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Moving to Santiago de Chile ?

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Mathias Döringer

Living in Chile, from Austria

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

Emma Willems

Living in Chile, from Belgium

"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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Santiago de Chile at a Glance

Moving to Santiago de Chile

Moving to Santiago de Chile is a big step, due to how far removed it is from most other global metropolises. But this is exciting, and small things like distance should not stop you! Find out about the practicalities of moving to Santiago de Chile — visas, housing, education, and healthcare — on InterNations.

Moving to Santiago de Chile requires some forward planning. It is quite likely that you’ll have to visit the city before you move there permanently, and this in itself might require its own visa. So read on below to inform yourself about the rules for entry into the country, before you decide on moving to Santiago de Chile!

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

It 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 de Chile to, for example, start your housing search or to visit the Extranjería, then this is the visa for you. Bear in mind that visa approval will take between two to six weeks, so you should apply well in advance! To do so, you will need:

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 de Chile.

Short-Term Visas

If you intend on moving to Santiago de Chile for a maximum period of one year, then this is the visa for you. Common applicants include students, volunteers, and expats on short-term assignments. To apply, you need:

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 de Chile 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 appropriate work contracts can be found below. For your work visa, you will need:

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, and to ensure moving to Santiago de Chile is not jeopardized by this.


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

InterNations Expat Magazine