Temporary residency

Types of visas, ID cards and registration

Temporary residency

Most foreigners who plan to stay in Chile long-term enter on a temporary residency visa and then apply for a longer-term visa once in the country.

The temporary residency visa, “Visa Temporario”, is open to all nationalities and allows you to work and/or study in Chile for up to one year. After this time you should have applied for a more permanent visa or an extension. 

Temporary residency visas can be issued in a number of different categories, including:

  • Working holiday visa - only granted to Australian, Canadian and New Zealand nationals of a certain age.
  • Dependent temporary residence visa - covers the visa holder’s spouse and children. It is important to note that only the visa holder may work. The rest of the family are not allowed to work.
  • Investor/business visa - This visa is not recommended due to the large amount of paperwork and the relative uncertainty of getting it renewed.
  • Retirement and periodic income visa

For a full list of temporary residency visas in English see the Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs  website.


You can apply for this visa in your nearest Chilean embassy, or from within Chile at the Immigration Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago. You will need to pay an application fee, which will vary depending on your nationality, and submit the following documents (these may vary depending on the exact type of visa you are applying for):

  • A letter addressed to the consul explaining the reasons for your application
  • A police report (no older than 1 month)
  • Medical certificate (not older than 1 month)
  • A valid passport and photocopy of the information page
  • 4 passport sized photographs
  • If you’re applying for a dependent visa, a marriage certificate and children’s birth certificates will be required.
  • For those travelling for an internship, proof of financial backing must be provided from parents or legal guardians.
  • Correctly filled out application form (double check whether it should be typed or if handwritten forms are acceptable).

It is recommended you apply for a temporary residence visa once you have arrived in Chile. The easiest way is to arrive on a tourist visa and then apply to have it converted to a temporary residency visa.


This visa is valid for one year and can be extended for an additional year. However, the Chilean immigration department warns that a third extension is prohibited. After two years, the visa holder must apply for permanent residency or leave the country.

If you are applying to have your visa renewed after the first year, you must be physically present in Chile and apply there. Your renewal will more than likely be refused if you apply from outside the country.

Police registration

After your temporary residency visa has been issued, you need to visit the Registro de Policía Investigaciones (PDI) to register. You will need to provide 3 passport photographs with your passport number and name. 

You will be issued with a Certificado de Registro de Visa that allows you to apply for a Chilean ID card (this document should be issued the same day).

Chilean identity card

With your document from the registration at PDI apply at the Servicio de Registro Civil  for your ID card. You will need a copy of your passport and visa and to pay the fee. Your ID will take about 2 weeks to arrive. If you are not in Santiago you can do this at any civil registration office.

Change of address

If you move while on your temporary visa, you need to notify the authorities of your change of address within 30 days of moving. The Certificado de Registro de Visa states on the back that you must report your change of address and how to report the change.

You also need to report your new address to the Departamento de Extranjería y Migración.

Further reading

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