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Peru - Visas
• Europe (although Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Georgia, and Turkey are not included)
• North America, including the US, Canada and Mexico
• South America
• Pacific Ocean, including Australia, Japan and Malaysia
• Central America and the Caribbean (except for Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic)
• The Asian countries of Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, Brunei, and Thailand
• South Africa
Immigration officers need to receive your TAM or entry visa. They will stamp your passport, which will include the number of days you are allowed to stay. If your legal entry into Peru is not officially registered, you will have great difficulty being allowed out of the country, and you will be forbidden from returning to Peru for at least ten years. If you overstay your visit, you will be given a fine or held in detention.
If you try to bring in more than one laptop to Peru, you may experience difficulties with custom officials. Anyone bringing more than $10,000 must declare it to the customs officials on arrival, and no more than $30,000 will be permitted.
European customs officials sometimes confiscate liquor and other liquids purchased in the duty free shops in Lima. No one is permitted to leave Peru with more than $30,000.
Any child who lives in Peru and is leaving the country, even if they have a foreign passport, must have official permission from their parents if the family is not travelling together. The written permission must detail the destination, purpose of the trip, date of departure and return, and be countersigned by a notary. Alternatively, judicial written permission may be provided. There are rare exceptions to this rule, such as children who have solely US citizenship. These children must receive a permiso notarial de viaje (travel notary permit) from the Peruvian Consulate before travel.
If you lose official documents whilst in Peru, which is a possibility given the level of theft in some areas, this must be reported to the local police. They will usually be unable to speak English, and may try to persuade you to go to another area to report the crime. Do not do this under any circumstances. You need a report from the local police to claim insurance and to start the process for emergency replacement travel documents. You can apply for a new passport or emergency travel documents at the nearest Embassy. The immigration service will supply a replacement entry record so that you are able to leave Peru when you wish to.
For those who wish to live in Peru longer term, there are a number of reasons under which an application can be lodged.
Family resident visas are available to those who have married a Peruvian national. This can also be obtained by a parent who wishes to live with their adult offspring, should the latter hold a Peruvian passport.
If you wish to work in Peru, you must obtain a work visa. Once you have been offered a contract for paid employment which is to last at least twelve months, you may apply for the work visa. Your employer must support the application with confirmation that you have met all the necessary skills, training and experience requirements for the job.
If you are successful and are issued with a work visa, this will be valid for one year. You will have to be present in Peru for at least 183 days of that year. If special circumstances mean you will not meet this condition, you must contact the immigration department.
After the first year, you can apply for the work visa to be renewed. Your employer must present you with a further year’s contract, and you must not have breached any other visa conditions in the previous year.
Registered Peruvian companies can legally be entirely owned by international shareholders, even if they do not live in Peru at any point. Companies can be set up very quickly, even within two or three weeks with the right local assistance. Business bank accounts are normally opened with a deposit of 500 Peruvian Soles, which is USD$500 or €500. The minimal share capital requirement to qualify for residency visa permission as an investor is 500 Peruvian Soles; this is very low. The investment must be made in a single transfer from a bank account held in the investor’s own name. A business plan for the company must be reviewed and approved by a local certified economist, and this must be presented as part of the approval process. Furthermore, a commitment must be made to employing at least five members of staff from the local community within the first year of business operations.
Should an investment visa be approved, it will be valid for one year. The investor will not be allowed to work in the country outside their investment business. They must be present in Peru for at least 183 days in the year unless special permission is granted by the immigration department because of extenuating circumstances. If the investment in the country has been maintained and the employment commitment met, the visa will be renewed on application unless there is good reason not to do so.
Other procedures available to applicants are student visas, independent professional visas and foreign income visas, which each have a specific set of conditions that applicants must meet.
Using the services of an employment solicitor can sometimes be necessary, especially if you do not speak Spanish or do not have an employer or family member to help you through the process. If you ever visit immigration offices, take along someone who will act as translator. You may also find it useful to have all supporting documents notarized, to reduce the risk of rejection by immigration officials.
It is normal for visas to be issued two or three months after the application has been made. At that point you will be issued with a carnet de extranjeria, which is a national ID card issued to international residents. This allows you to open a bank account and prove your identity when signing documents.
Anyone who has legally lived in Peru for two years can apply for permanent residency. You will have to make a formal application, submit all the required documentation (some of which must be notarized) and pay a fee.
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