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Chile – Work Permits and Working Legally

Necessity of Work Permits for Expats in Chile

Working legally in Chile as an expat often requires obtaining a work permit. These permits are essential for foreign nationals who wish to be employed within the country. Understanding the process and requirements for obtaining a work permit is crucial for expats seeking employment in Chile.

Who Must Submit the Application?

In Chile, the process of obtaining a work permit typically involves both the expat employee and their prospective employer. While the employer plays a significant role in supporting the application, the primary responsibility for the work permit application lies with the expat employee.

Exemptions from Work Permits

Chile offers certain exemptions and categories of individuals who may not require work permits. Some potential exemptions or categories may include:

  • Diplomatic and Consular Staff: Diplomatic and consular staff, as well as their dependents, may be exempt from work permits while serving in their official capacities.
  • Temporary Visitors: Visitors to Chile for tourism or short-term business purposes may not require work permits as long as they do not engage in paid employment.

It is essential for expats to verify the specific exemptions and eligibility criteria with the Chilean Immigration Department or seek legal advice to ensure compliance with immigration policies.


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Types of Work Permits for Expats in Chile

Chile offers various types of work permits to accommodate different categories of expat workers. Some common work permits include:

  • Temporary Work Visa: This visa is suitable for expats planning to work in Chile temporarily, typically for a specific job or project.
  • Permanent Work Visa: Permanent work visas are issued for expats intending to work in Chile on a long-term or permanent basis.
  • Professional Visa: Professionals with job offers in Chile may apply for this visa, which is typically granted for specific professions or occupations.

The eligibility criteria, application requirements, and the duration of permits can vary depending on the type of work permit. expats should consult the Chilean Immigration Department website or seek legal advice to determine the most suitable permit for their situation.

Procedure to Apply for a Work Permit in Chile

The process to apply for a work permit in Chile typically involves the following steps:

  1. Job Offer: expats seeking employment in Chile must secure a job offer from a Chilean employer. The job offer is a crucial first step in the process.
  2. Employer Support: The Chilean employer plays a vital role in the application process. They are responsible for initiating the work permit application and providing the necessary documentation to support the application.
  3. Application Submission: The expat employee must submit their work permit application, along with the required documents and fees, to the Chilean Immigration Department.
  4. Processing Time: Work permit processing times can vary based on the type of permit and the volume of applications. It is advisable to check the current processing times provided by the Chilean Immigration Department.
  5. Work Permit Approval: Once the work permit is approved, the expat employee is notified, and they can begin working in Chile.

It’s essential to ensure that the application is complete and all required documents are provided to avoid delays or rejections. expats should refer to the Chilean Immigration Department website for detailed guidance on the application process.

Documents Required for a Work Permit in Chile

When applying for a work permit in Chile, expats generally need to provide the following documents:

  • Valid Passport: A copy of the expat’s passport, including the bio page and any previous passports.
  • Job Offer Letter: A formal job offer letter from the Chilean employer, detailing the position, salary, and terms of employment.
  • Educational and Professional Certificates: Copies of educational qualifications and professional certificates relevant to the job.
  • Police Clearance Certificate: A police clearance certificate or criminal record check from the expat’s home country or any country where they have lived for a significant period.
  • Medical Examination Report: If required, a medical examination report from an approved medical facility in Chile.
  • Employer’s Documents: The Chilean employer must submit supporting documents, including the job description, contract of employment, and any required permits or licenses related to the job.
  • Application Forms: Completed work permit application forms, which can be obtained through the Chilean Immigration Department.

Expats should ensure that all documents are accurate, up to date, and meet the specific requirements outlined by the Chilean Immigration Department.

Costs Involved in Applying for a Work Permit in Chile

Applying for a work permit in Chile involves several costs that expats should be aware of:

  • Visa Application Fee: The primary cost is the visa application fee, which varies based on the type and duration of the permit. The fees can be found on the Chilean Immigration Department website.
  • Medical Examination Fee: If a medical examination is required, there will be associated costs for the examination.
  • Police Clearance Certificate Fee: Obtaining a police clearance certificate may incur additional expenses.

Expats should budget for these expenses when planning to work in Chile. It is advisable to check the current fee schedule for accurate cost information.

Reliable Sources for Information on Working Legally in Chile

Expats seeking reliable information on working legally in Chile can refer to the following sources:

  1. Chilean Immigration Department: The official Chilean Immigration Department website provides comprehensive information on work permits, application forms, fees, and guidance for expats.
  2. Chilean Government: The official website of the Chilean government offers valuable resources and updates on immigration policies and procedures.
  3. Legal and Immigration Experts: Consulting with immigration lawyers or experts experienced in Chilean immigration law can provide personalized guidance and support throughout the work permit application process.

Staying informed about the latest immigration policies and requirements is crucial, as they can change over time. expats should rely on official government sources and seek professional advice when necessary to navigate the complexities of obtaining a work permit in Chile.


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