Tourist Visa Peru

Do I need a tourist visa Peru?

Most citizen from Europe, the United Kingdom and United States of America don’t need to apply for any visa if the want to visit Peru as a tourist. You will only need to show a passport that is still valid for six months at the moment that you enter Peru. UNLESS your nationality is from one of these six European countries: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaiyán, Bosnia y Herzegovina, Georgia y Kosovo, then you need to apply for a tourist visa. For more information about the need for a tourist visa and how to apply, you can check the official website of the Peruvian government (only available in Spanish). More information in English, although, unfortunately, limited you can find on the official travel website from the Peruvian government.

How long can I stay as a tourist in Peru?

Every tourist with valid documents who enters Peru has the right to receive a permit to stay for 90 days as a tourist in Peru. Officially citizen from many countries in Europe are even allowed to stay 183 days out of 365 days in Peru but they only get maximal up till 180 days, without any guarantee. This means that from the moment you enter Peru, you have 365 days to use your 90 or 180 days tourist visa Peru. For example, if you arrived in Peru on the first of July 2023, then you can stay up till 90 (or 180) days as a tourist in Peru, until the first of July 2024. On the following document from the Peruvian government you can read if you do need to apply for a tourist visa or not and if you are allowed to receive maximal 90 or 180 days on your tourist visa Peru.

The power of the Peruvian Immigration officer

However, and now it gets tricky, the actual amount of days you will receive upon entering Peru as a tourist will depend highly on the person who receives your passport at the Peruvian immigration service. If, for example, he or she only gives you permission to stay for 30 days on your tourist visa Peru, then you will have to leave Peru within those 30 days. Within Peru it is not possible to apply for the missing 60 days. If you want to stay longer than these 30 days, you will have to apply at the Peruvian immigration office for an extra tourist visa of 90 days. You can also leave Peru for minimal 24 hours, come back and ask at the immigration office if you can get the missing 60 days.

Tourist visa Peru Tip!

This is important. When you enter Peru as a tourist and you think that you are only going to stay for lets say two weeks, then don’t say this at the immigration office. Because in case you would like to stay longer, it is a hassle to apply for a tourist visa, even if you just want to stay 2 more days… When you enter Peru, always tell the immigration that you would stay longer than your actual plan. For example tell them that you want to stay for a month even if you just want to stay 2 weeks, or tell them that you possible want to spend 2 months traveling in Peru, even though you only plan to stay one month. No worries, it is no problem at all to stay for less time then you told the immigration office. When you leave Peru, they will only count the actual amount of days that you spend in Peru, not the amount of days you asked for.

Official Peruvian visa regulations, versus reality

Tourist visa Peru at border crossing EcuadorLast year, in 2023, a friend of mine had already spend 90 days in Peru. She is from Sweden, so according to the official document from the Peruvian immigration service she is allowed to stay max 90/ 180 days as a tourist in Peru. However it was/ is not clear how to obtain these extra 90 days. According to information on the immigration website you will have to apply for an additional tourist visa if you want these extra 90 days. But two other friends of her had just left Peru and asked for 90 days again when they came back into Peru (within the original 365 days). So I asked the Peruvian tourism service Prom Perú and the Peruvian immigration service in Lima how this is possible. Both services told me that the only way to receive these extra 90 days is indeed by applying for an additional tourist visa. However, my friend, who was at that moment in Ecuador, decided to try her luck and follow the example of her friends. After spending a week in Ecuador, she crossed the border back into Peru again, smiled at the immigration service and asked for a 90 days tourist visa Peru. She received this visa without further questions…

Overstaying your tourist visa Peru

Sometimes it is easier to just overstay your tourist visa in Peru, instead of trying to apply for an additional tourist visa, especially if you only stay a few days longer. Any tourist overstaying their allotted time in Peru is subject to a daily fine of 0.1% of the Unidad Impositiva Tributaria (UIT). The UIT for January 2024 is 5.15 Sol (the local currency of Peru) or around 1.36 US$. This means that for each day that you overstay your tourist visa Peru you have to pay 5.15 Sol. Once you have paid your fine, you can freely leave Peru and normally re-enter again in your next tourist year (speaking from experience).

Where to Pay your visa overstay fine

If you fly out of Peru, you can pay the fine in a special office at Lima Airport. It’s a good idea to get to the airport a little earlier than normal if you have to pay a fine. If you leave Peru by land, you might be able to pay the fine at the immigration office at one of the main border crossings, or you will have to pay the fine (in Sol) in advance at one of the Peruvian National banks, Banco de la Nación. They will give you a receipt which you need to show at the immigration office at the border. Be aware that there are often very long and slow queues in the buildings of Banco de la Nación. A relative new way to pay for your visa fine in advance is through the following website from Banco de la Nación.

Volunteer visa Peru

When you want to do volunteer work in Peru, but want to enter Peru on a normal tourist visa, NEVER mention to the immigration officer that you are planning to do volunteer work. Officially it isn’t allowed to do any type of volunteer work while staying in Peru on a tourist visa Peru. Just tell them that you want to learn Spanish, go surfing, do yoga, etc.

No Peruvian entrance stamp in your passport

To support tourism in Peru the hotels in Peru do not have to pay the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT or IGV in Peru) on hotel rooms they rent to foreign tourists. However, this only counts when these foreign tourists are less than 60 days in Peru. After those 60 days tourists also have to pay 18% taxes on their hotel room. In the past many hotels would ask you for a copy of your passport and a copy of the entrance stamp in your passport. However, now it happens more and more often that you don’t get an entrance stamp anymore when you enter Peru. This makes it more difficult to check how long someone has been in the country. Some hotels have solved this by getting connected to the immigrations service, other will assume that most tourists in Peru will stay less than 60 days. Still, it is always good, when entering Peru, to ask at the immigration service how many days you are getting and write this down for yourself.