How to renew a work visa in Peru

One year ago, I set up my company in Peru and applied for a work visa as a CEO of that company. As I explained in my post about how to become a legal resident in Peru, it was a pretty fast and smooth process. After one year, it was necessary to renew my visa.

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Temporary vs permanent work visa Peru

During the first three years of your stay in Peru with a work visa, you’ll get a temporary visa with a validity of one year (even if your work contract states a longer period of time). After those three years, you can apply for a permanent visa if you meet the requirement of earning more than US$ 1,000/month. With a permanent visa, you’re no longer obliged to spend 6 months/year in Peru. The other option would be to apply for citizenship which is possible after two years as a resident with a temporary work visa.

The temporary work visa has the advantage that a small salary is sufficient. We’re talking here about your personal salary, not about the revenues your company generates. However, as long as you have a temporary status, you’ll need to spend 183 days/year in Peru or you’ll lose your residence permit.

Steps to renew your Peruvian work visa

As my complete legal stuff is handled by NVC Abogados, I just had to sign an authorization for them and all the rest was done by them. However, it’s a pretty easy process which you can also do on your own. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pay S/. 25.60 at Banco de la Nación (either in person or by using the website pagalo.pe)
  2. Get an appointment at Migraciones (This can be done online and you can choose a date which is convenient for you)
  3. Legalize your last three salary statements (make sure they are signed) and your work contract at a notary
  4. Take everything to Migraciones on your chosen day

After 5 business days, you should know whether your application was approved or not.

What happens if the renewal of your work visa isn’t immediately approved?

This is exactly what happened to me. Unfortunately, it’s quite unpredictable how Migraciones will react to your application. All my documentation was perfectly all right and yet, they didn’t renew my visa at once.

As a result, we handed in more documents such as copies of invoices, accountancy statements, proof of payment to the pension fund etc. I always find it horrible when I see this waste of paper for absolutely no reason as everything is available online, too. However, I’ve already learned that Peruvians love to produce a lot of unnecessary paperwork, no matter whether this is bad for the environment or not. Well, probably not only Peruvians.

Migraciones gave us a deadline of 2 business days to hand in all those additional documents. No additional appointment was necessary.

Afterwards, I had to wait again but in the end, they approved my application and now I have another temporary visa until April 30, 2020.

What happens if your visa approval is still pending and your current visa no longer valid?

We started my renewal process at the beginning of April, had the appointment at Migraciones on April 9 and when we checked online on May 1, we saw that my new visa had been approved.

As far as the legal side is concerned, you need to apply for the renewal while your old visa is still valid. As I mentioned above, if it’s approved immediately, you’ll have your new visa 5 days afterwards.

However, it may happen that Migraciones causes problems for some reason and that the approval of your visa is even more delayed than mine.

In that case, you cannot leave the country without a special permit and only for 30 days (Permiso Especial de Viaje para personas que se encuentren tramitando su Cambio de Calidad Migratoria o Prórroga de Residencia). That means you’ll be in the same situation as when you first applied for your visa. It is something you’ll have to take into account when you plan the renewal of your visa and may want to travel immediately after your old visa expires.

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Hire a lawyer for the renewal of your visa or not?

Some time ago, I discussed whether it’s necessary to hire an immigration lawyer if you intend to apply for residency in Peru. Read the article to understand why I recommend it.

In the case of your visa renewal, I’d say that the decision depends on your budget and your personal circumstances. In my case, I simply don’t have the patience to deal with Peruvian bureaucracy. My time is more valuable for me than what I paid for the renewal of my visa, so just signing the authorization was the better choice for me.

Well, and it certainly matters to me, too that I have a reliable lawyer by my side if problems occur.

If your documentation is all right and up-to-date, there’s no reason why Migraciones should reject your application. Causing small problems like in my case, yes, this may happen but a final rejection is not very likely. If it happens for some reason, it’s time to talk to a lawyer who can help you to file an objection and sort things out correctly.

One last advice

If you own a company in Peru, make sure to issue your invoices in time and regularly buy something in the name of your company. It helps to prove that your company is legit and not just a means to obtain a visa for Peru. This may sound obvious but there are quite a few cases where companies were only founded for visa purposed and then, the owners more or less forgot about them.

You’ll also need to print your salary statements every month and sign them. Remember that inspections by SUNAT (Peruvian tax authorities) are always possible (and do happen), so be prepared and don’t postpone important stuff.

Or let a lawyer handle everything while you concentrate on something you’re better at.

If you would like to obtain a Peruvian work visa or a rentista visa and are looking for a reliable immigration and taxes lawyer, fill in the form below to contact Sergio Vargas from NVC Abogados directly.

Yes, I’d like to apply for residence in Peru.

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How to renew a Peruvian work visa
How to renew a Peruvian work visa

 

 

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