- Country Name: Republic of Chile
- Capital: Santiago
- Population: 18,006,407 (2015 estimate)
- Language: Spanish
- Time Zone: CLT (UTC -3) and EAST (UTC -5)
- Dialing Code: +56
- Currency: Chilean Peso (CLP)
This FAQ has been created as an introductory guide to immigration procedures for Chile. Since rules and requirements in every country are constantly changing and each case must be assessed on its own merits, for in-depth and up-to-date advice, please contact us.
Please note, we can only advise on matters relating to immigration and are unable support you with employment in a new region. We do however have a network of trusted partners that can support your move, so please visit Our Partners page for further information.
Expats working in Chile will find themselves in the fifth largest South American economy, and a country well known for its stability and free-market approach.
Santiago is a hub for large multinationals, particularly in the financial, food processing, computer technology and electronics industries.
The tourism industry is also showing steady signs of growth, and there are plenty of jobs in education, particularly teaching English.
There are several types of work visas available to those seeking employment in Chile. The two main options for long-term assignments can be applied for either at the Chilean diplomatic post overseas or by the local authorities post-arrival:
Temporary Residence (Residencia Temporaria) – Consular application or post-arrival change of status application – for foreign nationals to work in Chile for up to 12 months.
Local Hire Work Contract Visa (Visa Sujeta a Contrato) – Consular application or post-arrival change of status application – for foreign nationals locally employed in Chile, generally for a period of at least 6 months.
There is also a Special Work Permit (autorización para trabajar con permiso de turismo) for short term assignments of up to 30 days at a time.
Processes and requirements will vary according to the labour market at the time of application, the nationality of the applicant, country of application and personal circumstances of the assignee and any family dependants. We therefore recommend that you contact us for up-to-date information.
The application process, generally involves:
Consular application – applying for a Temporary Residence Visa & Temporary Work Permit Application at the Chilean Consulate, then entering Chile to register with the International Police Office and then the Civil Registrar to apply Chilean ID cards.
Post-arrival change of status – Entering Chile as a tourist (tourist permit obtained on entry), submitting the Temporary Residence Visa & Temporary Work Permit Application to the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Interior, and once approved, applicant’s passport is submitted to be endorsed with the visa before registering with the International Police Office and then the Civil Registrar to apply Chilean ID cards.
Special Work Permit – the applicant enters Chile as a visitor and Post arrival, the application for the special work permit is submitted to the Chilean immigration office
Requirements will vary according to type of work permit, country of application, and nationality of the applicant and any dependants.
Applicants will be required to submit a variety of personal and corporate documents to support the application which include, but are not limited to:
Passport, CV, degree certificate, medical certificate, and police certificate, job description, employment contract/assignment letter/certificate of employment from Chilean entity and employment contract with the sending entity. Birth certificates and marriage certificates of family dependants will also be required.
For the Special Work Permit supporting documents include, but are not limited to:
Passport tourist landing cards, Certificate of Employment and Chilean employment contract.
Some personal documents will also need to be legalised prior to submission. Some documents will also need to be translated. Newland Chase can assist with this.
Temporary Residence visas (Consular): Typically takes 1 to 4 months until entry to Chile, and a further 2 weeks to 1 month before the whole process is completed.
Temporary Residence visas (in-country): Typically takes 1 to 2 weeks until entry to Chile, and a further 4 to 7 months before the whole process is completed.
Local Hire Work Contract Visas (Consular): Typically takes 2 to 4 months until entry to Chile, and a further 2 weeks to 1 month before the whole process is completed.
Local Hire Work Contract Visas (in-country): Typically takes 1 to 2 weeks until entry to Chile, and a further 4 to 7 months before the whole process is completed.
Special Work Permit: Typically takes 2 days to 2 weeks until entry to Chile, and a further 2 to 3 days before the whole process is completed.
Temporary Residence Visas is granted for an initial 12 months and can be renewed for a further 12 months to a total of 24 months. After that time the applicant must either change immigration status or exit Chile.
Local Hire Work Contract Visas are generally for a period of at least six months.
Special Work Permits are generally granted for up to 30 days and may be extendable twice for the same period (up to a total of 90 days) until the visitor status is expired.
To work in Chile, you are permitted to enter the country as a tourist and apply for your work and residence permit in-country. However, an assignee cannot start work until the work visa has been approved – unless a Special Work Permit has already been granted.
Holders of a work visa, you can apply for permanent residency after living legally and continuously in Chile for 2 years.
Holders of a temporary residency visa can apply for permanent residency in Chile if you spend at least 180 days per year in the country.
Students on a study visa can also apply for permanent residence after living legally and continuously in Chile for 2 years, provided you have finished your studies.
The permanent visa is valid for five years and renewable indefinitely. After five years you can apply for Chilean citizenship or dual citizenship without having to renounce your current citizenship. However, note that if you leave Chile for a period of longer than one year, your permanent residency visa will be revoked
The requirements vary depending on type of application and the consulate of application and are subject to change. As such we advise consult with your Newland Chase Immigration Advisor for up-to-date information.
Some supporting documentation will require legalisation, which, depending on the country of origin, may take several weeks.
You would be advised to start the visa application process well in advance of the desired date of relocation.