Machu Picchu, Peru – Passport, Visa and Health Information

by Passrider

Machu Picchu, Peru – Passport, Visa and Health Information

Open PassportNot having the proper documentation to enter Peru or any other country will ruin your day, not to mention your entire trip!

Without the proper documents, the airline will most likely deny you boarding at the departure airport. Even in the rare instance they’re careless and may have missed it, you will be returned home once you arrive at your destination, usually on the plane you arrived and the airline will be fined, usually $10,000!

None of that makes for an enjoyable experience, so pay special attention to this section.

Passport Tips

Always keep a copy of the picture page of your passport when you travel in a different location than your passport itself.  This will help you in the event of you losing the passport.  You can take this to the embassy if you have to replace your passport.  Also, some countries such as Kuwait require a copy of your passport to receive a visa on arrival, so this will expedite the process.

Passport Requirements

Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date of your arrival into Peru and have at least one blank pages for the visa stamp.

Visa Requirements

Consular General of Peru Office

Go to the IATA Travel Center, enter your details and it will tell you whether or not you need a visa.  Typically, if you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a visa to enter Peru.  Use the Internet or local library to find out where your local Peruvian Consulate is located.  Contact them for details on acquiring a visa if one is required.

Note that visa requirements/process vary by country of citizenship, the work you do, intended length of stay, the city in which you started your journey as well as the countries you transit during your journey.  Its a good idea to have a printed official copy of your entire itinerary including onward or return journey with you before your home country.  This is sometimes required to access airport facilities (e.g. airports in India) as well as by Immigration officials.

If you are transiting the United States, it is necessary to check the transit visa page on the U.S. State Department’s Web site. Please ensure that you get this right so you have no issues.

The Process
If you require a visa, the usual steps are:

  1. Ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months after the date of your arrival into the country and have at least two blank pages; one for the visa and the other for the stamp when you arrive in Peru
  2. Fill out the form with the necessary information including your dates of travel, destination, duration of stay, reason for visit
  3. Obtain the necessary requested supporting documents
  4. List/ticket yourself showing return journey or onward travel
  5. Include two passport photos
  6. Make an appointment at the visa office
  7. Visit the office to drop off the application (some consulates/embassies allow a mail in option)
  8. Pay the fee
  9. Wait for approval

The process may take anywhere from a few hours to two/three weeks and may vary based on your country of citizebship.  Thus it is necessary to do a bit of planning before you purchase any tickets/passes for the journey.  You will be told when you will receive your passport back by mail or when to return to the consulate to retrieve it.  In addition, it is not a guarantee that you will be issued a visa once you apply.  If you are denied, sometimes you have to wait a prescribed time before you can re-apply.  You will be advised at the time of denial.

If you do not want to do this yourself, you can always find an agency to do it for you.  But please be aware there will be a charge.

Health Requirements

A country’s health entry requirement is just as important as the visa requirement.  As a matter of fact, they both go hand in hand.  When you do your visa requirement research at the IATA Travel Center, health requirements will also be displayed — do not ignore them as without abiding by them you cannot enter the country.  These vary by your country of origin and the countries you’ve traveled prior to your visit to Peru.

The health requirements can be as varied as those of the visa.  Be sure to review them carefully and make sure you follow the details.  If you required any kind of vaccination, keep in mind that this may take several visits to the Doctor’s office to accomplish, so you do have to bear that in mind when making your travel plans.

Typically, you do not need any vaccinations if you are only visiting Cuzco and Machu Picchu.

Lan Peru Airbus A320 Interior

On The Plane

At some point during your flight, the flight crew will make an announcement about the documentation required for Peru.  It almost feels like you’re being made to tell your life story all over again!  But relax! You already did that for the visa, so all this information should be fresh in your mind.  You will receive an Immigration and a Customs form.  Fill out both legibly before you land.

Arriving in Peru
Being approved for a visa does not guarantee you entry into the country.  Everyone will still be interviewed by an immigration officer on arrival. For some travelers, this is the hard part–but it’s O.K.–we’re going to help you.  Typical questions are:

  • Where are you staying?
  • How long will you be staying?
  • Will you be visiting anyone while you are here?
  • Why are you here?
  • What will you do while you are here?
  • Do you have a ticket for returning home or onward travel?
  • How much money do you have?
  • Do you have enough money to sustain you for your trip?

If you answered the questions correctly and appropriately, the Immigration officer will grant you entry into Peru for a specified timeframe.  This will be denoted by a stamp in your passport with your date of entry and the amount of time you can stay in the country.  Please note that you cannot be employed while on a visitor’s visa.  This is a violation of your visa and you could be deported.

If you require an extension, i.e. you want to stay longer for any reason, contact the local immigration office for assistance.  IMPORTANT: If any piece of the immigration form is placed in your passport, do not lose or misplace it as you will have to surrender it to an agent or Immigration officer before departure.

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