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Complete guide to obtaining a visa to retire in Chile

Commodity, safety, and a high-quality lifestyle are some factors people look for when deciding where to retire, and Chile offers you all of them. 

The South American country is a natural paradise for retirees who love nature and outdoor activities. Retiring in Chile means you will spend every day surrounded by diverse landscapes, delicious food, and friendly people. 

You can easily retire in Chile by obtaining a Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa. A Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa is a type of temporary residence visa that allows you to live in Chile for one year.

Who Can Get a Retirement and Periodic Income Visa in Chile?

You do not need to be retired to get a Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa. All that is required is that you must receive periodic income to support yourself during your stay in Chile. Chilean Immigration accepts pensions, social security, rent from real estate, annuities, etc.

The retirement age in Chile is 65 for men and 60 for women, but you can retire earlier.

Requirements for Chile Retirement Visa

To apply for a Chile Retirement Visa, you need to upload the following documents to the online application:

  • Original Passport. The document must be valid for at least six months after the date you plan on traveling to Chile. 
  • Police clearance. Provide a legalized police certificate issued within the last 60 days stating that you have no criminal record nationwide.
  • Medical report. A full medical report issued within the last 60 days is needed to prove that you are in good health conditions. The medical certificate must be legalized. 
  • Marriage certificate. (if applicable)
  • Proof of recurring income based on your current situation.

NOTE: All the above-mentioned documents must be original, legalized, and scanned before submission. 

How to Apply for Chile Retirement Visa?

 To apply for a Chile Retirement visa you must go through these steps:

  1. Gather and scan the required documents.
  2. Set up an account with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. If you already have an account, you can simply log in. Once you have opened your account, you can proceed with the online application by filling in the required information. 
  3. Upload the required scanned documents. When uploading the scanned documents, make sure you specify the file names, for example: “Passport.pdf” or “MedicalReport.pdf.”
  4. Submit the application. After your visa has been approved, you can enter the country and register with the civil register in Chile.

The application procedure for and Periodic Income Visa is done completely online before entering the country.

How Much Does a Chile Retirement Visa Cost?

A Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa fees depend on your nationality. The immigration services require a different fee for every country.

The fees can vary from $20 to $700 depending on where you come from, for example:

Canada $265
Costa Rica$650
Dominican Republic$195
United States of America$205

Click here to find the complete list of Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa Fees. 

What Is the Duration of a Retirement Visa for Chile?

Chile issues Retirement Visas for a period of 12 months (one year), and you can renew it once it expires. You can renew your Chile Retirement and Periodic Income Visa once it expires.

Can I Bring My Family Members With Me?

Yes, a Chile Retirement visa allows you to bring your dependents (spouse, children) with you. You might be required to submit additional documents such as:

  • An oiriginal or certified copy of the marriage certificate.
  • Original or certified copy of the birth certificate of your family members.

How Much Does it Cost to Retire in Chile?

Due to the rapid development in recent years, the living costs in Chile have risen. Chile is currently one of the most expensive countries in South America, therefore, you need to have sufficient funds if you are thinking about retiring there. The estimated monthly cost for a single person living in Chile is around $600 without including rent.

If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, you should avoid bigger cities like Santiago, Valdivia, Puerto Montt, Antofagasta, or Iquique, where prices are higher than in the Southern area of the country. A city like Valparaiso would be perfect if you do not want to spend much.

Here is a presentation of the average living costs in Chile:

Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre$415
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre$355
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre$720
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre$620
Rice $1.26
Apples (kg)$1.60
UTILITIESMonthly Costs (85m2)
Electricity, Water, Heating, Cooling, Garbage$125

Healthcare For Retirees in Chile

Healthcare in Chile is provided by the government via Fondo Nacional de Salud (FONASA) and private insurers via Instituciones de Salud Previsional (ISAPREs). Retirees are eligible to receive FONASA services, but may also opt for private insurance.

Fondo Nacional de Salud (FONASA), funded by the public, is the financial institution in charge of collecting, managing and distributing state funds for healthcare in Chile. FONASA offers you two types of care arrangements that you can choose from depending on your income:

  • Modality of Institutional Care. Delivered in public health facilities.
  • Free Choice Modality. Delivered by professionals and private health facilities that have an agreement with FONASA. This type of care arrangement includes three levels that you can choose depending on the medical facility you attend, with level 1 being the cheapest and level 3 being the most expensive.

If you are a beneficiary of Fondo Nacional de Salud, you can use public or private health institutions (if they are associated with FONASA in one of three pricing levels).

When choosing public medical institutions, the cost is free for people older than 60 years.

You can always opt to buy private health insurance from private insurance companies called Instituciones de Salud Previsional (ISAPREs), but the price is twice higher than public health insurance.

Why Retire in Chile? 

Here is why you should make Chile your retirement home:

  • Life quality.Chile has the lowest level of corruption, strongest economy, and highest living standards in Latin America. Not just that, Chile is also one of the safest and politically stable countries and has great medical institutions with a well-developed infrastructure.
  • Healthcare. Chile provides universal healthcare for its citizens. The medical facilities are in great condition and equipped with modern technology and appliances. Everyone who resides in Chile can choose between private and public healthcare, whichever benefits them more.
  • Safety. The country is considered a safe destination for tourists and residents due to its low crime rates and people’s behavior. Therefore, you can enjoy a quiet and nice life without worrying about your safety.
  • Climate. The weather in Chile is warm all year round. Depending on the region you want to settle in, you can experience four types of climate tropical climate, dry arid, mediterranean, and temperate oceanic climate. The northern and central regions are warmer during November and February, whereas the south is warmer during January and March.
  • Nature. Chile might have some of the most stunning landscapes you will ever see. Whether you like beaches, mountains, deserts, or forests, Chile has it all. There are many natural attractions to see and visit in Chile you would think a lifetime is not enough.
  • People. Chileans are known to be affectionate, polite, and very welcoming. Therefore, do not be surprised if, while having a conversation with your fellow Chilean, you will get a hug or a kiss on the cheek.
  • Local cuisine. Prepare your tastebuds for some of the most delicious Chilean dishes. Diverse and delicious, the cuisine is a combination of traditional Chilean food, Spanish, and other European cuisines, particularly from Germany. One of the best things about Chilean food is that dishes are mostly cooked with fresh local ingredients from all regions of Chile.

Where to Retire in Chile?

Traveling to a foreign country might be easy, but choosing where to settle will determine how the rest of your retirement will go. To help you decide where to live in Chile, we have listed some of the best cities to retire in Chile.


The capital city of Chile, is the first choice for most expats. This is due to the economic stability and safety that the city offers. Santiago has many beautiful parks, monuments, hilltops, vibrant streets, and delicious food. The city is located near the country’s Metropolitan region, so you can go wine-tasting anytime you want.


The second largest city in Chile, is located near Santiago and is a major seaport, naval base, and educational center. Valparaíso is definitely of the top three cities expats choose to make their second home. 

Valparaíso is an example of Chilean culture and offers amazing street art, musical events, mesmerizing landscape, and amazing dishes.

Viña del Mar

A beautiful coastal resort city with beautiful gardens, high-rise buildings,  beaches, and clear waters, Viña del Mar will offer you a comfortable and nice retirement. Be prepared to see and meet tourists from all over the world because Viña del Mar is one of the favorite places to spend vacations since it offers many beautiful places to spend the holidays and visit.

La Serena

La Serena is the second oldest city in Chile, known for its long beaches and colonial and neo-colonial architecture. In La Serena, you will find some of the largest malls and shopping centers outside Santiago. The coastal city has a desert climate with no rainfalls during the year, so if you like hot temperatures and tanning by the beach, La Serena should be your choice.


Another port city that offers beautiful beaches is Antofagasta. The city is one of the major mining areas in Chile. However, although a coastal city, the weather in Antofagasta is a cold desert, you still get abundant sunshine. Antofagasta has many things to see and visit and is slowly becoming a top tourist destination.

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