Get a Visa for Chile: a step-by-step guide for foreigners relocating in Chile

What visa do you need to come to Chile? How to legally stay? What are the administrations you will be dealing with during the visa process?

Get a Visa for Chile: a step-by-step guide for foreigners relocating in Chile

Travelling to Chile is very easy for residents of most countries. The Chile indeed has signed reciprocity agreements regarding visa with a huge number of countries. Therefore, it is easy to enter as a tourist in Chile. You don’t need to ask a visa before (you receive it at the airport while entering Chile). For example, you don’t need to ask a visa if you come from USA, Europe, or a Latin America country.

A few countries charge Chilean citizens with a visa fee, therefore Chile charge their citizens with a similar fee (see the page regarding tourist visa for more information).

The tourist visa is a good start to have an overview of the country. You can have up to 180 days of visa.

If you decide to stay, you can NO LONGER start the administrative process from Chile, while on a tourist visa. If you know before coming that you plan to stay, it is best to apply for a temporary visa online before. Otherwise, you will be in trouble later.

What is the visa process?

To relocate to Chile and legally stay there, you need to go through 3 different administrations.

  1. Servicio de Migraciones, the immigration department, where you need to complete all the steps to apply and get your visa (if you have not done this in the consulate of your departure country)
  2. PDI (Policía de Investigaciones), one of the police department in charge of investigations. They are also in charge of supervising all foreigners living in Chile
  3. Registro civil, the civil register, the administration that issues identity cards.

Servicio de Migraciones: get the visa

In Chile, the process is long, between 3 to 6 months in total. The increased number of foreigners willing to relocate to Chile and the regular strikes of people working in these administrations do not reduce the delay…

For all types of visas, you must apply online on the website of the immigration service before coming to Chile.

The steps

  1. You gather the required documents.

  2. You apply for a visa. Everything is done online:

  • you create an account on the website of the immigration service
  • you fill the application of the main visa holder
  • you pay online the visa fee
  • you fill the application of the dependants, and eventually, you pay their visa fees too.
  1. After a few months, you receive a reply. If they rejected your application or ask for more documents, you answer and the process restarts.
  2. If your application is approved, the next step is the PDI, see details below

PDI: register with police department

As of May 2022, the immigration service is in the process of removing this step.

To register at the police department, you need your passport with the visa and the small white paper you received at the airport. Bring a few hundreds of pesos to cover the registration cost. If you lost the paper, they can issue you a duplicate.

The registration is very quick, but you generally have to wait a lot. It is recommended to go there as soon as it open or a little earlier, so that you can go immediately after at the Registro Civil. If you go there at 10 or 11am, it is unlikely you will be out in time to go to the Registro Civil the same day.

Registro civil: apply for your ID card

You need your passport and your visa, and copies of both documents (that you can do in the streets near the Registro Civil). It costs 4000 to 5000 pesos. Be sure to have some change, as they don’t like notes of 20,000.

Book an appointment on the site of the Registro Civil.

Once you apply, the card is usually ready 5 to 6 weeks later. You must go to the office where you requested an appointment to apply. However, to obtain the card, you can indicate another office closer from where you live. Someone else can also withdraw the ID for you, but you must sign a power of attorney to that person, at a notary.

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