Consular Spotlight - Lima

Consular Spotlight – Lima

By Larry S Rifkin

U.S. Embassy Lima – Practice Tips

The U.S. Embassy in Lima is one of the largest and most important diplomatic missions in Peru. Its goal is to deepen ties of cooperation and understanding between the two nations through the strengthening of bilateral relations, promotion of commercial exchange, and development of economic and cultural activities.

  • Immigrant Visa Issuance: In the 2017 fiscal year, the Embassy issued 4,942 immigrant visas. [1]
  • Non-Immigrant Visa Issuance: In the 2017 fiscal year, the Embassy issued 96,267 non-immigrant visas, including B1/B2 visas. [2]

The Embassy also maintains a Consular Agency in Cusco for emergency and other services to U.S. citizens who reside or are traveling within the Cusco region. All visits to the Consular Agency in Cusco are by appointment only. The Consular Agency does not process visa applications and representatives are not trained or authorized to answer visa inquiries.

USCIS Lima Field Office:

The USCIS Lima Field Office is part of the Latin America, Canada and Caribbean District and has jurisdiction over U.S. immigration matters in Peru, Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Uruguay, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Suriname, and Venezuela. The USCIS Lima Field Office is available to the public by appointment only and is closed on Peruvian and American holidays.  USCIS Lima is located at the U.S. Embassy building, on the 3rd floor. You may also make an online appointment to visit USCIS Lima at: . Assistance with scheduling an online appointment is also available via phone.  One may also contact USCIS Lima by phone at 618-2000 (from within Peru) and (011) (511) 618-2000 (from the United States) for general information from Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For all applications and petitions being submitted at the USCIS Lima office, fees must be paid to the U.S. Embassy cashier in the Consular Section, either in cash (U.S. dollars or Peruvian soles) or by credit card. Currently, due to technical issues in accepting credit cards, cash payments are preferred. If paying in cash, the same currency must be used to pay for the full amount. The Consular Section does not accept debit cards, checks or U.S. Postal money orders. A complete explanation of the fees, required forms, and documentation associated with the forms that USCIS will accept directly at this office is found at: .

Forms Accepted at USCIS Lima Field Office:

USCIS Lima only accepts certain USCIS forms. For a complete list and details of the forms accepted, please visit the following website: .  Some of the common forms accepted include:

  • I-130, Petition for Alien Relative:  This form may be filed at the USCIS Lima Office. Residents of Peru filing with USCIS must submit the petition and supporting evidence in person. Evidence of residency in Peru must be submitted with the petition.  For additional information regarding evidence of residency, please visit: .
  • I-131, Application for Travel Document: This application should be filed in the U.S. before departure. However, USCIS Lima has jurisdiction to accept and approve refugee travel document applications in limited circumstances. If eligible to apply abroad, the application may only be accepted and processed by the USCIS Lima office at the discretion of the district director. Please contact the USCIS Lima Field Office for additional information.
  • I-601, Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility: In most cases, this application must be filed with the appropriate USCIS lockbox in the U.S. by mail.  However, one may request an exception to the Lockbox filing and permission to file the I-601 application at an international office, such as USCIS Lima, if:: the applicant resides in a country where a USCIS office is located, exceptional and compelling humanitarian circumstances exist that require immediate filing and adjudication, and expedited processing would be insufficient to address the urgency of the circumstances. [3]
  • I-212, Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the United States After Deportation or Removal: Same instructions as Form I-601. If USCIS Lima decides that exceptional and compelling humanitarian circumstances warrant filing your Form I-601 with USCIS Lima, you can also file the Form I-212 with the Form I-601. If you file Form I-601 and Form I-212 together, be sure to submit the correct filing fee for each separate form.

Government Agencies that Operate at the U.S. Embassy in Lima:

  • Defense Attaché Office (DAO);
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA);
  • Military Assistance and Advisory Group (MAAG);
  • Foreign Commercial Services (FCS);
  • Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS);
  • Department of Homeland Security (DHS); and
  • The United States Agency of International Development (USAID).

Immigrant Visa:

Once an appointment letter has been issued, the applicant(s) will need to complete their online registration as part of the preparation for the interview at: . This registration includes the address where the applicant’s passport will be returned after the processing of the application.  Applicant(s) may need the assistance of the following agencies in order to obtain biographic records required for their application, as applicable:

  • The Registro Nacional de Identificación y Estado Civil (RENIEC) is the national civil records registry in Peru. RENIEC offices issue original birth certificates for some areas in Lima. RENIEC offices throughout Peru can certify the authenticity of certificates from all other areas.
  • Police, Court and Prison Records: Certificate of Police Records (Certificado de Antecedentes Policiales) are issued by the Peruvian National Police (Policia Nacional del Peru) at local police stations. Imprisonment Records: (Certificado de Antecedentes Judiciales a Nivel Nacional) are issued in Lima by the Instituto Nacional Penitenciario (INPE), Dirección de Registro Penitenciario. Additional information as to where to obtain these records can be found at: Court Records are issued by Registro Nacional de Condenas and can be requested online at:
  • Military Records: These records are issued by Fuero Militar Policial. Additional information can be found at:
  • Medical Exam: All applicants, regardless of age, are required to obtain a medical examination prior to the issuance of a visa.[4] Only physicians accredited by the U.S. Embassy can perform this exam. It is the applicant’s responsibility to schedule and attend a medical exam at least seven (7) days prior to the visa interview appointment. The physician will need the visa interview appointment letter, the original passport, and a copy of the applicant’s immunization records.

At the end of the immigrant visa interview, the Consular Officer will inform the applicant whether the visa application was approved or denied. However, some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the applicant’s interview. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.  Applicants can check the status of their visa application on the State Department’s website at:

Non-Immigrant Visas:

The standard waiting time for B-1/B-2 visas is 3 calendar days and 2-3 days for all other NIVs. [5]

Expedited scheduling with the Consular Section is available. To request an expedited appointment, one should first schedule a regular appointment on the closest available date on the Peru-Official U.S. Department of State Visa Appointment Service website: . Then, while signed-in to your account, click “Continue”, select “Request Expedite” and follow the instructions. Expedited Appointments will only be granted at the Consular Section’s discretion.

Other Practical Considerations:

  • The Ambassador to the Lima post is Krishna R. Urs, who was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 3, 2017.
  • Practitioners should be aware that the interviewing officer may not accept the attorney’s packet in support of the application during the interview for certain NIVs.
  • Consular Officers during visa interviews and local staff may not identify themselves.
  • When applying for B-1/B-2, F-1, and J-1 visas, practitioners should be prepared to overcome INA §214(b) issues.

Contact Information details:

The U.S. Embassy in Lima’s address is: Avenida La Encalada, cdra. 17 s/n, Surco, Lima 33. The Embassy’s webpage is: . The telephone number is: (51-1) 618-2000 and E-mail address is:  For Visa Appointment Services from Peru: (51) 1-709-7950 or (51) 1-709-7951; from the United States 1-703-249-4660 and the Skype Name is: USAVISAPERU.

The Consular Agency in Cuzco’s information is as follows: Avenida El Sol 449, Office #201, Cusco, telephone number: (51) 84 231-474 and email address: 

Prepared by Larry S. Rifkin, Esq., Managing Partner at Rifkin & Fox-Isicoff, PA, in Miami, Florida.


[2] Id.

[3] See USCIS PM-602-0062.1.


[5] Information based on the State Department’s website as of the publication of this article.

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