Tourist Visa - Temporary Residency - Permanent Residency - Citizenship in Chile

A few frequently asked questions have to do with what exactly defines tourist visas, temporary residency visas, permanent residency visas, and citizenship. Below we will define what each of these important terms mean.

Tourist Visa:

This is what you receive automatically when you enter in the country. If you come from the United States or most any other country, then there will be nothing you need to before you come. Only a few countries require applying and paper work in their home country before arriving in Chile. Upon entering Chile you will receive the tourist visa (also known as tarjeta de turismo). This is a piece of paper that looks like a receipt. This visa allows you to stay in Chile for 90 days. The tourist visa can be extended for another 90 days by paying a $100 fee, or you can just go across the Argentina or Peru border, spend the night and come back with a new 90 day visa. It is important that you don't lose this paper and that you keep it with your passport. If you do lose the visa, then you can replace it at the extrenjeria office. This should be done as soon as you lose it.

Temporary Residency:

This is a visa you actually have to apply for. As it states in the name is a a visa that allows you temporary residency in Chile. If you get a work contract temporary residency visa then it will last for 2 years. If you get a standard temporary residency, then it will last for a year (you can still work with this visa.) This visa takes paper work prior to applying and it is something that will be a whole lot easier if you do the paperwork before you arrive in Chile. After at least 9 months on a temporary residency visa, you can apply for the permanent residency visa.

Permanent Residency:

This is very similar to the temporary residency visa, but it lasts for 5 years. With a permanent residency visa, it will be easier to open bank accounts, get cheaper phone plans, etc. This visa requires an application and all the paperwork just as if you were applying for temporary residency. After the five years is up you can either apply for full citizenship or dual citizenship.


This comes after the permanent residency and can either be applied for as a full citizenship where you renounce the citizenship of your home country or a dual citizenship. Once a citizen you can operate as a Chilean and have the same rights.

For more information about Chilean residency visas and how to apply for them, visit Our Services or Contact Us.

To purchase our step by step guide to applying for and obtaining temporary residency in Chile visit our Residency page.

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