Chile

Moving to Chile?

Connect with fellow expats in Chile
Join exciting events and groups
Get information in our Chile guides
Exchange tips about expat life in Chile

Chile's Visa Requirements

Chile, the long and narrow country on South America’s west coast, often evokes images of rural life in Patagonia and the Andes. However, there is more to Chile than its breathtaking countryside. Learn all about moving to Chile, including location and climate, visas, and transportation.
Securing a visa is not always easy for expats who wish to move to Chile.

Tourist Visas

Expats who decide to visit Chile before their move — perhaps for a fact-finding visit or to search for a job — can apply for a tourist visa.

Citizens of several countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and EU states, do not require a visa if their stay is less than 90 days. Instead they’ll be issued with a Tarjeta de Turismo (tourist card) upon arrival in Chile. It is important that you keep it for when you leave the country.

For those of you who do require a tourist visa, it is important to only submit original documents, otherwise your paperwork may be sent back to you and you’ll have to reapply. It can take up to four weeks for tourist visas to be approved, after which you have to collect it in person at the consulate. The following paperwork is required for a tourist visa application:

  • a completed visa application form
  • proof of a booked flight to Chile and back
  • a valid passport and a photocopy (and a copy of your residence permit, if applicable)
  • a certificate of employment or pay slips for the last three months
  • one passport-sized, biometric photograph with your full name on the back
  • an invitation from an individual or a company in Chile, or proof of hotel reservation

The visa fees depend very much on your country of origin. The consulate may ask you to provide additional documents or come in for a personal interview. If you decide to stay longer than originally planned, you may ask for an extension of your visa at the Extranjería in Chile.

Short-Term Visas

Short-term visas, also known as temporary resident visas, mostly apply to interns, students on a gap year doing volunteer work, individuals traveling to Chile for family visits, and, expats on a short-term assignment. A short-term visa is valid for a maximum of one year. As with the tourist visa, it may take up to four weeks for your short-term visa to be approved. You’ll need to submit the following paperwork with your application:

  • a completed application form
  • one passport-sized, biometric photograph with your full name written on the back
  • a valid passport and a photocopy
  • a police clearance certificate (not older than three months) detailing whether the applicant has a criminal record
  • a document supporting your reason for applying for this visa (e.g. a work contract)
  • a certificate of health (confirming that the applicant does not have any contagious diseases)
  • proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of the stay (e.g. bank statement)

Work Visas for Chile

Are you being transferred abroad by your employer, or do you want to live and work in Chile for more than one year? Then you need to apply for a regular work visa. In order to apply, you need to submit the following documents:

  • a completed application form, including the telephone number of your contact person in Chile
  • one passport-sized photograph with your full name written on the back
  • a valid passport and a photocopy
  • a police clearance certificate (not older than three months) detailing whether the applicant has a criminal record
  • an official letter from your employer to the consul, explaining your role
  • a work contract (see below)
  • a certificate of health (confirming that the applicant does not have any contagious diseases)

The Work Contract

Before you send in your paperwork, there are a few details you should be aware of. Your employer has to visit the Chilean Department of Foreign Affairs in order to have his or her signature notarized. You will also have to visit the Chilean consulate to sign your work contract and have it notarized; make an appointment and pay the necessary fee in advance. Pre-signed work contracts are usually not accepted. Additionally, your work contract has to follow Chilean law and contain the following phrases:

  • obligación del empleador de responder al pago del impuesto a la renta correspondiente en relación a la remuneración pagada - The employer is obligated to reimburse the legally required income tax resulting from the employee’s paid remuneration.
  • obligación del empleador del pago de cotizaciones al Sistema Previsional y de Salud del trabajador en Chile o en el extranjero - The employer is obligated to reimburse the employee’s social security contributions in Chile or abroad.
  • responsibilidad de pagar pasajes de retorno al término del contrato laboral, para el contratado y su grupo familiar - The employer is responsible for paying the employee and his family’s return tickets once the contract is terminated.

 

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

Mathias Döringer

"Before moving to Santiago de Chile I joined the InterNations community and got useful hints regarding housing and business."

Emma Willems

"When I first came to Santiago de Chile I didn´t know one anyone. On InterNations I found many expat friends in the same situation."

Global Expat Guide

Top Articles Expat Guide