Most of Chile’s immigration laws are from legislation passed in 1975, but in the last couple of years there has been a push for updated policies that reflect current immigration trends. One of the first changes to be put into effect has been new visa categories. These new categories expand the options for someone looking to obtain residency in Chile, reflecting the country’s desire to attract skilled workers and entrepreneurs. There are also new categories for Haitians and Venezuelans, making it easier for asylum seekers to enter legally, and making it easier for the Chilean government to keep track of temporary visa holders. Below is a summary of the new visa categories.
Temporary Opportunity Visa:
Valid for one year, can be renewed for one more year, applications for this visa go to the Chilean consulate in the applicant’s home country. This is the first visa Chile has offered specifically for foreign nationals who intend to start a business in Chile as a temporary resident. This visa will be available starting in November of 2018, and the Chilean government will be issuing a total of 3,000 of these visas. Applicants will be prioritized based on factors such as education level, type of proposed business, proficiency in Spanish, which region of Chile the business will be in, and age of applicant.
Temporary International Orientation Visa:
Valid for one year, renewable for an additional year, and issued by Chilean consulates abroad. This visa is for foreign nationals who have a post-graduate degree and who are looking to work for a Chilean company. The Chilean government has specified that they will only be issuing 300 International Orientation Visas, and anyone interested in applying can do so until July 31, 2019.
Tourist Visa for Haitian Nationals:
Previously Haitians were visa-exempt when they entered Chile; this visa makes it easier to keep track of Haitians who enter Chile seeking temporary residency. This visa is issued by Chilean consulates in Haiti, and is valid for 30 days.
Humanitarian Visa for Family Reunification for Haitians:
This visa is available to spouses, legal partners, or children (up to 24 years of age) of Haitians who are already living in Chile. It is valid for one year and can be renewed for an additional year, and will be issued to a total of 10,000 applicants per year by a Chilean consulate in Haiti.
Democratic Responsibility Visa:
This visa is for Venezuelans who wish to obtain residency in Chile, but have no job offer; previous visa options for Venezuelans were dependent on employment. Valid for one year, and renewable for another year.
There are other changes to current immigration laws being debated, so if you are thinking of moving to Chile, make sure you ask an expert to ensure that your information and plans are up-to-date. If you want to move to Chile, but aren’t sure where to start, feel free to contact us for recommendations and advice.