Visas for Chile
Those travelling to Chile for a short time will most likely not need to organise a visa before arriving. However, those who are looking to settle or work will have to consider the various visas for Chile – whether for temporary or permanent residence.
If a foreigner has already secured employment, their employer should be able to help them organise a work permit before they arrive. However, for those looking to move to Chile without a job lined up, the good news is that it is usually possible to apply for a work permit from within Chile.
Tourist visas for Chile
Citizens of several countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and most of Western Europe, do not need a visa for stays in Chile of up to 90 days. Visitors will need their passports; they must show border officials proof of funds for the duration of their stay (a credit card or bank statement is considered sufficient). By law, proof of onward or return travel is required, but in practice this is very rarely enforced by immigration authorities. However, since the airline bringing the traveller into Chile would be required to return an overstaying visitor at their own expense, it is airline staff rather than immigration authorities that are more likely to insist on passengers fulfilling this requirement. Note that some nationals, such as Australians and Mexicans, will need to pay a reciprocity fee in cash on arrival in Chile.
A Tourist Card, issued on arrival and valid for 90 days, should be carried at all times. This card can be renewed for an additional 90 days when it nears its expiration date and this can be arranged through the Departamento de Extranjería. Expats should be prepared for long queues and waiting times.
Nationals of some South American countries need only their national identity documents to enter Chile. Citizens of countries that are not visa-exempt should contact the Chilean embassy in their own country for visa application requirements.
Residence visas for Chile
Visa Subject to Contract
A Visa Subject to Contract (Visa Sujeta a Contrato de Trabajo) is a resident visa granted to foreign workers who have been hired from overseas and who intend to live and work in Chile. It is valid for a maximum of two years. The dependent visa linked to this (Visa Residente Sujeto a Contrato Dependiente) is for the immediate family of the contract worker and holders of this type of dependent visa are not allowed to work.
Temporary Resident Visa
A Temporary Resident Visa (Visa de Residencia Temporaria) is intended for those who wish to travel the country with the intention of settling in Chile to seek work or to visit family members. This visa is valid for a year. There is an associated dependent visa for family members of the Temporary Resident Visa holder; dependents on this visa are not allowed to work in Chile.
Working Holiday Visa
This visa is a work permit which allows nationals of certain countries to travel and study or work in Chile for a year or less.
*Visa regulations are subject to change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.