The Tarjeta Andina de Migración (TAM or Andean Migration Card) is a simple tourist “card” that allows most tourists (see tab below for nationality requirements) to enter Peru without the need for an actual tourist visa. I say “card” because the traditional paper version of the TAM has been replaced by the TAM Virtual, a digital version that requires no form-filling or physical paper.
I won’t yet be removing the instructions for filling out the old paper form (see below) as it’s possible that tourists entering Peru via smaller overland border crossings might still be given the paper version. But since November 2016, Peru — as well as Ecuador, Colombia and Bolivia — began rolling out the new digital system, alongside the installation of new biometric gates at their principal airports. So most tourists, including anyone entering Peru through Lima Airport, will be automatically assigned a TAM Virtual.
Can I enter Peru with just a passport and a Tarjeta Andina or TAM Virtual?
Passport holders from the following countries can enter Peru as a tourist with just a valid passport and a Tarjeta Andina:
- From North America: All (USA, Canada and Mexico).
- From Europe: All European countries, with the exception of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Georgia and Turkey.
- From Oceania: All.
- From South America: All.
- From Central America and the Caribbean: All except Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua and the Dominican Republic.
- From Africa: Only South Africa (all other African citizens must apply for a tourist visa for Peru).
- From Asia: Only Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand (all other Asian citizens must apply for a tourist visa for Peru).
The TAM Virtual, or Digital Tarjeta Andina
The TAM Virtual is a digital version of the old Tarjeta Andina form that tourists once had to fill in when entering Peru. It’s mainly used for statistical purposes. When someone enters Peru, information from their passport and flight tickets is used to generate the TAM Virtual. You do not need to fill out any forms and you do not need to get a printed TAM. The border official might ask you about your purpose of travel.
If for some reason you need a physical copy of your TAM Virtual, or you need to check the status of your TAM, you can do so by visiting this page at the Migraciones website. You’ll need to enter your passport number, nationality and either your date of entry or exit into/out of Peru (you can check your passport stamp for this). If you have any problems finding your TAM Virtual, which is quite common, you can contact Migraciones by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Some hostels or hotels in Peru might still ask to see your TAM so that you can avoid paying the 18% IGV tax that Peruvians and residents of Peru pay at the time of purchasing any kind of product or service. You can either show them your TAM Virtual at the webpage above, or print it out and give it to them.
The Old Paper Version of the Tarjeta Andina
For posterity’s sake, and in case some small border crossings are still using it, here is the old Tarjeta Andina, the paper form that everyone used to have to fill in and keep until they exited Peru.
How Long Can I Legally Stay in Peru?
When you enter Peru with a Tarjeta Andina (TAM Virtual), you can legally stay for a maximum of 183 days (six months) in any 365-day period (for more about this, read How Long Can You Stay in Peru as a Tourist?). The border official, however, will probably give you 90 days, which seems to be standard at the moment, although they sometimes go as low as 30 days.
Be sure to ask for enough days to cover your travel plans; ask politely, and the border official will normally give you 90 days. If you later want more time in Peru, you can do the online visa extension to extend your stay up to the maximum of 183 days. If you have problems with the online extension, you can go to one of the immigration offices in Peru and ask for help.
Some people also end up staying in Peru beyond their officially alloted time. If this happens, you’ll have to pay the Peru overstay fine when you leave the country.