From Patagonia to the Andes and Chilean Coast Range mountains, Chile regularly draws tourists and foreign nationals alike. If your company is planning to open an office in Chile, you’ll need to find talented employees in the country or relocate some of your current workers. However, all employees from a foreign country must have a work permit in Chile to function legally.
Chile Work Visa Options
After obtaining a job offer or work contract in Chile, all foreign employees should request a work visa. Chile working visas are typically tied to the specific contract or job, so employees must file for a change if they lose or change jobs. There are several types of work visas to choose from, including:
- Retirement and periodic income visa: The most widely used visa for people wanting to live, work, retire, or invest in the country.
- Professional visa: To obtain a professional visa, an individual must have a professional degree and income to support themselves.
- Contract work visa: Foreign nationals need a contract with a Chilean employer to get a contract work visa. It takes two years of temporary residency under this visa to qualify for permanent residency.
- Independent worker visa: The independent worker visa is the newest visa in Chile. It allows individuals to work for numerous employers and gives employees a way to obtain full permanent residency faster than they could with a contract work visa.
Requirements to Obtain a Work Visa in Chile
Employees need several documents to get a working visa in Chile, including:
- Copies of a passport that’s valid for at least six more months
- Proof of legal status in their country of residence
- One colored passport-size picture taken in a studio with a plain white or off-white background
- Copies of their flight itinerary and reservation
- Proof of hotel reservation or accommodation
- Bank statements from the past three months
- A letter of invitation, if applicable
- A letter explaining all the reasons they’re traveling
Since Chile uses an online visa application service, all documents should be attached in PDF format. They also need certain names based on document type. For example, the flight reservation should be called “YourLastNameFlightReservation.” It’s also a good idea to keep all original documents and bring them to the nearest Chile consulate while obtaining a visa.
Application Process for a Working Visa in Chile
Since Chile digitized the application process, anyone looking to get a work permit in the country can apply through the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. After submitting the online application, the individual should visit the closest Chile Consulate to get the visa stamped on their passport.
In some cases, applicants may be allowed to apply in person at a Chilean Consulate or collect their visa in another country. However, the typical application process includes the following steps:
- Starting the online Chile visa application
- Answering all questions
- Attaching electronic copies of all the required documents
- Waiting for the visa to be processed
- Showing up at the consulate or embassy
- Paying the Chilean visa fee once the application is approved
- Obtaining the visa
Other Unique Considerations
Visa fees range from $50 to $150 depending on the employee’s nationality and the type of visa they’re applying for. Applicants won’t know how much the visa costs until they submit their online application, but they won’t have to pay the fee upfront. They’ll pay once they pick up their Chile work visa at the Chilean Consulate. During that time, officials will fasten the visa to the employee’s passport, and they can use it to travel to the country within 90 days.
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