Officially known as the Republic of Peru, the country is located in South America and has an area of 1,285,216 km2.
It is home to a population of 33,105,273 and many ancient cultures and civilizations, with one of the longest histories of civilizations in any country.
As such, Peru is a favorite destination for many travelers, in particular those searching adventures, passionate about ancient history and archeology. However, many world travelers, before heading to Peru must check whether they do need a visa or not, and learn about the rules of stay to the country.
Following in this article, learn all you need to know about traveling to Peru, including whether you need a visa or not, the criteria you must meet, the procedures you need to follow, and anything else in this regard.
Who Needs a Visa for Peru?
As a famous travel destination for adventurers and those fascinated by ancient populations, many travelers ask themselves whether they need a visa to travel to Peru and see famous sights as Machu Picchu.
Actually, nationals of quite a lot of world countries are eligible to enter Peru under tourism purposes without obtaining any types of visas in advance. In addition, some among them may also not need a visa for business purposes.
Following find a list of those who can enter Peru tourist visa-free, and a note in brackets for those that can also travel visa-free for business in Peru:
- European Union
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Australia (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Brazil (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Brunei (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Canada (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Chile (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Colombia (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Costa Rica
- Dominican Republic
- Hong Kong
- Indonesia (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Japan (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Malaysia (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Marshall Islands
- Mexico (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Federated States of Micronesia
- New Zealand (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- North Macedonia
- Papua New Guinea (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Philippines (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Russia (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Lucia
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- Singapore (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Solomon Islands
- South Africa (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- South Korea
- Thailand (no visa is required for business purposes either)
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United States
- Vatican City
Other Categories of Travelers Exempt from Tourist Visa Requirement
In addition to the nationals of the countries listed above, there are several other categories of travelers from other countries that are not required to obtain a tourist visa before traveling to Peru. These categories are:
- Nationals of China and India who hold a visa with a minimum validity of more than 6 months or a permanent residence permit issued by Australia, Canada, United Kingdom, United States or a Schengen member state are visa exempt for a maximum of 180 days during a six-month period.
- Holders of diplomatic, official or service passports of any world country, except for Venezuela.
APEC Business Travel Card
Nationals of a few other countries traveling to Peru under business purposes, can enter the country visa-free given that they hold a passport issued by the countries listed below, which possess an APEC Business Travel Card (ABTC) containing the “PER” code on the reverse:
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- Papua New Guinea
Peru Visa Types
Depending on the reason behind your trip to Peru and the intended period of stay there are two types of visas for Peru:
- Temporary visas – mainly for those wishing to enter the country under tourism, business and other short-term purposes. The maximum stay under these visas is 183 days per year.
- Residence visas – which are valid for a year and longer, and granted for purposes as employment family reunion, studying, etc.
Required Documents for Peru Visa
I according to your nationality and the purpose of your trip to Peru, you need a visa to enter the country, you will have to apply for one by completing several procedures as set by the Peruvian authorities.
Among the main procedures is collecting and submitting the required documents for a visa for Peru. These documents are required so the relevant authorities proceeding your visa application will make a decision whether you should be granted with a visa or not, based on your purpose of entry, background and financial situation.
Therefore, the required documents for a visa to Peru are as follows:
- Visa application form in two copies, fully completed. The answers must be given in capital letters. If filled in by hand, make sure you use black ink.
- Your passport, valid for at least another six months beyond the date of your arrival in Peru. Passport with a minimum validity of six months after expected date of arrival to Peru.
- Passport copies of the front and back sides of.
- Three recent photos in color (4.3 X 3.5 cm). Your face must cover between 70%-80% of the photo.
- Cover letter explaining the purpose of your trip to Peru. Do not forget to sign it at the end.
- Round-trip ticket reservation to Peru.
- Travel Itinerary for every day you plan to spend in Peru.
- Hotel reservation(s) in Peru.
- Proof of you can financially support your trip. This could be your recent bank statements, fixed deposits, and similar.
- If you are employed present a no-objection letter written and signed by your employer. The letter must indicate for how long you have been working with them, the purpose of your trip to Peru and the intended period of stay.
- Personal Income Tax Return (ITR), if applicable.
- If someone else is sponsoring your trip to Peru, located either in Peru or your country of residence you should submit the following additional documents:
- A guarantee letter from your sponsor attesting that he or she will be responsible to cover some or all costs of boarding and lodging, or repatriation, if needed.
- Valid identification document of your sponsor.
- Proof of financial solvency of the sponsor, e.g. bank statements, fixed deposit.
Please note that these are only the generally required documents, as you will need to submit additional documents depending on your purpose of travel to Peru.
Peru Visa Application Process
When applying for a visa for Peru you will need to follow the procedures listed below in the given order.
- Contact with the Peruvian Embassy in your country of residence or its representative authorities closest to your home. They will inform you whether you need to make a visa appointment by phone, email, online, or you can just show up at the embassy, as this procedure differs from one country to another.
- Obtain the full list of the required documents in the website of the Embassy of Peru in your country, or ask the person with whom you contacted to ask regarding the appointment to provide you with one.
- Collect the required documents (which are usually the ones listed above in this article). Make sure these documents meet the criteria as set by the authorities of Peru, as if not, your application will be rejected.
- Attend your visa appointment with all the required documents with you. Show there on time as being late may cause you to lose your appointment date, and you will have to schedule another.
- During the appointment you will also have to attend the interview with a consular officer, who will ask you some basic questions regarding to your intended trip, background and similar.
- Pay the visa fee. You will either be able to pay the visa fee at the embassy, or they will provide you with a piece of document, with which you will pay the fee at a particular bank, and the return to the embassy to submit the payment receipt.
After all these procedures, all it remains for you to do, is wait for a notification from the embassy for you to go collect your passport alongside with the decision of your application.
Peru Visa Processing Time
The processing period for a Peru visas is up to 30 days. However, it is estimated that most visas are processed within about 5 days.
Validity of Peruvian Visas
If you are wondering how long you can remain in Peru with a visa, you should know that the validity of a Peruvian visa depends on the type of visa.
Peruvian Temporary Visas are valid as follows:
- Tourist visas – valid for a maximum of 183 days. *
- Business visas – valid for a maximum of 183 days.
- Student visas – valid for 90 days.
- Artist visas – valid for 90 days.
- Religious visas – also valid for 90 days.
- Crewmen visas – valid for 48 hours.
- Diplomat visas – valid for only 90 days.
*Those entering Peru under the visa-free agreement for tourism purposes can remain in the country for a maximum of 183 days as well. Exempt are only the nationals of Schengen Area member states and associated countries who can remain in Peru for a maximum 90 days within 180 days without a visa. Costa Rica and Panama citizens are allowed to stay only 90 days per visit.
Peruvian Residence visas are valid as follows:
- Visas for family reunion, employment, studying, independent and religious are valid for a maximum of 1 year with the possibility of extension.
- Diplomatic Visas are valid for limited periods as decided by the Government of Peru.
- Rentier immigrant visas have an undefined validity.
Peru Visa Extension
The Peruvian authorities have made it possible to extend several types of visas, however as of July 2008 you cannot extend your tourist of business visa, once you have entered in Peru. However, you can extend the rest of the temporary visas for Peru, as follows:
- Student visas – can be extended for up to 1 year.
- Artist visas – can be extended for another 30 days.
- Religious visas – can be extended for up to 1 year
- Crewmen visas – can be extended for up to 15 days.
- Diplomat visas – cannot be extended any further.
As for the Peruvian Residence visas, you can extend visas for family reunion, employment, studying, independent and religious, but not the others.
Is Peru a Safe Country to Visit?
Peru is not a riskless city to visit. The overall risk is medium, as tourist hotspots and public transportations are places where pickpocketing and theft occurs. Street crime as mugging is also present and the risk of scams is high.
However, Peru is a safe destination for women travelers, aside from the above risks to which are subject both women and men.
If you are in Peru or you are planning to travel there soon, pay attention to the following safety tips:
- Do not carry more cash than you need for the day.
- Do not display expensive belongings, in particular in crowded places.
- Try not to travel alone at night, and avoid dark streets even if you are in a group.
- Learn at least some basic Spanish.
- Do not hang your bag at the back of a chair in restaurants and cafeterias.
Do US Citizens Need a Visa for Peru?
US citizens traveling to Peru for tourism purposes do not need to apply for a visa. They can remain in the country for a maximum of 183 days, and then leave. However, US citizens traveling to Peru for other purposes, including business, must apply for a visa beforehand.
If you are a US national you can apply for a Peru visa in the US at the Peruvian embassy in Washington DC.