21/12/2018, updated 20/10/2023
Do you need more information on the Chile investor visa? Do you want to know if your investment project is enough to qualify for an investor visa in Chile? Or what type of documents are required to apply for a Chilean investor visa?
In this article, we detail why Chile is an excellent opportunity to invest and the steps you need to go through to get an investor visa for Chile.
Why is Chile a great country to invest in?
Chile is South America's most stable and prosperous country, offering attractive business and investment opportunities in various sectors such as energy or real estate. For this reason, Chile attracts many foreigners.
Below are some examples of investment opportunities in Chile, but there are many more:
- Real estate: invest in the real estate sector by buying a property or a building in Chile and then renting it. If you have available funds and can purchase without a mortgage, there are many opportunities. Chileans tend to buy with a mortgage. Some owners must liquidate quickly at below-market prices when they can not pay their mortgage.
- Finance: invest in stocks, buy or sell securities on the financial markets, and receive dividends representing a part of the company's profits if you own shares. Being still an emerging country, the yield on some securities is more interesting than those issued by US or European-based companies.
- Technology/IT: this is a growth sector, all the more so since Chile owns South America's biggest incubator, Start-Up Chile, allowing you to invest in promising start-ups. The Chilean innovation agency encourages foreign investors.
- Energy: you can invest in the mining sector, which is prominent in Chile. Be aware that there is a lot of speculation on mining concessions. Another option is to invest in renewable energy directly on the stock exchange or through crowdfunding. On small renewable energy projects in specific regions, the Chilean government guarantees the price at which distribution companies buy electricity for a certain period to encourage project development.
What is an investor visa? How does the investor visa work in Chile?
An investor visa is one of the temporary residence visas. It allows you to live for one or two years and gives you the right to work and invest in Chile.
Who can apply for an investor visa in Chile?
The 2022 immigration law has restricted the investor visa, now focused on foreigners who either:
- have invested or want to invest in Chile in a project above USD 500,000,
- work for a foreign company that owns at least 10% of the capital of a Chilean company.
In the first case, you shall prove you have the funds. In the second case, you must show the equity link between foreign and Chilean companies.
What are the requirements/documents to provide to obtain an investor visa in Chile?
The Chilean investment agency defines the investor visa requirements. This agency issued a resolution in August 2022, which specifies the different types of documents to provide them based on the project size and category. We won't elaborate here, as a case-by-case analysis of your project is required to assess its class and determine the necessary documents. Therefore, we recommend you book a consultation to review your situation.
How to obtain a Chilean investor visa?
- You shall gather the documents required by the Chilean Investment Agency and the Chile Immigration Service.
- You must present the documents to the Chilean Investment Agency, which will review them and issue you a support letter if they validate your project.
- You must send an investment visa application on the website of the immigration service before coming to Chile. Chile no longer authorizes applications from tourists in Chile for investor visas.
- Once you receive your temporary investor visa, you can relocate to Chile.
- After arriving, you need to register with the civil register in Chile by booking an appointment within 30 days.
Based on your situation, some other types of visas might be more suitable for your project. Feel free to book a consultation so that we can analyze your situation in more detail.
Frequently asked questions about the Chilean investor visa
Yes, if your origin country allows dual citizenship. Dual citizenship is recognized in Chile, so you can keep your nationality and get Chilean citizenship. After five years in Chile using your investor visa and then permanent residency, you can apply for Chilean nationality. It usually takes two to three years to obtain it.
No. Chile does not officially restrict any nationality, and anyone could theoretically get an investor visa in Chile. Yet, a criminal background check is required. The immigration service may deny your investor visa if you have committed severe crimes.
Yes and No. You do not need to speak Spanish to get a visa in Chile, especially for an investor visa, where you demonstrate that you have enough assets for your project (and no need to master Spanish to find a job). Yet, if you plan to invest and do business in Chile, you must send a business plan to the investment agency. Therefore, you should learn Spanish, as not all Chileans speak English. Furthermore, it will be required if you plan to apply for citizenship.
Not at the start. All the visa application process is performed online before coming to Chile. So, you do not necessarily need to visit Chile to get a visa, but you will need to enter Chile to activate your visa once you get it. It is possible to apply for an investor visa outside Chile. You can be required to travel if there is no Chilean consulate in your country and you need to legalize documents or if they want you to come to an appointment before granting you the visa.
Most probably, No. You might be requested to come for an interview at the consulate. Yet, if your visa application is detailed enough, and you supply documents that explain your project and assets, it is unlikely that they will request an interview.
No. There is no official requirement regarding income level, but your investment project must be above USD 500,000.
No. You are not required to live in Chile all year round. Since the immigration law of February 2022, there is no longer a minimum amount of time to spend in Chile (it used to be six months). Yet, if you want to apply for permanent residency, not living a lot in Chile will extend the time you have to be a temporary resident before being allowed to apply for permanent residence.
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