Essential Employment Paperwork in Chile


Once you have made the decision to move to and be employed in Chile, you need to take care of the necessary paperwork. It's either an expat arrives under a tourist visa and apply for a temporary residence permit or arrange for a work visa before arrival in Chile.

Foreign nationals who don't have a work visa before entering Chile will be given a Tarjetas de Turismo (Tourist card) which has a validity of 90 days. The best option for expats who are on a tourist visa/card is to obtain a Special Work Card which will allow them to work on a tourist visa. To acquire this, the applicant must present an employment contract stating his/her base pay (there is a required basic pay of about $800) and the duration of employment. The permit is renewable for as long as the Tourist Card is valid. Expatriates who wish to work in Chile for a longer period are best to apply for a work visa.

Visa Sujeto a Contrato or Subject to Contract Visa

The Subject to Contract visa is the work visa commonly applied for by those who are seeking for long-term employment in Chile. A copy of the employment contract must be presented during the application whereas the required base pay is lower at $160. This type of permit is valid for two years and can be renewed, but only for as long as the expat has a binding employment contract. At the end of the 30-day grace period, after the contract expires, the holder must either leave the country or have secured a new employer.  Foreign assignees can apply for a subject to contract visa at the Chilean Embassy/Consulate in their countries of origin along by passing the documents listed below:

  • A letter from the employer addressed to the Consul justifying the reason for hiring the applicant
  • Notarised (translated, if applicable) work contract
  • Police clearance certificates
  • Medical Certificate
  • Four Passport-sized photos
  • Duly signed application form

Work Contract

Keep in mind that the work contract must be signed before a Notary in Chile, by the employer or employee. It should also clearly indicate the name, nationality and address of the employer and the expatriate along with the working days and location where the job will be performed. Expats should also be mindful of several clauses that should be included in the contract such as:

  • It is the obligation of the employer to shoulder the cost for return tickets of the employee and family members
  • The employer is responsible for arranging the payments to the employee’s pension and health system in Chile or abroad
  • The employer should ensure that income tax is paid/deducted from the salary of the employee