Chile tourist visa: What can you do with this visa? Work as a tourist?

Let's review the tourist visa for Chile in details. What is the cost? Do you have a fee to pay? Can you live in Chile with a tourist visa?

The tourist visa is the easiest method to enter Chile. For most countries, this is free and you have nothing to do. You receive a 90-day visa while arriving at the airport, or when crossing a border. For some countries though, you need to ask for a visa in advance through the consulate of Chile in your country.

You can no longer apply for another visa after entering Chile as tourist, if you want to stay there a bit longer.

When you arrive at the border, you will receive a small white paper called Tarjeta de turismo. This is your visa with the entry date. Don’t loose it. You will need it at some point in the application process for a visa (or a work permit as a tourist). You also need it to leave the country. If you have lost it, you can get a duplicate for free on the website of the PDI, but it takes weeks.

If you exceed the duration indicated on the visa, you will have a fine to pay.

For a few countries, you need to apply for a visa before coming. Check with the Chilean consulate of your country to be sure.

Live in Chile with a tourist visa

That’s an option to consider for short stays. Some students use it, if they don’t want to bother applying for a student visa, or if they have been accepted too late to have time to apply.

Two methods to renew the visa after the 90 days period:

  1. You can pay 100 US$ to renew at Immigration department. Yet, this can be done only once.
  2. You need to leave the country a few days before the expiration. The most common option is to go to Mendoza by bus or to find an affordable flight to Lima, Buenos Aires or Montevideo.

A few people stay on a more long-term basis in Chile using this solution, although it is not recommended at all. Indeed, you can theoretically leave and re-enter several times if you wish (and get an extra 90 days). The first 2-3 times, you may not have problems. Yet, after a while, you face the risk to be denied entrance.

What can you do with a tourist visa?

With a tourist visa, you will not get a Chilean ID card. Therefore, you will not have a Chilean ID number (the RUN/RUT), which is needed for a lot of steps if you want to relocate/stay in Chile. However, even if you only have a tourist visa and plan to relocate here, you can perform some procedures with a temporary RUT. See this page for more information.

Work in Chile with a tourist visa

It is actually possible to work in Chile with a tourist visa. You can apply for a work permit. For this, you need:

  • A valid passport
  • The Tarjeta de Turismo (the small paper you received while crossing the border)
  • A copy of each of these documents
  • A work contract signed at the notary

The work permit costs 150% (1,5 time) the price of a temporary visa and is limited to 90 days. The least we can say is it is not very cheap. It could be a solution if you are really in a rush, but keep in mind that companies are reluctant to hire people without a RUT. Be sure to check that with you future employer.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding Chile tourist visa

Tourists are all foreigners who enter the country for recreation, sports, health, studies, family, religious or similar purposes. The following categories are not considered tourists: people willing to immigrate / stay in Chile, or people realizing remunerated activities.

All tourists may be requested to prove that they have sufficient financial means to survive during their stay in the country. Failing to do so can lead to being denied entry to the country.

To enter Chile, you need a valid passport, which must be presented to the International Police when arriving in the country. Most countries have agreements with Chile so that you obtain your visa for free automatically while arriving at the border.

In some rare cases, you need 1) to formally apply for a tourist visa, or 2) pay a reciprocity fee on arrival. Yet, this is very specific to a small number of countries.

  1. If the child is traveling accompanied by both parents, the following documents are required:

    • Passport or current National Identity Document depending on the country of origin.
    • Original birth certificate or family notebook, plus three photocopies.
  2. If the child is traveling accompanied only by one of their parents, the following documents are required:

    • Valid passport or national identity document, depending on the country of origin (see question above).
    • Original birth certificate or family book, plus three photocopies.
    • Original authorization of the parent who does not travel, signed in front of a notary, giving his consent for the departure of the minor, or the authorization of the corresponding family court, plus three photocopies.
    • Original death certificate, in case one of the parents is deceased, plus three photocopies.
  3. If the minor does not travel accompanied by his parents, the following documents are required:

    • Valid passport or national identity document, depending on the country of origin (see question above).
    • Original birth certificate or family book, plus three photocopies.
    • Original authorization of both parents, signed in front of a notary, giving their consent for the departure of the child, plus three photocopies.
    • Original death certificate, in case one or both parents are deceased, plus three photocopies.
    • Original authorization of the corresponding family court, giving consent for the trip of the child, plus three photocopies.

In the case of children residing in Chile with their parents, the authorization simply needs to be signed in front of a notary. It is not necessary to legalize at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs the travel authorizations for minors who leave the country without their parents, except if the minor is going to settle abroad.

For most countries, no visa or prior authorization is required to enter Chile as a tourist. However, for residents of some countries, an authorization is requested, known as tourist visa, which must be requested at any consulate of Chile abroad.

If you wish to travel to Chile as tourist, contact the Chilean consulate of your country of residence to learn about the requirements to enter the country.

The normal allowed period is 90 days from the date of entry into the country. However, the immigration or police departments may exceptionally limit the stay of the tourist for a shorter period. This will be indicated on the stamp in your passport or tourist card.

You can:

  • Request an extension of your tourist visa: if the immigration or police department limited your stay to a period of less than 90 days, you can ask for an extension up to 90 days (including your initial allowed stay). This procedure is exempt from payment.
  • Request a renewal of your tourist visa: this is the standard case for most tourists, when you want to stay more than 90 days. You can ask to renew your tourist visa for an additional period of 90 days. This procedure must be done at least 30 days before te expiration of the tourist visa. The amount to be paid is the equivalent in Chilean pesos of USD 100.

Both procedures can be carried out online of the website of the immigration service.

Yes. But you must request a special work permit for tourists, valid only for 90 days, whose cost depends on your nationality (it is 150% of the cost of a standard work permit). It is called Permiso de Trabajo con Turista, or Permiso PET.

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