Monday, November 3, 2008

Babies born in Peru

Updated 11 April 2017

Below you can find a variety of information about what happens when you give birth in Peru.
Giving Birth in Peru
Look at the Medical Section for info about hospitals and doctors. Due to Peru's laws, children in Peru can become Peruvian citizens, even if their parents aren't. It's not mandatory that a child born in Peru become a Peruvian, it's optional. If you would like your child to become Peruvian, there are certain steps that need to be followed and you have 30 days to complete them.

Dual citizenship depends on your home country. Peru always it. Holland doesn't, UNLESS parents of a child hold 2 different citizenships, like Peruvian and Dutch. If this is your case, then your child can become a dual citizen, if you'd like them to be. Check with your embassy to make sure. There are also two very good websites you should read about dual citizenship. The first is RichW and the second is Multiple Citizenship.

You might want to look into getting a labor doula. Doulas really are amazing. They have been shown to have very positive benefits and can also help the mom and baby after the birth. As far as breastfeeding go, LLL (La Leche League) is in Peru and you can find more info on their Facebook page.

Registration at RENIEC
First you will need your baby's birth certificate. Please double check all info on the birth certificate, names, dates, etc. Changing information is very very difficult and involves a court of law. With that birth certificate and you and your spouse's / partner's ID (passport, CE, or DNI), you will have to go to RENIEC and register your baby.

Both you, spouse/partner, and baby need to be physically present at RENIEC. If you would like, you could also get a DNI for minors at RENIEC. Instructions can be found here. It's strongly recommended that you register your baby at RENIEC, if you want the baby to be Peruvian, within 30 days. If you take longer than that, be prepared to fill out much more paperwork and explain why you didn't go within the first 30 days.

Peruvian Passport
Once that's done, you can get your baby a passport. You can do this at any time, it doesn't have to be done in the 30 day time frame. You'll have to do this at Migraciones. You will need the baby's birth cert (issued within 6 months from the date you are applying for the passport) or the baby's DNI for minors. You will also need the original ID of one of the parents, either a passport, CE, or DNI. You will have to make copies of all these documents and go in person with the baby.

Basic Citizenship Information
Your baby's citizenship usually depends on yours. If you are a citizen of X country, then usually your children will be too, as long as you fulfill the requirements. See your embassy's website for more info. Check out the citizenship laws of the world website as well. Here's a Reuter's article about citizenship that you might find useful.

Canadian Citizenship
Here's info on Canadian citizenship for your child. This is what the Canadian government has to say.

First generation born abroad: Children born to Canadian parents in the first generation outside Canada will only be Canadian at birth if:
  • one parent was born in Canada OR
  • one parent became a Canadian citizen by immigrating to Canada and was later granted citizenship

Second generation born abroad: Basically, because of changes to the Citizenship Act that took effect April 17, 2009 someone born abroad to a Canadian citizen who was also born outside the country will no longer be able to pass on Canadian citizenship, unless they happen to have children with someone who was born in Canada or who emigrated there and acquired citizenship.

"A person born outside Canada with even one Canadian parent – call that person a second-generation Canadian – will be able to claim Canadian citizenship. That much has not changed. But what has changed is what happens to the children of that second-generation Canadian. Under the old rules, the children born to Canadians who had themselves been born outside the country were still eligible for Canadian citizenship. They just had to lay claim to our nationality before age 28 and live in this country at some point.

Now those children of second-generation Canadians will not have an automatic right to Canadian citizenship at any age. They will have to be sponsored by their parents to come to Canada as permanent residents, then apply for citizenship inside the country.

In general, if your children are born in Canada, they will be Canadian. If your children are born outside Canada on or after April 17, 2009, they will be Canadian only if their other parent was born in Canada or became a Canadian citizen by immigrating there as a permanent resident and subsequently being granted citizenship (also called naturalization). If your children are born outside Canada while you are working outside Canada for the Canadian government, a Canadian province, or serving outside Canada with the Canadian Forces, they will be Canadian. (This exception does not apply to Canadians employed as locally-engaged staff outside the country.)"

American Citizenship
A common mistake people make is that they think that America doesn't allow dual citizenship, they do. They just don't encourage it. And a dual citizen ALWAYS has to enter and leave American soil on an American passport. Passing down US citizenship means that parents have to fulfill certain requirements.

If you want your child to be able to vote, be sure to check out the US requirements since not all Americans have the right to vote.

If you want your child to get American citizenship, you will have to call and make an appointment with the embassy. I know that you can do this in Lima and Cusco. Before the appointment, you MUST have all the paperwork ready. So you will have to go to the Embassy twice, once to get the paperwork and once for the appointment with both parents and the baby. Make sure you get a couple of copies of the birth certificate since the embassy will keep a copy.

You have 30 days after your baby's birth to register your child's birth at the embassy. (on the US embassy website it doesn't say 30 days, it just says "as soon as possible" However, people who have waited longer than 30 days have had to fill out more paperwork and explain why they didn't come sooner.) Try reading this post about US citizenship for children born in Peru. The good news is that you can apply for the SSN, birth cert and passport at the same time. More info is available from the US Embassy. (If you decide to get Peruvian citizenship for your child, first you have to do the Peruvian paperwork, then the American paperwork.)

In addition to the forms that you will fill out, you will need evidence of citizenship. A checklist can be found on the US Department of State's website. You will have to prove that you or your spouse/partner has lived in the US. And you have to prove this through passports, or transcripts if you studied, or work papers if you work. The forms that you will have to fill out are long, so you must do them before you go to the embassy. They want a complete history of where you lived and worked along with your parents' information like where they were born and where they lived. You will also need evidence of your marital status (if applicable) or affidavits of a relationship and evidence of you and / or your spouse's / partner's residence and physical presence in the United States. If either of the baby's parents were previously married they want all the associated paperwork of the divorce.

You will be given a “Consular Report of Birth Abroad” (Form FS-240, which is proof of U.S.
citizenship). (NB: “Certification of Report of Birth” (Form DS-1350) will no longer be issued after 31 December 2010. After your child is registered, you can get copies by sending a written, notarized request to the State Department.

Vital Records Section
Passport Services
1111 19th Street, NW, Suite 510
Washington, DC 20522-1705

Below you will find the four different requirements for US citizenship according to US Citizenship and Immigration Services INA: ACT 301 [8 U.S.C. 1401] and INA: ACT 309 [8 U.S.C. 1409] . Please bare in mind that the info on the US embassy's website ONLY states the cases for MARRIED couples. I really don't know why they don't have info for unmarried couples. For unmarried couples the physical presence time requirement is less. On the US embassy's site they say that for one US parent and one foreigner, the US parent has to have spent 5 years in the US, but this is not true for children born to unmarried parents. If you are unmarried and fulfill the requirements listed below, your child has a right to become an American due to the US Citizenship and Immigrations Services. You can find the requirements at the US Department of State's website and below.
  • Both parents (married or unmarried) are American: If both parents are American, then your baby is automatically American, as long as one parent has lived in the US for any amount of time, there's no time limit. See US Citizenship and Immigration Services INA: ACT 301 [8 U.S.C. 1401] section C.
  • Married parents, one is American: If you're married to a foreigner, then you have to had lived there for 5 years, with 2 of the years being after age 14. See US Citizenship and Immigration Services INA: ACT 301 [8 U.S.C. 1401] section G.
  • Unmarried parents, the father is American: As long as the father is American at the time of birth, says in writing that he will financially support the child, is the father of the child, has been physically present in the US for 5 years (2 after the age of 14) and the child is under age 18, the child is American. See US Citizenship and Immigration Services INA: ACT 309 [8 U.S.C. 1409] section A.
  • Unmarried parents, the mother is American: The mother must have been physically present in the US for a continuous period of a year. See US Citizenship and Immigration Services INA: ACT 309 [8 U.S.C. 1409] section C.
  • Citizenship through grandparents: If the American parents don't fulfill the requirements, then a grandparent can apply for citizenship on their behalf. To do this, the grandparent must have been physically present in the US for at least 5 years, 2 of those must be after the age of 14. See section 332 of the INA for more info. Look at number 13 on page 4.



  1. I was born in Peru to two Russian nationals in 1983. Could i obtain citizenship? Where do i even start?

  2. Yes, you should be able to get citizenship. First go to the RENIEC in the municipality where you were born and get your birth cert. With that you should be able to apply for citizenship. You might have to ask at RENIEC and immigrations about the exact steps. Also look at the naturalisation section here at the Ultimate Peru List.


  3. Update Suggestion,

    My wife and I had a child in Arequipa in May of 2009. According to the US Emabassy and our experience (as we went 36 days after birth), there is NO NEED to apply at the US Embassy within 30 days of birth. Other embassies might have different rules, but this is not a 30 day requirement.

    The only thing that had to be done in 30 days is the birth certificate process which should be done locally to where the child was born.

    Also worthy of mention is that according to the Municipality building in Arequipa, birth certificates carry a 6-month expiration. Therefore, if you wait to get the passports, make sure your birth certificate isn't more than 6 months old. I'm not sure why birth certificates expire... but they do even though they don't mention it on the copy.

    Also, the Peruvian Embassy keeps your copy of the birth certificate. I would suggest getting 3 copies of the certificate when it is first filed. Even though they expire, it's good to have copies if official governement offices keep copies.

  4. One quick correction about Canadian citizenship. Your info seems to suggest that only Canadians who were born in Canada may pass their citizenship to their children who were born abroad. According to your writing, Immigrant Canadians may only pass on Canadian citizenship if they are married to another Canadian citizen, who may have been born abroad. In fact, there is no legal disctinction between Immigrant Canadians, and Canadians who were born in Canada. Either can pass Canadian citizenship to their children, regardless of whether they are the only Canadian parent of the child born abroad.

  5. I have another angle on this. I'm Swedish and my wife is Spanish, we had a child here in Peru 6 months ago. Our child is of course Peruvian.

    Someone told us that we are eligible for peruvian citizenship since our daughter is Peruvian. But I can't find anything about parents having rights to citizenship on DIGEMIN, just the other way around.

    Has anyone heard about a case like this, info would be appreciated?

    1. I know you wrote this years ago, but did you ever figure this out?

    2. The child does have rights to citizenship but the parents don't.

  6. Nope, not that I know of. You'd have to go the traditional way of time in country and then take the tests. Your wife might be able to shortcut all that since she's Spanish.

  7. I was born in Lima, Peru in 1974 and still have my Peruvian birth certificate, could I really obtain dual citizenship? I currently reside in the US. If so, would I visit a Peruvian embassy here or would I need to fly out to Peru?

    1. You should try visiting the closest consulate or embassy. Since you have your birth cert already, it shouldn't be an issue. Emphasis on shouldn't. Best of luck!

  8. Hi, the link to the instructions for getting a DNI at RENIEC is not working - do you know any alternative? Thank you.

    1. Here's the one for adults.

      And here's the one for those under 18.

      With English subtitles.

      If none of those work here's some info from an embassy.

      Good luck

  9. My sister had a baby in Peru, the child is now 3 and she wants to come to canada to see grandparents. Does the child need a visitation visa as well as a passport? would she not already have canadian citizenship because her mother is a Canadian citizen

    1. Canada is notoriously a pain. Babies born abroad that are entitled to citizenship usually get the passport first, then a certification of citizenship.

      If she doesn’t have a Canada passport now (they should really do the paperwork), then yes, she would need a visa to enter Canada until she got her Canadian passport.

      Citizenship when born abroad isn’t necessarily automatic. The parents have to apply for it on their kids’ behalf and just because the parent is a citizen doesn’t mean that they can pass it on to their kids.

      Your sister really needs to get the info I’m applying from the Canadian embassy since they will issue the passport.


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