Peru has among the lowest levels of immigration recorded in the Americas relative to its population, with only 1,500 permanent immigrants arriving in 2012, and less than half this number of temporary immigrants. However, the observed change in the foreign-born population over the past decade is much larger than the number of recorded new immigrants, which suggests that official statistics may be missing some entries. These could include irregular immigrants but also Peruvian nationals born abroad who returned to Peru and whose entries are not recorded in the immigration numbers.
In 2013, the foreign-born population stood at 0.3 percent of the total resident population, a very low level indeed.
With respect to emigration, some 130,000 Peruvians, both permanent and temporary, were recorded as immigrants in 2012 in the OECD zone or in other countries of the Americas. This statistic represents essentially the same level as in 2009, following a decline to about 120,000 per year in the intervening years. Almost two thirds of this migration was to Argentina and Chile and an additional sixth to the United States. Migration to Argentina and Chile has greatly increased since 2009, as movements to the United States and Spain have declined. Note that these statistics do not normally include tourists or business visitors, transport crew-members or diplomatic personnel, nor do they cover persons whose entry in destination countries was irregular or who overstayed their visas.
Labor market outcomes of Peruvian emigrants in Europe and the United States were largely stable overall from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013, but largely as a result of offsetting movements among men and women. While both the employment and unemployment rates of Peruvian men improved, those of women took a turn for the worse, unemployment increasing by almost 3 points and employment declining by 4 points.
In 2013, Peru was home to 440 asylum seekers, an increase of 17% relative to asylum requests in 2012. Colombia, Cuba and the Dominican Republic were the most important countries of origin. In addition, for the same year (2012), 1,162 refugees resided in the country.
In 2013, remittances increased to 2.7 billion dollars, second only to Colombia among recipients of remittances in South America. The United States (34.5%), Spain (12.4%), Japan (8.9%) and Italy (7.8%) were the most important remitting countries, followed by Chile (7.5%) and Argentina (5.2%).
In recent years, the Peruvian State has promoted policies, such as the Law of Return (“Ley del Retorno”), aimed at assisting Peruvian migrants who return to the country. The objective of the Law of Return, or Law of Economic and Social Reintegration of the Returning Migrant (Law number 30001), is to facilitate the economic and social reintegration of returning Peruvians through diverse programs. Among them are (1) the National Employment Services, which aim to link people seeking employment with companies that require personnel through job placement services, counselling for job search, information regarding the labor market and occupational guidance; (2) Go Peru (“Vamos Perú”), a programme that to improve the employability of unemployed or workers at risk; and (3) Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (REMYPE) seeks to foster the creation of small or micro companies through a promotional tax regime.
The regulations for Law 30103 were approved in 2013. The regulations establish procedures for regularizing foreigners who entered the country through immigration checkpoints before December 31, 2011, and who found themselves in an irregular situation after the expiration of their authorization to stay or reside in the country. The law permits the granting of a temporary visa or resident visa (maximum of two years) under the immigration statuses of either worker, independent professional or residing family member, as appropriate. The regulations established a term of 180 days after visa approval for foreigners to present their requests for regularization.
In April 2011, the Pacific Alliance – composed of Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru – was created. Costa Rica and Panama joined as observers. The general purpose of the Pacific Alliance was to make progress towards “the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons” among the signatory countries. It also established as an initial priority, the movement of business people, the facilitation of migration flows and cooperation among immigration and consular police. In May 2013, based on the mandates described in the Founding Treaty of the Pacific Alliance, Peru announced the abolition of visas for business people from Chile, Colombia and Mexico for up to 183 days as long as activities conducted were non-remunerative.
In the same year, Peru signed the “Agreement on Residence for Nationals of States Party to Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile,” also ratifying the internal regulations. The objective of this Agreement is to grant legal residence to nationals of those signatory states who wish to live in the territory of another. Temporary residence is granted for 2 years, after which temporary permit-holders may opt for permanent residence. The marked increase observed in the emigration of Peruvians to Argentina and Chile after 2011 is undoubtedly linked to the signing of this agreement.
2011 also saw the Parliament of the Andean Community of Nations (CAN) approve a decision to formally propose to CAN countries that they join en bloc the Agreement on Residence of States Party to Mercosur, Bolivia and Chile. In practice, this only requires adoption by Ecuador and Colombia, which is facilitated by the fact that they have been associated with Mercosur since 2004.
Recent trends in migrant’s flows and stocks and in labor market outcomes of emigrants
|Migration inflows (foreign nationals)||Persons||Per 1000 inhabitants||Percent change|
|Permanent migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Temporary migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type||Persons||% distribution|
|Migration outflows (nationals)||Persons||% of total||% change|
|From unstandardised destination country data||2009||2010||2011||2012||2012||2012/2009|
|Asylum seekers and refugees||Per million inhabitants||Number of persons|
|Inflows of asylum seekers||9.8759525680894||15.735329329469||12.571779190204||14.485309147608||13.167092558842||440|
|Refugees resident in the country||39.162081809794||38.629220499811||37.415215520979||38.254384612546||38.365225610782||1162|
|Components of population growth||Per 1000 inhabitants|
|Foreign-born population||Percentage of the total population||Persons||% change|
|Remittances||Millions of dollars||% of GDP||% change|
|Macroeconomic indicators||Annual growth in %||Average annual growth||Level|
|GDP/per capita ((PPP ) in constant 2011 international dollars)||7.2||5.2||4.6||4.4||5.4||11396|
|Labour market outcomes of emigrants in Europe and the United States||Percentages|