Types Of Visas In Chile

Types Of Visas In Chile: Explained

Venturing into the land of poets, peaks, and penguins? Chile’s allure is undeniable, but first, let’s talk visas! Worry Not dear expats! We’ve got your back!

Whether you’re planning to study under the Andean sky, weave through Santiago’s bustling streets, or embark on a quest for the perfect empanada, understanding the right visa for your Chilean escapade is crucial. Join in as we demystify the types of visas Chile offers, ensuring your journey is as seamless as the country’s famed wines.

Let’s dive in!

Who Needs A Chile Visa?

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Certain folks can visit Chile using only their passport (sometimes just an ID card) for trips lasting up to 90 days. They don’t need to get a visa in advance; instead, they’ll get a Tourist Card from immigration when they arrive. 

In addition, those free from Chile visas must apply for one before they can make their way to the country.

What Are The Types Of Chile Visa?

Figuring out the right visa in Chile might seem like it could be clearer. Here, we’ll break down the most common visa application types and shed light on various immigration statuses for foreigners in Chile. 

Let’s also delve into the specific individuals or situations that call for applying for a particular visa or immigration status in Chile.

How To Look At The Chile Vise At A Glance?

The most common types of Chile visa are:

  • Chile Tourist Visa: Allows foreign nationals to visit Chile for tourism purposes, staying for 30-90 days.
  • Chile Student Visa: This is for those who wish to study in Chile. Before traveling, you must be enrolled or accepted into a Chilean educational institution.
  • Chile Work Visa: This visa is for foreigners seeking employment in Chile. You must have a valid work contract with either a Chilean company or a foreign company operating in Chile. 
  • Chile Temporary Residence Visa: This is issued to foreigners with family ties in Chile, those intending to invest, or those deemed beneficial to the Chilean economy. This visa is valid for up to 1 year.
  • Chile Working Holiday Visa: This is available to young nationals of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand, allowing them to participate in the Working Holiday Programme.
  • Chile Retirement And Periodic Income Visa: This is for individuals with any form of periodic income, including pension.

How To Understand The Chile Visas In Detail?

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There are typically three stages or types of immigration status for foreigners in Chile, that all immigrants must go through, regardless of the type of visa they use to apply.

Chile Tourist Visa Or Tourist Card

This is your basic tourist card or visa, handed out at the airport when you arrive. Some countries need a visa beforehand for Chile, but for most, you can just show up at the airport and get a 30-90-day tourist visa. 

Almost everyone who comes to Chile starts with this visa, even if you plan to stay longer and apply for residency later. We suggest not bothering your consulate back home for other types of residency visas for Chile. 

The preferred way, according to the Chilean immigration department, is for foreigners to get in with a tourist visa and then apply for a different Chilean visa later on.

Temporary Residency Visa

This is your initial visa when you apply for any permanent visa, like a retirement or work visa. There needs to be some clarification online about the various temporary residency visas. 

They mostly talk about why you want it, not the specific status it gives to the visa holder. On top of this, they sometimes need to clarify the differences. 

A temporary residency visa is typically given after you apply and get approved for a visa, like a Retirement and Periodic Income visa, work visa, professional visa, or through an Investor Visa application in Chile. 

Everyone, no matter the reason for applying, must complete temporary residency first before becoming eligible for Permanent residency in Chile. 

Depending on the visa type, you’ll be a temporary resident in Chile for one to two years, and you need to be physically present in the country for at least 180 days (non-contiguous) within one year to qualify for applying for Permanent residency. 

In addition to this, the time spent in Chile during the temporary residency period is crucial for the Permanent residency application.

Permanent Residency Visa

Your main aim for residency application should be a minimum of 180 days of temporary residency in Chile within a year. A permanent residency visa typically lasts for five years and is renewable without limits. 

Once you’ve been a permanent resident for five years, you can apply for Chilean or Dual Citizenship without giving up your current citizenship. On top of this, it provides flexibility and long-term options.

What Are The Other Types Of Immigration Status In Chile?

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There are two other categories of Visas for Chile.

Chile Work Visa Or Work Permit

You can ask for a work visa if you get a job offer in Chile or a work contract. This visa is usually connected to your job agreement; if you lose your job, you’ll need to apply for a change. 

If you decide to go for temporary residency through a different process, you can also apply for a work permit separately while your temporary visa application is in progress. People with temporary residency are allowed to work in Chile.

Chile Student Visas

You can get a temporary residency visa if you’ve been accepted to a Chilean University or another educational institute in Chile. Usually, you need to apply for work permits separately. 

On top of this, it’s important to note that work permits are not automatically included with students’ residency visas. 

What Are The Chile Visa Requirements?

When you’re applying for a visa in Chile, make sure you’ve got a few important documents ready, including:

  • Provide copies of your passport pages that show personal details, issue/expiry date, and any previous visas.
  • Make sure your passport is valid for at least six more months.
  • Include proof of legal status in your country of residence, if applicable (e.g., a copy of your PR card if you are a Permanent Resident in a country other than your country of origin).
  • Submit a digital passport-size picture taken professionally in a studio. It should have a plain white or off-white background, be colored, show you clearly with a neutral facial expression, and measure 4.5 x 4.5 cm (2 inches x 2 inches). Avoid wearing hats, headgear, or glasses, and opt for plain day-to-day clothes.
  • Provide your flight itinerary, reservation, and hotel reservation/proof of accommodation.
  • Include bank statements from the past three months.
  • Write a letter explaining the reasons for your travel.
  • If applicable, provide a letter of invitation.

Please upload the required documents in PDF format through the online Chile visa application service.

Name each document appropriately, such as “YourLastNameFlightReservation” for your flight reservation.

Remember to bring the original copies of all uploaded documents when you visit the nearest Chile consulate to complete your visa application. Note that this is not a complete list of requirements, and you will receive a checklist upon making your online application. 

Additional documents may be necessary depending on your travel purposes, like work or study. On top of this, be prepared for any further document requests.

What Are The Chile Visa Requirements For Minors Under 18 Years Of Age?

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If a minor is going to Chile, they need these documents for their visa and when they arrive:

  • Birth certificate.
  • A signed and notarized permission letter from the parent(s) or legal guardian(s) if the child travels alone or with someone other than the parent.
  • A notarized consent letter from the other parent or legal guardian if the child travels with only one parent/guardian.

Also, the child must leave with the same adult they came with into the country or have permission signed by both parents.

When To Apply For A Chile Visa?

You must apply for a Chile visa at least 30 days before your planned travel date. The Chilean authorities will only accept applications submitted within 30 days of your travel date and offer a timely application process option.

What Are The Major Chile Visa Application Types?

  • Retirement And Periodic Income Visa: This visa is widely used by people who want to live in Chile, whether to work, retire, invest, or for various reasons.
  • Professional Visa: You must show you have a professional degree and enough income to support yourself.
  • Contract Work Visa: To qualify for permanent residency, you must be contracted with a Chilean employer, which requires two years of temporary residency.
  • Independent Worker Visa: The newest visa in Chile allows working for an employer and others, offering a quicker path to full permanent residency than a contract work visa.
  • Family Member Of A Chilean Resident Or Citizen: Also known as the Investor visa, it’s best to only do this if you qualify for any other visa.

What Is The Chile Visa Application Process?

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Chile has made the visa application process digital, but you can also apply in person at a Chilean Consulate in certain cases. To find out, you’ll need to get in touch with them. 

Also, if you’re a foreigner requesting a diplomatic or official visa, you must also apply in person.

You can apply for a Chile visa online through the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. Once you’ve submitted your online application, you must visit the nearest Chile Consulate to get the visa stamped on your passport. 

During the initial online application phase, they’ll let you know where to submit your passport (for example, the Consulate handling your application).

Sometimes, you might have to pick up your Chile visa in another country. Check if they accept passport submissions by mail or courier. If they do, send it through a trusted and secure method.

To apply for a Chile visa, follow these steps:

  • Begin the online Chile visa application.
  • Respond to all the questions.
  • Attach electronic copies of all the needed documents.
  • Wait for the visa processing.
  • Visit the consulate/embassy.
  • Pay the Chile visa fee. Remember, the fee is only applicable if your visa application gets approved.
  • Receive your Chile visa.

Start The Online Application

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When you go to the Chile online visa application website, you can choose the language for your application. After that, you’ll see some buttons. To begin, click “Visa Application,” and it will take you to your online form.

Answer The Questions

To start, you need to sign up by sharing your nationality, age, travel specifics, and passport type. After completing this part, you’ll get a Verification Code to access your application later.

Next, you’ll move on to the identification section, where you’ll provide your name, gender, country of birth, and other necessary details.

In the third section, you’ll provide information about your family, including your parents’ names, nationalities, and addresses.

In the “General Description” part, you’ll share details about your physical features like eye color, hair, skin tone, height, and educational and professional background.

Lastly, you’ll choose your planned activity in Chile from a dropdown menu and respond to related questions.

Attach The Copies Of Documents

Once you finish each section, click “Save and Continue” to move to the next one. You can also go back or exit the application to finish later, which is handy if you need time to gather and upload the required documents.

Attach The Copies Of Documents

The Chile visa usually takes about 15 to 20 working days to process. But remember to consider when your appointment at the Chilean consulate is scheduled. That’s why applying for a Chile visa 30 to 60 days before your planned trip to Chile is a good idea.

Show Up At The Consulate/Embassy

If they approve your visa, you go to the Chilean Consulate where you applied and give them your passport and all the needed documents in person.

What Are The Chile Visa Fees?

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Chile doesn’t have a fixed visa fee. The cost can vary from about CLP 49,231 to CLP 147,694, depending on where you’re from and the type of visa you need. For instance, a single-entry visa is cheaper than a multiple-entry one.

When you complete your application online, they’ll let you know how much you need to pay. But you don’t have to pay right away. You’ll settle the visa fee at the Chilean Consulate once you’ve got your visa. 

The consulate folks will stick the visa into your passport. Then, you’re good to go to Chile within 90 days.


How Long Is A Chile Visa Valid For?

Chile issues tourist visas for up to 90 days. Chilean authorities decide on the duration.

Can I Extend A Chile Visa?

Suppose you want to stay in Chile after your visa expires. You can request a visa extension at the Departamento de Extranjería del Ministerio del Interior (Department of Immigration of the Ministry of Interior Affairs) in Santiago

Chilean authorities decide on visa extensions case by case.

How To Enter Chile If You Don’t Need A Visa?

Foreigners who don’t have to apply for a Chile visa before traveling can get a Tourist Card (Tarjeta de Turismo) when they arrive. 

The Chilean immigration officers at the airport or entry point will give you the Tarjeta de Turismo on A5 paper. You should hold onto this paper for your entire stay as you’ll need to show it to immigration when leaving the country.

What Happens If I Overstay In Chile?

Once you reach Chile, whether you need a visa or not, you’ll get a Tourist Card indicating the number of days allowed for your stay. The card typically grants up to 90 days, but it might be for a shorter period. 

If you exceed this time, you’ll face a fine. You must settle this fine before departing the country; otherwise, you won’t be allowed to leave. The fine can be paid at the Departamento de Extranjería (Department of Foreigners) in Chile. 

If you try to leave the country without paying the fine, immigration authorities will confiscate your passport and send you back. 

Resolving this situation and retrieving your passport becomes a much longer and more complicated process in such cases.


With the curtain closing on our visa voyage, you’re now armed with the knowledge to pick the perfect Chilean visa for your adventure. Remember, the right visa is your golden ticket to exploring this diverse and captivating country.

So, pack your bags, choose wisely, and let Chile’s wonders unfold before you. Here’s to smooth travels and unforgettable experiences in the heart of South America!

Visa Victory!

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