The growing immigration problem in Chile has been facing new changes the past couple of months. These are the changes to current visas and new visas that will be open for application starting August 1st. These new visas will mainly affect new foreigners that arrive in Chile and need to change their “unlawful” status to a legal one or have not found work before July 22nd. We reached out to our favorite immigration lawyer Nury from Santown Legal Services to explain these new visas. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to her for specific questions about your case. She offers legal assistance in Spanish, English, and Dutch. Let’s get into it.
Entry to Chile if you’re coming for vacation is generally straightforward as long as your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your arrival date. You will be granted a tourist visa (Visa de turista) for up to 90 days. Australian citizens must pay a US$117 ‘reciprocity fee’ when arriving by air.
Once you enter Chile, you can not lose the tourist card, or PDI ticket, which has a unique barcode on it. You need this card when leaving the country. If you want to continue traveling and visiting Chile past the 90 days, you can renew your tourist card via two options. The first is doing a “visa run” by leaving the country and coming right back. Most people head over to Mendoza if they are in Santiago, but there are several points throughout the country in which you can do this. The second option is going to the Departamento de Extranjeria with a copy of your tourist card and passport and paying a fee of about $100 USD.
President Piñera announced that as of April 16, those entering with a Haitian passport will only be able to hold a tourist visa for a maximum of 30 days. Haitians will no longer be able to change to a temporary visa unless it’s obtained from their country of origin. In other words, if your Haitian and want to create a new and better life in Chile, you must come with a work, student or tourist visa from Haiti. If you overstay your 30-day tourist visa, you will find yourself in an illegal situation and it isn’t much you can do to change it.
Visa for Haitians
As of July 2nd, the Chilean government established a “Visado Humanitario de Reunificación Familiar”, a visa for created for humanitarian purposes of family reunification. This visa is for family members of Haitians who already hold a permanent residency or have Chilean citizenship. Family members are identified as spouses, partners, underage children, and adult children who are students and under 24 years old. This new humanitarian visa can only be requested at the Chilean consulate in Haiti. It is granted for 12 months and may be extended for an additional 12 months. After that period, the person may apply for permanent residence in Chile. There will a limited amount of 10,000 visas.
Visa for Venezuelans
As of April 16th, Venezuelans must request a “Visa de responsabilidad democrática” or democratic responsibility visa. It can only be requested at the Chilean consulate in Caracas and will grant a temporary residence permit for one year, which is extendable for an additional year. After that, the citizen may apply for permanent residence in Chile.
Visa Temporaria de Oportunidades
Starting on August 1st, this “temporary opportunity visa” is aimed at foreigners who are seeking work and looking to invest in Chile. It will be granted for up to 1 year with the possibility to extend for one more year or apply for Permanent Residency. Foreigners will have to be outside Chile at the moment of the application.
Visa Temporaria de Orientación Internacional
This “temporary International Guidance” Visa is aimed to foreigners with a postgraduate degree from one of the 200 best Universities of the world according to the QS World University Rankings, seeking to work and invest in Chile. It will also be granted for up to 1 year with the possibility to extend for one more year or apply for Permanent Residency. Foreigners will have to be outside Chile at the moment of the application.
Visa Temporaria de Orientación Nacional
For those who came to Chile on a student visa and completed a postgraduate degree from an accredited Chilean university and now want to work or invest in Chile, you can apply for the “Temporary National Guidance Visa”. It will also be granted for up to 1 year with the possibility to extend for one more year or apply for permanent residency. The foreigner can already be in Chile to apply for this visa.
Other Types of Visas
If you want to come study at an accredited university in Chile, you can still apply for a student visa. These visas will be granted for one year and you will not be permitted to work. Students that are planning to go abroad will do all this paperwork through their home university and then once you arrive in Chile, you have 30 days to register your visa.
If you want to retire in Chile, you’ll want to apply for the retirement visa. It usually requires that you can prove that you bring in enough income to support yourself in the city that you’ve chosen. Applicants should aim for the $1,000 per month salary, and an extra $1,000 per month per dependent if anyone is moving with you. That salary can come in the way of pension payments, social security, stock, dividends, etc. It’s best to check with your country’s embassy for additional information.
Have more questions about the new visa situation? Let us know in the comments below and we will do our best to answer them. Remeber if you have specific questions about your case just reach out to Santown Legal Services and they will be happy to help you out.