Different kind of visas to visit and live in Chile
Chile offers different kind of visas depending on the activities a foreigner wants to perform in Chile. The following are the most used visas to come and stay in Chile.
I.- Tourist visas in Chile
All foreigners who enter the country for recreational, sport, health, study, business management, family, religious and other similar purposes, without the aim of immigration, residence or to develop remunerated activities are considered tourists.
As a general rule, the only document needed in order to enter to Chile is a valid passport. However, the residents of the following countries must apply for a Tourist Visa before traveling to Chilean territory, which must be requested in any Chilean Consulate:
Afghanistan, Angola, Algeria, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belarus, Benin, Bhutan, Botswana, Brunei, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cambodia, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, China, Comoros Islands, Congo, Cote D’Ivoire, Cuba, Democratic Republic of Congo, Cook Islands, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Haiti, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestine, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Qatar, Rwanda, Samoa, Sao Tome et Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leona, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe. It also applies to stateless people, asylees, and refugees.
II.- Temporary residence in Chile
It is a
temporary authorization to live and to develop activities expressly allowed by
There are four types of temporary residence:
a.- Subject to Contract Visa:
It allows to reside and to work exclusively with the employer who signs the contract. It has a maximum duration of two years, although it can be indefinitely extended after staying in the country for two continuous years and applying for the Definitive Permanence. The end of the contract necessarily means the end of the visa.
b.- Temporary Visa:
to reside and to perform any kind of licit activity within the country. It has
a duration of one year, and it can only be extended for another year, after
which the Definitive Permanence must be requested, or it will be mandatory to
leave the country.
This type of Visa can be granted to the following foreigners:
- Those familiarly with Chileans relatives or foreigners with Definitive Permanence.
- Member of a religious order.
- Pensioners or rentiers.
- Investors and traders.
- Former residents (foreigners whose residence in Chile is no longer valid).
- Children of passerby foreigner (foreigner not living in the country).
- Professionals and superior level technicians.
- Employees with two or more contracts.
- Employees paid abroad.
- Journalists or media professionals.
- Pregnant women and persons under medical treatment.
c.- Investor’s visa
In Chile is possible to obtain a residence permit as an investor.
Foreigners can either apply for a visa after having a company formed in Chile or even before they formed it.
If the investment is in a stage of an idea, then a description of the project must be summited.
This description must include the location of the project, number of employees to be hired, capital to be invested and the profit projections of the project.
If the company has been already formed, then all the documents related to the incorporation must be summited along with the documents proving that the capital of the company has been already paid and the money has entered the country. In the event of an investment in a stage of an idea or if the company has been already formed, but the capital has not been already summited, then suitable documents must be summited to prove that the person applying for the visa has enough means to start the project or pay his part of the shares of the company.
The application for the visa can either be summited when the person arrives in Chile as a tourist or at the Chilean consulate in the respective country.
All foreign documents must be apostilled and documents in a foreign languages need a legalized translation.
d.- Renter’s and pensioner’s visa for Chile
A pensioner or Renter’s Visa is a temporary residency visa that applies to applicants that are retired and have a retirement pension or with the means to support themselves in Chile via a periodic income that they receive from the ownership of property and/or lease contracts in Chile or abroad or from any other legal means, such as stock ownership, interest income, bond investments, among others.
The amount of income required is not established by law and is finally determined by the competent authorities in Chile. This can be certificates of ownership of real estate, rent contracts either in Chile or abroad, and other kinds of documents that prove a regularly recurring income. These documents must always be legalized before a Notary Public, and any document drafted abroad must be apostilled and translated and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Considering the cost of living, the amount needed is at least USD$1.000 per month per person in the household, depending of course of the place where the applicant intends to live, as this cost varies among different cities and communes. This amount can vary with the exchange rates of the currency.
The applicant must have either some relatives in Chile or some special interest in Chile, e.g. a real estate.
There are no restrictions on this visa. The applicant that is granted this type of visa can do any legal activity in Chile within the term of the visa.
Ways to apply
This can be applied either via a competent consulate of the country of residence of the applicant or directly in Chile, via a standard form that must be filled, signed, and mailed to the Department of Immigration. The application via Chilean consulate is done in the country of origin via an online application on this website: https://tramites.minrel.gov.cl/Solicitudes/visa.aspx It is recommended to apply in Chile, as the time required for approval is much shorter, and the rejection rate is lower.
After one type of visa is granted there is no problem to change your visa to another type as long as you fulfill the requirements of the new visa application.
The following general documentation is necessary:
- Copy of the complete passport, including the identification pages, the number and dates of issuance and expiry, and the page with the entry stamp to the country.
- Copy of the Tourism Card
- A recent photograph of the applicant, 3×2 cm., in colour, with full name and passport number
The applicant must also bring the following documentation, specific to the type of visa:
- Copy of the last 3 monthly liquidations of pensions, legalized before a Notary Public or
- Copy of the Consul’s Certificate of the country of origin of the applicant, which certifies the income that the applicant receives from his retirement fund, in national currency or its equivalent in US Dollars, legalized before a Notary Public.
Documents that prove that the applicant has a regular recurring income that is enough to support the applicant and his or her dependent family members. This can be certificates of ownership of the real estate, rent contracts either in Chile or abroad, and other kinds of documents that prove a regularly recurring income. These documents must always be legalized before a Notary Public, and any document drafted abroad must be legalized on the Chilean Consulate of the country of origin and translated and legalized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- Wives, husbands, and children will not have any problems obtaining their visas if the main applicant gets one granted. However, an unmarried couple might experience problems obtaining a visa for their couple.
- Husband or Wife: Original Marriage Certificate or a copy authorized before a Notary Public
- Children: Original Birth Certificate, that includes the name of the parents, or a copy authorized before Notary Public
- Parents of the applicant: Original Birth Certificate, that includes the name of the parents, or a copy authorized before Notary Public
- Sworn Statement of Expenses in which the applicant declares that he or she assumes the living costs of his or her dependents in Chile, signed before Notary Public.
- Proof of an income source of the main applicant in Chile (this can be done via a sworn statement of income and the documents that prove it, such as a currency exchange slip, photocopies of credit cards and account statements and/or a certificate of the company for which the main applicant works for that includes their salary or the latest payslips, or by any other means, such as bank deposit statements, rents from abroad, ownership of shares or goods that produce income)
III.- Special programs
The Government from time to time recognizes that there are some areas where the country is lacking from people with the needed skills and creates special programs for those purposes. The current programs are as follows:
For some professionals that the Chilean government finds to be useful and scarce in Chile (e.g. IT engineers) there is a fast forward visa procedure that will allow a company to obtain a visa for this new employee in a couple of weeks.
Chile wants to become the Silicon Valley from Latin America and therefore it has a program for start-ups, that even foreign can apply.
IV.- Other visas
It allows studying in an educational establishment recognized by the State. It has a duration of one year, or until the end of the scholarship for those who have one. It can be extended until the end of the studies and it allows to apply to the Definitive Permanence afterward.
Refuge and Political Asylum:
For those foreigners whose integrity is in danger.
It is the permit to reside in Chile indefinitely and to develop any kind of activity, without more limitations than those contained in the law.
In order to obtain the Definitive Permanence, the
applicant must have resided in Chile at least two continuous years in case of
holding a visa subject to contract, one year in case of people holding a
temporary visa, and two years plus having ended the studies in case of people
holding a student visa. The Definitive Permanence is granted indefinitely
unless it is revoked (i.e. living abroad for more than one year without having
requested the corresponding extension, having been convicted of a crime, lying
on the permit application or tax noncompliance).
Not only can the main holder of a visa subject to contract apply for permanent residency. Dependents (that is, their children, spouse and parents) of the main holder can also apply along with the main request though they are not allowed to work in the country. If they apply, they must prove their economic sustenance.
The applicant must apply for permanent residency within the last 90 days of validity of the previous temporary residency visa.
The cost of this application is 40% of the minimum wage, which at the time in which this document was drafted was equivalent to $58.056 CLP, or about $94 USD. This fee is waived when the applicant is married to a Chilean national, or if he or she is under 18 years old.
application for this kind of visa must be made via postal mail sent to the
section of Permanent Residency of the Foreign Affairs Ministry. The letter must
be signed by the applicant and include all their relevant information, and must
be sent within the last 90 days of validity of the previous residency visa.
It must include, as general documents:
- Criminal Record Certificate, which can be requested at the Service of Civil Registry and Identification (this is not required for applicants younger than 18)
- Travel Certificate, which is issued by the Interpol (this doesn’t apply for those who had a prior dependent visa)
- Copy of the applicant’s foreigner ID Card (RUT), if it exists (again, not required if the applicant is under 18)
- Copy of the Registry Certificate issued by Interpol (not required for applicants under 18)
- Copy of the applicant’s passport, which must be valid at the date of application
- Personal and autobiographical letter that explains the reason for the application
- Three color photographs with name and ID (3x2cm)
For the main holder, the specific documents needed are the following:
- Copy of the valid Work Contract and of any earlier contracts signed by the applicant
- Work Contract’s Validity Certificate, that must be signed before Notary Public (in original)
- Copies of the acquittals of previous work contracts, in case they exist
- Historical contribution certificate, issued by the Pension Funds Administrator and Health Insurance Administrator, of the last year of the visa
- Marriage or Birth Certificate, in case of marriage with a Chilean spouse or if the applicant has a Chilean child.
If the main holder has dependents that apply for permanent residency along with him or her, the following documents are required:
- Spouse: Copy of the Marriage Certificate
- Offspring: Copy of each Birth Certificate that includes the name of each parent
- Parents of the main holder: Copy of their Birth Certificate that includes the name of their parents
- To prove economic sustenance, a sworn statement of expenses must be included on the request. It must be signed before a notary public by the supporting party, declaring that he or she will assume the costs of supporting the applying dependent in Chile.
Revocation of Permanent Residency
approved application for permanent residency does not have a specific validity
period, so its duration is indefinite.
However, permanent residency can be revoked:
- The recipient cannot leave the country for more than one complete year. However, this can be extended up to four times, within 60 days of the date of revocation, by applying for an extension.
- If the recipient commits one of several punishable acts that cause revocation, for example lying or providing false documents to enter the country, drug trafficking, etcetera.
Naturalization or citizenship
In Chile, unlike some other countries, there is no program to acquire citizenship through investment.
The recipient can apply for the Chilean nationality if he or she remains 5 years as a Permanent Residency Visa holder, counted from the first visa.
The following are the minimum requirements regarding the applicant:
- Background Check issued by the country of origin. In the US, it is issued by the FBI
- Background Check issued by the Registro Civil in Chile
- Certificate of Good Standing of the Permanent Residency, issued by the PDI
- Photograph of the applicant
- Photograph of the Chilean ID
- Scanned copy of the permanent residency certificate
- Scanned copy of the passport
There are additional documents required regarding assets and for pensioners:
- Certificate of ownership of real estate owned in Chile
- Certificate of inscription of any vehicles owned in Chile
- Statement of pensions for the last 12 months, in Spanish
- Certificate of Pensions in Chile (if applicable)
- Liquidation of pension including the conversion to CLP$, before the Consulate and duly legalized or apostilled
- Consular certificate of the receipt of pensions
Foreigners’ children who are born in Chile become Chileans, unless their parents are as tourists or illegals in Chile or they are diplomats.
Due to Covid-19 Chile closed its borders in March 2020.Now only in some special cases foreigners are allowed to enter the country. Permits must be obtained at the corresponding Chilean Consulate.
A new immigration law was passed and will start until the resolution with the classification of foreigners opting for visas is passed.
Last modified: 05/07/2021