LIMA – Peru has turned around its former situation as an exporter of labor and has instead become a magnet for thousands of workers who immigrate from around the world, the latest official figures indicate.
Both the National Migration Department and the National Institute of Statistics and Information Technology, or INEI, released figures this week that confirm the country’s trend to receive workers from other countries, which increased by 793 percent between 2004 and 2014.
According to the official report, in 2004 some 1,464 work visas or changes in the immigration status of foreign workers were issued, while in 2014 these same applications were approved for 13,065 foreigners.
“Peru has become a very important destination for citizens from all parts of the world seeking to develop their training and talents in a serious country with a great future,” National Migration Superintendent Boris Potozen said.
He said the employment of foreigners “not only helps them prosper, but contributes to our development as well.”
With reference to this year’s figures, the National Migration Department said that during the first six months, 6,728 foreign citizens went through the sometimes arduous processes required to get work permits in Peru.
Most of the workers – 4,570 in all, came from South American countries, followed by 1,254 Europeans, 478 North Americans, 267 Asians, 108 Central Americans, 41 from Oceania and 10 from Africa.
Colombia is the home country of most workers who came to Peru in the first half of this year with 1,713, followed by Spain with 757, Argentina with 638, Chile with 556, Ecuador with 515, Brazil with 412, Venezuela with 349, and the United States with 330.
In reporting on the number of applications by foreigners seeking to enter the country as workers during the first half of this year (the same person can apply more than once), the Migration Department said that most were made by engineers (8,045), followed by laborers in different sectors (5,504) and company administrators (1,748).
These were followed by managers (966), technicians (800), economists (557), pilots (515) and accountants (449), among other professionals.
Analysts say the increase of labor immigration into Peru is mainly due to the country’s high growth levels over the past 10 years, which reached a yearly average of 6 percent.