When you enter Peru on a standard tourist visa (Tarjeta Andina de Migración), the border official will normally give you a stay of 90 or 183 days. But what happens if you overstay the allotted time on your visa?
Fines for Overstaying Your Visa
The following is a translation of a question and answer featured on the FAQ page of the official Migraciones (Peruvian Migrations) website:
Question: “How long can I stay in the country as a tourist?”
Answer: "Upon entering [Peru], the Immigrations Inspector will grant a certain amount of days of stay (see the number on the migrations stamp). If the period given is exceeded, you will have to pay a fine of one dollar (01) for each additional day, with said payment made at the time of leaving the country.”
Being in Peru beyond the time allotted on your tourist visa is, in theory, illegal, but it’s not -- for the time being, at least -- a major problem.
If for any reason you need to overstay the time given to you on entering Peru, you can simply pay the one dollar (US$) per day fine when you eventually leave the country. Of course, there’s a risk that the law could change, so you have to be careful (if it changes from $1 per day to $10, you could be in for a shock).
In 2016, Peruvian migration laws underwent some changes or at least a degree of streamlining. These might affect the overstay process. Potential changes (so far only rumored) include an increase in the daily overstay fine and more severe re-entry penalties for tourists overstaying their allotted time. This article will be updated to reflect any changes made by Peru's Migraciones department.
Paying the Peru Overstay Fine
You can pay the one dollar per day fine when you exit the country. For most tourists, this will be through Lima’s Jorge Chávez International Airport or via one of the country’s main overland border crossing points. In both cases, you’ll pay the fine to an immigration officer as you leave. In return, you should receive a stamp in your passport or a receipt of payment (ideally both).
It’s best to avoid the smaller border crossing points, where complications are more likely to occur due to a lack of infrastructure, a lack of border officer training or, potentially, corruption.
One possible alternative is to pay the fine at the main Migraciones office in Lima before you exit the country. You’ll need your passport and original Tarjeta Andina (with photocopies), as well as proof of exiting the country (a flight ticket or other proof of future itinerary). I’ve never met anyone who has paid the fine at Migraciones, so it’s worth double-checking the process with the immigration office prior to your visit to check all the details.
Quick Tip: However or wherever you decide to pay, make sure you have nuevo sol notes in small denominations and some coins. Make sure the rest of your paperwork is in order. And be polite to the border officer, no matter how grumpy or gruff they may be -- it’s the key to a successful entry or exit.