Peru visa for Indians

The Peruvian Visa at last!

I finally have a visa to visit Peru!


For those of you that have been following the comments on this site, you might have noticed that my struggles with the Peru embassy started about 5 months ago. I couldn’t get the Peru visa in India since I’d need to use it within 90 days. It’s not usually complicated to get this visa, but if you aren’t a resident of the country you’re applying in, then good luck!

We planned to visit Peru, and Machu Picchu during May this year. However, the lack of a peruvian visa foiled our plans. So here’s the story of how I finally managed to attain this elusive stamp!


In Brazil

During February, while we were in Brazil, Zara called up the Peru embassy in both Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro. Both were quite uncooperative and insisted that I must return to my home country (India..) and apply for my visa to visit Peru. We tried to explain that we had been traveling for many months, etc. but they were quite firm. We called more than once and they just ended up getting irritated at us and hanging up. So, oh well, we thought it ain’t gonna happen in Brazil, lets try somewhere else.


In Ecuador


A month down the line, while we were in Quito, we visited the Peruvian consulate in town. Again, the guy there was absolutely adamant. He kept saying that I should go back to India and apply. We exclaimed incredulously “But we’re here, in Ecuador, in front of you, and you want us to go 10,000 miles away and come back ?!”. He went inside those big consulate doors and then came back with a lady. She sang the same tune and said that the only way they could give me a visa was if a Peruvian friend of mine got me an approval from Lima. WTF ? In a moment of pure cheekiness, I asked her to invite me. Obviously, that didn’t work out.


We had called the Peruvian embassy in Guayaquil and they said that they could process the visa but I would need to get a police clearance certificate from India! I asked my father to get me one but the police in India refused to give him a certificate. Well, they agreed initially only to later turn around and say, if he isn’t here we can’t give it. So then we decided to head to Chile and apply there.


In Chile

By now it was June and we had missed our plans to visit Peru in May. However, Peru is great in August. So we decided to head to the Peruvian embassy in Santiago. Unfortunately we bumped into a rotund receptionist who really didn’t want to let us through. She said that we needed a letter from the Indian consulate in Santiago saying that I am a tourist in Chile and I want to visit Peru. As if my presence and passport weren’t enough.

Anyway, so I contacted the Indian consulate and asked if I can have such a letter. The man there assured me that they would do such a letter for me. By this time, we were traveling in Patagonia so I decided to set aside a week in Santiago during July for one last shot at the Peru visa. We had spoken to the Bolivian embassy and the visa was easy to get so we decided that if not Peru, we would head straight to Bolivia.

We arrived back in Santiago on the 18th of July. I visited the Indian embassy and in classic Indian style they told me ‘We don’t do letters like that, you need a police clearance certificate and it takes two weeks!’. WHAT ?! Not only that, there was this other idiot at the Indian embassy who decided that it’s a great idea to add fuel to other people’s fires. While I was trying to explain to the guy at the Indian embassy that all I really wanted was a letter, this other Guru decided to chime in with “Oh yeah you can only apply for any visa at your home country blah blah blah”. I told him “Guruji, I have applied for visas around the world so I’m certainly aware of what’s possible.” Mind you, Guruji was a visitor at the embassy and not embassy staff. Finally the verdict was that no such letter is possible and I would need a police clearance certificate that the embassy would get for me. So I paid $30 and I requested that they expedite the process since I was in Santiago for a week and this was really my sole purpose of being there.

Right after, we decided we would give the Peruvian embassy another shot on the same day. So we headed there and this time instead of the rotund receptionist, there was a young man in a suit talking on the phone. He was quite friendly and we asked him about visa requirements, etc. We explained that we’ve been traveling for a while and he even asked us about our time in Cuba. Finally, he said “No problem, just come and apply with your documents”. He didn’t mention any letter from the consulate.


And finally…

We applied on Monday (with flight tickets and hotel reservations, and paid about $36) and sure enough, in 24 hours the Peru visa was ready! No letter from the Indian consulate required! The lady giving me the passport did say that it would be nice to have a letter but it’s not necessary. Also, they gave me a 60 day visa just incase :) (I had requested 30 days..)

I still went to the Indian embassy to collect the letter the same afternoon and instead of a police clearance certificate it finally ended up being just a regular letter stating that I was a tourist in Chile, planning to visit Peru. So they do apparently give such letters…


Finally after FIVE months of struggling for a Peru visa, I shall be heading to Peru in mid August.

I hope you’re ready Machu Picchu!

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  • oh my! I don’t know if I would have been so resilient… you really gave it your all… what an adventure!

  • niru Says

    I cant believe they have these incredibly inane rules to get a visa to Peru! I am sorry to hear about your experience at the Indian embassy in Santiago. I lost my passport in Chile and got it replaced at the Indian embassy Santiago and had a great experience when I got a new one. Do you plan to get a visa to Bolivia from Santiago? If so, I recommend the embassy for its efficiency. :)

  • Wow I was very lucky in South America, I was able to just go to the border and get the visa there. If you have time head to Northern Peru, it’s one of my favourite parts of South America.

  • Indian Backpacker Says

    Do you happen to know if I can get the Bolivian visa in Peru. I am an Indian citizen too.

    • Ashray Says

      I believe that should be possible. I’ve spoken to the Bolivian embassy in Sao Paulo, Quito and even Santiago de Chile. They’ve always said that the visa is free, that you need to provide proof of hotel reservations and sufficient funds (credit card copy). The visa is granted on the spot and the process appears to be quite painless. I do know someone who knows someone who got a Bolivian visa in Peru or Chile. I’ll see if they can reply here and help you out!

  • niru Says

    Hi, I got the Bolivian visa in Santiago – not once but twice because I lost my passport after getting it once. Went back with the new passport again to get it. It was a very painless process – no questions asked. We provided bank statements and took hostel accommodation confirmation for one day, but I dont think they saw it. Oh yes, they definitely ask for Yellow fever certificate. Its free of cost for Indian citizens and is valid for 30 days. Good luck!

    BTW – when I went the second time, our yellow fever certs were lost too and we didnt have a copy. They dug through their records, fished out the copy we had submitted the first time and made us several copies for our records. And warned us not to lose our passport again when we left! Really friendly people.

    • Zara Says

      That was really nice of them to even give you copies!! :)
      But such a pain that you also lost visas when they robbed your passport, that really sucks!

  • saibal rakhit Says

    I am going for a tour and to see Maccha Pichu in peru in April,2013. Since there is no direct flight from India I am going via NEW YORK.I have 10 years USA visa and will apply for Peru visa in Jan 13…Will there be any problem?…Do I need any vaccinations?I have travelled throughout Europe and USA and will provide them with confirm return tickets,hotel and tour bookings etc as per requirement.

    • Ashray Says

      If you’re going to apply in India there should be no problem. No vaccinations are required for Peru. You’ll need a yellow fever vaccination if you go Bolivia however.

      • Dr.Saibal Rakhit Says

        Thanks for the advice,My flight from USA dont have stop in Bolivia nor I intend to go there ,
        so I hope I dont need one.Thanks once again!

    • giriraj dulala Says

      i am also in exactly same situation as you.hope to meet you in peru in april

  • Pingback: Machu Picchu: THE PROPOSAL! | Backpack Me

  • Kunal Says

    “I couldn’t get the Peru visa in India since I’d need to use it within 90 days.”

    I could not find similar information on the Web.. did you confirm with the embassy in India?
    Thanks and happy travels

    • Ashray Says

      Yeah I did confirm with the Peru consulate in Dubai back in 2011. However the rules may have changed now. It’s best to call the Peru consulate in New Delhi and confirm :)

  • Kiran Kumar Says
  • Bharathi D R Says

    Hi ! Need your inputs regarding a few South American country VISAs. Me and my friend are planning to quit our company and travel to Brazil, Peru, Chile, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador for 4 months. But our enthusiasm is now majorly dampened by all the VISA requirements. Our travel agent says they require a leave letter from the company that we are granted leave for the entire 4 months for most of these countries. But since we are quitting we are not sure if we can get those. We are only able to get a letter from the company saying we are full-time employees currently. Any idea if we should take our chances for the VISA without a leave letter?

    • Ashray Says

      Why not? As long as your reason for traveling is legitimate, there should be no problem. You could perhaps supply a letter from your previous company but I wouldn’t think it’s necessary at all. As long as you can provide all the documentation for the visas (especially flights and hotels) plus a healthy bank account balance, it should be completely fine. Travel agents tend to harass people, if you are located in New Delhi or Mumbai, I would recommend dealing directly with the consulates. Let me know if you have more questions, I’m happy to help! Ecuador and Bolivia do not need visas to be pre-arranged. You can get a Bolivia visa even while traveling in South America and it’s super easy.

  • Bharathi D R Says

    That sounds encouraging! We have to and fro flights out of Sao Paulo and are planning to travel between countries by road. Also since it is 4 months, the itinerary is quite open. We have made a tentative itinery but havent booked tickets between the 6 countries. We thought we could book bus tickets depending on where we are. Is it mandatory to provide bus tickets between countries? If so, do you know of any sites which lets you cancel bus tickets in South America for free?

    • Ashray Says

      Unfortunately the consulates can be quite finicky about the tickets. They see them as the way to decide the dates on your visa.. Andesmar let’s you book bus tickets online between Chile and Argentina. But if you cancel the ticket later you lose about $5. I would recommend it as I did the same for Argentina a few months ago. For the rest, perhaps refundable flights are the best option. Try Expedia with the refundable option checked under preferences. They cost a lot more but you can get your money back.

      • Bharathi D R Says

        That sounds great. We will Check that out. Right now we are still a bit overwhelmed with the VISA requirements. Would you know the validity period and the number of days the tourist VISAs are issued for – Brazil, Peru, Chile and Argentina? We are finding it a little difficult to sort of get the itinery right with the VISA validity issues.

        • Ashray Says

          Most of them have a maximum validity of 90 days but can sometimes be issued for shorter durations. You should perhaps have a tentative plan on when you want to enter and leave a country. You can be flexible on what you do inside. Some of these countries also have the requirement that you should use the visa (first entry) within 90 days of issuance so that’s something to keep in mind. I think that’s a lot of countries for 4 months so unless you’re flying a lot, or moving every day, it’s a very challenging plan! These are all very big countries!!

          With 4 months you shouldn’t run into any validity issues but you can make a plan and get visas issued accordingly. Shouldn’t be a problem. Just make sure you enter the last country within 90 days of visa issuance.

          • Bharathi D R Says

            Since Chile and Argentina are at the fag-end our current plan, and since the VISA validity will be for 90 days from the date of issue, we feel it would be difficult to get into the last country within 90 days, so are thinking of getting our Chile and Argentina Visa in Brazil. What would you suggest? And out of the 3 countries – Brazil, Peru and Bolivia where can we take the Chile and Argentina VISA?

          • Ashray Says

            I suggest that you take the visa in advance as getting a visa on the road can be quite stressful. Some consulates might agree to process your visa on the road but as you can tell, if you’ve read this article (and others), it can be quite a hassle. Chile should be the easiest to process while traveling but there are no guarantees. If you can obtain prior approval that you can indeed process your visas at the consulates abroad, that’d be best.

  • Bharathi Says

    Just for an update called up the Peruvian embassy in New Delhi twice and they confirmed the VISA is valid for a year and no restriction that one should enter the country in 90 days and the VISA would be multiple-entry for the number of days asked for in the application.
    One more question – I was checking out the flight rates between the countries and they seem to be prohibitively expensive. Any advice on travel between countries by road? Also, it is possible that my friend may not make it. So what advice would you give to a solo-female traveler in South America?

  • lisa Says

    My brother who is an Indian citizen is visiting the US on a 10 year tourist visa. Can he apply for a tourist visa to Peru from the USA or does he have to do that from India? Any help is greatly appreciated!!!!

  • Kay Says

    I want to go to Peru with my parents who are Indian citizens. I live in US and our plan is for them to visit me, and get the peruvian visa in US. Do you know if they can apply for Peruvian visa while visiting US on the tourist visa? Thank you!

    • Ashray Says

      Hi Kay,
      It might be possible for them to apply in the US while on a tourist visa but this is at the discretion of the Peruvian consulate. As you can see, I had quite a bit of trouble in Latin America. It’s quite uncomplicated to apply for a Peruvian visa in your country of residence so I’d highly recommend that. My complication arose because you must use most of their visas within 90 days of issuance and that wouldn’t have been possible for me. Hope this makes sense :)

      Do please let me know if you have any questions. Good luck!

  • Bharathi Says

    Hey guys,
    Finally in Latin America… Started with the first leg of our journey and in Brazil right now ..! Already having trouble with our Brazil visa. The consulate is now telling us that the Visa is valid only for 90 days from the date of first entry. We had confirmed with them many times when we were in India for the same. We have our return tickets from Sao Paulo on December 4th ( we used the actual flight tickets to get our Visa!)
    Anyway my question is about Uruguay. Have you guys visited the country? If so what places in Uruguay do you recommend? And where did you get the Visa from?!

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