Foreigners who have a correctly signed and valid work contract with a duration of at least 12 months with a Peruvian company that was approved by the Peruvian Labor Ministry can apply for a resident work visa at the immigration authority Migraciones in Peru.
While the actual application for the work visa is basically a simple and straightforward process, at least if you are familiar with Peruvian bureaucracy, it is only the last step. The tricky part, especially when you aren’t working for a big international company, is the necessary groundwork you have to do before being able to apply for the work visa.
Our article "Finding a job and working legally in Peru" already describes in detail where and how to find work in Peru, what jobs are in demand, the legal background for employing foreigners and the application for jobs in Peru.
Signing a work contract with a Peruvian company
After finding a Peruvian company that is willing to employ you and sponsor your work visa, the most important step of the process is the work contract.
If you sign a work contract with a Peruvian company while still being abroad, make sure to have it legalized by the Peruvian consulate before setting out for Peru. If the contract isn’t in Spanish, it has to be translated by an official translator once you are in the country.
If you are already in Peru on a tourist visa, you need a so called "permiso para firmar contratos" (a special permission to sign contracts) before you can legally sign the contract. Since January 2018 this can be easily done online. Our article "Permit to sign contacts in Peru" explains how it works and what you need.
As soon you have the permission, you can legally sign the work contract.
Approval of work contact by the Peruvian Labor Ministry
Once the contract is correctly signed, it has to be approved by the Peruvian Labor Ministry. Exempted are contracts with citizens of Colombia, Bolivia, Ecuador and Spain that only have to be sent to the ministry, but not approved by them.
Foreigners married to a Peruvian that already have a Peruvian family visa and foreigners with an "inmigrante" status are so called “exonerated workers”. Their work contract doesn’t require the approval of the Ministry of Labor and some employment regulations, such as a Peruvian company is only allowed to have 20% of foreigners on their payroll and pay all foreign workers in the company not more than 30% of the total wages, don’t apply.
Even though the procedure has been simplified over the past years, the approval of the contract by the Labor Ministry sometimes can be tricky. Usually the process should only take a week, but much longer waiting times have been reported.
According to Peruvian law the company (mostly the company’s lawyer) has to support the future foreign employee with all the red tape. As the Peruvian employer, who sponsors your visa, has to prove the professional competence and occupational qualification of his future foreign employee it is advisable to bring work related certificates, decrees, titles, etc. with you that best have an Apostille (or have to be legalized in your home country by the Peruvian consulate and later by the Peruvian Foreign Ministry) and once in Peru habe to be translated by an official translator.
Detailed information and necessary form letters can be found on the webpage of the Peruvian Labor Ministry Mintra.
Only when the work contract is approved by the Labor Ministry you can apply for a work visa at Migraciones.
Requirements for a Peruvian work visa
The requirements for applying for a Peruvian work visa include, but may not be restricted to:
- Interpol clearance - Ficha de canje internacional (see below)
- Receipt for paid application fee (code Migraciones 01814; S/.117.60 in 2021)
- Receipt for paid application fee for changing to a resident visa (according to the Migraciones website US$ 200 in 2021) (*)
- Passport (you will have to upload the page with your personal data and the one with the entry stamp as PDF)
- Legally signed and by Labor Ministry approved work contract with a duration of at least 12 months
- SUNAT registration including RUC (Peruvian tax number) showing the employing company is active
- Company registration of the employing company showing the legal representative
- Sworn statement of the legal representative of the company declaring that he is in charge of hiring personal and why he needs to employ a foreigner
(*) As the Peruvian Ministry of Interior still hasn’t issued the necessary implementary regulations and procedures for the new immigration law that went into effect in March 2017, it's not clear if this fee still has to be paid. If so, then only when the visa application is approved.
As visa requirements and the application process can change quickly without prior notice, we highly recommend to confirm current visa regulations and procedures with Migraciones.
Last steps before the actual work visa application
Before you can finally apply for your work visa at Migraciones you have to get the so-called “Ficha de Canje Internacional” from Interpol in Peru. Find a detailed description on how it’s done in our article “Interpol - Ficha de Canje Internacional”.
Then 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.
Last but not least pay the fee of S/ 117.60 (2021) for the Migraciones administrative procedure “Cambio de Calidad Migratoria” under code 01814 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".
Once the groundwork is done and you have all documents together, the actual application for a work visa (or correctly the change of your immigration status from for example tourist to worker) is simple and straight forward. Even though after Peruvian law the company employing you has to support you and usually the company’s lawyers will help with or handle all the red tape involved, it might be good to know the application process.
Finally, the time has come to apply for your work 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.
Applying for a work visa in Peru
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 “Trabajador Residente”. Click on it.
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 might not be 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.
During the process - 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.
Under “Documento de identificacion adminstrado” (click on the little arrow and the fields appear - here you can as well just check which documents are necessary and then leave the page without finishing the process), you have to upload requested documents as PDF.
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! At the end 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 work visa was approved, pay the fee of S/ 49.90 (2021) for the registration in the foreigner database and issuance of the carné. As described above you can pay at any Banco de la Nacion branch / ATM or on pagalo.pe. It’s the Migraciones administrative procedure 01873-F-7a: Carnet extranjeria (emisión / duplicado) with concepto "inscripcion en el registro central de extranjería y emision del carné de extranjería".
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!
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 to the right direction where you are handed you carné.
Congratulations! You made it!
Only now you are allowed to start working. The work visa is bound to the Peruvian company that sponsored the visa. It is valid for one year and then can be extended.
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!