Tourist escaped Peru after being lost in the system

A 27-year-old American tourist, Tara Irwin, was visiting Trujillo on a long-term visa. She was initially given a three month visa, and after talking to the embassy was advised that the only way she could renew her tourist visa was through the border customs, which meant that she had to leave the country.
Due to time limits and work, Miss Irwin could not leave the country and got into contact with an immigration officer in Trujillo who helped her with her documents. Six months later when she was trying to leave she wasn’t allowed to. Reason: she was not present in the system. There was no record of her ever being in the country.

Apparently when the immigration officer took her documents a mistake was made and she was erased from the system instead of being put back in. Taking a closer look at her passport she had two entrance stamps into Peru and an exit stamp from Peru, but no entrance or exit stamp to or from another country.
The airport officials released her after eight hours of interrogation, informing her that since she does not exist in the system they will not be able to let her out of the country by air. Her only option was to return north by bus, and get out of the country through the Ecuadorian border, and then fly from there.
After travelling for two days, Miss Irwin finally left through the northern Ecuadorian border.

Visa facts
– Normally a tourist visa is issued upon arrival in Peru
– A visa is issued for 30, 60 or 90 days, and in very rare occasions 183 days
– Upon your arrival make sure you always ask for more days than you need to avoid having to renew your visa
– Together with your entrance stamp in your passport you should also receive an Andean migration card, which is always supplied a visa permit. DO NOT LOSE IT!
– The only legal way of renewing your tourist visa is through leaving and re-entering the country. In Trujillo this is achievable by travelling to Ecuador by bus. The less busy border of Loja is recommended since it’s less crowded. You can also visit Vilcabamba while you’re there
– New regulations state that the maximum time on a tourist visa is one year, after this time you will have to stay out of Peru for more than 24 hours
– The immigration office will not renew any tourist visa stamp no matter where you come from
– After the visa has run out you are in the country illegally, and you are liable to a fine of one dollar per overstayed day, payable to the border police on the day of your departure
– CAUTION! If you receive help to renew your visa from someone illegally make sure that you have an exit and entrance stamp, in to and out of Peru, or an entrance and exit stamp in and out of Ecuador. Those two stamps should also match information held about you on the computer system
– You should receive a new Andean migration card with a new visa permit
– Remember if you use illegal processes you are helping to sustain the corruption that is stopping Peru from becoming a developed country

Text: Reem Amad Al Sadi

One Response to “Tourist escaped Peru after being lost in the system” Subscribe

  1. grino November 29, 2016 at 09:48 #

    Official you can only stay 6 months in a year,but that rule is never enforced

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