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, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican Republic, East Timor, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Mauritania, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, 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, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Taiwan, Tanzania, Tajikistan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Ukraine, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe. It also applies to stateless people, asylees, and refugees.
It is a temporary authorization to live and to develop activities expressly allowed by the law.
There are four types of temporary residence:
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.
It allows 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:
For some professionals that the Chilean government finds to be useful and scare 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.
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.
The 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:
For the main holder, the specific documents needed are the following:
If the main holder has dependents that apply for permanent residency along with him or her, the following documents are required:
Revocation of Permanent Residency
An 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 can apply for the Chilean nationality if he or she remains 5 years as a Permanent Residency Visa holder, counted from the first visa. He or she must also comply with other requirements for nationalization, as established by Chilean law.