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I asked this question about Argentina but I am now more likely to settle in Peru. I'm living in the UK as a self-employed/freelancer working for remote clients.

Question: what are the requirements for me to get a work permit/visa so I can stay in Peru and work there as self-employed/freelancer? And can I simply go there as a tourist and then do the paperwork to obtain a work visa on the spot?

  • It would be useful if you could say what citizenship you hold, as it may have a bearing on such things. – Scott Earle Jun 29 '15 at 1:37
  • Oh ok, I have French citizenship and my wife has Peruvian citizenship. – drake035 Jun 29 '15 at 16:24
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Posted Claudia Landini (in Italian on Expat Women at Work)

PROCEDURES TO WORK IN PERU AS A FOREIGNER

If you want to stay in Peru for reasons other than tourism, the first step is to contact DIGEMIN to start the correct procedures. The main seat of DIGEMIN is in Av. España 730 Breña, Lima, but you can also go to any other DIGEMIN office in the provinces.

Foreigners who enter Peru on a tourist visa can stay in the country as long as the visa is valid. Should they stay longer, they’ll have to pay a fine equivalent to 1 US$ per exceeding day when they leave the country. Moreover, the Peruvian Government can apply all sanctions of Compulsory Exit and Expulsion established with the Ley de Extranjería. The authorization to stay in the country for tourism cannot be extended beyond 183 days.

Foreigners who are in Peru as tourists, for business or any other reason, and want to stay on to work, change or develop any other kind of activity, must undergo the Cambio de Calidad Migratoria. This is governed by Law No. 689, which states that the foreigner who wishes to start working in Peru must obtain the required Visa Temporal de Trabajo o Residencia / Carné de Estranjeria. This migration status can be:

a) applied for in the passport country through the Peruvian Embassy;
b) obtained by staying on in Peru, and initiating the procedures for the Cambio de Visa or Cambio de Calidad Migratoria.

If you are in Peru, this is what you have to do:

a. Obtain a permit to sign a contract at DIGEMIN
b. Sign the contract and register it at the Ministry of Work;
c. Apply to the DIGEMIN for a Cambio de Visa or Cambio de Calidad Migratoria.
d. Register at the Registro de Estranjeros to obtain a Carné de Extranjeria

During the process of approval of the “Change of Migratory Status”, the foreigner must obtain a Permiso Especial para Viajar. If the foreigner leaves the country without it, the procedure of Cambio de Calidad Migratoria will have to be started from scratch.

Foreigners who want to start the procedure to work in Peru from abroad, have to be invited by any person in Peru, and then start the procedure for the Solicitud de Visa Temporal or Solicitud de Visa Permanente. This Temporary or Permanent Visa grants an authorization that can be extended for one year. Once approval is granted, DIGEMIN will send it to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who in turn will send it to the Peruvian consulate which is closest to the country of the applicant. The consulate will stamp the passport with a visa that allows entry to Peru for working reasons. The person will then go to DIGEMIN for the accreditation of his migratory status.

The temporary or permanent authorization granted by the visa or by the Change of Quality Status will be registered with a stamp on the passport or on the Foreign ID, after the fees for the operation have been paid. The migratory status obtained by the foreigner with the visa or through the Cambio de Calidad Migratoria can be extended to his family – spouse and children – following the relevant procedures if they are in Peru, or by applying for a Visa Temporal o Permanente if they are abroad.

Once the residency permit has been obtained by Visa or Cambio de Calidad Migratoria, this must be renewed every year through the procedure of Proroga de Residencia (Residency Extension). At the same time, the foreigner may, in some cases, have to pay the yearly Extranjéria tax. Should the foreigner be out of Peru for more than 183 consecutive days, or 183 days accumulated over a period of 12 months, the residency permit will be withdrawn.

Should the foreigner be compelled to stay out of Peru for more than 183 consecutive days or 183 days accumulated over 12 months, the procedure of Autorización de Ausencia por más de 183 días will have to be restarted, and a reason for the absence provided.

If a foreigner leaves Peru with an expired residency permit, the permit will become invalid.

Should the foreigner with residency permit abandon Peru for good, the procedure of Cancelación de Residencia y Ficha definitiva de Salida will have to be started.

For freelance workers:
Once you have obtained your residence permit you can work independently, issuing an invoice for every service/professional performance you carry out. All you have to do is to get a RUC (Peruvian VAT number) at SUNAT(main office: Av. Garcilaso de la Vega 1741, Lima, – check for your nearest office), by submitting your passport, residency permit or visa (original and a photocopy), and proof of address. Once you have your RUC, you can submit invoices online, and once a year you’ll have to pay taxes on the total amount you earned (again through the SUNAT website).

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