Peru is an easy place to fall in love with.
Rich history, incredible food, friendly people and one of the strongest economies in the region.
This country has it all.
Nobody is going to blame you for wanting to move to Peru.
But how can you do it? If you want to live here, there are a number of options available.
I'll go over these options with you now.
The Easiest Way To Move To Peru
The easiest way to stay in Peru longterm is to arrive on a tourist visa (which is good for 183 days), do a border-hop before your days are up and come back and get another tourist visa.
...Well, this was the easiest way.
In 2017, the Peruvian government implemented a law stating that tourists are only allowed 183 days in the country in a calendar year which, on paper, means that tourists can no longer border-hop and stay in the country indefinitely. Instead, tourists that have stayed in Peru for 183 days will now have to leave the country for six months before being able to return.
In practice, this policy isn't being enforced. Many tourists in 2017/2018 have reported being let back into the country for another 183 days without any issues after doing their post-183 day border hop.
Other tourists have reported being let back into the country, but only being granted 30 days.
No one, to my knowledge, has been outright rejected from re-entering the country, even if they've recently stayed the "limit" of 183 days.
This inconsistency is likely due to the fact that this is a new law. I imagine that sometime this year (2018) or next, it will be enforced properly.
Another option is to enter the country on a tourist visa and simply overstay the 183 days. When you finally do leave, you will be charged about $1.00 USD for each day you've overstayed. The Peruvians are pretty chill about this. They simply direct you to a booth in the airport when they see you've overstayed, you pay your fine and get your exit stamp. No additional consequences.
So, in short, if you want to live in Peru the easy way, you will, in some form, be violating its laws. Although there isn't likely to be any dire consequences, it's not ideal.
***NOTE: If you want 183 days, you should ask for it specifically upon arrival. If you don't ask, they will likely only give you 90 days.
If you don't want to mess around with the border hopping thing, here are some options to stay in Peru legally.
A work visa to Peru is granted to folks that have been hired by a Peruvian company. You'll be given a letter of permission, and you'll have to complete the process from a consulate outside of Peru. This visa is renewable for as long as you're employed by the Peruvian company. After 3 years on a work visa, you'll be eligible to apply for permanent residency, which will allow you to live indefinitely in the country.
If you have some money to spend, an investor visa will be your easiest option for expating to Peru. You'll need to invest a minimum of $154,000 in Peru (this recently increased from $30,000). Your options are broad for this one. Basically, if you invest that amount in any Peruvian company, or invest it in a company of your own that you've registered in Peru, you're good to go. If you make this investment, you will be eligible for residency in Peru.
Likely the most common option for those wanting to expat to Peru. The retirement, or rentista, visa only requires that you prove a permanent monthly income of $1000 USD. Most commonly, this will be from a retirement pension. To my knowledge, proving $1000 a month through employment income will not do it (I suppose because it's not considered "permanent"). That being said, this visa isn't limited to retirees - any foreigner that can prove $1000 USD a month of permanent income is, according to the law, able to get this visa. That indicates that income earned through investments should meet the requirements of this visa.
All in all, a good option for those that want to live in Peru.
If you get married to a Peruvian, you will be eligible for residency.
A student visa won't help you much. It's renewable, but it's only granted for three months at a time. To my knowledge, there is no direct route from student visa to resident.
There is a type of "professional" visa for independent workers with highly specialized skills, but it is difficult to qualify for. It's not going to apply to the vast majority of people looking to move to Peru.
In short, if you're wondering how to move to Peru, you have 4 options:
1. Get hired by a Peruvian company
2. Invest $154,000 USD in the country
3. Prove a permanent income of at least $1000 USD a month
4. Get married to a Peruvian
Aside from this, you could opt to overstay your visa and pay the fine when you finally leave. But keep in mind that, although nothing is likely to happen to you, you may have trouble entering the country again if you've previously overstayed for an inordinate amount of time.
Best to keep things as legal as possible.
And that's about it!
I hope this helps. If you really want to move to Peru, I'm confident that you'll figure out how to make it happen.
Until next time,
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