How do I get a retirement visa in Peru?

Machu Picchu

Peru is an increasingly growing hotspot for retirement in South America. It offers an excellent standard of living at a low cost making your pension or retirement savings last longer. In this article we will discuss how you can get a retirement visa in Peru!

Here’s all you need to know about Retirement Visa and Living in Peru:

  • Where is Peru?
  • How long can a foreigner stay in Peru without a Visa?
  • Is it easy to get a visa in Peru?
  • Does Peru have a retirement visa?
  • How do I get a permanent residency visa for Peru?
  • How can I apply for a retirement visa?
  • How long does the process for a retirement visa take?
  • Can you buy a property in Peru if you have a retirement visa?
  • Do you have to pay taxes with a retirement visa?
  • Do you need to speak Spanish if you want to get a retirement visa?

Have you thought about all these questions when thinking of retiring to Peru? Whether you have or not you will find some useful information below.

Where is Peru?

Temperature: 15°C to 27°C / 59°F to 80°F
Population: 33 million
Language: Spanish

Peru is located in south america on the west coast towards the top of the continent. To the north it is bordered by Ecuador and Columbia, to the east by Brazil and by Chili and Bolivia to the south and south east respectively. It’s all year round, great weather, sun and beaches along a jagged coastline make for a great relaxing retirement location.

Peru is mainly a desert like country close to the beach with a mountain range running down the country and rainforest and lush green farm land leading onto the Amazon Rainforest.  Peru handled covid quite well with limited cases until a small peak when they reopened the country that they quickly got under control. Whether we like it or not, the countries that handled Covid well are definitely more attractive as retirement destinations.

How long can a foreigner stay in Peru without a visa?

Most countries don’t need to obtain a visa before entering Peru if they are just wanting a visa on arrival but they must fill out and bring the paperwork with them. To obtain a tourist visa they simply need a passport with at least two blank spaces that is valid for an additional 6 months upon entry. 

They do need a passport sized photo and proof of $1000 USD in an account.  There are some other minor conditions that you can check on the website below.

LINK: Peruvian Consulate Tourist Visa Conditions And Visa Free Countries

For information related specifically to your country check your local country travel advisor website like the US state department link below.

LINK: USA State Department Peru’s Travel Regulations

Is it easy to get a visa in Peru?

Yes it is easy to get a visa to Peru. Peru now offers nine distinct categories of short term visas and six different categories of permanent residency visas. If you fit a special subclass of visa like a skilled working visa you can get a permanent residency straight away but most do a temporary visa first and hold it for 3 years then apply for permanency.

You can apply from your home country at a consulate or after arrival in the country while you are on a tourist visa. You can attempt for a permanent residency straight away if not in a special visa area but your odds improve with showing you have stayed for a length of time in the country first. The cost of obtaining a short-term visa is approximately $32.

If you are a retiree you can get permanent residency straight away by arriving on a tourist visa and then putting in a change of residency status application.  This can be done online and then with a consultation with the National Superintendency of Immigration. The Banco de la Nación will want a readable duplicate of your valid passport to set up a bank account where you can show proof of monthly funds for a retiree of at least 1000 USD per month.

LINK: Peruvian Change Of Residency To Permanent Residence for Self Funded People or Retiree

As an investor you may qualify for permanent residency as well. If you already have 500,000 sol to invest in a local company (Approx $130,000 US dollars depending on exchange rate).

LINK: Investor Permanent Residency Visa

There are also other methods of residency if you have a parent or family member that can sponsor you into the country. Marriage is also another way of gaining citizenship.

Does Peru have a retirement visa?

Yes, as mentioned above you can get a non-lucrative visa in a country after arriving as a tourist or through your country’s embassy.  Applicants for the Peruvian Rentista Residence permit would have consistent monthly earnings of $1000 while in Peru. Each dependent child applying on a family visa will need an extra $500 in earnings per month. The processing time for this visa type only takes 30 days.

Rentista Legal residents are excluded from the yearly foreign exchange tax (tasa anual de extranjeria) that other expatriates and non-retirement citizens in Peru must pay. Retired people are also excluded from incurring Peruvian taxable income on their retirement funds, and you can get some personal items duty-free and tax-free.

How do I get a permanent residency visa for Peru?

If you want a permanent residency visa then the application for a Carnet de Extranjeria is the first step to be able to apply for a permanent residency visa (Peruvian I.D. card for foreign visitors). The Peruvian consulate in the United States or Canada can help you with this. Before you go to your meeting make sure you have all the right paperwork and that it has been certified if it is a copy of the original. All material must be authenticated by your authorized U.S. department of state (or JLAC in Canada). You can ask the embassy in your country what certification is required

Then when you get to Peru using this id card you can get a bank account, mobile phone and move freely around the country. Once you are in the country and have a bank account set up showing at least 3 months of the required bank transfer payments of 1000 USD then you can apply for your Rentista Visa. 

You can fly back and forth from Peru and your home country throughout this phase. But you must be in Peru for your final consular appointment for the last verification. Make sure you have your paperwork translated into Spanish in Peru before in-country appointment 

The initial application for permanent residency in Peru may be as short as two months, and the applications for your dependents can take another month or two. After three years you can apply for citizenship.

Previously, anyone could live on a 183-day visitor visa, extending it each time it expired by crossing the border. The tourist visa currently restricts travel to 183 days in a 12-month period, drastically limiting your flexibility in retirement and barring you from the many benefits of a resident visa.

How can I apply for a retirement visa?

In order to apply for a retirement visa or rentista visa, you will need to provide three initial documents: Valid passport with 12 months validity, confirmation of earnings that has been certified and marriage certificate for your partner and birth certificates for your children if any are coming with you. You can then apply online for an immigration card that you will need for your further visa application.

LINK: Immigration Card Application

After you have this card they would invite you to travel to Peru after reviewing your paperwork and determining if it is sufficient. The first thing You will have to do is create a checking account. You’ll need special authorization to sign a contract in Peru to do so. All relevant paperwork will be prepared for you by your local bank to sign.

You can then start depositing your proof of funds needed for your situation per month. A certified local bank statement will be needed for your change to a Rentista visa. You will also need to sign a form saying you have not committed a crime in any country within the last 5 years and an interpol check could help with this or a federal police check.

How long does the process for a retirement visa take?

Once you have submitted all the appropriate paperwork the Rentista visa takes up to 30 days to process. At this point you will have your permanent visa that will allow you to stay indefinitely.

Can a retired person buy property in Peru?

Foreigners are free to own property in Peru if it is not within 50 kilometers of any border. As a retiree you can buy property in Peru. You will need to visit the international migration office and pay around $80 for authorization to sign contracts in Peru

This authorisation enables you to purchase real estate and conduct other business in Peru. Interest rates on loans are high, but you’ll also need a resident visa (CE) to create a bank account and obtain loans. 

Before you can obtain a bank loan you must generate credit in Peru’s credit system. It will take at least six months to do this. You begin by getting a credit card and taking out a personal loan and showing regular repayments of at least 6 months. 

It is advisable to hire a local or international real estate agent since the Peruvian property law is somewhat different from what you might be used to in the US or other countries. These realtors will deal with the negotiations with the owner,  translation, recommending a place that will suit you and taking care of all the requirements. Always get a local property lawyer to finalize any contract prior to the hand over of funds. 

Here are a few real estates agents you can consider:

TIP: Use the keywords “bienes raíces” and “inmobiliaria” if you are trying to find more real estate agents in Peru.

NOTE:Some of these sites are only available in Spanish. To see the website in English, turn on Google Chrome’s auto-translate option.

Do you need to speak Spanish if you want to get a retirement visa?

No for a Rentista visa but yes if you want a permanent residency or citizenship and the requirements of your level of understanding are higher for the citizenship.

In the tourist areas of Peru you will always find someone that speaks English but getting to know some Spanish is critical to show you are trying to fit in. You will need it later if you want a permanent resident visa or citizenship so why not get started now when it has never been easier. 

If you’d like to learn more Spanish, you can visit the local language school in your city and if you can learn online through Udemy if you do not want to leave the comfort of your home. Alternatively you can use Duo Lingo for free as an application on your phone or through their website.

LINK: Duolingo Website For Free Spanish Training

NOTE: Check Is Peru A Good Place To Retire To? All Questions Answered to read all you have to know if you are thinking to retire in Peru.

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