Peru Tourist Visa Extension
Where to go to get a Peruvian Tourist Visa Extension:
Visa extensions can be completed in Lima, Cuzco, Iquitos, Puno, and Puerto Maldonado. Typical hours of operation are from 09:00 until 13:30, Monday through Friday. Note: Lines are usually shorter in the early morning, and it should not take you more than 2 hours to extend your visa.
How much is a Tourist Visa Extension in Peru?
Tourists are allowed to receive visa extensions totaling three months. After this time the traveler must leave the country (to get an extension). This simply entails crossing the border and returning again (ask for the full 90 when you return). There is conflicting information whether 48-hours must pass before re-admittance.
One-month visa extensions cost US$20 per month, plus a fee of approximately 25 soles for processing. Extensions of the tourist visa can be purchased for up to three months. Extensions can be purchased on a monthly basis, or can be purchased all at once on your visit to the immigration office—depending on how nice the immigration is feeling at that particular moment.
Where do you go for a Tourist Visa Extension in Lima? What do you do?
Go to the immigration office and show your passport to enter the building. Pick up the Visa Extension form at the information desk on the first floor. Visa extensions are handled on the third floor. They will want a copy of your passport front page (w/signature), the page with your latest entry stamp, and the Andean Migration Card.
Go to the window that says "Prorrogas Residencia" and present your passport and tourist visa card. The official will give you a receipt for $20. At this time, you will need to go down to the first floor, make a copy of your visa and passport. You can then pay for the extension at the Banco de la Nacion, located down the corridor from the copy machine. There may be long lines for the bank. Fill out the form and return to the same teller on the third floor. Give the official your stamped receipt and your filled out form. After this you will be asked to wait for your passport and extended visa, which shouldn't take longer than 20 minutes.
Expired Tourist Visas in Peru
Expired visas are subject to a $20 fine upon departure or extension. Whether your visa is one day over due or 30 days over due, you will pay $20 all the same. It will cost another $20 to renew your expired visa, and you will only be given one month from the day that your visa expired, not from the day you pay the fine. When crossing borders on expired visas, be wary of officials over charging you (it should only be $20), but be aware that if you are planning on re-entering on the same border, you will be dealing with the same officials. In other words, the nicer you are the more likely they are to give you the maximum number of days upon re-entry.
In my experience at the Lima Immigration office, the best way to do it is fill in 3 visa extension forms when you get there, ideally at 8am to beat the crowds, then go to the bank and pay for ALL 3 forms BEFORE collecting the "phase 2" forms from upstairs. Then, after paying the 'formularios' go upstairs where you have the option of seeing one of two people, the lady on the left or the lady on the right of the lady on the left who both uniquely deal with tourist visa extensions. HOT TIP: Do NOT go to the lady on the left, she's a meany. Go to the lady on the right and show her your 3 forms and receipts. She is always very nice and has given me a 3 month extension on more than one occasion. If she questions you why you're filling in three forms and she says it's not allowed, just plead ignorance and say you thought it would be ok, but now that all three are paid, you'd appreciate being given 3 months worth of extensions and you promise to absolutely never do it again…
PS, In my 3 years, the same ladies occupy the same seats… I assume they haven't changed recently!
How I understand it, after your 90 day stamp is up, you can pay for an extension up to 2 times, each 30 days. They can give you a third extension for 30 days, but only in the extreme case if you are hospitalized, or in the process of receiving your real visa in case you´ve married a Peruvian. (Although, to illustrate what I said above, the immigration office in Puerto Maldonado had no such conditions for giving out the third extension)
Then you have to leave the country and reenter, and ask for 90 days. Officially you can be in the country as a tourist up to 180 days (6 months) of each year. In December when I went to Bolivia for a few days, to reenter, I asked him in my sweetest voice, fluttering my eyelids: "Me podria dar 90 dias?" and the immigration official looked at the various stamps and extensions through my passport 3 times and said: "But you haven't really left the country since April, you can only stay up til 180 days a year as a tourist", and I started to panic and think of some way to talk him into it, when my boyfriend came to the rescue and the official ended up giving in, even saying: "Only for you!"
In my experience it goes like this: when you come to Peru they will give you 30, 60 or 90 days visa (depending on a good mood of the officer), after that you can renew it for up to 90 days (but only 30 days at a time) that means that the maximum stay is 180 days. After the 180 days are up, you have to LEAVE the country for a MINIMUM of 48hours (or something like that, I am not sure- it is 36h if I recall correctly- HINT- the problems with the officers on the border is, that they really should not let people just go out of the country and come back in a matter of hours. But after 2 days you are legally entering Peru as it would be the first time. (There is no maximum 180 days per year rule… but there is the 2 days rule!)
Anyhow, since I am a little lazy regarding all this 180 days and visa extensions and traveling and stuff- so, my boyfriend I and found a loophole—a student visa! A foreigner studying Spanish in Peru can get a 1 year temporal visa, by studying in an official school- such as ICPNA. You don’t even have to study- you just have to register for the classes in a school or an institute, recognized by the "Ministry of Education".
All you have to do is present some papers, pay the paperwork and you can get a 1-year visa (a temporary residency). It is cheaper than paying the extensions, leaving the country and all that stuff AND having a student visa gives you the right to ask for a special permit to sign contracts—which will finally let you ask for your carnet de extranjeria.
I've been here for over 3 years now on a tourist visa. However, I have made 3 or 4 trips to the US in that time, staying in the US for up to a month - hence avoiding the border crossing extensions. I've only made one trip to Chile, the rest of the time I stay as long as I want and then pay the $1 a day when flying out.
My problem this last trip was the US airline giving me a hard time because I didn't have a return flight from Peru.
Looking at the Student Visa more closely, it seems I would require a 1 year course as a minimum. A bit too much. Besides, looking at schools like El Sol, they don't offer such courses and the monthly cost is more than my monthly income!
…From what I read on www.digemin.gob.pe, a student visa can be issued for a period of up to 1 year, not a minimum of 1 year, so you could do say a 3-month course, which would give you time to sort out other paperwork.
I went to the Digimin office in Breña this morning to get my 30 day extension, willing putting myself through a day of potential suffering… out of morbid fascination… but in fact it wasn't so bad…
Arriving at about 11am I picked up my 1 page form from Information at the door, which took about a minute to fill out. They told me to go to window 5 or 6 on the third floor to get a ticket to take to the bank.
I went upstairs and had to wait about 5 minutes in a queue to see a woman in window 5, who gave me my ticket, told me what to photocopy and where to pay. The photocopy cost 40 cents and the queue for the bank took me about 15 minutes to get through. I paid $20 and S./26, was handed a receipt and went back to Window 5. The woman took my documents and told me to wait. I did, for about 10 minutes, and that was it, I had my stamp for 30 days.
I went down yesterday around 8am and got it all done in about 2.5 hours. It was more crowded than my last visit. The line for the bank was about 1 hour, and the final wait to get my passport returned with stamps was about 30 minutes. I actually find it hilarious to watch the vigilance as people try to cut in line at the bank. People around me get absolutely out of control while I stand and chuckle to myself. It's quite a show.
The same exact 2 women where there on the 3rd floor that were there back in July when I did this. I got the same woman in Line 6. She told me the same thing, only 30 days. You have to insist you will be traveling to the jungle and won't be near an immigrations office. She did finally grant me 90 days. After that she sweetened up and was actually really nice to me. I heard many tourists not even arguing with her and accepting the 30 days.
Today I attended the immigration office in Lima to get an extension of 30 days. The whole process is extremely slow . I confirmed 2 things firstly you can only renew 3 times ie 90 days and secondly the rate for overstaying the expiration is $1 per day.