Retirees and pensioners who receive a state or private pension or other benefits (for example a disability pension) of at least US$ 1000 per month or the equivalent in any other currency can apply for a permanent residency in Peru called Rentista Visa.
For each dependent (such as a spouse) who should be included in the visa, the proof of an additional US$ 500 is required.
Peruvian consulates abroad usually don’t issue retirement visas anymore; it must be applied for in Peru. So, if you are planning to live as a retiree in Peru, you enter the country as a tourist and then change your immigration status – make a so called cambio de calidad migratoria - at the Peruvian immigration office Migraciones.
Please be aware that you are not allowed to work or receive a remuneration for any kind of professional activity in Peru when living in the country on a retirement visa.
Requirements for a Peruvian retirement visa
As soon as you arrived in Peru, you should start with the application process for your retirement 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 retirement visa include, but may not be restricted to:
- Application form F-004
- Receipt from the Banco de la Nacion (code 01814) for paid application fee (according to the Migraciones website S/.117.60 in 2017)
- Passport and copy of the pages with the personal information and entry stamp
- Letter from your pension fund or social security stating that you receive a monthly income of at least US$ 1000 or the equivalent in any other currency. This letter needs an apostille from the respective public institution in the country of origin (or has to be 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. (*)
- Letter issued by a notary in Peru stating that you wish to apply for a rentista visa, confirming that you can fulfil the requirements and don't intend to work (**)
- Sworn statement (declaracion jurada) issued by a notary in Peru stating that you don’t have a criminal record in Peru or any other country (**) - recently Migraciones increasingly ask for an Interpol clearance, Ficha de canje internacional (see below)
(*) Before (!!!) leaving your home country request the letter from your pension fund or social security and get it apostilled if your country signed the Apostille Convention; otherwise it has to be legalized by different authorities in your home country and the Peruvian consulate. The problem with both processes is that the letter needs an official signature to be apostilled or legalized. As most pension statements are generated automatically they are usually not signed. So it might be quite a mission in your home country to get it signed. One of our reader stated in a comment below, that for US citizens with this problem the US Embassy in Lima was very helpful and issued a notarized letter that was accepted by the Peruvian immigration office.
(**) Notaries usually have these two required form letters on hand. Be aware that before you are able to sign them legally in Peru, you have to apply for a permission to sign contracts (permiso especial para firmar contratos) at Migraciones. Since January 2018 this can be easily done online. Our article "Permit to sign contacts in Peru" explains how it works and what you need.
As visa requirements can change quickly without prior notice, we highly recommend to confirm current visa regulations with the Peruvian immigration authority Migraciones.
Applying for a retirement visa in Peru
Applying for a retirement 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. Even though you have to make an appointment on the Migraciones website to apply for your resident visa, be prepared to wait in line for some time when arriving. Seating at least in Lima is available or can surely be arranged. Be aware that according to Peruvian law seniors over the age of 65 have the right to a preferential treatment in Peru. If necessary, ask for it. Please be aware as well that only Spanish is spoken at Migraciones.
First the visa application fee for the Migraciones administrative procedure F-4 has to be paid under code 01814 on the pagalo.pe website. The actual payment 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.
While you are at it, pay as well for your permission to sign contracts and then visit a notary to get the letter stating that you wish to apply for a rentista visa, confirming that you can fulfil the requirements and don't intend to work and the sworn statement (declaracion jurada) stating that you don’t have a criminal record in Peru or any other country. Notaries in Peru have these two form letters on hand.
Making an appointment to apply for a retirement visa in Peru
To apply for a retirement visa (or correctly to change your immigration status from for example tourist to retiree) you first have to make an appointment on the website of the Peruvian immigration office Migraciones.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 "independientes" the point "rentista". 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; on the next page you will have to fill it out and print it. Be aware that as rentista you don’t need a clearance from Interpol (ficha de canje internacional-Interpol) (***) and don’t have to pay the fee of US$ 200 for the change of your immigration status; so just leave the squares in front of these points blank.
(***) In the last few months we heard of 2 people applying for a retirement visa that had to do the Interpol clearance, others were fine with just the sworn statement stating they had no criminal record, a common practice for retirees for years. At the moment we can't guarantee if the sworn statement is enough, if you need it and additionally an Interpol clearance or just the Interpol clearance. We highly recommend to check with the nearest Migraciones office! Hopefully the changes caused by the implementation of the new immigration law are soon finished. So to make sure you are as up to date as possible, find below additionally information about a visit to Interpol.
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 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, 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. 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 and print the confirmation. Usually you can get an appointment within 2 or 3 weeks, but waiting times may vary depending on the current workload.
Recently the Peruvian immigration authority Migraciones increasingly ask for an Interpol clearance, the so-called Ficha de canje internacional, which can be applied for at the Interpol office in Peru located on Av. Manuel Olguin block 6 (Comisaria de Monterrico) in Surco. At the moment it's not clear if this for retiree new requirement applies to all applicants and replaces the sworn statement issued by a notary. So please confirm with Migraciones before starting you application process.
With the influx of refugees from Venezuela who all need an Interpol clearance to apply for their visa, the Interpol office in Lima reached its capacities and is overstrained. While before you could just show up and get your Interpol clearance done in a few hours and receive the necessary “ficha” within a couple of days, now there have been reports that sometimes appointments are given when visiting with waiting times of a week or two to then being able to apply.
So best coordinate your Interpol and Migraciones appointments ensuring that you have the ficha in hand at the day of your appointment for your visa application.
The requirements include:
- Application form (available at Interpol)
- 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"
(****) As of January 2018 this fee unfortunately can't be paid online, but this might change in the near future as the new online payment system evolves. So for the Interpol fee you still have to visit a Banco de la Nacion branch.
Interpol asks to please arrange the documents in this order (but this order changes frequently).
As regulations may change quickly without prior notice and depend on your nationality/ procedures in your home country, we highly recommend to confirm above mentioned requirements and amounts with the Interpol office in Lima shortly before your visit.
A visit to Interpol in Lima to get the "Ficha de Canje Internacional" is contrary to popular opinion easy though time-consuming. Once there, you are either asked to make an appointment and return on that day or, if you are lucky, you have to fill out a simple form (know your height and weight, your parents name and occupation, last address abroad, name and address of the company you are starting to work at...) and hand in your documents. Then 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 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. Keep it safe and 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 the letter Interpol issues 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 retirement visa at the Peruvian immigration authority 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 my retirement 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 retirement visa is approved, you are notified via email. You are then able to make another appointment online to pick up your "Carné de Extranjeria", the Peruvian foreigner ID card.
At this point we are not sure if the following former procedure is still in place or was eliminated with the simplification of the application process.
Before your visit, fill out form F-007A and pay a fee of S/ 49.90 on the pagalo.pe website for the Migraciones administrative procedure "inscripcion en el registro de extranjería y emision del carné" (inscription in the foreign database and issuing of the foreigner ID) under code 01873.
Then visit Migraciones on the day of your appointment and take the filled out form, receipt, your passport, copy of the application form, your case number, etc. with you. After checking all your personal data and documents once again, you are handed your Carné.
Congratulations! You made it!
As long as you are in Peru for at least 183 days per year, you have an indefinite residence permit. You are exonerated from extending your visa every year.
Please note: already in September 2015 a new regulation was published in Peru's official newspaper "El Peruano" stating that Rentistas are allowed to spend 365 consecutive days outside Peru without losing their residency. It's not clear if this regulation is already executed. As the immigration website still states 183 days, we highly recommend to confirm current practice with Migraciones before leaving the country.