Virginia, US

Jun 25 2019

Venezuelan Nationals Now Require a Visa to Enter Chile

Chile, Venezuela

At a Glance

  • Effective immediately, Venezuelan nationals seeking to enter Chile for tourist purposes, or to apply in country for work authorization, will need to obtain a consular Tourist Visa prior to entry, and can no longer enter Chile under visa-exempt status.
  • Importantly, the requirement adds a cumbersome step and increases lead time for Venezuelan nationals seeking to obtain a Special Work Permit for Tourists in Chile as they will first need to obtain a consular Tourist Visa to then be able to apply for the permit upon arrival.

The situation

According to a decree published by the Chilean government, effective immediately, Venezuelan nationals can no longer enter Chile under visa-exempt status. Instead they must obtain a consular Tourist visa prior to entry for tourist purposes, valid for up to 90 days, with the possibility of extension.

A closer look

  • Consular application details. Venezuelan nationals can request a consular Tourist Visa at any Chilean consular post if they do not have a pending consular visa application and can provide a valid passport (including expired passports issued after 2013), proof of economic solvency during their stay in Chile, an invitation letter from a Chilean company or person, and any other document the consulate requires. Government processing time of the tourist visa application is uncertain, but it is expected to be expedited.
  • Work authorization. Venezuelan nationals will first need to obtain a consular Tourist Visa to enter Chile to then be able to apply for a Special Work Permit for Tourists upon arrival. This short-term work authorization can be requested at the airport and is usually granted in one day, allowing foreign nationals to work in Chile immediately, for up to 90 days.

     

Impact

Employers seeking Venezuelan employees will need to have these nationals obtain a visa prior to entry, adding a cumbersome step and additional lead time to the work authorization process.

Background

  • More control over migration. The measure is intended to improve migration tracking efforts, especially following Peru’s recent decision to impose entry visa requirements on Venezuelan nationals, which resulted in a mass migration to Chile as an alternative destination.
  • Passport concessions continue. Chile, like many Latin American countries, has created temporary measures to alleviate the challenges faced by Venezuelan nationals in obtaining and renewing passports and identity cards. Since May 2019, Chile allows Venezuelan nationals with expired passports or identification cards to enter and regularize their status in Chile. The document must have been issued after 2013 and will be considered valid until April 18, 2021. Such passports are considered valid to apply for all consular visas. The below map illustrates which Latin American countries allow entry to Venezuelan nationals without valid passports, but only with other immigration documents.

Looking ahead

The Chilean government is expected to continue to implement measures to reduce and control irregular migration of foreign nationals into the country. Further changes are likely as the government prepares for the approval and implementation of a new immigration law currently under review that is expected to overhaul the current visa system. Fragomen will report on further immigration policy changes in Chile.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to lar@fragomen.com.