What is the change? The Chilean government is undertaking a regularization campaign to legalize the status of approximately 300,000 undocumented immigrants and allow them to seek residency status.

What does the change mean? Applicants for immigration benefits should anticipate processing delays. Foreign nationals traveling to Chile are strongly advised to hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry, proof of accommodations, a return ticket and cash of US$100 per day up to $1,500 as evidence of sufficient funds during their stay.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing. The legalization campaign began Monday and will end July 23.
  • Visas/permits affected: All immigration benefits.
  • Impact on processing times: Applicants should expect lengthy delays. See the table below for processing times for specific application types.
  • Who is affected: Visa, work permit and residency applicants.
  • Business impact: Business schedules and work start dates may be affected by the delays in processing.

Background: The legalization campaign was announced April 9 and allows undocumented immigrants, including those who entered illegally or whose visas have expired, to apply for residency. The following chart indicates current processing times for several types of applications.

Application Type Processing Time
Special work permit for tourists 2-5 business days
Withdrawal of tourist card 3-5 business days
Visa Application Receipts 45-70 business days
Visas 4-6 months
Visa stamp 2-3 business days
Permanent residence 8-12 months

BAL Analysis: Employers and individuals should factor in the delays when planning travel and work start dates and anticipate that a backlog may develop beyond the end of the campaign in July. Those traveling to Chile during the legalization campaign are advised to follow the instructions on the types of documentation to have on hand.

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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