New work visa provides greater flexibility for foreign nationals

23 Mar 15

CHILE

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? Chile has introduced a new temporary work visa that provides greater flexibility for foreign nationals and imposes fewer obligations on employers.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals who hold the temporary work visa will be able to change jobs, participate in more activities and apply for permanent residence sooner. Employers, meanwhile, will not be required to pay for return airfare for employees they are sponsoring and are not obligated to cancel the new visas with the immigration authorities.

  • Implementation timeframe: March 1.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Visas for Labor Purposes.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals working in Chile.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing time for the temporary work visa is three to four months, the same as for Chile’s Work Contract Visa.
  • Business impact: The temporary work visa allow for greater flexibility for foreign nationals working in Chile.
  • Next steps: Applicants can apply now for the new Temporary Visas for Labor Purposes. Work Contract Visas remain available as well.

Background: Temporary Visas for Labor Purposes are different than Work Contract Visas in significant ways:

  Work Contract Visas Temporary Visas for Labor Purposes
Foreign National Apply for visa in Chile or at consulate post abroad. Must apply for visa in Chile.
  Valid for up to two years; renewable indefinitely. Valid for one year; renewable one time.
  Allows one employer. Allows multiple employers.
  Permits activities specifically listed in employment contract. Permits any legal activity, including work, study, business and providing services.
Visa canceled at end of employment; 30 days allowed to apply for new visa. At end of employment, holder can seek new work without applying for new visa.
Holder can request permanent residence in two years. Holder can request permanent residence in one year.
Employer Employer must pay for return airfare for employee and employee’s family. No requirement that employer pay for return airfare for employee or family.
Employer required to notify authorities of end of employment relationship. No obligation on employer to provide notice of end of employment.

Applicants for both visas must be supported by employment contracts with a company that is legally domiciled in Chile.

BAL Analysis: While Chile’s temporary work visa provides significant benefits to foreign nationals, the Work Contract Visa may be preferable for employers who want to be sure the foreign nationals they are sponsoring do not switch jobs. The temporary work visa does ease some employer obligations, however.

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

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