Immigration, Lima Peru

by Captain Bill

Immigration, Lima Peru

Marmelita and I spent a week in Lima Peru upgrading my immigration status from an Investment Residency to Immigrant. The change is not a big deal. I am still a citizen of the United States of America, but being an Immigrant in Peru should make my life here slightly easier. It means I have earned trust from the government by doing all that was required of me as an individual and a business owner with an Investment Residency for the last four years.

Navigating through immigration to become an immigrant and receive my “Inmigrante Carné de Extranjería” was a difficult process complicated by unnecessary bureaucracy.

The immigration office building and system in Lima Peru is nearly broken. For instance, their fax machine has not worked for weeks, and we had to leave the building several times to send and receive fax to and from the Iquitos Immigration office. Documents that were supposed to be in my file weren’t, and took hours to find.

No one knows which line to be in or what documents to have. Several times we waited in lines for an hour only to learn it was the wrong line, or the wrong document.

Few other places will you observe so much stress and anger on so many faces. I tried to maintain a pleasant facial expression and attitude. The people working behind the counters are not at fault; they are overwhelmed by too many applicants, too much work, and an inefficient system. The Peruvian immigration system should be overhauled from the top down. It will not be an easy job.

I won’t bore you with the details about how difficult and expensive it is for a foreigner to be issued a Carné de Extranjería. I just thought you might like to know that all of my documents are in order. The Peruvian Government trusts me, and so can you.

Immigration, Lima Peru

Bill Grimes, Dawn on the Amazon

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 jennifer simon June 13, 2011 at 6:05 am

My friend and I have been in Peru for the last 3 years with a religious visa. We have a carne de extranjeria as residents, but not as immigrants. We are thinking about changing our status to immigrants, but we would like more information about how it will affect our status as American Citizens. Does anything change? What if we decide that we want to move to another country later? Is there some sort of commitment involved? I would love to hear your thoughts as someone who has gone through the process. Any information you have would be much appreciated. You can reach me at the submitted email. Thank you.

2 Captain Bill June 13, 2011 at 7:21 am

Hi Jennifer, Immigrant status does not change our relationship with our countries of origin. I am still a resident of Peru, and a US citizen that votes by absentee ballot in the US. The benefits of being an Immigrant means I have proven myself. That the Peruvian government trusts me. Religious visas are beyond my expertise. I only know about my personal situation. I graduated from an investment residency to immigrant status. For me it means less paperwork. It means I don’t have to have a business with 5 permanent employees. The reality is, since then I have started 2 other businesses and have more employees than before, but that was my decision, not the governments decision. I don’t know of any disadvantage.

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