Foreign visitors, who entered Peru on a tourist visa and who need to sign legally binding documents before private and public entities (work contract, sworn statements for example for changing the immigration status, rental contract, car purchase, marriage license, apartment purchase, ….) have to apply for a special permit called “Permiso especial para firmar contratos (PEFC)” at the Peruvian immigration office Migraciones.
While for years this had to be done in person at any Migraciones office in Peru, in January 2018 the application process was simplified and now can be easily done online. Be aware that the permit can only be applied for when on a valid tourist visa in the country.
To apply for the permit, first pay the fee of S/ 16 for the Migraciones administrative procedure F-4 under code 01814 on the pagalo.pe website. Payments can be made online with any Visa or Mastercard credit card (receipt is send to the e-mail address given) or, after finishing the process and printing a voucher, at any Banco de la Nacion branch. Keep the receipt safe.
When registering at the website, make sure to enter a valid e-mail address and the passport number and complete (!) name of the applicant exactly as in the passport. Payments made under other users are not accepted.
Then enter the Migraciones website under “Permiso Especial para Firmar Contratos – PEFC” and click on “Generar Permiso”. On the next page fill in the form. Make sure to enter your personal data exactly as in your passport. Be prepared that this might cause some inconsistencies, especially for married women that choose to take her husband's surname.
While in North America and Europe you have your father's or mother’s surname or both or even your husband's / wife's surname, in Peru the surname of a person is composed of the apellido paterno (surname of the father) and the apellido materno (surname of the mother); married women in Peru only add a "de and husband’s surname" to their double surname.
Even though not really correct, don’t enter your father’s and mother’s surname in the spaces on the form for the apellido paterno and apellido materno, but your surname(s) as in your passport! If you have one surname write it in the apellido paterno space and leave the apellido materno space empty, if you have two surnames, write the first one under apellido paterno and the second under apellido materno, even though these might noy be your father’s and mother’s names.
Before you, already numerous people (me included) argued with Peruvian authorities about these discrepancies without success. If the name(s) on the form don’t match the name(s) in your passport the only result is a rejection of your application.
Then follow the steps as indicated (have the receipt from the bank on hand as you have to enter some data from it) and you are ready. Keep the administration procedure number (tramite no.) and date of application safe.
The special permit to sign contracts is valid for a maximum of 30 days. While you won’t get a stamp in your passport as before anymore, the validity of the permit can be checked on above mentioned website under “Consultar Permiso”.