Chilean employment law and contracts

How to work legally and securely

Chilean employment law and contracts

Working in a foreign country is usually subject to restrictions and the proper legal documents, and Chile is no different. Despite this, expats can expect to work freely and securely so long as they can navigate the application process.

Work visas

Chilean work visas for foreigners are regulated by the need for a contract prior to application. Without the signed agreement of a Chilean employer you will be unable to register for paid work in the country. However, assuming your job search has been successful and contracts agreed upon and signed, foreign workers should have no problems applying for a ‘Labour Contract Visa’. Those applying for a change in visa status within the country should note that the process can take a long time and should schedule their stay accordingly.

Applicants should direct their enquiries to either the Ministry for Foreign Affairs or the Ministry of the Interior, depending on whether the application takes place before, or after, entry into Chile.

Once processed, applicants will have a 90 day period to enter Chile, and a subsequent 30 day period upon arrival to register with the International Police offices and acquire a Chilean Identity Card for Foreign Citizens.

Work visas are for stays of up to two years, and can be extended by another two year period or converted into permanent residency. See our section on Chilean visas and permits for more information.

Application via the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (prior to entry)

  • Arranged by the consulate located in your country of origin
  • Takes approximately three to four weeks to complete, during which time the applicant cannot enter Chile as a visitor

Required documents from the applicant only:

  • Three signed originals of the employment agreement, authenticated by the employer, a public notary, and finally by the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs.
  • A copy of the applicant’s Curriculum Vitae (Resume)
  • Original university diploma documentation; a legalised copy will be made by the consulate.
  • Employer’s certification of foreign vs Chilean worker ratio (only applicable for businesses with more than 25 employees)

Depending on the consulate:

  • Up to six passport style photographs, signed and with your passport number on the reverse.
  • An affidavit of support declaring the applicants ability to support dependents.
  • A certificate of good standing issued by the applicant’s home company.

Required visa documents from the applicant and any accompanying family members

  • Original passports; valid for at least 25 months and with at least two blank visa pages.
  • Any and all visa application forms.
  • Photocopy of accompanying spouse’s marriage certificate.
  • Photocopy of accompanying children’s birth certificates and indication of both parent’s names.

Depending on the consulate you may need:

  • At least four passport style photos for each applicant, with full name and passport number on the reverse of each.
  • A medical certificate issued by the applicant’s doctor or consular appointed doctor (a separate HIV test certificate may be requested).
  • A police certificate of good conduct or equivalent, for all applicants aged 18 and over (14 and over in some cases).
  • Any fees appropriate to the visa application process.

Application via the Ministry of the Interior (post-entry)

An application for those already in Chile, visa processing takes between four and six months. A ‘Special Work Permit’ can be issued for the purposes of working for up to two months during the application process.
Required documents:

  • Application form.
  • Applicant’s passport, and those of any dependents.
  • Tourist card issued to the applicant and any dependents.
  • Four recent passport style photographs of the applicant, and each dependent, signed with the passport number on the reverse.
  • Legalised copy of marriage certificate, if applicable.
  • Legalised copy of children’s birth certificates, if applicable.
  • Sworn declaration before a public notary that any dependents will live at the applicant’s own expense whilst in Chile.
  • Three signed originals of the employment contract made with a Chilean employer (including Chilean branches of international companies).

Further reading

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