Santiago de Chile

Moving to Santiago de Chile ?

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Moving to Santiago de Chile

Moving to Santiago can be a big step, partly due to how far away it is from much of the world. But small things like distance should not stop you from making the exciting move! Find out about many of the practicalities of relocating to the Chilean capital in our guide.
La Moneda Palace, the President's residence, occupies an entire block in downtown Santiago.

At a Glance:

  • You will need different visas depending on the length and purpose of your stay in Santiago — make sure you apply well in advance of your trip to ensure everything runs smoothly.
  • The quality of property very much depends on the area of the city — the eastern districts are wealthier and tend to be where expats settle.
  • Santiago is home to two of Chile’s most prestigious higher education institutions, the Universidad de Chile and the Universidad Pontificia Católica de Chile.
  • It is your decision whether you choose to follow a public or private healthcare plan — either way, 10% of your income must be paid to your chosen healthcare plan each month.
 

Moving to Santiago de Chile, more often known simply as Santiago, requires some forward planning. It is possible that you’ll have to visit the city before you move there permanently, for which you might require a visa. Read on below to find out about the rules for entry into the country, before you set your heart on life in the Chilean capital.

You will find that your most important point of contact will be the city’s Extranjería (office for dealing with resident foreigners). This is located at:

Intendencia de Santiago, Departamento de Extranjería

San Antonio 580 piso 2, Santiago Centro

Tel. 600-626-4222

The office is open from Monday to Friday, between 08:30 and 14:00.

Testing the Waters: Tourist Visas for Santiago

If you want to make a quick trip to Santiago to start your housing search or to visit the Extranjería, then this is the visa for you. Bear in mind that visa approval process will take between two to six weeks, so you should apply well in advance! To apply, you will need:

  • a completed visa application form
  • proof of booked flight to Chile and back
  • a valid passport and a photocopy
  • an employment certificate / pay slip from within the last three months
  • confirmation of travel health insurance
  • one passport-sized photograph with your full name written on the back
  • proof of hotel reservation in Santiago / invitation by an individual or company in Chile

You will have to pay a fee for this visa, though the amount depends on your country of origin.  When you contact your nearest consulate, make sure to get more information on this before heading to Santiago.

Short-Term Visas

If you intend on moving to Santiago for a maximum period of one year, then this is the visa for you. Also known as temporary resident visas, the common applicants for a short-term visa include students, volunteers, and expats on short-term assignments. To apply, you need:

  • a completed visa application form
  • a valid passport and a photocopy
  • a police clearance certificate (not older than three months) detailing whether or not the applicant has a criminal record
  • a certificate of health (confirming that the applicant does not have any contagious diseases)
  • a document supporting your reason for applying (e.g. work contract)
  • proof of sufficient funds to cover the duration of the stay (e.g. bank statement)
  • four passport-sized photographs with your full name written on the back

As with the tourist visa, the application can take between two to six weeks to be processed. Make sure you do not complicate matters with a delayed visa application!

Work Visas

A work visa is, of course, necessary if you are moving to Santiago for a long-term job. Applying for a work visa will require you to already have a work contract: bear this in mind before sending off your application form. More information on work contracts can be found in the section below. For your work visa, you will need:

  • a completed visa application form
  • a valid passport and a photocopy
  • a police clearance certificate (not older than three months) detailing whether or not the applicant has a criminal record
  • a certificate of health (confirming that the applicant does not have any contagious diseases)
  • an official letter to the consul from your employer, explaining your employment
  • a notarized work contract
  • one passport-sized photograph with your full name written on the back

Work Contracts

The most important piece of information about the work contract is that it must be signed in the presence of a notary. This applies both to you, and to your employer. Contracts must also include specific phrasing. Please see our article on Moving to Chile for more information. 

 

We do our best to keep this article up to date. However, we cannot guarantee that the information provided is always current or complete. 

Mathias Döringer

"Before moving to Santiago de Chile I joined the InterNations community and got useful hints regarding housing and business."

Emma Willems

"When I first came to Santiago de Chile I didn´t know one anyone. On InterNations I found many expat friends in the same situation."

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