Several new visa categories introduced

11 Apr 18

CHILE

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The Chilean government has announced the introduction of several new visa categories aimed at attracting foreign workers and giving them the opportunity to apply for permanent residence; the government is also providing humanitarian visa routes for Haitian and Venezuelan nationals.

What does the change mean? The visas will benefit foreign nationals seeking to sign an employment contract in Chile, foreigners with postgraduate degrees from a top-200 ranked university, and foreigners who earn a postgraduate degree in Chile and want to start work there. Three new visas will benefit Haitians and Venezuelans.

  • Implementation time frame: The visas for foreign workers will be available Aug. 1. The 30-day visas for Haitians and the special visas for Venezuelans will be available Monday, April 16.. The long-term visa for Haitians will be available July 2.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary opportunity visa; temporary international orientation visa; national orientation temporary visa; simple tourism consulate visa (for Haitians); visa for humanitarian purposes (for Haitians); democratic responsibility visa (for Venezuelans).
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking to work in Chile; Haitian and Venezuelan nationals seeking to visit or emigrate to Chile.

New visas:

  • Temporary opportunity visa
    Foreign nationals from all countries may apply for this 12-month visa and sign an employment contract. The visa is extendable once, whereupon the holder may then apply for permanent residence. Applicants must apply for this visa from outside Chile. This visa replaces only the temporary visa for labor intent that allowed foreigners to switch from a tourist visa to a temporary residence.
  • Temporary international orientation visa
    Foreigners who earn a postgraduate degree from a university ranked in the top 200 worldwide according to the QS World University Rankings may apply for this 12-month visa. The visa may be extended once; thereafter, the holder is eligible for permanent residence. Applicants must apply for this visa from outside Chile.
  • National orientation temporary visa
    Foreign nationals who earn a postgraduate degree from an accredited Chilean university and wish to work in Chile may apply for this 12-month visa. The visa must be applied for outside of Chile, thus requiring the graduate to leave Chile and apply abroad. The visa is extendable once and then the holder is eligible for permanent residence.
  • Simple tourism visa for Haitians
    Haitian nationals seeking to enter Chile for any activity except paid activities or to take up residence may apply for this 30-day visa at a Chilean consulate. Eligible activities include business, tourism, study, family, sports, health, etc.
  • Humanitarian visa for Haitians
    Haitian nationals who have a clean criminal record may apply for this 12-month visa at a Chilean consulate. It may be extended once and the holder may then be eligible for permanent residence. An annual quota of 10,000 visas has been set, with priority given to family reunification.
  • Democratic responsibility visa for Venezuelans
    Venezuelans with a clean criminal record may request this special visa at the Chilean consulate in Caracas. The visa grants temporary residence for one year and may be extended once, after which the holder may be eligible for permanent residence.

BAL Analysis: The new visa routes aim to attract highly educated foreign nationals and other skilled workers and provide flexibility for those who wish to seek permanent residence in Chile. The expansion of visa categories is consistent with Chile’s recent introduction of tech visas aimed at attracting innovation and establishing Chile as a regional tech hub.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Chile. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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