Chile: Reducing Visa Stress


Obtaining a visa for you and your family is a key step to starting a new life in Chile. However, the “visa experience” is not always a pleasant one and the process can be lengthy, complicated and stressful. A lack of understanding of the Chilean legal process and limited Spanish, coupled with bureaucratic delays, can be frustrating and not an ideal beginning to your Chilean adventure. Whilst expatriates tend to believe that this is simply part of the process of moving to Chile, it does not have to be that way.

Some foreigners may prefer to obtain a visa through their local Chilean Consulate prior to moving to Chile. This is understandable, as having the security of a visa is reassuring when making arrangements to relocate.

A common type of visa for corporate expatriates is the “Subject to Contract Visa”. This type of visa is granted to foreign-born nationals moving to Chile in order to fulfill a work contract with a company with legal domicile in Chile.

The requirements for applying for a “Subject to Contract Visa” through Chilean Consulates abroad may be, surprisingly, more onerous than those applicable in Chile. In Australia, for example, in addition to the documents required to support the visa application in Chile, an applicant must provide a background police check certificate as well as a health certificate indicating that the applicant and its dependents are free of transmissible infectious diseases. Obtaining these documents in Australia can be a time-consuming process.

By comparison, the requirements for applying for a “Subject to Contract Visa” in Chile can be less onerous as a police check from the country of origin and a medical certificate are not usually required.

In addition, although it may still take approximately three months to obtain a working visa, during this time it is possible to apply for a “Working Permit with Visa in Progress” which allows an applicant to work pending approval of the “Subject to Contract Visa”.

There is often a great deal of confusion and misunderstanding regarding visa requirements. The team at Harris Gomez Group has vast experience relocating expatriates and works closely with an expert immigration agent so that the team is kept fully up to date on recent developments. Having a valued advisor on hand during the relocation process ensures that your visa experience is as seamless as possible so that you and your family can relax and enjoy your life in a new country.

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