Work Permits for Chile

Expats wishing to work in Chile will need a work permit. Getting a work permit for Chile is relatively straightforward and generally organised and sponsored through the hiring company. A work permit is therefore usually tied to an offer of employment and an official work contract. However, there are a few options for expats wanting to work legally in Chile.

Expats can either enter Chile on a tourist visa and then look for employment and apply for a temporary residence permit (valid for a year), or they can arrange a work visa prior to their arrival with a firm offer of employment from a Chilean company (normally valid for two years).

Applications and all supporting documents for a work permit should be submitted to the Immigration Department of the Ministry of the Interior if applying from within Chile, or the relevant Chilean consulate if from outside the country. 

The hiring company also has to meet certain requirements and show that the foreigner has skills that are indispensable to the development of the country.

There are two types of work permits available and, if applying from outside the country, expats have 90 days to enter Chile once this has been approved. Work permits can be extended at the discretion of the Chilean authorities.

Visa Subject to Contract

This work permit hinges entirely on a contract with a Chilean employer. The permit is valid for up to two years, depending on the agreement between employer and employee as stipulated in the contract. After two years, the visa can then be renewed for a further two years.

If living in Chile on a Visa Subject to Contract, the expat may bring dependents such as children or a spouse into the country, but any dependents will not automatically have the right to work in Chile.

Working Holiday Visa

This visa allows nationals of certain countries to travel and study or work in Chile for a year or less. Eligible countries include Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, South Korea, New Zealand and Sweden. Applicants must be between the ages of 18 and 30 (or 35, in the case of Hungary and Canada). Nationals from countries that are part of the Pacific Alliance (that is, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) may apply for a similar visa.

*Visa and work permit requirements are subject to change at short notice and expats should consult the respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.