Saturday, 1 November 2008

Retirement Visas for Peru

Updated 15 May 2014

***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.***

Legalities and settling in
In order to get a retirement visa, you need to prove that you have a fixed monthly income of at least $1000 coming from a private or public pension. That means that it can not be online income, business income, rental income, etc. It has to be a pension, such as Social Security, 401K, etc. The great thing about Peru is the cost of living. People have been able to get medical treatment for a decent price.

According to Peruvian law, you are NOT allowed to earn money in Peru while on this visa. That means that renting out property, doing import-export, teaching English, etc. are illegal. Do people work illegally on a rentista visa? Yep, I'm sure they do and they may never get caught. But, if it happens to you, you're screwed. You could lose your visa, or end up having someone blackmail you to keep quiet. It's not worth it. There are plenty of ways to earn money legally.

You could have rental income from back home. Or travel and do business abroad. Earn money online, etc. Just remember that in theory, Peruvian residents are taxes on their worldwide income. In practice, I'd go out on a limb and say that most people aren't going to pay much attention to this law.

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 be easier to talk to the immigration officers. If you're looking to learn Spanish, check out Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish.     

Advantages of being a rentista over getting Peruvian citizenship
  • You have " indefinado" (indefinite) status as a rentista. 
  • No renewal date 
  • No renewal fees. 
  • You have no right to earn money.
  • You have no tax liability
  • It seems sensible to not seek citizenship and retain the CE because you'd have to pay taxes on your worldwide income, including pensions, with citizenship. In addition, having paid taxes to the home country does not exempt these funds from being taxed again as a citizen.

Advantages of getting Peruvian citizenship over being a rentista
  • You can vote. 
  • You can earn money.
If you'd like to work you can get citizenship after two years. There has been at least one person from Expat Peru that changed a retirement visa into citizenship. If you're interested in Peruvian citizenship, look here for the requirements.

More info about rentista visas

How to solve financial problems post-retirement
Financial problems may affect every area of life, but if it occurs to you post retirement, it can screw up your retired life. Once you are trapped in the vicious cycle of debt, you will seem to drag yourself deeper into the debt hole. According to a survey done by the American Psychological Association, it has been seen that 73% of Americans account financial problems for the primary reason of their stress. They must have been spending sleepless nights wondering how to solve financial problems.

Getting rid of troublesome debt should be your primary aim post retirement. Retired life is usually known as the golden period of one’s life. If you do not want to spoil the enjoyment of your retired life, follow the steps mentioned below.

1. Use your 401K account: You must have maintained an employer sponsored retirement account while you were already earning. A 401k account is one such account which is sponsored by your employer and you need to save a part of your monthly income into that account which can be withdrawn post retirement. After you have retired, if you are in credit card debts or if you have to pay your auto insurance premiums, you can withdraw money from your 401 k account. Do not choose to borrow money before retirement as it may become subject to tax.

2. Utilize the proceeds of your investment: You must have diversified your portfolio by concentrating your funds in shares, mutual funds, cash equivalents etc. If you have cleverly invested your money in the right kind of stocks that have appreciated with time, you can earn a huge amount of money. These proceeds can be utilized to pay off your financial obligations.

3. Take out a reverse mortgage: The option of taking out a reverse mortgage is most appropriate and helpful for seniors post retirement. If you are drowned in debt and you have no cash to pay but you have equity in your home, take out a reverse mortgage. You can use the proceeds of the reverse mortgage in paying off any debt that you owe. With the new reverse mortgage rules, you will not even require to pay any upfront fees to your lenders. Thus, explore this option while you’re going though acute credit crunch.

The Ultimate Peru List recommends:


  1. Does the Peruvian Gov't tax part of your monthly retirement income, eg., SSI?

  2. I honestly don't know. I would guess that no they wouldn't tax retirement income. But check with a lawyer to make sure.

  3. Dear,
    I want to submit 1 guest article on RETIREMENT in your site:, only if you permit me. The post contains 400 words above and totally unique as it is written by my content writers and the article will be on the theme of your site. In return, I will place your links in my finance sites and blogs.

    Please contact me at my mail soon.

    Erica Smith

  4. Sure, send it and I'll post it in the retirement section.

  5. Peruvian law regarding visa is peculiar as it says that in order to get a retirement visa, the person needs to prove that he has a fixed monthly income of at least 1000USD. However, according to the Peruvian law no one can earn money during his stay in the country in Visa. Interestingly, a person becomes citizen of the country after three years by the way of naturalization.

  6. The majority of retirement visas do NOT allow you to work. They are retirement visas, not working visas. It's assumed you have enough to support yourself.

    You CAN work abroad though, and maybe online.

    About citizenship, I don't know if you can get it if you have a retirement visa. Show me the link and I'll post it.

  7. Sharon, thanks so much for this interesting website. Does the Peruvian government tax income from a rental property that we have in the USA? We're interested in acquiring our rentista visa. Thank you.

  8. In theory, yes, they do. Or rather, you're supposed to declare it. I don't think I would though. Try contacting a Peruvian tax lawyer, sorry. We just have property in Peru.


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