Getting a Visa: Peru 1

We need to obtain residence visas (carne de extranjeria) for Peru in order to be able to open a bank account. We are back in the US for about 90 days with the goal of obtaining the necessary paperwork here. When we return to Peru, we will use a service to process the paperwork for us, and hopefully expedite the process a little bit.

One of the more difficult aspects of the process is understanding what is involved. I’ve read about this several times and now have 1) the application form downloaded from the website:


Though people ask you to get a carne de extranjeria, that is the second step in the process. We must first request a change in our immigration status from that of tourist to that of “annuitant,” that is, someone who has retirement income. Filling out the form is straightforward.

2) Next is the background check. We were told to get a background check covering the previous five years in the place where we live, not an INTERPOL background check. There were several options, and we looked for the most convenient rather than the least expensive. In the winter weather, spending a day at the police administrative offices in Chicago was not appealing.

We found a business licensed to do background checks using the Livescan system, with the advantage of being located nearby. I made appointments and we drove over, finding ourselves outside a building with no sign of BioScan Tek on the outside, and without the matching street number anywhere. After driving around, we decided to go inside and ask someone. We found the building number we were looking for inside the complex, on the door of a rental workspace and went in. The workspace appeared to be empty, with cubicles, seating areas, dining area, vending machines, standing silently waiting for clients. At the end of the hall was a cubicle with the door open, lights, and one person puttering. That turned out to be BioScan.

The confusing location didn’t make much difference, as the equipment for both State of Illinois and FBI background checks was in place. We filled out the forms, listened to the required advice, and each took our turn getting fingerprinted. I took a bit longer to get finished because my fingerprints don’t show up very well–I probably should have become a spy, I don’t appear to leave much trace–. After trying several times and using different compounds on my fingertips in an effort to make them visible, my prints were submitted. We will receive email notices, and letters in the mail with our results.

That afternoon, I received a call from our fingerprinter. My prints were rejected by the FBI system. I agreed to go over again the next day to try again. I was advised to put vaseline on my fingers and wear gloves overnight to enhance my prints. I did as instructed and went back the next morning. We struggled to get better prints, and Marie, my fingerprinter, called to see whether they would be accepted. Though we weren’t sure, they were sent on.

The good news is that someone actually looked at the scan and decided it would work. Three days later, I received email confirmation that my background is clear according to the FBI. I downloaded a copy of the letter and now await the physical letter arriving in our maibox. Jonathan is still awaiting his FBI letter, and we both are awaiting our State of Illinois background checks. Marie mentioned that Illinois has a hefty backlog of requests from the Covid years.

What we requested:

1) Illinois State Police Background Check

2) FBI Criminal Report for Personal Review

We went in for our fingerprinting on Feb. 28, 2022

I received my FBI results on Mar. 4, 2022

Total cost just over $100 per person.

Affiliate link: This company can help you obtain a tourist card if you plan to visit Cuba.


(Should you decide to use this service, I would get a small fee. That’s how affiliate links support websites.)

Published by winifredcreamer

I am a retired archaeologist and I like to travel, especially to places where you can walk along the shore or watch birds. My husband Jonathan and I travel for more than half the year every year, seeing all the places that we haven't gotten to yet.

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