Peru has plenty to fill up your holiday schedule, but if you’d like to explore more of the continent that close to 400 million people call home, it’s time to check the entry requirements for the eleven other countries that make up South America. Currently listed below are details for Brazil, Bolivia, Uruguay and Paraguay; Venezuela does not give out visas to non-residents of Peru.
Here are the documents most frequently requested by consulates in Lima for tourist visas:
Passport and photocopy – Most embassies will hold on to your passport while processing your visa, so make sure you have enough time if trying to obtain visas for multiple countries. Make sure that your passport is valid for more than six months from your intended time of entry.
Passport photograph – You can take passport photos for a reasonable price around town, including S/.7 for a set of six on the southwest corner of the Plaza de Armas. The prints should be ready within half an hour.
Proof of financial status – A photocopy of both sides of your credit card, along with a recent bank statement, will usually suffice. It is always good to have proof of work, such as a name card or a letter from your company.
Travel itinerary – For most countries, you would need a copy of your plane ticket leaving the country, proving that you do not intend to stay on illegally after the expiry of your visa. If leaving by land, have your final plane ticket back home, even if it departs from another country, ready. This is looked at cursorily by most embassies, but the Uruguay embassy examines this particularly closely.
Hotel reservations – Even if you haven’t decided on a place to stay, some embassies require you to show a reservation. For those who are trying to beat the system, there is nothing stopping one from booking a night at a hostel and then cancelling the reservation after you get the visa. Take note that the Uruguay embassy requires an account of every night you intend to stay in the country.
Yellow Fever Certificate – Some countries require you to possess a Yellow Fever Certificate before entering or leaving their borders. There is a clinic at Jorge Chavez International Airport where you can get the vaccination.
Before you leave for the consulate, fill up a form online at https://scedv.serpro.gov.br/frscedv/index.jsp and print out the receipt. There is a computer at the consulate itself where you can fill in the application, but the line may be long. The Brazilian consulate is located about seven blocks west of Kennedy Park in Miraflores, at the junction of Jose Pardo and Jorge Chavez. It is only open for visa applications on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 9.30am to 12.00pm. Arrive early, for you will need to make a run five blocks back towards the centre of Miraflores to a HSBC branch to make a payment for your visa before continuing with the application process. Fees vary according to country, as Brazil is strict on reciprocity fees as a form of diplomatic retaliation. The application is usually processed within the day, and you can usually collect it after 4.00pm the next day.
Visa-free entry: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Morocco, Monaco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela
Documents needed: Passport and photocopy, passport photograph, proof of financial status, travel itinerary, hotel reservations, online application form
Telephone: (51) 1 5120830
Address: Av Jose Pardo 850, Miraflores
The Bolivian embassy is located in San Isidro, near the junction of Salaverry and Javier Prado Oeste. You can take any micro headed west from Arequipa, and walk the one block north on Los Castaños to the embassy. The embassy is open from 9.00am to 1.00pm on weekdays. Upon arrival and checking in at the guardhouse, you’d be required to fill in an application form on site. If all documents are approved, you need only wait about twenty minutes for your passport to be returned to you, stamped with a Bolivian visa. The application is free for most countries.
Visa-free entry: Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, Norway, New Zealand, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela
Documents needed: Passport and photocopy, passport photograph, proof of financial status, travel itinerary, Yellow Fever Certificate
Telephone: (51) 1 4423836
Address: Calle Los Castaños 235, San Isidro
The biggest hurdle for citizens of countries that require visas to visit Paraguay is getting a letter of recommendation from your home embassy in Lima. Otherwise, the application is straight-forward, and usually takes about two working days. You are required to fill in the address and telephone number of a contact in Paraguay, so book accommodation before-hand. The Paraguay embassy is open from Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 1.00pm, but it does not process visas on Fridays. It is about a twenty-minute walk from Kennedy Park in the centre of Miraflores, or about five-minutes from the Larco Mar shopping centre.
Visa-free entry: Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Finland, France, Guatemala, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Korea, South Africa, Sweden, Switerland, United Kingdom, Uruguay, Venezuela
Documents needed: Passport and two photocopies, two passport photographs, two copies of proof of financial status, two copies of travel itinerary, two copies of hotel reservations, letter of request from home embassy
Telephone: (51) 1 4441310
Address: Calle Alcanfores 1286, Miraflores
Citizens from certain countries require a three-week authorization process before the visa application can be filled in; call ahead to check. If you cannot wait that long, you could write an email to the appropriate Uruguay embassy in your next port-of-call, say Buenos Aires, and ask for permission to file for authorization in Lima, then process the visa itself in the next city. This authorization is very thorough, and requires you to account for your entire journey from the day of application, through your visit in Uruguay, until your flight home, including countries you may visit after Uruguay. Reservation codes, print-outs and tickets are essential. Once the authorization is processed, the visa, which costs US$42, is given in about two working days. The embassy itself is located in San Isidro, not far from the Bolivian consulate. You can take a micro running along Javier Prado Oeste to get here, but it’s a fifteen minute walk in from the main road and a taxi would be more convenient.
Visa-free entry: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Chile, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Honduras, Hungary, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Seychelles, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States, Venezuela
Documents needed: Passport and photocopy, passport photograph, proof of financial status, travel itinerary, hotel reservations
Telephone: (51) 1 7192550
Address: Calle Jose D Anchorena 84, San Isidro
Francis Sin is a volunteer with Karikuy. For more information on our 2010 volunteer program go to www.karikuy.org/volunteer