Peruvian Citizenship

Peruvian Citizenship

Since 2016, Peruvian passport holders have had the right to travel to the  European Union and Schengen area without having to go through to process of applying for a visa prior to their trip (with the exception of Ireland).  Since November 2022, this also applies to the United Kingdom (that is no longer part of the European Union). As a result, we’re receiving more and more enquiries from people who are interested in obtaining Peruvian citizenship.

There are three ways to obtain Peruvian citizenship: 

  1. By naturalization
  2. By marrying a Peruvian citizen
  3. Children of a Peruvian mother or father who were born abroad.

With this article, we aim to give you all the information you need to make a decision about applying for a Peruvian passport or not and we will also tell you how we, as lawyers, can help you with the process.

1. Peruvian citizenship by naturalization

First of all, we’d like to make it clear that you cannot “buy” a passport. Unfortunately, that’s what many people who approach us for advice have in mind. Everyone who is interested in obtaining Peruvian citizenship has to fulfill certain requirements as stated by the Peruvian government. 

Here’s the list for “Peruvian citizenship by naturalization” with some remarks from our side:  

1. Application addressed to the President of Peru
The president of the Peru is legally the only person who can grant someone Peruvian citizenship, therefore this official application has to be part of the documents you need to hand in. 
2. Minimum age and minimum residence in Peru
The minimum age is 18. You can only apply for a Peruvian passport after you lived legally in Peru for two years, having spent at least 183 days/year in the country. Sometimes, the last requirement may be dismissed. That’s the case when you were granted a special permission by Migraciones to leave the country for more than 183 days/year. 
3. Birth certificate
It needs to have an apostille  according to The Hague Convention or be legalized by either a Peruvian consulate or the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. 
4. Proof of legal residence  
You’ll need to present your valid carné de extranjería (Peruvian ID card for foreigners) and a copy of your passport. 
5. Proof of income
You’ll need to prove that you have an annual income of currently (2023) at least S/. 49,500.00 (app. US$ 13,500.00)
6. Interpol Certificate 
This Certificate certifies that you have a clean criminal record inside and outside Peru. 
7. Declaration about health condition, home address and having no previous convictions in Peru or elsewhere 
It’s important that your home address is correct. If you move and fail to change your address officially, your application will be rejected. 
8. Exam & Interview
You’ll have to take and pass an exam with questions about Peruvian geography, history, culture and current affairs. The exam and the interview will be in Spanish, so you need have at least an intermediate command of the language.  
If all your documents are correct and you passed the exam, the whole process will take about one year. The final decision will be made by the President of Peru. 

If you are married to a Peruvian citizen and have lived in the country for at least two years after getting married, you can apply for citizenship. 

Same-sex marriage: At the moment (May 2023), Peru does not yet accept same-sex marriage. Two males or two females can’t get married in Peru and if they got legally married abroad, Peru still regards them as unmarried people and as a result, you can’t apply for residency or citizenship because of your Peruvian partner. 

Here’s the list of requirements that need to be met if you intend to apply for “Peruvian citizenship by marriage”:   

1. Application addressed to the President of Peru

2. Minimum residence in Peru
You can apply for  Peruvian citizenship by marriage after you lived legally in Peru for two years with your Peruvian ID card for foreigners (carné de extranjería)
3. Interpol Certificate 
Certifies that you have a clean criminal record inside and outside Peru
4. Marriage Certificate
You need to have been married for at least two years and the marriage must be registered in Peru
5. Birth certificate of the Peruvian partner
6. Declaration that the married partners live together
7. Declaration about health condition, home address and having no previous convictions in Peru or elsewhere
8. Interview
If you apply for Peruvian citizenship by marriage, you don’t need to pass a test about Peruvian geography, history, culture and current affairs but will just have an interview (in Spanish). 

3. Citizenship because of a Peruvian mother or father

If you’re a child of a Peruvian mother or father born abroad and are interested in claiming your Peruvian citizenship, please read this article. 

How can an immigration lawyer in Peru assist me with obtaining my Peruvian citizenship?

Although it is not mandatory to be represented by a lawyer when starting your process of becoming a Peruvian citizen, it’s often advisable to avoid certain pitfalls which may come up if you’re not familiar with the necessary paperwork, have only been in the country for a short time or don’t speak Spanish fluently yet. 

As lawyers, we will help you to obtain all necessary documents, legalized translations and make sure that everything is correct and meeting the requirements set by the Peruvian government. We will also give you advice about how to prepare for the exam and can recommend qualified Peruvian Spanish teachers. If problems occur, we will handle everything on your behalf. You won’t be alone in the process and will always have someone to turn to if you have questions. 

I need more information about how to obtain Peruvian citizenship

Reading information online is always helpful to get first ideas but everyone’s personal situation is different. Therefore, we offer you an easy way to book a consultation

  • Consultations about one or several topics of your choice
  • No matter where you are in the world, the consultation time is shown in your time zone and will take place via Zoom. 
  • Get a professional evaluation by an experienced Peruvian immigration lawyer
  • Safe payment with PayPal or bank transfer
  • Consultation at our office in Lima by prior agreement