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Working in Peru

If being an expat in Peru has always been a dream of yours, don’t let the bureaucracy scare you away! InterNations provides you with information on the Peruvian economy, work permits, how to apply for a job, taxation, social security, and business etiquette for expats.

The Peruvian Economy: On the Road to Recovery

The Peruvian economy is very market-oriented. With an estimated GDP of 202.9 billion USD (in 2014), Peru is the 52nd largest economy in the world. Unfortunately, due to the great disparity between the haves and the have nots, Peru’s poverty level is 24%. However, the good news is that the rate of unemployment is steadily decreasing and is now at 6.8%.

Since Peru was one of the first South American countries to move from a military regime to a democratic republic, things have remained relatively stable. The country relies heavily on import/export, making it a haven for those working in Peru’s foreign trade industry. Peru’s most important trade partners are the United States, China, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, and Colombia. Peru’s government has significantly contributed to keeping Peru economically stable, reducing debt and spending carefully.

Finding Your Ideal Job in Peru

Thanks to its diverse geography, the Peruvian economy is blessed with a wide variety of natural resources. From fish to gold and everything in between, expats thinking of working in Peru can be sure to find something of interest.

Moreover, tourism is a very popular field for foreign residents. From ecotourism in the Amazon rainforest to cultural tourism on Machu Picchu, from gastronomic tourism to adventure and beach tourism, those interested in working in Peru’s tourist industry have a lot to choose from.

If you are looking for employment in the capital city of Lima, you have many windows open to you, as it is also the financial capital of Peru, and one of the strongest in Latin America. Aside from the Lima Stock Exchange, there are various international banks in Lima, such as Citibank, HSBC, Grupo BBVA, etc. Try the internet for useful websites or the local newspapers in large cities. Empleos Peru is a popular online job portal. However, it is in Spanish only.

The national currency in Peru is nuevos soles (PEN). The current exchange rate as of August 2015 is 1 PEN = 0.28 EUR.

Unusual: Working for a Peruvian Company

Most expats who plan on working in Peru end up in a foreign company. As Peruvian companies give precedence to Peruvian workers, an expat may have a more difficult time. As a rule of thumb, always look for work before moving to a foreign country. This will greatly facilitate your move in general and your visa application in particular.

However, if you would like to work in a Peruvian company, there are several guidelines to follow. You will need to send your work contract (signed and sealed!) to the Peruvian Ministry of Labor. In most cases, your future employer will take care of this.

Working contracts must meet the following conditions: foreigners may not be employed for a period of more than three years (you can renew your contract later); the total wages of foreign workers may not exceed 30% of the total wages the employer pays out, and foreigners may only make up 20% of the employees of a Peruvian company.


We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

If there’s something you’re still not sure about, check out the InterNations Forum.

Brandon Le Clerk

"During all my life as an expat (Lima is my fourth home abroad), I have been searching exactly for a networking platform like InterNations."

Maria Borges

"InterNations and the Lima Community helped me to learn a lot about Peru and the Peruvian culture -- not to mention Lima's nightlife. ;) "

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