On 9/24 I had a very productive morning at DIGEMIN.
I had been called the day before by the new Coordinator for Nationalization, Erica Medina, telling me that I needed to apply for 1) exoneration of the annual foreign tax for 2015. In previous years I merely had to go to immigration and have them put a sticker on my carnet with this. Now every year I have to make an application by filling out a form and presenting it to the proper office.
In March I obtained a new US passport so I also had to 2) transfer the seal/stamp for residents to this new passport.
Also, I had to apply for a 3) new carnet because the old one had my old passport number on it and it was going to expire next year anyway.
The amazing thing is that I was able to do all these things within three hours without having to go back again.
Originally I had gone to Naturalization to inform them about my new passport. I got there at 8:15 AM and got a ticket to wait in line. A lady there suggested that I do these other three things first. That was very good advice because when I came back to Naturalization after three hours, my number still had not come up even though it was the fourth one of the day. Finally I got to see Erica Medina and luckily I had all the other tasks completed so she was able to insert the appropriate copies into my application which she had on her desk. She also dictated to me and had me sign a statement indicating that I had accomplished these three things. I gave her a copy of my new passport, of the seal for residents and of the new carnet. She showed me the Resolución Suprema which is lacking two signatures and then it will go to the Ministry of the Interior for the signature of the Minister. After that he will go back to the president’s office (PCM) (this will be the third time my application is there) Finally, she also confirmed to me that the president does indeed have to sign the application and that every time the Minister of the Interior is changed Naturalization has to prepare a new Resolución Suprema. I asked her why the president has to sign the application and she simply responded that is his prerogative. In 2012 he only signed two applications. Some people have been waiting since 2009 for their application to be approved. She also confirmed that the application of a foreigner who is married to a Peruvian does not need to be signed by the president. I am really losing hope that my application will ever be approved and that I will ever become a Peruvian citizen. You may recall that I have now been waiting since April 2013 when I submitted my full application.
This is just the opposite of the situation the last time I visited DIGEMIN. In the past going in to Naturalization office was fairly rapid. However. this time the wait time was very long. As you can see the wait time was more than three hours. On the other hand, in the Immigration section they now have orienters “orientadores” to assist you with all the procedures. These people can answer almost all questions as to what you should do and/ or where you should go next. They also now have screens with the ticket numbers that you obtain on the first floor so there are no longer those very long lines as before which created complete chaos.
I also explored another option when I was in the Immigration section – the possibility of changing my immigration status from Rentista to Trabajador. What I discovered is that it IS possible to change it (which for two years I have thought it was not possible), but there is a big qualification – you must accompany the application for this change with a signed work contract from an organization that wants to hire you. I suspect that there are very few, if any, organizations that would do this when they can just hire a qualified Peruvian. And then, of course, there is the problem of the rampant and open/stated age discrimination here.
Some important information:
The Hoja de Tramite number applies to the Naturalization office and also to the main Ministry of the Interior and can be used to track the progress of my application. I can check on the application by calling the Ministry of Interior in 10 business days from September 24 or I can also call the following number at Naturalization (2001094) only from 3 PM to 3:30 PM Monday through Friday.