Are you looking to invest in Chile? You may want to create a new company in Chile? Or buy real estate assets? Or open a branch of your company in Chile? There are so many reasons and options to invest in Chile…
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 Chilean investor visa?
In this article, we detail why Chile is a great 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?
Chile is considered the most stable and prosperous country in South America, offering attractive business and investment opportunities in various sectors such as energy or real estate. This is one of the reasons why Chile attracts many foreigners.
Below are some examples of investment opportunities in Chile, but there are still 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 buy cash without credit, there are lots of opportunities at the moment. Chilean tends to buy with credit. As the market has declined recently, some owners are forced to liquidate at interesting prices.
- Finance: invest in stocks, buy or sell securities on the financial markets and receive dividends that represent a part of the company’s profits if you own shares. Being still an emerging country, the yield on some securities are more interesting than securities 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. Chile innovation agency encourages foreign investors.
- Transport: a new trend is to invest in parking spots, which can be very profitable, depending on their location.
- Energy: you can invest in the mining sector, which is prominent in Chile. Be aware that there is lots 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 located in certain sectors, the Chilean government guarantees the price at which distribution companies buy electricity for a certain period, to encourage project development.
- Trading account: create an investment account, containing securities, cash or other holdings.
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 one year within the country, apply for a work permit and invest in Chile. After one year, you need to renew it for an extra year, or apply for permanent residency in Chile.
Who can apply for an investor visa in Chile?
Foreigners who have invested or want to invest in Chile, as well as merchants and entrepreneurs having a business or willing to start a business in Chile, can apply for an investor visa.
What are the requirements/documents to provide to obtain an investor visa in Chile?
Chilean immigration does not officially set specific investment or business requirements. Usually, an investor visa is obtained by investing in Chile or creating a company with substantial economic activity in the country.
If you want to invest or set up a business in Chile, you need to provide the following documents:
- Business or investment plan
- A document that proves that you have capital to invest. Be careful: the documents to send will not be the same if the capital has already been transferred to Chile, or if it has not yet been transferred.
If you already have invested or started a business in Chile, you will need to provide extra documents:
- A document that proves you have enough money to support yourself and your dependents in Chile.
- Your company constitution and later modifications.
- Certified copy of business license or incorporation documents
- Initiation of activities with the tax authorities (SII) and declaration of the modifications of the company in this organization.
- Proof of payment of municipal taxes.
- Last balance sheet
- Last statement of income tax.
- VAT payments for the last three months.
- Payroll of contracted workers, including documents supporting the fact that you have duly paid their social security.
- An authorization from the competent authorities to carry out your economic activity in the determined zone.
You may also be requested some other documents, especially if your family is coming with you in Chile:
- A copy of your passport
- One passport-size photo
- Proof of income / net wealth
- Real estate sales and purchase agreement
- Original or certified copy of marriage certificate
- Original or certified copy of birth certificate
- Tourism card
To be noted: this the list of documents required when we write this article. It may vary, notably due to law change. The required documents also vary significantly based on your personal situation. Feel free to contact us for more information and details.
What is the procedure to get a Chilean investor visa?
The visa application procedure has been significantly updated recently, due to the evolution of the Chilean immigration law. To apply, you currently have two options:
- You visit Chile with a tourist visa. While in Chile, you apply for an investor visa by sending a registered letter with all the documents to the immigration department in Santiago (or in the immigration office of the region where you are based).
- You apply to a Chilean consulate outside Chile for this visa. Be aware that some countries do not have
The investor visa in Chile allow you to obtain quite easily a temporary residency for your first year, even if you do not have a strong business plan. Yet, it is difficult to get a permanent residency with this visa type. The immigration department will review your business plan, balance and income to see if your business generates enough revenues for you and your family to live. They tend to look for a stable recurring monthly income, which is usually difficult to achieve if you arrive here to start a business.
Based on your situation, some other types of visa might be more suitable for your project. Feel fee to contact us with a full description of what you plan to do in Chile, so that we can see how we can help.
The investor visa allows you to live one year in Chile and apply for a work permit. After one year, you can apply for a permanent residency permit. When applying for a permanent visa, you must attach to your application a letter explaining why you want to become a Chilean permanent resident and what are your ties with the country. Permanent residence permit has a validity of 5 years and is renewable. After 5 years of residency, you become eligible for citizenship. The process to obtain citizenship takes about 2 years. You will have to do an interview, have a good Spanish level and knowledge of Chilean culture.
Frequently asked questions about the Chilean investor visa
Can I get the Chilean nationality with my investor visa, without losing my current nationality?
Yes. Dual citizenship is recognized in Chile, so you can keep your current nationality and get Chilean citizenship. Yet, you need to wait 5 years as a permanent resident using your investor visa, before you can apply for the Chilean nationality. And it usually takes one year to two years to obtain it.
Are there any nationalities that are restricted and whose citizens can not apply for an investor visa in Chile?
No. Chile does not officially restrict any nationality and anyone could in theory get an investor visa in Chile. Yet, for some countries, additional documents are required.
Do I need to speak Spanish to get an investor visa in Chile?
No. Spanish is not required to get a visa in Chile, especially for an investor visa in which you demonstrate that you have enough income to live (and thus no need to master Spanish to find a job). Yet, it you plan to invest and do business in Chile, you better start learning Spanish as soon as possible, as not all Chileans speak English. Furthermore, if you plan to apply for citizenship, it will be required.
Do I need to personally visit to Chile to get an investor visa?
Yes and No. It is not required to visit Chile to get an investor visa. You can apply for an investor visa outside Chile, by going to the Chilean consulate in the country where you currently live. In some situations, a visit to Chile might be required.
Do I have to go to an interview with Chilean officials in order to receive my visa?
Most probably No. If you apply in Chile, there is no interview. If you apply outside Chile, 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 really explain your project and assets, it is unlikely that they ask for an interview.
Is there a minimum required income level to qualify for an investor visa in Chile?
No. There is no official requirement regarding income level. US$ 1,000 to US$1,500 per family member is our recommended income level for foreigners relocating in Chile. A lump sum can be another option. It is useful for investors selling a company abroad and relocating to Chile.
Do I need to live in Chile all the time when I get an investor visa?
No. You are not required to live in Chile all year round. When you get your temporary residency, you need to be there at least 180 days during the first year. When you get a permanent residency, the required amount of days drops to a few days only.
Any additional questions about the Chilean investor visa? Contact us if you want assistance to get your investor visa application ready. We can help!