Chile Investor Visa - what you should know.

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 or two years within the country, and gives you the right to work and invest in Chile.

Who can apply for an investor visa in Chile?

Since the 2022 immigration law, the investor visa has been restriced. It is focused on foreigners who either:

  1. have invested or want to invest in Chile in a project above USD 500,000,
  2. work for a foreign company that owns at least 10% of the capital of a Chilean company.

In the first case, you will be ask to prove that you have the funds. In the second case, you will have to show the equity link between the foreign and Chilean companies.

If you do not qualify for this visa, you should have a look at the retirement/rentista visa or the work visa in Chile.

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 category and determine the required documents. We recommend you to book a consultation to review your situation more in depth.

What is the procedure to get a Chilean investor visa?

  1. You shall gather the documents required by the Chilean Investment Agency and the Chile Immigration Service
  2. You must present the documents to the Chilean Investment Agency first, which will review them and issue you a support letter if they validate your project
  3. You must send an investmen visa application on the website of the immigration service, before coming to Chile. Applications in Chile are no longer authorized for this visa type.
  4. Once you have your temporary investor visa granted, you can relocate to Chile.
  5. 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 visa might be more suitable for your project. Feel fee to book a consultation, so that we can analyze more in depth your situation.

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 current nationality and get Chilean citizenship. After 5 years living in Chile using your investor visa then permanent residency, you can apply for the Chilean nationality. It usually takes two to three years to obtain it.

No. Chile does not officially restrict any nationality and anyone could in theory get an investor visa in Chile. Yet, a criminal background check is required and you may be denied your investor visa if you have committed serious crimes in the past.

Yes and No. Spanish is not required to get a visa in Chile, especially for an investor visa in which you demonstrate that you have enough assets for your project (and thus no need to master Spanish to find a job). Yet, it you plan to invest and do business in Chile, you will need to send a business plan to the investment agency. Therefore, you should learn Spanish, as not all Chileans speak English. Furthermore, if you plan to apply for citizenship, it will be required.

Not at the start. All the visa application process in performed online, before coming to Chile. So, you do not necessarily need to visit Chile to get a visa, but you will need to come to Chile to activate your visa once you get it. It is possible to apply (and actually required) 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 really explain your project and assets, it is unlikely that they ask for 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 that came in force in February 2022, there is no mimimum amount of time to spend in Chile (it used to be 6 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 residency.

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