What is the change? The Chilean government has recently changed requirements and increased scrutiny of first-time visa applications.

What does the change mean? The changes will require applicants to provide apostilled documents, companies to provide more corporate documents and for the Chilean Immigration Police to conduct an initial review of application documents before the applications move forward. End-to-end processing is expected to take longer than it previously did.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Initial work visas.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals applying for first-time work visas.
  • Impact on processing times: Processing times are expected to range from six to eight weeks.
  • Business impact: Employers should expect additional scrutiny and may need to adjust employee time lines because of the increased scrutiny.

Additional Information: The changes impose new requirements on both applicants and employers. Applicants over the age of 18 will be required to provide duly apostilled professional degrees and police clearance certificates. Dependents will be required to provide duly apostilled birth and marriage certificates (if applicable) and a legalized and apostilled affidavit stating that they will be supported financially during their time in Chile. Hiring companies will be required to provide a certified letter explaining the reasons for hiring the foreign employee, including explaining the benefits to both the company and Chile. Companies will also be required to provide the company charter, their previous three corporate tax payments, at least three social security payments for all employees in Chile and proof of a legal address in Chile. The Chilean Immigration Police will be required to conduct and initial review of application documents before the application can move forward.

Analysis & Comments: The Chilean government has taken a number of steps to address an increase in illegal entries into the country. Officials estimate that more than 8,000 foreign nationals have crossed the border illegally since Chile closed its border in March because of COVID-19. This has triggered an urgent request for the Chilean senate to review and approve an immigration bill that has been pending since 2013.

The changes to the work visa application process reflect a broader effort to tighten migration requirements before officials reopen Chile’s borders. For now, the border remains closed to anyone who is not a Chilean national or permanent residence. While visa applications are being accepted, visa stamping and travel to Chile remains on hold until borders reopen.

The response to the COVID-19 pandemic continues to develop, and Deloitte will provide additional updates as information becomes available. Please check Deloitte’s COVID-19 Digital Map, available here, for information on travel restrictions and immigration changes in other countries.

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