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 1814) 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 and confirming that you can fulfil the requirements
- 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
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.
The visa application fee has to be paid at a branch of the Peruvian Banco de la Nacion before making the appointment. Give the teller the code 1814 (F-004 cambio de calidad migratoria). Keep the payment receipt safe.
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.
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. 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. If you choose not to apply for your visa in person, but use a legal representative enter here the personal data; otherwise leave the spaces blank. 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.
Applying for your retirement visa at the Peruvian immigration authority Migraciones
Arrive at Migraciones on agreed date 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 explication. 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 you usually just have to present all required documents. If everything is in order, your application is accepted and you are handed your case number. Keep the number safe.
What are the next steps to receive my retirement visa?
Now you just have to wait and regularly check the status of your application on the website of Migraciones. 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 all steps are completed, your retirement visa is approved and you have to return to the immigration office.
Before your visit, fill out form F-007A (for your inscription in the foreign database) and pay a fee of about S/. 50 at the Banco de la Nacion under code 1873. Then pay Migraciones another visit 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 registered in the Peruvian foreigner database, fingerprinted and photographed. And within the next half hour or so you are handed your so called Carné de Extranjeria, the Peruvian foreigner ID card.
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 wihtout 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.