Border controls are measures taken by a country to monitor and regulate the movement of people, animals and goods into as well as out of a country. The goals are to protect from the illegal movement of weapons, drugs, contraband and people, to safeguard the people from disease-carrying merchandise, and maintain economic prosperity and national sovereignty.
Peru's current law allows tourists one 183-day visa each year. Last September we crossed into Ecuador, hoping the visa regulations were unenforced, and discovered the opposite to be true. It is only by the grace of God and the intercession of Our Blessed Mother that we were granted re-entry.
If you want to read about that adventure, go to our blog post titled "Visa Renewal by Katelyn".
For those wishing to remain in Peru for an extended period of time, the government offers "carnets de extranjerios" (foreigner cards). As part of the application process individuals need to change their status from "tourist" to "resident". This is an extremely lengthy process which includes very specific authorizations, stamps and seals, notarizations and such from offices here in Peru as well as the individual's country of origin.
We began this process in January while still here in Peru. We went to Houston in March and completed the required steps at the Peruvian consulate.
At the beginning of June we all went to Lima and visited several different offices to obtain the necessary authorizations.
Chris and I returned to Lima at the beginning of July to present all our documentation to the officials at Immigration.
We received papers of confirmation acknowledging that we've completed all necessary steps. Now, we wait.....
When we receive our carnets de extranjerias we'll be allowed to remain in country for two additional years without needing to leave for any sort of visa renewal.
We're not sure exactly what the Lord has planned for our family, but this will keep the door open to stay here in Peru if He so desires this of us.
After obtaining these cards, we'll be able to begin the process for our kids. We've been told that it is significantly easier for the children of residents, so hopefully we'll all have what we need before our current visas expire in October.