NewsVISAS AND LABOR MIGRATION: WHAT WE HAVE PRIOR TO THE ENTRY INTO FORCE OF THE NEW LAW No. 21,325.

Octubre 19, 2021

With the publication of the new Migration and Foreigners Law No. 21,325 in April of this year, the types of migration and the way of understanding the processes before the authorities changed to a great extent. However, as long as the corresponding Regulation is not published, we must continue to apply the DL 1094 of 1975.

Nicolás Kahn M.

In April of this year, the new Migration and Foreigners Law No. 21,325 was published, which would bring in its application a new statute of guarantees and migratory categories, recognizing fundamental principles of International Law, International Labor Organization (“ILO”) and the various International Treaties signed and ratified by Chile.

Without prejudice to being an advance in the matter of migratory regularization, leaving behind policies and strategies designed more than 45 years ago, the truth is that in its transitory articles it was recorded that the application of the new legislation would begin once the Regulation was issued, which will probably happen in April 2022.

Given the above, in Chile the classic types of migration for foreigners remain in force, which is worth recalling.

In general terms, you can stay in Chile as a foreigner if you have (i) tourist visa, (ii) visa subject to contract, (iii) student visa, (iv) temporary visa or (v) permanent stay. Let’s analyze each one.

1) Tourist visa.

As a general rule, obtaining a tourist visa is not required prior to entering Chile. Exceptionally, there are 105 nationalities that require obtaining a “tourist consular visa” through Chilean consulates abroad, before traveling to Chile.

In case the “consular tourist visa” is not required, only the passport must be present.

Finally, nationals of Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay can enter Chile simply by presenting their current national identity document.

2) Visa subject to contract.

This residence permit allows its holder to work solely and exclusively with the employer with whom the work contract that gave rise to the visa was signed and authorizes them to reside in Chile for up to two years and can then request an extension of the visa or rightly request the definitive permanence if the necessary requirements are met. This visa can be requested both from abroad and while in Chile.

It is important to note that it is not allowed to work with another employer at the same time or to carry out paid activities on your own. In addition, the termination of the employment relationship also immediately terminates the visa and will have 30 days to apply for another visa or to leave the country.

3) Student visa.

With this visa it is allowed to study in educational establishments recognized by the State and you can reside in Chile for one year, extendable for the duration of the studies or until the duration of the scholarship for those who have it. You will be able to opt for the definitive permanence after having resided for two years, as long as the studies have been completed.

There are four types: (i) non-scholarship holder, (ii) scholarship holder, (iii) exchange program student and (iv) student in the process of revalidation of title.

As a general rule, it is not allowed to carry out paid activities. However, you can apply for a special work permit in order to develop your professional practice or to pay for your studies.

4) Temporary residence visa.

With this type of visa you are enabled to reside and carry out any legal activity within the country (working with one or more employers at the same time, studying, investing, etc.) as long as it is requested as Holder. You can reside in Chile for up to one year, after which you can request an extension for another year or request a permanent stay.

Among the most important are (i) the visa for a foreigner with a Chilean connection, (ii) a visa for the child of a passer-by foreigner, (iii) a visa for a foreigner connected with a family who has permanent residence, (iv) a visa for a former resident, (v) visa for religious, (vi) visa for retirees and rentiers, (vii) visa for investors and merchants, (viii) visa for professionals and higher level technicians, (ix) visa for medical treatment, (x) Mercosur visa, (xi) civil union visa, (xii) democratic responsibility visa and (xiii) visatech.

5) Definitive stay.

This allows you to reside in Chile indefinitely and to request it you must meet three requirements:

  1. Comply with the residence time according to the type of visa. For the visa subject to the contract they are at least two years, for the student visa they are at least two years and accredit completed studies, and for the temporary residence visa it is at least one year.
  2. Not have been outside of Chile for more than 180 days during the last year of visa.
  3. Deliver the required information according to each case.
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