Tourist interested in staying

I will start out by saying I own a home and live near Bogota Colombia. If I reside in Colombia 183 days or more I would need to pay taxes on my US retirement income. 2019 will be the first year this will affect me. So I have been looking at options. I have spent some time in Ecuador. I have been to Lima for several 2 week stays. I just arrived in Huanchaco, Peru a week ago and fell in love with the weather here. I am thinking this could be a spot to spend 180 +  days a year. While I haven't been into Trujillo more than several brief trips to the mall, it seems like a nice clean city. At least compared to Bogota.. LOL

I had a couple questions about long term living in Peru. Is it possible to stay in Peru past 180 days without a visa? A local woman renting an apartment told me they had a long term (2 years) 
tenant from Vietnam. She said they stayed here long term doing a visa run to Ecuador run every 3 months. I had thought Peru did away with that as an option. Is that true? Does this woman know what she is talking about? Is the only option the 180 day tourist stamp if you dont want to be a resident and potentially due to pay taxes?

I thought I read on here that retirement funds may be tax exempt. Is there any certainty to this. Is it law or a proposal or rumor? 

What are medical insurance costs and is it decent coverage? How are the medical services? Has anyone spent time being treated in a Peruvian hospital?

Dear Fan,

So the famous surfer beach of Huanchaco is calling?  The home of ceviche, Peru's iconic seafood dish .. home of the first surfer craft, they say.  There is mild weather year-round at this northern Peruvian beachfront on the Pacific Ocean: 68 to 80 degree Fahrenheit average-daily-highs each month, lows usually around 50.

....

I have just spent 3-1/2 months in Peru.  I flew into Lima where I politely made sure that the government agent at the airport gave me my fully-loaded 180-day tourist stamp (visa not necessary).

I am also making sure that I don't spend more than 180 days in Peru out of 365.  Like Colombia, Peru claims the right to tax the worldwide income of persons "domiciled" within its borders if they stay for a total of half the year or more.  It's reassuring to know that a piece of one's worldwide income will not be sought by foreign governments.  (The Peru income tax kicks in at a certain level researchable at PW or KMPG websites.)

If one's home-country retirement income is high, a portion of it could be subject to Peruvian tax of 15 or 30 percent (subject to exemptions, deductions and changes in tax law), but only if 180 or so days in-country .. is exceeded.

cccmedia in Bariloche, Argentina

Is it possible to stay in Peru past 180 days without a visa?

---

Historically, Peru has viewed tourist overstays as a minor infraction, collecting a dollar a day USD or equivalent past the 180 days allowed .. upon departure.

But in Fan's case, having visited Ecuador and having a home in Colombia and given the potential income-tax exposure in Peru .. why mess around with more than 180 days in one's first year visiting Peru?

cccmedia

NHLFAN :

A local woman renting an apartment told me they had a long term (2 years) 
tenant from Vietnam. She said they stayed here long term doing a visa run to Ecuador run every 3 months. I had thought Peru did away with that as an option. Is that true? Does this woman know what she is talking about? Is the only option the 180 day tourist stamp if you dont want to be a resident and potentially due to pay taxes?

You may be overthinking this part, Fan, since you have spent minimal time in Peru so far, as far as we can tell.

Consider spending up to 180 days in Peru out of 365 and then deciding whether you want to stay in Peru for most of the year, going forward. 
Meantime:  no foreign income-tax exposure. :)

The unidentified woman said to be talking about visa-runs is unknown to us in terms of her knowledge of current immigration law and the current viability of visa runs.

180 days in Peru may also help you decide what to do with the house you own in Colombia.

cccmedia

NHLFAN :

I thought I read on here that retirement funds may be tax exempt. Is there any certainty to this. Is it law or a proposal or rumor?

As to whether a foreign retirement fund is taxable in Peru or not .. I wouldn't believe any layman poster on an Expat forum telling you one way or another.  (Exception:  if Brother Archer comes by with chapter and verse from the 2019-applicable tax law plus translation .. clearly stating what's what. ;))

Even if such income is non-taxable today, that's the type of law that can change most any time in cash-hungry South American countries.

If no distributions are taken from existing retirement funds in a given year, IMO the fund is not a source of income for that year. 

cccmedia

NHLFAN :

What are medical insurance costs and is it decent coverage? How are the medical services? Has anyone spent time being treated in a Peruvian hospital?

I bought travel insurance for both countries before starting my current trip to Peru and Argentina.

In Lima, where I had to see a doctor to get access to a meds refill, the doctor I saw at a major clínica in San Isidro, Lima .. provided the refill scrip and checked me out competently in his 'consultorio'.

If you're in Peru for 180 days or fewer, consider avoiding the bureaucracy of a long-term insurance plan and buy travel insurance online.  I have been doing this for years when I travel to various countries on this continent.

cccmedia

cccmedia :
NHLFAN :

What are medical insurance costs and is it decent coverage? How are the medical services? Has anyone spent time being treated in a Peruvian hospital?

I bought travel insurance for both countries before starting my current trip to Peru and Argentina.

In Lima, where I had to see a doctor to get access to a meds refill, the doctor I saw at a major clínica in San Isido, Lima .. provided the refill scrip and checked me out competently in his 'consultorio'.

If you're in Peru for 180 days or fewer, consider avoiding the bureaucracy of a long-term insurance plan and buy travel insurance online.  I have been doing this for years when I travel to various countries on this continent.

cccmedia

cccmedia...If your up for reading a 24 page contract there could be a cheaper alternative on medical. But its too early for me to recommend it now. We have a Bancolombia credit card. With it comes 3 months of travel insurance. Its included.
For 360,000 COP more you can buy a better coverage that extends for 1 year. We purchased it after my wife had a conversation with the agent. I printed the 24 pages contract for some (light reading) LOL on our upcoming night bus trip to Ecuador. Truthfully I dont know if its worth the paper its written on. It is for emergency medical and dental coverage only. It was up to $100,000 USD coverage, which in most of SA should be sufficient for all but the most catastrophic incidents. This is a very reasonable price if it does what I hope it does. I am not too concerned with prescription or regular Dr. visits as long as I have coverage for the big stuff. But again the fine print will tell the story.

My wife and I have been in Peru now for about 2 1/2 years. One year in Arequipa, a year and a half in Huanchaco. We both have Rentista Visas, a very easy route to follow if you are here for the long term and have at least $1000/month in pension or other income from outside the country.

Technically, you can't stay here longer than 183 days per year on a tourist visa. Realistically, some people are still doing visa runs and getting away with it. Others are paying the daily fine, which is negligible, if they overstay.

Retirement funds from outside the country are currently tax exempt by the Peruvian government. 

If I was thinking of staying here for the long term, I would be looking at legal ways to do it!

If you have any type of resident visa, there are many private insurance plans available for very affordable fees. Some hospital networks such as Clinica San Pablo also have their own plans available. But the cutoff age is usually 65 for applying. My wife is younger than I so she was able to purchase the San Pablo plan. I went with an international plan that is good for everywhere but the U.S. It has a large deductible ($3000 or 4,000) and is only for in-hospital care. Both those brought the monthly fee to below $300.

We have both been treated at the local private clinics and found them very professional and thorough.

If you are still in Huanchaco, give me a shout and I can meet up for coffee or beer to answer any other questions you may have.

chinacanuck :

My wife and I have been in Peru now for about 2 1/2 years. One year in Arequipa, a year and a half in Huanchaco. We both have Rentista Visas, a very easy route to follow if you are here for the long term and have at least $1000/month in pension or other income from outside the country.

Technically, you can't stay here longer than 183 days per year on a tourist visa. Realistically, some people are still doing visa runs and getting away with it. Others are paying the daily fine, which is negligible, if they overstay.

Retirement funds from outside the country are currently tax exempt by the Peruvian government. 

If I was thinking of staying here for the long term, I would be looking at legal ways to do it!

If you have any type of resident visa, there are many private insurance plans available for very affordable fees. Some hospital networks such as Clinica San Pablo also have their own plans available. But the cutoff age is usually 65 for applying. My wife is younger than I so she was able to purchase the San Pablo plan. I went with an international plan that is good for everywhere but the U.S. It has a large deductible ($3000 or 4,000) and is only for in-hospital care. Both those brought the monthly fee to below $300.

We have both been treated at the local private clinics and found them very professional and thorough.

If you are still in Huanchaco, give me a shout and I can meet up for coffee or beer to answer any other questions you may have.

Sent you a PM..

chinacanuck :

One year in Arequipa, a year and a half in Huanchaco. We both have Rentista Visas....

Retirement funds from outside the country are currently tax exempt by the Peruvian government.  

If you have any type of resident visa, there are many private insurance plans available for very affordable fees.

Excellent post, China Canuck. :top:   

Welcome to the Peru forum of expat.com ...

It is my understanding that in order to qualify for the exemption from income tax on one's foreign pension, it is necessary to obtain the type of visa you have, the Rentista Visa.  Technically, without such a pension-based visa, an Expat staying in Peru for more than 180-some days out of 365 would still be liable for pension taxes regardless of any border hops along the way.

cccmedia

Yes, pension income is only tax-exempt with the Rentista Visa. You also don’t pay the small annual tax that holders of other resident visas pay.

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