Visa requirements for Chile

Chile has an open policy on immigration (especially from Western countries), so that visas are quite easy to obtain and cheap, most of the time. However, some countries like the United States or the United Kingdom have a strong and expensive visa policy towards Chilean citizens. Therefore, Chile applies the same policy for those countries.

There are many types of visas in Chile, so it can be difficult to know which one corresponds to your situation. In order to help you, we detail below all the types of visas as well as the requirements and documents to provide when you apply for a visa.

Whatever the visa requested, you have to send the original documents, except for the passport and the family booklet, if you make your request via mail. If you apply through the online system, scanned document are enough.

Once your application has been accepted, you must go in person to the Chilean Consulate in your country to withdraw your visa. The cost depends of your nationality. Once the visa is issued, you have 90 days to enter the Chilean territory.

The different visas in Chile

Tourist visa

The tourist visa allows its holder to stay 90 days in Chile, with possibility of renewal (up to 180 days in total). Chile has many reciprocal agreements, so nationals of many countries do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Chile as a tourist. For instance, this is the case for the United States, European or South American countries. You just have to go to the airport or the point of entry to Chile with your passport.

For more information on tourist visa, you can read our dedicated article.

Temporary resident visa

There are several categories of temporary resident visas. We explain below the main ones. If you want details on all the categories, you can read our dedicated article, which lists all types of temporary resident visas.

Student visa

The student temporary resident visa allows, as the name suggests, to come and study in a Chilean institution. It also allows students to do an internship in a Chilean company, provided they have an internship agreement between the company and their university or school in their country of origin.

To obtain a student resident visa, you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form
  • Two passport photos
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • A document (letter, registration, certificate) from the university or institute in which you will study in Chile. This document must specify the studies carried out and their duration.
  • A document proving that you have sufficient financial means to live in Chile. It can be a scholarship (at least US$550 per month) or a notarial certificate from your parents that stipulates that one or both parents agree to provide for your needs during the stay.
  • Your criminal record
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A health and repatriation insurance with international coverage.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.

Temporary resident visa (Chilean spouse)

To obtain a temporary resident visa if you have a Chilean spouse, you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form,
  • Two passport photos,
  • A photocopy of your passport,
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A health and repatriation insurance with international coverage.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.
  • A document written by your Chilean spouse, indicating his/her full name and a photocopy of his/her passport, requesting a visa for the foreign spouse and specifying the contact in Chile, the address of the future housing and the financial means (occupation of the foreign spouse).
  • The marriage certificate if it took place in Chile or the transcription of the marriage record, to be asked to the consulate, if it took place in another country.
  • A funds deposit certificate less than 90 days old.

International orientation visa

The international orientation visa, as well as the opportunity visa and the visa of opportunities for entrepreneurs, were introduced during the immigration reform in April 2018, and are in force since August 1st, 2018. The international orientation visa allows qualified professionals to live in Chile and seek work there for a year, renewable. This visa is granted to graduates from one of the 150 best academic institutions worldwide, listed here. However, the number of visas granted per year is limited to 300.

To obtain an international orientation visa, you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form
  • Two passport photos
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Your criminal record
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A health and repatriation insurance with international coverage.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.
  • Your certificate of degree with apostille.

Given the short list of foreign schools concerned by this visa, it is practically not used. If by chance your school is on the list, it may be a good option to come to Chile to look for work.

Opportunity visa

The opportunity visa allows professionals and technicians to live in Chile and seek work for a year. This type of visa is granted via a points system, according to defined criteria (vocational training, age, language, profession).

To obtain an opportunity visa, you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form
  • Two passport photos
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Your criminal record
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A health and repatriation insurance with international coverage.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.
  • Your certificate of degree with apostille.
  • The SIELE or DELE Spanish diploma, apostilled, with at least a B1 level.

Opportunity visa for entrepreneurs

This visa is for entrepreneurs who want to invest and live in Chile. It is granted via a scoring system, according to defined criteria (studies, age, language, investment). The visa is valid for a year and may be renewed on the spot, provided you have invested the full amount of money initially planned.

To obtain an opportunity visa for entrepreneurs, you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form
  • Two passport photos
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Your criminal record
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A health and repatriation insurance with international coverage.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.
  • The SIELE or DELE Spanish diploma, apostilled, with at least a B1 level.
  • Make an investment of at least US$102,650 for the first year.

Resident visa (volunteer)

To obtain a resident visa as a volunteer, you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form
  • Two passport photos
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Your criminal record
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A health and repatriation insurance with international coverage.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.
  • A contract, certificate or engagement letter, on behalf of a Chilean association or NGO and signed by the responsible or legal representative before a Chilean notary.

Given that the application must be accepted by Chile, the processing time for this visa is approximately 5 weeks. Then, the visa is valid for 1 year.

“Subject to contract” visa

To obtain a work visa (subject to contract visa), you must meet the following conditions and provide the required documents:

  • The completed form
  • Two passport photos
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • Your criminal record
  • A medical certificate attesting to your good health and certifying that you are not suffering from contagious diseases. This certificate must be less than 90 days old.
  • A photocopy of the family record book or a copy of your parents’ birth certificate.
  • A work contract of the Chilean company, drawn up and signed before a notary in Chile. The contract must include a validity clause (the obligations arising from the contract will only be fulfilled when the employee has obtained his/her visa), a travel clause (the employer agrees to pay the return trip of the employee and the members of his/her family in their country of origin in the event of breach of contract), a provisional system clause (the employee will contribute to the Chilean pension system) and an income tax clause (the employee agrees to pay the income tax corresponding to his/her revenue).
  • A document giving the surname, first name, address and telephone number of the manager or legal representative of the company in Chile.

Given that the application must be accepted by Chile, the processing time for this visa is approximately 5 weeks. Then, the visa is valid for two years and is renewable.

If you want more information on work visa in Chile, you can read our dedicated article.

Permanent resident visa

To obtain a permanent resident visa, you must meet the following conditions:

  • You are an adult. However, children under 18 years old but over 14 years old, who have been living in Chile for more than 5 years and wo have the notary agreement of their legal representatives may apply for Chilean nationality.
  • You have held a Chilean resident visa for more than 5 years.
  • You completed the SAC form.
  • You have a clean criminal record.
  • You have a document proving that you have a sufficient recurring monthly income to live in Chile, through a job or a pension.

For more information on permanent residence in Chile, you can read our dedicated article.

Steps to obtain a visa

1. You must apply for a visa at the Chilean consulate in your country of origin or at the Extranjería, that is to say the Chilean Immigration Department, once you arrive in Chile. However, we advise you to gather the required documents and to start the process in your country of origin because the process can be very long in Chile (8 to 10 months). However, for some visas, such as subject to contract visas or specific visas, consulates may not have all the information on the procedures and documents to provide; so it is best to start the procedure once in Chile.

2. Once in Chile, you have to go to the PDI (Policía de Investigaciones), with your passport, as well as a few hundred pesos in cash, in order to register your visa.

3. Next, you must go to an office of the Registro Civil to ask for your identity card. To do so, you need your passport, a photocopy of the passport page with your photo and the page with the visa, a photocopy of the paper that was given to you at the PDI as well as some cash. Your ID card will be available approximately 3 to 4 weeks later.

If you want a complete guide on the process of obtaining a visa, step by step, you can read our dedicated article.