Chile Retirement Visa

Are you looking to retire in Chile? Do you need more information on Chile retirement visa? Do you want to know if your income level is sufficient to qualify for a retirement visa in Chile? Or what type of documents are required to apply for Chilean retirement visa?

Are you looking to retire in Chile? Do you need more information on Chile retirement visa? Do you want to know if your income level is sufficient to qualify for a retirement visa in Chile? Or what type of documents are required to apply for Chilean retirement visa?

In this article, we detail why Chile is a great opportunity to enjoy your retirement, and the steps you need to go through to get a retirement visa for Chile

Why is Chile a great country to retire?

Chile is one of South America’s most willing countries to welcome foreigners looking to relocate or retire. Chilean immigration will probably let you in, provided that you prove that you are financially able to live in Chile and are serious about staying in the country for a long time.

Below are some reasons why Chile is a great country to retire:

  • The beauty of the landscapes: in only one country, you have the opportunity to admire a great diversity of landscapes, from the driest desert in the world in the north, to the glaciers of Patagonia. As a pensioner, you will have plenty of time to visit the country, especially as you can enjoy low season prices. The national transport network is very well developed in Chile, and cheap, so that you can move easily.
  • Santiago, a dynamic and cosmopolitan capital: Santiago, which is very similar to a western capital, has everything you need to enjoy a good retirement. You can live in a nice house with a small garden, or in an apartment in a secured community, as you prefer. Moreover, the city has a large expat community.
  • The economic and political situation: Chile is considered the most corruption free and stable country in Latin America, both politically and economically. This is why it is part of the OECD. Besides, the security level is the highest amongst Latin American countries.
  • The health system: as a foreign pensioner in Chile, you have access to health and pension insurance systems, just like Chileans. Indeed, some countries such as France, Belgium and Switzerland have international agreements with Chile on these points. You will receive the same health benefits and the same pension amount as in the country where you previously contributed.

What is a retirement visa in Chile?

A retirement visa is one of the different types of temporary residence visas in Chile. It allows you to live one or two years in Chile. It is a retirement visa: it is the right visa for any pensioner or retired person willing to live in Chile. Yet, you can still work in Chile if you need to.

The retirement visa is one of the most commonly granted visa to live in Chile.

Who can apply for a retirement visa in Chile?

You do not necesarily need to be retired to apply for a retirement visa. This visa was previously called “Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa”, and is now known as “Retirement/Rentista Visa”. This visa allows you to work, start a business, invest in Chile. Of course, you can also enjoy you retirement if you choose to do so!

By rentier (rentista), the Chile immigration service includes individuals with a recurring income, generated by financial investments or real estate. The definition is rather broad. Yet, the immigration service does not include remote workers / freelances in this definition.

Contrary to the investor visa that has strict requirements regarding the investment that you plan to do in Chile, you can get a retirement visa more easily. You do not need to reside in Chile, or to visit the country to invest or own a business there. Thus, if you want to start a business in Chile, the retirement visa may be an interesting alternative.

What are the requirements/documents to provide to obtain a retirement visa in Chile?

Of all the different types of visas available in Chile, the retirement / income visa comes with the least number of strings attached, and most foreigners are eligible to this visa. You just need to prove a source of recurring income and sufficient assets to support yourself and your family in Chile. Among the documents that the Chilean Immigration service accepts are pensions, rent generated by real estate properties you own, income generated by financial investments.

There is no official requirement as far as income level is concerned. A good rule of thumb is that an applicant should be able to demonstrate a recurring monthly income between USD 1,000 and USD 1,500 for the main visa applicant, and an extra USD 500 per person that relocates with him (spouse, children, parents). This is enough to live a middle class life style in almost every part of Chile.

To apply, you need to provide the following documents:

  • Copy of your passport
  • Proof of recurring income based on your current situation
  • Background check from your country of origin and/or from the country where you have been living during the last 5 years

If you have family members who relocate with you, you may be required to send additional documents, such as:

  • Original or certified copy of marriage certificate
  • Original or certified copy of the birth certificate of your dependents
  • Support letter

What is the procedure to get a retirement visa in Chile?

  1. You shall gather all required documents
  2. You must apply online on the website of the immigration service, before coming to Chile. Applications in Chile are no longer authorized for the retirement visa.
  3. Once you have your temporary retirement visa granted, you can come to Chile and spend time here.
  4. After arriving, you need to register with the civil register in Chile to get a Chilean ID card. Don’t delay, you have 30 days to book an appointment.

Can I apply for permanent residency with a retirement visa?

Yes.

If you decide to stay on a more permanent basis, after spending some time in Chile (2 years or more based on your situation), you can apply for a permanent residency visa, provided that 1) you still meet the income requirement, 2) you have spent enough time in Chile.

Permanent residence is valid indefinitely, unless you leave Chile for more than 2 years. Your Chilean ID card will be granted for 5 years only, and you will have to renew it in Chile. After 5 years of residency, you become eligible for citizenship. The process to obtain citizenship takes about 2-3 years. You will have to do an interview, have a good Spanish level and knowledge of Chilean culture.

Frequently asked questions about the Chilean retirement visa

Yes, if your origin country allows dual citizenship. Dual citizenship is recognized in Chile. After 5 years living in Chile using your retirement visa then permanent residency, you can apply for the Chilean nationality. It usually takes two to three years to obtain it.

No. Chile has no rules prohibiting citizens of certain countries to apply for a retirement visa. Yet, a criminal background check is required and you may be denied your retirement visa if you have committed serious crimes in the past.

No. Mastering Spanish language is not required to get a visa in Chile, especially for a retirement visa in which you demonstrate that you have enough income to live (and thus no need to master Spanish to find a job). Yet, having a certain level of knowledge of Spanish is always good for your application. Indeed, it shows that you can sort things out on your own in case of problem. 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. It is possible to apply (and actually required) for a retirement 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.

No. This visa is open to any person able to justify a recurring income. You do not need to be officially retired in your own country.

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.

Yes. Yet, there is no official requirement regarding the amount of income. From our experience, we recommend income level between USD 1,000 and USD 1,500 for the main applicant, and USD 500 extra for each additional family member relocating in Chile. A lump sum used to be another option, especially useful for pensioners selling their assets abroad before relocating to Chile. Yet, since the new immigration law of February 2022, they restricted this option. Contact us for more information if you are in this case.

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 / citizenship, not living in Chile can delay these applications.

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