peru up to 90 days in a 180-day period; so, max 3 months in Peru and then at least 3 months out of Peru. Not really an option for a long-term stay.
Since March 2017, Peru offers the so-called "independent work visa" (trabajador residente independiente). This visa gives independent professionals (for example, freelancers) the right to stay long term and work legally in Peru without being employed by a Peruvian company; however, a "service contract" with a Peruvian company has to be presented. The requirements and application process are the same as the ones for a work visa; but instead of the work contract, you have to have a service contract.
Then another option for you to get a Peruvian resident visa might be to set up a Peruvian company as a foreigner (be aware that you need a Peruvian (silent) partner who owns a small percentage), then employ yourself as the general manager, get your work contract approved by the Peruvian Ministry of Labor and then apply for a work visa. I highly recommended to discuss the details with a trusted Peruvian notary or lawyer.
Other options include marrying a Peruvian and apply for a family visa; invest S/ 500,000 and apply for an investment visa; extend your knowledge, study at a Peruvian university and apply for a student visa.
When planning a trip to Peru, eventually bureaucratic and visa related matters come to mind. As finding detailed and up-to-date information on this topic can be challenging, we put together comprehensive information and advice on all Peruvian tourist visa issues that might pop up.
- Peruvian tourist visa in a nutshell
- Do I need a visa to enter Peru as a tourist?
- How and where to apply for a Peruvian tourist visa
- How long can I stay in Peru as a tourist?
- Entering Peru
- How many days did I get when entering Peru?
- Extension of Peruvian tourist visa
- Expired Peruvian tourist visa
- Border-hopping Peru
- Do I need a return ticket when travelling to Peru?
- Can I work in Peru when on a tourist visa?
- Can I study or do an internship in Peru on a tourist visa?
- Can I sign legally binding documents in Peru when on a tourist visa?
- Can I volunteer in Peru when on a tourist visa?
- Nationals of some countries need a tourist visa and have to apply for it at a Peruvian consulate before coming to Peru; see PDF under attachments at the end of this really long article to find out if you have to apply for a tourist visa.
- Nationals of other countries can travel visa-free to Peru and receive a "temporary authorization to enter and stay as a tourist for a certain time" (nothing more than an entry stamp and an entry in the Migraciones database) at the Peruvian border or airport upon entry.
- Most nationalities that can travel visa-free to Peru are allowed to stay up to 90 days in a 180-day period for touristic, recreational or health purposes (see attached PDF at the end of this really long article to find out if you can enter Peru visa-free and how long you can stay).
- Peruvian tourist visas are single entry visas.
- All visitors coming to Peru need a passport with at least 2 free pages in the visa section that is valid for at least another 6 months upon arrival.
- As in nearly all countries around the globe, foreigners are not allowed to work or receive a remuneration for any kind of professional activity while being in Peru on a tourist visa / temporary authorization to enter as a tourist.
- Tourists can only sign legally binding documents (work contract, sworn statement needed, for example, for changing your immigration status, car or apartment purchase, marriage license, ...) with a so called "Permiso para firmar contratos".
- Extensions of tourist visas / authorizations to enter as a tourist aren't possible
Peru is a very welcoming country that signed agreements with many countries, allowing the citizens to travel visa-free to Peru. Citizens of below mentioned countries do not have to apply for a tourist visa at a Peruvian embassy or consulate before coming to the county. They only need a passport with at least 2 free pages in the visa section that is valid for at least another 6 months upon arrival to get a “temporary authorization to enter and stay as a tourist for a certain time” (sounds great, but today is just an entry in the Migraciones datatbase and a stamp in your passport) directly at the immigration control at the airport or border. For a more detailed listing, please have a look at our PDF "Visas for Peru by country and allowed length of stay" at the end of this very long article for clarification.
Following nationals do not need a tourist visa for Peru
- South America: Citizens of all South American countries except Venezuela
- Central America: Citizens of most Central American countries (exception Cuba, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua)
- North America: Citizens of the United States, Canada and Mexico
- Europe: Citizens of all countries within the European Union and Switzerland
- Africa: Citizens of South Africa
- Asia: Citizens of Brunei, Indonesia, Israel, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Thailand; partly citizens of China and India: according to a supreme decree from September 2016 Chinese citizens and according to a supreme decree from March 2017 Indian citizens with a permanent residency or a visa with a validity of at least 6 months for the USA, Canada, any country belonging to the Schengen area, UK or Australia can travel to Peru visa-free; other Chinese and Indian nationals still have to apply for a tourist visa at a Peruvian embassy or consulate!
- Oceania: Citizens of Australia and New Zealand
As already mentioned above, citizens of some countries need a visa even for touristic and recreational purposes (please have a look at our PDF "Visas for Peru by country and allowed length of stay" at the end of this very long article for clarification.). As Peru doesn’t offer online visa applications, these nationals have to apply for a tourist visa at a Peruvian diplomatic mission that has jurisdiction over their domicile or country of residence.
Requirements for the tourist visa application at a Peruvian Consulate
Required documents to apply for a tourist visa include, but may not be restricted to:
- Application form
- Valid passport
- Round-trip ticket
- Hotel reservation, tourist package reservation or invitation letter
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Passport photos
- Proof of legal residency in the area or country under the consulates jurisdiction
- Receipt for paid application fee
Please be aware that the embassy or consulate, where you apply, may invite you to a personal interview.
On the website of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (RREE) you find a world map showing all Peruvian consulates abroad. Just click on a marker and the address, phone number, e-mail and - if available - website of the consulate appears.
There is no Peruvian embassy or consulate in my country. Where do I apply?
Especially in Africa and Asia, where the residents of most countries still have to apply for a tourist visa, Peruvian embassies and consulates are scarce, website aren’t up-to-date and e-mails often aren't answered. So, finding the correct consulate, getting information and applying for the visa can be quite a challenge. The Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs unfortunately doesn't consistently publish which consulates have jurisdiction over which regions / countries. Therefore, if there is no Peruvian embassy or consulate in your country of residence, the only way to find out where and how to apply for a visa is by getting in contact with the nearest Peruvian diplomatic mission (which sometimes isn’t near at all) and ask if they are in charge or know who is.
In March 2017, a new Peruvian Immigration Law (Decreto Legislativo 1350) went into effect, allowing tourists who can travel visa-free to Peru for touristic, recreational or health purposes to stay for a maximum of 183 days within a 365-day period. Shortly afterwards, the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs excluded Schengen States nationals from this general rule, allowing them only to stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period. Then, in June 2019, a new publication of the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (RREE) eliminated the general 183 days in a 365-day period granted by the immigration law for most nationalities.
Today, most nationalities who don’t have to apply for a tourist visa before coming to Peru are only allowed up to 90 days in a 180-day period; the 180-day period isn't per half year from January to June or July to December but calculated from your first entry.
Brazilian, Chilean, and Mexican nationals as well as those Chinese and Indian passport holders with a permanent residency or a visa with a validity of at least 6 months for the USA, Canada, any country belonging to the Schengen area, UK or Australia, who are still allowed visa-free up to 180 days should know that Peruvian immigration often only gives them 90 days as well.
In case you have to apply for a tourist visa before coming to Peru, it’s up to the consulate to decide the number of days you can visit the country. Be aware that even if the consulate issued a 180-day tourist visa, often immigration officers still only give you 90 days when you enter.
While you generally can expect to get the full days allowed (if you haven’t overstayed your welcome before excessively or if you haven’t been in Peru before and now try to re-enter the country before your 180-day period is over), you should be aware that you aren't entitled to getting the full 90 (or 180) days. As everywhere around the globe, it’s at the discretion of the immigration officer if he or she lets you enter at all and how many days you are allowed to stay.
Please see our PDF " Visas for Peru by country and allowed length of stay" at the end of this very long article to find out if you need a visa to enter Peru or if you can travel visa-free and how long you can stay - this PDF is an English translation of the original from the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs which can be found here.
With the introduction of the new Immigration Law in 2017 and progressive digitalization, especially now in Covid times, entering Peru today is a quite easy, seemingly organized and at least for now quick process.
After a complete shutdown, Peru re-opened the country for international air travel in October 2020. Strict health requirements and constantly changing travel regulations were implemented that are still in place today. Land borders only re-opened in mid-February 2022.
So, before traveling to Peru, please read our article “Covid entry requirements and travel regulations for Peru” and adhere to Peru's Covid rules and entry requirements.
Additionally, everyone - visitor, resident and Peruvian; adult and child; vaccinated or unvaccinated - who wants to enter Peru must present a Health Affidavit which can be easily and quickly obtained by filling out an online form provided by the Peruvian immigration office Migraciones in collaboration with the Peruvian Ministry of Health. See our article "Health Declaration for entering Peru" for information on how to get the affidavit.
Furthermore, Peru asks everyone traveling to the country by air to pre-register his or her arrival in the country on an app. You can find detailed information about the app as well as how to register in our article “Pre-Registration at Peruvian Immigration before arrival”.
The pre-registration is not obligatory and the app often doesn't work properly. SO, you won't have any problems coming to Peru without having pre-registered.
After leaving the plane (or at the border), you automatically end up at a control point of the Peruvian Ministry of Health where your vaccination certificate / negative PCR test result and your Health Declaration form are checked. Once this is done, just follow the flow to the immigration control; note: as of September 2022, the automated passport control machines at Lima’s airport that those visitors who pre-registered their arrival were supposed to use, are still out of order, so everyone has to proceed to the immigration counters.
Here just present your passport and, if you have pre-registered, the by the app generated QR code. As part of Corona hygiene measures, stamping of passports was eliminated in 2020, however, since May 2022 you get an entry stamp in your passport again, on which the number of days you are allowed to stay in the country as a tourist is written. And while for years you got a little white card, the TAM, today your visit as a tourist is just an entry in the Migraciones database, called TAM virtual.
If you later want to check which personal data is registered, how many days you were given when you entered the country or if for whatever reason you need to prove when you entered or left Peru, you can retrieve your Tam Virtual on the Migraciones website or the Agencia Digital. Find more information on how it's done in our article "How many days did I get when entering Peru?"
Once you are finished at the immigration counter, proceed to the baggage carousel and claim your luggage.
Since June 2022, the good old customs declaration form has served its time and was replaced by the App "Bienvenido al Perú" which is available on iOS and Android and in short details which items have or haven’t to be declared. So, if you have something to declare, download the App, fill in required fields and once in Peru proceed to the customs counters at your point of entry.
Peruvian customs urges travelers to know and comply with Peruvian customs regulations. So, it's up to you to inform yourself. Our article “What you can & can’t bring into Peru” helps with this.
- If you have nothing to declare, you don’t have to do anything. Clear immigration, get your luggage and proceed to the exit.
- If you have something to declare, download the App "Bienvenido al Perú", follow the instructions and fill in the form within 48h prior to your arrival in Peru. Once in Peru, proceed to the customs counters at your point of entry.
- If you carry more than US$ 10,000, download the App "Bienvenido al Perú", follow the instructions and fill in the form within 48h prior to your arrival in Peru. Once in Peru proceed to the customs counters at your point of entry.
We highly recommend to be honest, as failing to declare taxable or dutiable items can result in fines of 50% of the custom value of the items if caught; failing to declare currency over US$ 10,000 results in a 30% fine on the amount you carry with you.
Before you can leave the airport, you and your luggage are scanned and you might be asked to follow an official for a thorough check of your luggage.
You made it! Welcome to Peru!
After not stamping passports during peak Corona times, since May 2022, tourists entering the country finally get an entry stamp again, making it easy to check how long you can stay in Peru. Just flick through the pages of your passport and find the entry stamp.
In the middle of it, you see the date you entered Peru, above the number of days you are allowed to stay and below the immigration control post where you entered. So, by adding the number of days written there to your entry date, you know exactly by which date you have to leave Peru or, if you stay longer than that, from which day on you have to pay the overstay fine.
In case the stamp is, for example, smeared or you just can’t decipher the number of days, check out our article “How many days did I get when entering Peru?” which not only explains in detail the legal backgrounds but also gives you other options to check how many days you were given.
Since August 2021, tourist visa extensions aren't possible anymore.
You can find detailed background information on the topic in our article "Tourist Visa extension in Peru".
Like in any other country, we recommend respecting the rules and regulations here in Peru, including the time you are allowed to stay in the country as a tourist.
However, if you overstayed your tourist visa or, if you can travel visa-free to Peru, your authorization to enter and stay as a tourist (which today is just an entry in a database) a few days, weeks or even months - at least for now - you rarely have to fear extreme consequences. When leaving Peru you just have to pay a fine of S/ 4.60 (2022, 0.1% of an UIT) per day you overstayed. The fee can be paid at a small counter before passing immigrations at the airport, at a border, on pagalo.pe, Peru's online payment platform, or at a branch of the Banco de la Nacion.
In our article "Peruvian Overstay fine for tourists" we explain the process in detail.
Once the fine is paid, you can usually leave Peru with no reprisals.
Those having excessively overstayed their welcome (we are talking about many months or even years), however, might be additionally sanctioned with a re-entry ban for a certain time.
Between 2008 and 2017, border hopping was an easy and popular way to “renew” your tourist visa. Back then, the Peruvian foreigner law stated that visitors can enter Peru for touristic, recreational, or health purposes for 183 days. It however didn't mention if the 183 days were per year or per visit. So, many foreigners used this little gap in the old Peruvian immigration law to live in the country on a tourist visa. As soon as their visa was about to expire, they just crossed the border, stayed 5 minutes, a day or two, in one of Peru’s neighboring countries and returned asking immigrations for another 183 days. For years, this worked absolutely fine.
After the introduction of the new foreigner law (Decreto Legislativo 1350) which rectified the loophole in 2017 and the reduction of the time most nationalities can stay visa-free in Peru two years later, Peruvian border officials got stricter and increasingly applied the new rules giving foreigners only the back then allowed 90 or 183 days in a 180 days or 365 days period and didn’t let border-hoppers re-enter (or only for a few days) when they already stayed the maximum allowed time as visitor in the country.
Then in March 2020, Covid hit the country, borders were closed and Migraciones worked hard on digitalizing certain processes and procedures. Now, all entries and exits are saved in the Migraciones database and can be retrieved at all control points.
Since August 2021, travelers, who already stayed their allowed 90 days in a 180-day period, reported that when trying to re-enter the country at Lima’s airport before their 180-day period was over, that they were scolded and only given anything between 3 and 30 days. And according to reports from travelers who tried to re-enter Peru at a land border (which opened in February of 2022) after already having stayed their 90 days, immigrations often only gave a few days up to a month.
Nevertheless, it seems that the times of border-hopping are over and foreigners wanting to stay longer in Peru should work on getting a "real" temporary visa (for example, a temporary work visa or a temporary student visa) or resident visa.
Peruvian law requires that foreign visitors need a return or onward passage out of the country if they aren't residents, proving that they leave the country when the visa or temporary authorization to enter expires. But the law doesn't state that this return or onward passage must be an airline ticket; it could be anything proving that you leave the Peru when the time comes.
When entering the country, Peruvian immigration officials hardly ever ask to see this proof. The ones executing above regulations are usually the airlines. As they could be held responsible and have to fly you back, if denied entry to Peru, most airlines require a return or onward flight ticket to even let you check-in for your flight to Peru.
So, if you plan to come to Peru on a one-way ticket, it’s best to check the requirements of your carrier. Some insist on a flight ticket showing that you leave the country, others accept a reservation for a return flight, a few are happy with a bus ticket and there are as well airlines that let you fly with just a one-way ticket.
If your airline requests a return or onward ticket, you could always make a reservation for one, print the confirmation, and then depending on the agency, you either don't pay it and let it expire or cancel it within a certain time. Other options include buying a fully refundable ticket or more affordable "renting" a ticket.
A Peruvian tourist visa / temporary authorization for tourists allows entry for touristic, recreational, or health purposes only. Even though there are quite a few foreigners working on a tourist visa in Peru, Peruvian law explicitly prohibits to work or to receive a remuneration for any kind of professional activity while visiting Peru as a tourist.
Generally no, sometimes yes.
For more information, please have a look at our detailed article "Peruvian Student Visa".
Before signing a legally binding document (work contract, sworn statements, car or apartment purchase, marriage license, ...) tourists have to apply for a so called "Permiso para firmar contratos". Our article "Permit to sign contracts" explains in detail how it works and what you have to do.
Officially, no! But in reality, it's done all the time. Find more information in our article "Peruvian Volunteer Visa".
!!! As visa and entry regulations can change quickly without prior notice, we highly recommend confirming current visa requirements with the nearest Peruvian embassy or consulate !!!