*In Chile, for practical purposes, we speak indistinctly of permits & visas (in other words, they are the same).
I.- Temporary residence permit.
A permit of residence is a temporary authorization granted by the Chilean government enabling foreigners to reside, work, entrepreneur or do any activity identified in our legislation. There are 3 types of temporary residence permits: Temporal Visa, Student Visa, and Labor Visa.
Is the visa granted to foreigners that have family connections or an interest to develop certain activities in the country, which require and justify their residence in Chile. To understand what our laws refer to as “interest”; Chile has sub-classified temporal visa in the following types: Foreigner that has a relation with a Chilean citizen, Foreigner that has a relation with a immigrant in Chile, Children born in Chile by foreigners in transit, Ex residents, Religious missions or retired workers, Investors and Entrepreneurs, Dependent professionals with a labor contract, Work related matters, Pregnancy or health treatment issues, and citizens able to apply in the MERCOSUR agreements.
Key points about the Temporary visa.
- Allows you to perform any activity that’s not forbidden by law.
- If granted, it extends to the partner, parents or sons of the applicant.
- Lasts for one year. Renewable for a further one year after (then you must apply to a definitive permit or leave the country).
The student visa is granted to foreign students travelling to Chile in order to study or implement investigations in Chilean educational establishments, either public or private.
Key points about the student visa.
Doesn’t allow the performance of different activities other than studying.
One year in length, renewable for the duration of the course or career. In case of scholarships, the visa extends for the duration of the scholarship obtained.
This visa is granted to foreigners entering Chile with a Chilean labor contract. It also applies for immigrants entering the country as a tourist, but later willing to work in the country.
Keys about the labor visa.
If granted, it extends to the partner, parents or sons of the applicant.
- Expires if the labor relationship ends. Then the foreigner has a limited period of 30 days to extend a new application.
If the labor relationship ends, and there is no new application, the immigrant must leave the country.
II.- Definitive residence permit.
Granted by the Chilean state to reside indefinitely in the country and develop any activity not forbidden by the law. It lasts for five years, yet renewable within this time period. To obtain it, you previously must have been granted a “temporary residence permit”.
To obtain nationality, usually you must first go through the process already stated above. This means that you must already have been granted a definitive residence permit.
The requirements are:
- Older than 14 years of age or if younger than 14, authorized by a parent or legal guardian.
- Have already resided for more than 5 years in Chile.
- Currently have a definitive permit of residence.
- No criminal record whatsoever.
- Proof of financial stability and independence.