***Be sure you ask at immigrations about your visa as rules and fees seem to change often. You now need an appointment in order to go to immigration. Make the "derecho de tramite" payment in order to schedule your appointment right away.***
One tip to remember is that speaking Spanish will help you greatly. You'll be treated differently than if you speak English all the time, it'll help you assimilate to Peru, and it'll make talking to the government workers easier. If you're looking to learn Spanish, I recommend Synergy Spanish and Fluent in 3 Months.
If you've been in Peru for two years, but do not want to get citizenship, you can get an immigrant visa (inmigrante). This is long-term residency visa, so you don't have to renew your residency every year. However, you DO still have to pay the foreigner's tax. I'm not sure if you can get an inmigrante visa if you have a retirement visa. So you'll have to ask at Immigrations.
General Requirements for Naturalisation
Please see the sections below about the 3 different ways to get citizenship.
- Have 2 continuous years with a CE (Waived if at least one of your parents are Peruvian)
- Have paid the foreigner tax (or exoneration if you're married to a Peruvian)
- Have a valid CE
- Pass exams in Spanish, history and culture of Peru
- Verification of no criminal activity and residence (and marriage if applicable)
- Provide all the necessary documentation
- Have an interview
- Give back your CE
Time and CE: The required time for naturalisation is two years after getting your CE. You will have to give back your CE once you get your naturalisation document and you may have to change your name. If you haven't paid the foreigner tax or the exoneration, do so. Your CE will have to be up-to-date. For those with Peruvian parents, there is no time requirement, however you must first have a CE. Here's the general foreigner information and the information for immigrant visas and naturalisation.
Exams: When I got citizenship, you didn't need to do the exams or have anyone verify your marriage was legit. Peru's tightening up its requirements. You will also have to pass tests in the Spanish language, history and culture of Peru, even if you're married to a Peruvian. I've been told that it's pretty difficult and it's been getting harder. You need 12 out of 20 points to pass.
Some things you should know are the national anthem, the rivers, the president of Peru, the president of Congress, the prime minister, Inca rulers, Peruvian authors, etc. Here's some info about questions on the exams and notes about what to study. The good news is that it just requires rote memorisation, not thinking. They usually mark the exams on the same day, but they say the standard wait for them to notify you is 15 days.
Provide all the Necessary Documentation: Yea for forms! Make sure you get everything you need.
Verification of No Criminal Activity and Residence (and Marriage): You'll have to swear that you have not committed any crimes as well as get docs from INERPOL. You'll also have to swear that you reside at your residence. You may have a government official visit your home.
Interview: They'll interview you about becoming a Peruvian citizen. You will have to speak Spanish.
Give Back Your CE: When you become Peruvian you will have to give back your CE. You'll then get a DNI.
Dual (multi) citizenship isn't recognised by all countries. It is, however, recognised by Peru. The US government and the Australian government have lists of which countries allow dual citizenship. According to the US, Peru doesn't allow dual citizenship, however, there are lots of loopholes. As you can see on the Australian link. It says that dual citizenship is allowed in some form in Peru. Dual citizenship IS allowed. Peru does, begrudingly, recognise it, so there's no need to worry. I'm an American and got Peruvian citizenship due to marriage. I'm now a dual citizen.
In order for you to get dual citizenship your country of origin will also have to recognise dual citizenship. You will have to check with your home country though. For example, if you're German and want to get Peruvian citizenship, you have to give up your German citizenship. Exceptions to this are children born to parents with different citizenships. Check with your home country's embassy for more information.
Other places, like the US, do acknowledge and allow dual citizenship (yes, the US does and has allowed dual citizenship for about 50 years. They simply don't encourage it and you ALWAYS must enter and exit the US on your US passport.) I went to the US Embassy and signed a document that I made saying that I didn't want to give up US citizenship. They told me that it really wasn't necessary because it's very difficult and there's lots of paperwork to give up US citizenship (except for extreme cases, like terrorism). For more info about US law check RickW and the State Department's Website.
Possible (Required) Name Change
Be aware that you will most likely have your name changed if you get citizenship. If you only have one last name, you will be forced to take two (your father's last name and your mother's).
NB: Some people have been forced to change their names, others haven't. It seems that MEN are not asked to add their mother's last name, but WOMEN are. In fact, some men have asked to add their mother's last name and have been refused.
I was forced to add my mother's last name and told I had to add in order to become Peruvian. I spent a couple hours talking with the workers and administration, they refused to change their minds. Yet men don't have to change their names. Go figure, this is one of the many reasons why I left Peru. You can see more on this discussion at Expat Peru.
This means that you will have to change your bank account, pension, and any property, such as a house, apartment or car to your new name. If you are married, you can also add the "de" and your husband's last name, though this is optional. (You would have three last names: your father's, mother's, "de" and your husband's.) This is done at RENIEC, when you get your naturalisation cert, it will just have two last names (your father's last name and your mother's).
For the bank accounts, you just go to the bank with your bank card and DNI. Same goes for your pension plan. For the propery you'll have to go to SUNARP and bring a letter explaining the change as well as notarised copies of your DNI, CE, Naturalisation paper. You'll also have to fill out a form. If you're married you'll need your original partida de matrimonio (marriage license) and a notarised copy of your spouse's DNI.
Changing your Documents after Naturalisation
You will have to change important documents, such as your bank accounts, property title, car title, driving license, pension plan, last will and testimony, etc. In order to do this you usually need two documents: a notarised copy of your CE and your original DNI. The last step of naturalisation is handing over your CE. BEFORE you do this, be sure to make a couple notarised copies.
3 different Ways to get Peruvian Citizenship
- Naturalisation for those NOT married to a Peruvian
- Naturalisation for those married to a Peruvian
- Naturalisation for those with Peruvian parent(s)
1. Naturalisation for those NOT married to a Peruvian
You will have to take the culture, history, and language test and get the President's signature (which can take from 3-6 months) as well as fulfill the general requirements. Expat Peru has a guide about how to do this. Here's the general foreigner information and the information for immigrant visas and naturalisation.
2. Naturalisation due to marriage
For those married to Peruvians, it's a bit easier. But you'll still have to jump through a lot of hoops. Here's the general foreigner information and the information for immigrant visas and naturalisation.
- 4 passport size photos.
- Your original and a notarised copy of your carne de extranjeria that shows two years residency (with foreigner's tax paid, and residency up to date)
- An original copy of your spouse's birth certificate. (They're only valid for 30 days)
- A simple copy of your spouse's DNI showing casada status.
- A letter (solicitud) to the Director of Immigration asking for your application to be considered. You can find one at Migraciones in the immigrant visas and naturalisation section or in letters to immigration.
- A statutory declaration that you are healthy and have no criminal convictions. You can find one at Migraciones in the immigrant visas and naturalisation section or in letters to immigration.
- Form F006.
- Pay the fee for Form F006 and the registration fee at the Banco de la Nacion.
- A recent copy (no older than 30 days) of your original Peruvian marriage certificate showing 2 years of marriage. If you got married abroad, you'll have to have registered (see getting your CE for how to register your marriage)your marriage previously with RENIEC and show your Peruvian marriage certificate.]
- A ficha de canje international from INTERPOL.
- A sworn statement stating your address and that you haven't committed any crimes. There's a sample in letters to immigration.
- Written history, culture, and language test.
- Personal interview.
Steps for Naturalisation due to Marriage
You can also see the section at Migraciones about immigrant visas and naturalisation.
- Make copies of everything so that they can stamp your copies. Leave the orginals at the Mesa de Partes at Immigrations. Don't leave the registration fee. They will tell you when to come back, it's usually three to five days. Bring the registration fee with you when you come back.
- Then you will have to go to the naturalisation office on the 3rd floor, they will check your documents. It opens at 8:00 am and closes at 1pm. You will give them your registration fee.
- You will then have to come back again, usually between 5 and 15 days. They will then make you sign papers and fingerprint you. You should also get either certified copies or notarised copies of your carne (CE). You'll need it to change your data on things such as your car, house, bank accounts, etc.
- To get notarised ones, simply go to a notary. For certified copies of your carne, you need to fill out form F002, pay the fee at the Banco de la Nacion and make 5 copies. You leave these at the Mesa de Partes and can pick them up in two days. (This MUST be done before you pick up your naturalisation document. In order to get your naturalisation document you have to give them back your CE. And in order to pick up the certified copies of your CE, you need your CE.)
- You will set up an appointment so that a police officer will visit you at home in order to make sure you live where you say.
- You will set up another appointment so that you and your spouse will have to be interviewed by the director.
- You'll have to wait a couple weeks.
- You'll have to pay a fee of 35 soles. They will give you your naturalisation document (titulo de registro) and tell you how to get certified copies of your naturalisation document, which you need to get your DNI. The register has two parts: one part stays in the register and the other part is given to you as your titulo of citizenship. When you sign the register you will have to give them your CE (so make sure you get notarised or certified copies of it BEFORE you sign the register.)
3. Naturalisation for adult (18+) children of Peruvians
NB: This was told to me by a person who went through the process back in 2008. I'm not sure if it's still possible or not.
For those with Peruvian parents, there is no time requirement to getting citizenship. (However, in order to get citizenship, first you must have a CE (carne de extranjeria), which means that you legally reside in Peru. If you don't have a CE, follow the steps below. Since your parents are Peruvian, you don't have to wait two years, you can do it right after you get your CE.) Below is one way to get citizenship. Other ways, including those for minors, can be found in immigrant visas and naturalisation.
- Form F006.
- Pay the fee for form F006 and the naturalisation fee at the Banco de la Nacion
- Solicitud (number 8 in letters to immigration)
- Your birth cert, legalised by the Peruvian Consulate/Embassy, translated by an official translator, then legalised by RREE.
- Copy of your passport
- Declaration saying that you are healthy and have no criminal record (numbers 5 and 6 in letters to immigration)
- CE with foreigner's tax paid, and residency up to date
- DNI of your Peruvian parent
- 4 passport sized photos
CE for Children of Peruvians Over the Age of 18
All payments should be made at the Banco de la Nacion. (This is just one way to get a CE, there are others, see general foreigner information and the information for immigrant visas and naturalisation for other ways.)
- Pay the fee for permission to sign contracts. (Letters to immigrations can be found in letters to immigration.)
- Get hired by a company or you talk to one of your friends who has company with a registered RUC, and sign the contract.
- Pay the fee to register your contract (ingresar contratos) take it to the Ministerio del Trabajo on Av. El Aire in San Borja, present your birth certificate, your Peruvian parents birth certificate or DNI to prove that you are related to a Peruvian, and the contract signed, they review it and give you the necessary stamp.
- Once this is done go to Immigrations and show this to the immigration officer. (He will ask you how you got the contract approved. Show him the proof, you are the son or daughter of a Peruvian. You have to return in 10 days to see whether the visa is ready for pick up. While waiting, do the INTERPOL check about this time so it can be ready once you are a resident.
- Follow the steps for getting your carne.
- Once you get the carne de extranjeria gather all the docs for the nationalisation process and apply.
Some people from Expat Peru have gotten citizenship. Try contacting them if you have questions. They might be able to help you out.
- paddington82: American, received unknown
- sarahdavida: American, received unknown
- naturegirl: American, January 2009
- american_in_lima: American, October 2009
- RobB: American, 2009
- aqpgeo: American, January 2010
- wisconsin traveler: American, April 2010
- Remigius: Dutch, September 2010
- Alan: Canadian, October 2010
- markr: British, December 2010
- DC_20833: December 2010
- fanning: Dutch, January 2011
- gerard: British, February 2011
- Yuyis: Dutch, May 2011
People Who Are Planning on Getting Citizenship
- Chiclayo Gringo: American
- cuymagico: unknown
- Kelly: American
- LauraMH: American
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