Some family members of Peruvian nationals and foreigners with a resident status in Peru have the right to a family union and can apply for a family visa, the so-called "visa familiar de residente". Depending on your relation there are several sub-visa types.
Relatives that can apply for a family visa are:
- Spouses of Peruvian nationals (para el caso de casado/a peruana/o)
- Spouses of foreigners with resident status (para el caso de casado/a con extranjera/o residente en el país)
- Underaged children of Peruvians or foreigners with resident status (para el caso de hijos menores de edad de peruano/a o extranjero/a residente)
- Unmarried, adult daughters (para el caso de hijas mayores de 18 años)
- Adult children with disabilities (para el caso de hijos mayores de 18 años con discapacidad)
- Parents of Peruvians or foreigners with resident status that don’t have a Peruvian nationality (para el caso de padres de peruano/a o extranjero/a residente) (*)
(*) Children born on Peruvian territory to not only Peruvian but as well foreign parents are considered Peruvians. They have the right to a Peruvian birth certificate, Peruvian DNI (ID card) and a Peruvian passport. While for years foreign parents couldn't get a resident family visa through their underaged Peruvian-born child, this has changed with the introduction of the 2017 immigration law and a different interpretation of the corresponding passage. Before the parents can apply for a resident family visa the child has to be registered at Reniec and a Peruvian birth certificate and Peruvian DNI has to be issued.
Peruvian consulates abroad usually don’t issue family visas anymore; they have to be applied for in Peru. So, family members of a Peruvian national or foreigner with resident status in Peru enter the country as a tourist and then apply for corresponding family visa (or correctly apply for a change of the immigration status) at any immigration office.
After your application for a family visa is approved, you receive the so-called "Carné de Extranjería", the Peruvian foreigner ID. Please be aware that your resident visa / carné is only valid for 1 year and then has to be extended.
Requirements for a Peruvian family visa
As soon as you arrived in Peru, you should start with the application process for your family visa. Please note that you have to be in the country on a valid visa (for example a tourist visa) when applying for the visa.
Required documents to apply for a family visa include, but may not be restricted to:
- Application form F-004 (printed out when making the appointment) - attached as PDF at the end of this guide.
- Receipt from the Banco de la Nacion (code 1814) for paid administrative procedure (according to the Migraciones website S/.117.60 in 2017)
- In some cases (family members of Peruvians are excempted) receipt from the Banco de la Nacion for paid application fee for changing to a resident visa (according to the Migraciones website US$ 200 in 2017)
- Passport and copy of the pages with the personal information / photo and entry stamp
- Readable copy of the up to date DNI of the Peruvian family member with correct family address, correct marital status and no pending election fees or copy of the up to date "carné de extranjería" of the foreigner with resident status
- Official document that proves the family tie: i.e. marriage certificate (**) if the applicant is married to a Peruvian or foreigner with resident status; birth certificate (***) if the applicant is the child or parent of a Peruvian, but not Peruvian himself or of a foreigner with resident status
- For unmarried adult daughters: official certificate of being single (***)
- For children with disabilities: document proving a condition of permanent disability and the need for parent’s care (***)
- Sworn statement of the Peruvian family member or foreigner with resident status where he / she declares that the relation is still intact and that Peru is the mutual country of residence (****)
- Interpol clearance - Ficha de canje internacional (see below)
- Appointment confirmation
Explanatory notes for the requirements:
(**) marriage certificate
- If you were married in Peru: recent copy of marriage certificate issued by "Reniec" (not older than 3 months, sometimes 6 months are accepted)
- If you were married abroad to a Peruvian: certified copy of marriage certificate issued by the Peruvian consulate (not older than 6 months, in some case 12 months are accepted) – already in Peru without a recent copy? At the "Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores" in Lima you can get certified copies of birth, marriage and death certificates registered in a Peruvian consulate abroad.
- If you were married to a foreigner abroad: marriage certificate with Apostille or legalized by a Peruvian consulate abroad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peru. Once in Peru the document has to be translated into Spanish by an official translator in case the certificate isn’t solely in Spanish.
(***) birth certificate and any other document necessary
- All foreign documents (even so-called “international” certificates) need an Apostille or have to be legalized by a Peruvian consulate abroad and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Peru. Once in Peru all documents, apostilled or legalized, have to be translated into Spanish by an official translator in case the certificates aren’t solely in Spanish!
(****) Sworn statement / Declaracion jurada para residencia de familiar
- Even though no longer on the online list of the requirements for applying for a Peruvian family visa, this sworn statement issued by a Peruvian notary is still often asked for when applying for your visa. Please check current regulations at the nearest immigration office before your appointment, so you are prepared.
Applying for a family visa in Peru
Applying for a family visa is a simple and straightforward process, but might be a little confusing here and there and time-consuming, especially if you are not familiar with Peruvian bureaucracy. Nevertheless, you can do the whole process on your own and don’t need the help of a lawyer or so-called "tramitador".
First the visa application fee has to be paid for the Migraciones administrative procedure F-4 under code 01814 (cambio de calidad migratoria) at any Banco de la Nacion branch or on pagalo.pe; 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 and who still has to pay the US$ 200 fee (spouses and children of Peruvians are usually exempted); so please check with Migraciones to clarify.
You can find detailed explanations about how to pay, what you have to do and be aware of, how to register on the online payment platform and how to find the correct fee you have to pay, in our article "Paying administration charges and processing fees in Peru".
As you are already at it, pay as well the fee for the Interpol clearance. You find the corresponding code 08141 Ficha de Canje Internacional (Interpol) on págalo.pe under Policia Nacional del Peru.
Make an appointment at Interpol
Once all payments are done, best make first an appointment at Interpol to apply for the so called Ficha de canje internacional.
Since mid-April 2018 this can be done online on the Interpol website. Enter your personal data and information of your payment receipt as required. Check that all your information is correct and there are no spelling mistakes. Best print the filled in form. Choose a time and date. Be aware that all foreigners except Venezuelans are processed at the Interpol office in Surco (Comisaria de Monterrico). Print the confirmation.
Making an appointment to apply for a family visa
Then make an appointment on the website of the Peruvian immigration office "Migraciones" to apply for a family visa (or correctly to change your immigration status from for example tourist to family). Please be aware that this only applies to an application in Lima at the moment.
Click under "de calidad migratoria" on "residente" and choose on the left menu under "familiar de residentes" the appropriate family visa type. You now get a list with documents you need for your application. By clicking on the little squares confirm that you have the necessary documents you have to bring with you to the appointment. Confirm as well the form F-004 (attached as PDF at the end of this guide); on the next page you will have to fill it out and print it. Check as well the clearance from Interpol (ficha de canje internacional-Interpol); when confirming your actual appointment later you have to coordinate your Interpol and Migraciones appointments, so that you have the ficha in hand at the day of your appointment for your visa application at Migraciones. Click on "siguiente".
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 or Europe you have your father's or mother’s surname or both or 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, if you have two surnames, write the first one under "apellido paterno" and the second under "apellido materno", even though these are not your father’s and mother’s names.
Before you, already numerous people (me included) argued with the Peruvian immigration authority 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 either a rejection of your visa application or the recommendation to change the surname in your passport to meet the Peruvian naming regulations and only then to reapply. You don’t want to go there.
After having filled in the online form, click on the point 2. Here you can enter a legal representative, such as a lawyer or a so-called tramitador. As since mid-March 2018 you have to apply in person (see below), there is actually no need for it anymore and you can leave the spaces empty. Then click on "siguiente".
You now see the form F-004 filled in with your personal data. Check if your information is correct, names as in your passport and no spelling mistakes. If so, print the form and keep it safe. Only then click on "siguiente".
On the next page you have to enter the information of the "Banco de la Nacion" payment receipt as indicated.
Then choose a date for your appointment on the next page. Best choose a date that is about 10 days after your Interpol appointment, so you can be sure to have the Interpol ficha in hand at the day of your appointment for your visa application. Print the confirmation of the appointment. Usually you can get an appointment within 2 or 3 weeks, but waiting times may vary depending on the current workload.
The Interpol office in Surco is located on Av. Manuel Olguin block 6 (Comisaria de Monterrico).
On the day of your Interpol appointment arrive at the office 15 to 30 minutes early with all required documents.
The requirements include:
- Application form (the one with your data you hopefully printed when making the appointment))
- Copy of the passport page with the personal information and photo
- Copy of the passport page with the Peruvian entry stamp
- Passport photos (taken in the office)
- Receipt for the Interpol clearance from any Banco de la Nacion branch (code 08141; fee S/ 80.50)
- Envelope, office size
- If you are married to a Peruvian: a recent copy of your marriage certificate and copy of the spouse’s DNI
- If you are a US American national: an international money order, a so called “Giro sobre el exterior” for the amount of US$ 18.00, made out to "The Treasury of the USA" (you get it at Scotiabank or BCP)
- If you are a Canadian national: an international money order, a so called "Giro sobre el exterior" for the amount of CAD$ 26,75, made out to "The Receiver General for Canada"
- If you are an Australian national: an international money order, a so called "Giro sobre el exterior" for the amount of AU$ 103.00, made out to "The Australian Federal Police"
- Appointment confirmation
Interpol asks to please arrange the documents in this order (but this order changes frequently).
A visit to Interpol in Lima to get the "Ficha de Canje Internacional" is contrary to popular opinion easy though time-consuming, but with the introduction of appointments in mid-April 2018 not so bad anymore. Once there, just wait your turn and then hand in your documents. Additionally passport photos are taken (additional fee of about S/. 10), you are fingerprinted, and your teeth are examined.
The Interpol check usually takes about 5 to 7 working days; if you traveled to Lima from the provinces just for the "ficha", tell them (some sort of proof for example bus or flight ticket is necessary) and they usually have the results ready the next one or two days. Be aware that the clearance has to be picked up. Make a copy of it for yourself.
Depending on your nationality an additional check from the federal police body of your home country (for example the FBI) is required. For this above mentioned international money order is needed. According to the Interpol office in Lima this check has nothing to do with issuing the "ficha" necessary for Migraciones and the approval of your visa; if something serious comes up, your record is tagged and you might be detained as soon as you leave the country.
Applying for your family visa at "Migraciones"
In mid-March 2018 the procedure to apply for a visa - correctly to change the immigration status - at Migraciones, for now only in Lima, was simplified and now is strictly personal (no need for lawyers or tramitadores). The applicant now has to visit Migraciones only 2 times, but in person: the first time to apply and have the biometric data (fingerprints and photo) taken and the second time to pick up the carné, the foreigner ID.
On the day of your appointment arrive at Migraciones 30 minutes early with all required documents (make copies of everything for yourself). As the procedures differ from immigration office to immigration office here just a general explanation for Lima. If at one point you don’t know where to go ask the security personnel at the entrance where you usually have to show your passport and your confirmation of the appointment, or inside the building. In general they are friendly and helpful. Expect to be seated somewhere and to have to wait until you are allowed to proceed to the counters.
Once there present all required documents. If everything is in order, your application is accepted. You are asked to proceed to the counter where your biometric data (fingerprints and photo) is taken.
When you are finished you are given access to an email box and handed a piece of paper with your case number (expediente no.). Please read the instructions and fine print on the Migraciones paper carefully and keep it safe! Be aware that if you need to travel outside the country while your visa application is still in process, you have to apply for a special travel permit before you leave the country, otherwise your application is null and void.
What are the next steps to receive the family visa?
Usually the processing time is around 3 to 4 weeks, but the process can take as well up to 60 days depending on the workload. As soon as your family visa is approved, you are notified via email.
Once you received the e-mail that your family visa was approved, pay at any Banco de la Nacion branch or on pagalo.pe for the Migraciones administrative procedure F-7a Carnet extranjeria under code 01873 "inscripcion en el registro central de extranjería y emision del carné de extranjería" (registration in the foreign database and issuing of the foreigner ID) S/ 49.90.
Then visit the Migraciones website to do the Online Registration. Click on “Generar Inscripción en Linea” and fill in the form as indicated. Check that all information is correct. On the next page enter the data from your payment receipt. At the end the system should allow you to make an appointment to pick up your carné.
As the procedure was only introduced a few weeks ago, you might get a link to make an appointment in your e-mail notification or you even might be able to pick your carné up without an appointment.
Print the confirmation of your registration!
Then visit Migraciones on the day of your appointment and take all the paperwork, receipts, your passport etc. with you. After checking all your personal data and documents once again, you are handed your Carné.
Congratulations! You made it!
Please note: the family visa is only valid for one year and then has to be extended. Since March 2017 foreigners with a Carné don't have to pay a foreigner tax anymore which before was due between January and March of each year. Foreigners living in Peru on a family visa have to be in the country at least 183 days per year, otherwise their resident status is canceled. After three years of legal residency in Peru you can either apply for an immigrant visa (no more extensions and for relatives of Peruvians or foreigners with resident status no proof of own income) or if your nationality allows dual citizenship apply for Peruvian citizenship.