Whether you're traveling throughout Latin America or just making a special trip to Peru, entering the country is a cinch for many travelers. If you have a passport from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, the U.K., any EU country, any South American country, and many others, you can enter Peru as a tourist without applying for any special visa beforehand, typically for generous periods of up to 183 days. You just need to make sure that when you enter, your passport doesn't expire for at least another six months.
Even if you plan to live or stay long-term in Peru, if your passport is from one of the visa-exempt countries for tourism then you don't even need to apply for a visa before moving (the exception is if you're going for work or business). You can simply enter the country with your tourist visa and then convert it to a residency card when you arrive.
|Visa Requirements for Peru|
|Visa Type||How Long Is It Valid?||Required Documents||Application Fees|
|Tourist Visa||90–183 days||Roundtrip flight, accommodation bookings, two passport photos, proof of financial means||30 consular soles ($30)|
|Work Visa||Up to 1 year||Work contract or letter from Peruvian company stating purpose and duration of work, passport photo, proof of financial means||Up to 80 consular soles ($80)|
Visitors from a long list of countries are able to visit Peru without any type of visa for a period ranging from 90 to 183 days. While the exact amount of time ostensibly depends on the country your passport is from, in reality, the immigration official who stamps your passport on arrival makes the final decision. If you know you want to stay longer than 90 days, most travelers can simply ask for the maximum and the official will likely grant you 183 days. You'll be given an entry card known as the Tarjeta Andina de Migraciones (TAM), which you are required to show when leaving the country and visiting Machu Picchu.
If you are not from a visa-exempt country, you'll need to make an appointment at your local Peruvian consulate to turn in your documents and interview with an immigration official.
Visa Fees and Application
You should contact your consulate at least six weeks in advance to make sure you can get an appointment 15 days before your trip departure.
- Bring your completed application, original passport, two passport-sized photos, a roundtrip plane ticket, hotel bookings, and a recent bank statement.
- Pay the fee of 30 consular soles in the local currency. The consular sole is a special currency used exclusively at Peruvian consulates around the world—which is different from the currency in Peru—that is pegged to the U.S. dollar. One consular sole is always equal to one U.S. dollar.
- Visas are typically processed within five business days.
Almost any foreigner who plans to earn money in Peru must apply for a visa, regardless of the duration of the stay. The only exception to that rule is Chile, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, Panama, and most EU nationals, who are permitted to work for designated periods without a visa.
Most work visas let the holder stay and work in Peru for periods of up to one year, which is then renewable if the job continues.
Visa Fees and Application
There are two types of work visas you can apply for before heading to Peru, and the one you need depends on how long you plan to stay. The application is the same and the process is nearly identical, with the only differences being which box you check on the form and the fee to be paid.
If you're just visiting Peru for business purposes or will be working there short term (less than six months), you'll select the "temporary business visa." If you're planning to move to Peru and will be working for a Peruvian company, select the "resident visa" option.
- Once you have your documents gathered, make an appointment at your nearest Peruvian consulate.
- Bring your completed application, a company letter or contract stating the purpose and duration of the work, a passport-sized photo, and proof of financial means.
- The visa fee for temporary business visa applicants is 30 consular soles ($30), payable in the local currency.
- The visa fee for resident visa applicants is 80 consular soles ($80), payable in the local currency.
Overstaying your visa is never recommended for any country, although the consequences for doing so in Peru are relatively light. When you leave the country, you'll be asked to stop at a migration office—there's one in the Lima Airport—to pay a fee, which is about $1 for every day you overstay the visa. If you've overstayed your visa and you'll be exiting Peru via land to a bordering country, you should pay the fee at a migration office in a major city like Lima or Cuzco before crossing the border; land crossings generally have less guidance and less oversight.
If your visa is close to expiring and you want to stay longer in Peru, the permissive overstay policy may make it tempting to just stay longer and pay the small fee. However, immigration laws around the world are notoriously fickle and at times even arbitrary. The punishment can quickly change at any time to something more severe, or a specific immigration official might require you to pay more.
Extending Your Visa
In general, you can't extend your tourist visa to stay in Peru for more tourism. It used to be that if your 183 days were about to run out, you could just cross the border or fly to a nearby country and come back to reset it, but that rule changed in 2018 so you can now only stay for 183 days within a one-year period. Some travelers report that immigration officials don't strictly enforce that rule, but the risk of trying is that you immediately get deported.
While you can't extend your tourist visa, you can convert it into a residency card if you have a reason to stay in Peru. You'll need a verified reason to stay in Peru, and examples include enrolling in a program of study, getting a job, investing money in real estate, or being a financially-sufficient retiree. The exact forms and documentation you need depend on the reason you're staying, but you can do it all after arriving in the country by making an appointment with the Immigrations office.