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Tips for Immigrating to Peru – Part I

By RGB Avocats - Corporate Lawyers in Peru

As you may have probably heard or read, from fellow immigrants, immigrating to Peru can be a bit of a chaotic process if you don’t have the knowledge required to navigate through the procedures designed by Peruvian institutions. Thus, here are some tips and knowledge, acquired over many years providing legal counsel to would-be immigrants, on how to successfully carry out the immigration process:

1.- Border hopping

As you may be aware, “Border Hopping” is a practice that consists on leaving the country, for a short visit, and then returning in order to ask for a new Tourist visa. In the past, plenty of foreigners would rely on Border Hopping to indefinitely extend their stay in Peru, without having to apply for residency, until the administration outlawed the practice in 2017 by limiting the term of Tourist visas to a period of 183 days in a term of 365 days.

However, over the past year we have heard numerous accounts, both from immigrants and the administration itself, that immigration authorities are not actively enforcing the law and Border Hopping remains alive and well.. It should be noted though that the law is still in effect and the risk of denial upon re-entry will always be present, so it’s better to be safe than sorry.

2.- Overstay fines

A topic closely related to the aforementioned, many of the questions we receive are related to the applicable fines for overstaying your visa. Granted, there can be a degree of confusion to this issue given that the fine is calculated on the basis of a “UIT”, a unit of measurement used by the Peruvian administration to calculate fines and administrative fees. It should be noted that the UIT is updated every year and its value for 2018 is PEN 4,150.

3.- Types of income accepted for a Retiree (Rentista) visa

Perhaps one of the most often asked questions relates to this particular topic: "What types of income does the Peruvian Superintendence of Immigration (MIGRACIONES) accept as valid to apply for a Rentista visa?"

Admittedly, much confusion arises around this particular topic given that there currently two conflicting laws regarding this particular topic: Legislative Decree N° 1350, the new immigration law, and Law N° 28702, the law which regulates the migratory category of Rentista.

To make a long story short, the previous administration tried to tackle immigration reform by passing a comprehensive law, which dealt with all migratory issues, and so they passed Legislative Decree N° 1236 which, among other things, repealed the aforementioned Rentista law. However, unsatisfied with this initial effort, and before the law ever went into effect, the current administration decided to pass an easier to understand law, and thus passed the current Legislative Decree N° 1350, which repealed the previous Legislative Decree N° 1236. The result: given that Legislative Decree N° 1236 never had a chance to go in effect, the Rentista law remained unrepealed.

Thus, the Rentista law specifically mentions both dividends and royalties as valid incomes to apply for this migratory category, whereas the new immigration law specifically asks for a permanent source of income, which MIGRACIONES insists can only come from retirement and disability pensions, and both laws are currently in effect.

Consequently, and for the time being, foreigners interested in applying for a Rentista visa should keep in mind that MIGRACIONES will only accept retirement and disability pensions as a permanent source of income to apply for this migratory category.

As a side note, we should indicate that we’ve had a case with a client who wanted to apply for this visa by means of income provided by an annuity. When we contacted MIGRACIONES they indicated that this is also a valid income to apply for the visa.

By the Immigration Department at RGB Avocats © – Peruvian Attorneys-at-Law

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Disclaimer: The information on this page is provided for general informational purposes only, and may not reflect the current law in Peru. It is not intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter.

RGB Avocats - Corporate Lawyers in Peru

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