What is the change? Foreign nationals with pending visa applications are reminded that they must obtain an exit permit if traveling outside of Chile this holiday season.

What does the change mean? Travelers should allow at least five business days to obtain their exit permit after applying for it. Exit permit requests for children will take longer and require more documentation. Travelers are advised to apply for exit permits for children at least 10 days before travel.

  • Implementation time frame: Ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Exit permits for foreign nationals with pending in-country visa and residence applications, including renewals.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals with pending visa and residence applications who are planning travel abroad.
  • Impact on processing times: Exit permits take up to five business days to process and longer for children.

Additional information: Officials began requiring foreign nationals with pending visa applications to obtain exit permits under a change that took effect in October. In general, those seeking exit permits must (1) send an email to the Immigration Department before travel, (2) attach a copy of their international travel itinerary and (3) include a receipt for the lodgment of their visa or residence application.

The process is more complicated for minors. Adults seeking exit permits on behalf of children should bring the following to the Immigration Police:

  • Documents proving the parental relationship, including, if applicable, marriage certificates, divorce decrees and custody documents.
  • The child’s birth certificate.
  • Legalized travel authorization, if only one parent is traveling with the child.
  • Documents proving the parental relationship and birth certificates should be duly apostilled and translated. Translations are required for documents not originally in English, French, Italian, Portuguese or Spanish.

Analysis & Comments: Foreign nationals with pending immigration applications must obtain an exit permit when traveling outside of Chile. Those who fail to do so may encounter difficulty when leaving or, for visa-required nationals, re-entering the country. Chile has been experiencing delays in immigration processing in recent months, meaning that there are more people with pending visa applications who will require an exit visa. Additional processing slowdowns should be expected this holiday season. Typically, processing times increase during busy travel periods from December through February.

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