Residency in Peru – Carnet de Extranjeria

One of the most complex and frustrating “tramites” is what’s involved in applying for your Carnet de Extranjeria, the document required to legally live and work in Peru. Unfortunately most of the information available on-line through the Migraciones website, Interpol website, and some expat websites is incorrect or at best lacking in accuracy. Having recently completed the process I would like to share my experience with you and hopefully help people avoid the same stress in the future. These are the requisites if you are married to a Peruvian, which is how the majority of foreigners gain their residency.

So, here is an outline of the steps you need to take:

  1. Go to Banco de la Nacion and pay S/. 117.60 (tributo 01814 por Cambio de Calidad Migratoria)
  2. Once you have paid this hold on to the voucher as you will need the number to apply for your interview with Migraciones. Go to their website (Citas en Linea – and using your voucher number you can book an interview, give yourself at least a month so that you can get all of the documents together. Once you have booked your interview time and completed the on-line form (F004) make sure you print it along with the confirmation of your interview.
  3. Now it’s time to get your documents together, you will need the following:
  4. Original Partida o Acta de Matrimonio visada por RENIEC. This basically means you ask for a certified copy of your marriage certificate from RENIEC and it cannot be more than 6 months old.
  5. A legalized copy of the DNI of your Peruvian spouse, which must state their marital status as married, the DNI must be current with the current address and they must not owe any money to ONPE (e.g. fines for not having voted, ojo!).
  6. A legalized copy of your passport, of the main page and of the page which has the stamp of the last time you entered the country. The passport must have at least 1 year before it expires.
  7. A legalized copy of your Carta de Garantia, which your spouse needs to complete as per the pro-forma, stating that they will support you financially.
  8. The original of your Tarjeta Andina, which they give you when you enter the country, it has your personal details & is stamped by immigration.
  9. Make sure you have all of your documents in order ready for your interview at Migraciones, Av. España 734, Breña. It’s worth arriving an hour and a half early, as there will be another 30 or so people with the same interview time and they will line you up according to the time you arrived. Before your interview make a copy of all of your documents for your own records. Depending on how many people there are with the same interview time, submitting your documents will take an hour or longer. Once you have submitted the documents they will give you a document called “Requisitos Presentados Para El Tramite Cambio de Calidad Migratoria.” At the bottom it will state that you need to go to Interpol the next day to process La Ficha de Canje Internacional and that the Ficha must then be delivered to Migraciones within 6 working days.
  10. So the next day you need to go to Interpol, I was told to go super-early but there are actually less people there later in the morning. Once you get there go straight to the front desk as you will need to show that you have all the required documents and you will be given a number. Once you have the number you will need to go and get your dental records completed in the small room in front of reception, and record your personal details on the back of the last page of your documents. The actual process is very simple, your number will be called, your documents submitted and your fingerprints taken. Then you will be told to return in 6 days to pick up your Ficha which you will then need to take straight to Migraciones. When you return to pick up your Ficha you won’t need a number, there is a separate line to the right of reception for pick-ups and it’s relatively quick. The same for Migraciones, present yourself to the security guard who put you in order when you went for your interview and she will send you straight up to the third floor to drop off the Ficha, make sure you have a photocopy of it with you. The most complicated part of Interpol are the requisites so here they are:
    1. Original passport
    2. Photocopies of your passport, the photo page & the page with your last entry stamp.
    3. 2 passport size photos, it states on their website that these are taken at Interpol but this is not correct.
    4. The voucher from your payment at Banco de La Nacion for S/80.50 tributo #08141 concepto ficha de canje internacional.
    5. Don’t be confused by their website stating that you need your Carnet de Extranjeria as this is obviously not possible.
    6. Photocopies of your marriage certificate and your spouse’s DNI
    7. Copy of the document Migraciones gave you when you submitted all of your documents.
    8. You will complete the “Solicitud del interesado” document at Interpol
    9. Now for the possibly complicated part – depending on your nationality you may need to pay an extra fee to the federal police in your country, the requisites are on the Interpol website (, the amount differs for each country but you’ll need an international bank cheque and a manila envelope as you will be posting this to the federal police yourself. In my case being Australian it was incredibly difficult to find a bank that would issue a cheque in Australian dollars and all of the information I found on-line was incorrect. Only the Banco de Credito in San Isidro, which is their main branch, could issue this cheque. For Canadians you will need to go the main branch of Interbank near Av. Javier Prado, La Victoria, a few blocks from the CIVA bus terminal. For Americans it is easier as their currency is more common, although my advice is to stick with Banco de Credito or Interbank, the best one is around the corner from CIVA in Javeir Prado, they issued cheques in almost all currencies except Australian dollars. Expat websites state Scotiabank but I was told you must hold an account with them first, which is impossible without your Carnet de Extranjeria, so basically a complete contradiction.
  11. So, that’s it! Migraciones will take 30-60 days to process your request and once your Carnet is ready you will need to go back to pay a tax and have your fingerprints & photo taken and pick it up. On the document Migraciones gave you there will be a number on the bottom which you can use to track the status of your request on-line and this is how you will know once it is finalised and ready for collection. Good luck!


About the author: Ellie Ryan is an Aussie expat working and living in Peru. She is the Founder of TEFL Zorritos, a TEFL training institute which trains people to become English language teachers and places them in positions in Peru and abroad –


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