The first group of Chinese immigrants arrived in Peru more than 160 years ago. They settled in the country and built a joint history of bilateral relations with Peruvian nationals. Since then, tourism and trade between Peru and China have been constantly growing and, as a result, Chinese citizens are now visiting our country or coming to work in Peru with companies related to the energy, mining, communications, and other sectors.

Since 2004, the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI) has been publishing a document entitled “Evolution of Immigration in Peru”, which keeps a record of Peruvian and foreign travelers entering and leaving the country through different immigration checkpoints. According to Technical Report No. 12, issued in December 2014, as at October 2015 4,834 foreign nationals entered the country as immigrant workers, or a 12.7% increase year over year. Chinese citizens (from the People’s Republic of China) account for 1.6% of the total, which means that from January through October 2014 seventy-seven Chinese citizens entered Peru on a work permit, without considering dependent family members. In addition, according to annual statistical figures published by the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion, as at the close of 2013 approximately 900 Chinese citizens were working in Peru’s private sector.

The above statement proves that Chinese citizens are constantly entering our country. Accordingly, it is worth highlighting the formal requirements to be fulfilled to obtain a business or tourist visa to enter Peru.

    As provided for in Decree Law No. 703, Aliens Act, to enter Peru foreign nationals must obtain a tourist, business, resident worker or dependent family member visa. It is worth recalling that as far as Chinese citizens are concerned, to enter Peru as tourists they must first obtain a tourist visa at a Peruvian consulate abroad. The tourist visa cannot be renewed in the country.

    Legislative Decree No. 689, Law for Hiring Foreign Nationals, provides that in the case of Chinese and other citizens, the employment contract must be filed with the competent labor authority for approval, using the forms available for such purpose, along with an employment certificate issued abroad proving that the foreign national has at least 3 years’ experience in the position to be filled in Peru or professional degree or a similar document if he/she has pursued technical education abroad (if the documents are issued abroad, then they must have an Apostille attached or otherwise must be certified at the Peruvian Consulate in the country where they are issued). Foreign nationals should not exceed the established limits (20% with respect to the number of Peruvian nationals working in the relevant company, and 30% with respect to the income received by Peruvian workers in the relevant company); if these percentages are exceeded, then the necessary steps should be taken to obtain an exemption.

    Legislative Decree No. 1130 dated December 07, 2012 created the National Immigration Superintendency (Immigration Office) and Supreme Decree No. 003-2012-IN dated December 23, 2012 amended the Conformed Text of Administrative Proceedings (TUPA in spanish), specifically the provisions dealing with immigration procedures (Immigration Office TUPA)). Let us recall some of the new requirements: the passport should be valid for at least one year to take the steps required to change the immigration status of a foreign national and obtain a resident worker visa or a resident family member visa and, in order to apply for an extension of the visa granted to a resident family member (the spouse of a resident worker, underage children and unmarried daughters over 18 years of age) the respective family relationship should be proved by providing the wedding/birth certificate, as appropriate. The certificate, certified by a Peruvian Consul with jurisdiction over the city where the document was issued or an Apostille was attached, will not be valid for more than 6 months.

We know that it’s difficult for Chinese citizens to get documents from their home country (China) given the distance and the need to take steps abroad. That’s why we believe it’s important to bear in mind the above-listed requirements. We expect that immigration regulations will be more flexible in 2015 in order for resident permits to be obtained more easily in Peru.