In order to pursue an academic course in Chile, you must obtain a Chile student visa. However, in certain cases, such as when the course is for a shorter period of time, a student visa may not be required, depending on your nationality.
This article will answer some of the most common questions regarding student visas for Chile and detail the application process.
Who Needs to Apply for a Chile Student Visa?
If you want to pursue an academic course in Chile that lasts more than 90 days, then you need a Chile student visa, regardless of your nationality. However, there are several countries whose nationals can stay in Chile without a visa for up to 90 days.
If you are from a visa-exempt country (ie. USA, EU), you do not need a Student visa for Chile if your course lasts less than 90 days. You can simply enter the country and take the course.
What are the Requirements for a Chile Student Visa?
For a Chile Student visa application you must collect the following required documents:
- Photocopies of your passport’s relevant pages (personal information, issue/expiry date, visa stickers/stamps)
- Picture of yourself with the following specifications:
- Dimensions: 4.5 x 4.5 cm (2 inches x 2 inches)
- Professionally taken in a studio
- Taken in front of a plain white or off-white background
- You must be wearing everyday clothes
- You cannot wear glasses or any hats/headgear which cover your hair/hairline or face.
- You must face the camera and have a neutral facial expression
- Must be in JPEG format
- Completed Chile visa application form*:
- In English
- Typed, not handwritten
- Letter of enrollment/confirmation from the Chile educational institution, which contains the following information:
- Your name
- When the classes will start and when they will end
- How long you will be enrolled in the educational institution
- The educational institution’s contact information
- Police Clearance from your country
- A health certificate stating you are not carrying a contagious disease which is:
- Issued in the 30 days prior to the application
- Signed by a registered medical practitioner
- Proof of sufficient financial means to provide for your stay in Chile. You can show proof of financial means in one of these ways:
- Bank statements showing your current funds
- Financial Aid Letters from the school
- A letter from your parents, signed in front of a Notary, stating that they will provide financially for you
- Proof of legal status in your country of residence, such as a Permanent Residence card (only if you are living in a country other than your country of nationality).
- For minors (under 18): Authorization to travel from the parent/s or legal guardian/s.
*You can find Chile visa application forms on the Chile Abroad – Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Keep in mind:
All the documents have to be in PDF format. The picture must be in JPEG format.
You have to name the documents accordingly (eg. YourLastName_Passport or YourLastName_ConfirmationLetter).
You must bring the originals of all the documents when you go to the Chilean consulate to submit your passport.
This is not an exhaustive list of required documents. The Chilean authorities can ask you to submit any additional documents as they see fit during any stage of your application processing.
How to apply for a Chile student visa?
To get a Chile student visa, you must first be enrolled in a Chilean educational institution. Then, you have to submit an online application first and then appear at a Chilean consulate to obtain it.
Chile student visa online application
All Chile visa applications must be submitted online via this website. Once you access the website, select the language you want to complete the application in at the top right corner.
Afterward, you can start a new Chile student visa application by clicking the “Visa Application” button. You will be redirected to a Chile visa online application form.
There are several sections which you must fill out. After you complete a section, press “Save and Continue” to move on to the next. You can also go back and adjust/review your answers.
Upon completing the first section of questions, you will receive a verification/validation code. Save this code because you will need it to log back in and pick up your application where you left off. You can go back to finish an application by pressing the “Complete Visa Application” button and entering the validation code and your passport number.
You will probably need to pause the application and go back to finish it later so you can gather any required documents you do not have on hand.
In the final section, you have to attach electronic copies of all the required documents (see requirements below) and submit the application.
After your visa is approved, the Chilean consulate handing your application will email you to set up an appointment when you can obtain the visa.
Obtaining the visa
The Chile visa is not an electronic visa, despite the fact you apply for it online. After your Chile student visa application is approved, you must go to the Chilean consulate that handled you application and get the visa stamped on your passport.
Additionally, you have to submit the originals of all the documents you submitted electronically as well.
When you state your place of residence on the online application, you will be notified in which Chilean consulate you must submit your passport and documents. In many cases, you may have to travel to another country to do so.
Some Chilean consulates also accept for the passport and documents to be couriered to them. Others require you to appear in person.
Contact them or visit their website to find out.
Once your student visa is stamped on your passport, you have 90 days to travel to Chile and register your visa at the Police Department.
Chile Student Visa Processing Time
It takes anywhere between 15-20 days for the Chilean consulate to process your Chile visa application. Also take into account the date on what date your appointment will be set, which may be several days later.
As such, you must apply for a Chile student visa 30-60 days before you intend to travel. The Chilean consulate may not process your application if you submit it within 30 days of the intended travel date.
Chile Student Visa Fee
You only have to pay the Chile student visa fee if your visa application is approved. You must pay the fee at the Chilean consulate where you submit your passport and documents.
There is no standard set of visa fees for Chile. The fee depends on the country and can range from $50 to $150.
You will be informed of the amount you have to pay during your online visa application.
Where to Register for a Chile Student visa?
After you arrive in Chile with a student visa, you must go to the Policía De Investigaciones De Chile (PDI) and register your visa. You must have your passport with you and information regarding your residence in Chile (the address, phone number, etc).
After that, you must go to the Registro Civil with your proof of registration at the PDI and obtain your Chilean ID number.
Can You Bring Dependents With a Chile Student Visa?
Yes, you can bring your spouse and dependent children (under 18) with you with a Chile student visa.
Your dependents must apply for a Chile visa along with you and follow the same application procedure. Your spouse must include a marriage certificate in their application and your children must include a birth certificate.
You must state and prove that you will be responsible for any financial requirements your dependents will have while in Chile.
How Long is a Chile Student Visa Valid For?
A Chile student visa is issued for a maximum of one year, and it can be renewed in Chile at the Departamento de Extranjeria y Migracion for the entire duration of your studies. You can start renewing your Chile student visa up to 90 days in advance.
If you are a scholarship student, your Chile student visa can be issued for the entire duration of your scholarship.
If the duration of your course is shorter than 1 year, your Chile student visa will be issued for that duration (eg. six months).
Can You Work With a Chile Student Visa?
The Chile student visa itself does not authorize the holder to work. If you want to work in Chile while on a student visa, you have to obtain an “Authorization to work for foreigners with Student Visa” from the Departamento de Extranjeria y Migracion (Chile Immigration Department).
However, authorizations to work for students are usually only issued in the following instances:
- If you’re doing a professional practice related to your studies
- If working is necessary to be able to pay for your studies
To obtain authorization to work, you must have a job offer and submit the following documents at the Immigration Department in your region:
- Photocopies of the relevant pages of your passport (personal information, issue/expiry dates, the visa pages, including the page containing the Chile student visa stamp.)
- A signed job offer or work contract. The document must be signed by you and your employer in front of a notary.
- Your valid student certificate.
- Photocopy of your Chilean Identity Card, if applicable.
- A letter explaining why you are making this request.
Can You Get a Chile Student Visa After You go to Chile?
It may be possible to obtain a Chile student visa after you are already in Chile, only in circumstances where you could not have obtained it abroad. In this case, you would have to enter the country on a Chile tourist visa and start the procedure of obtaining your student visa within 5 days.
However, this option is offered only in very rare cases at the discretion of the immigration authorities, so it is advisable to always apply for a Chile student visa abroad prior to arriving in the country.