Saturday, November 1, 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.

You cannot work on a retirement visa
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. 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.

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 three 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
Plan ahead. I can't stress this enough. How to retire happy, wild, and free is full of great advice. How to make your money last is worth a read - especially with people living so long.

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.



  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. 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.

  4. 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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