Many people have currently chosen to expatriate to Chile, most of them in the Santiago area.
With its culture, landscapes, and professional opportunities, the destination is particularly appreciated, and expatriates tend to stay there for many years.
Read on to find out everything you need to know before moving to Chile.
Visas and Residence Permits for Moving to Chile
Even if a valid passport is enough to enter and stay up to 90 days in the country, a visa is mandatory for moving to Chile for a longer period and working there.
There are several types of visas, including:
- The student visa: it allows you to study (but not to work) in a Chilean institution for one year, renewable
- Opportunity temporary visa: obtained before arriving in the country and allows you to work or do business in Chile for one year
- The Chile work visa: allows you to work for a designated employer for two years, renewable.
These are just a few examples of the visas available for moving to Chile. There are other options.
Regardless of the type of visa, it is essential to be well-informed about the documents to be provided and requested before departure, as the conditions for obtaining them change regularly.
Permanent residence (permanencia definitiva) can be applied for by holders of a work visa and holders of a student visa who have completed their studies, provided that they have been residing in the country for at least two years.
This privilege is lost for any stay of more than one year abroad. The application process can be done online.
Regarding the deadline for applying for citizenship, it has been extended to 5 years.
How Can I Work in Chile?
Chile is one of the largest economies in Latin America, and there are many professional opportunities for those who wish to expatriate to Chile, provided they speak Spanish.
The best solution is to find a job before moving to Chile, as competition with qualified locals is sometimes tough.
A work visa is mandatory when you want to work in Chile, and you should apply for it each time you change jobs.
Many French and international companies are present in the country, especially in the strategic sectors most likely to recruit international workers:
- The mining sector (particularly copper)
- The chemical industry
- The food industry
- Business services and new technologies
- Hotel and restaurant industry.
Please note that in some sectors, it is sometimes necessary to prove one’s skills or to have diplomas recognized by various exams (in Spanish).
This is the case, for example, for the medical sector or the legal profession.
What Kind of Health Coverage Do I Need Before Moving to Chile?
The quality of Chilean health care and infrastructure is among the best on the continent. But despite this, there are strong inequalities in the country.
Although the capital is home to excellent private health care facilities staffed by highly qualified and often foreign-trained medical personnel, getting treatment is expensive and often requires financial guarantees before being treated.
Elsewhere in the country, the quality of equipment is often not comparable.
The Chilean public insurance system only covers services provided in the public system, where the wait to be treated can be very long and where equipment or specialists may be in short supply.
International health insurance for expatriates in Chile
In fact, it is recommended to subscribe to good international health insurance, such as insurance at the 1st dollar before moving to Chile.
The offers available on the market are numerous and varied, but at least cover the most important expenses, such as:
- Current health expenses
- Repatriation, a particularly costly operation.
To easily find the best coverage according to your situation, you can use an online insurance comparator.
Insurance for expatriates has the advantage of following its beneficiary throughout the world during his expatriation, including during temporary stays in your country of origin.
They also provide access to very practical services, including English-speaking assistance reachable at any time.