Chile is a high income country, with a GDP that compares to that of Poland or Turkey, and it has seen a steady increase in economic growth over the last several years. Larger numbers of immigrants are heading there, and they want to know: how can we work in Chile?
First, you’ll need to apply for a Chilean work permit. There are two types of work visas. The first is the visa subject to contract, and the other is the working holiday visa. The visa subject to contract is exactly what you might expect – a visa that relies entirely on your contract with your Chilean employer. This visa is valid for two years and can continue to be renewed for another two years at a time. The working holiday visa allows workers from other countries to travel/study/work in Chile for a year or less. These applicants can only be from certain countries and must be between the ages of 18 and 30, respectively.
Choose your work permit and supply the proper paperwork to be considered for either of these visas. Here are the documents you’ll need to work in Chile:
- A letter from your employer to the consul explaining your hiring
- A notarized work contract
- A degree certificate (if applicable to job specifications)
- A police clearance report
- A medical certificate showing you’ve had your vaccinations
- A valid passport & photocopy of passport
- Four passport-style photographs with your full name written on the back
Not only will you have to meet these requirements, your employer will also have to meet certain stipulations. The company must:
- Be incorporated in Chile
- Have a Chilean address
- Be able to prove that your work will be essential to the development of Chile
You and your employer should both know that the work contract will be expected to include the following information:
- Income tax clause: the employer will ensure that income tax is paid on the applicant’s salary
- The employer must pay return travel ticket fares if the employee and family members must return home
- Contingency regime clause: the employer accepts responsibility for ensuring payments to the Chilean health, social security, and pension programs
- Travel clause – establishing that the employer will pay the worker and the members of the workers family for the duration of the contract. This will be in effect until either the worker (and family, if applicable) leaves the country, or gains permanent residency
- Functions or tasks that will be performed in Chile
- Duration of the contract
- Working schedule and place where work will be performed
- Name, address, and nationality of the employer and the worker
According to Chilean law, the hiring of foreign-born workers is subject to inspection. This inspection is based on the regulations of the Foreign Legalization Service, which is derived from the Ministry of Labor, and is carried out by the Department of Foreign Legalization and Migration. It is carried out to ensure that workers are being treated as they should, according to the Work Directorate, which exists to protect all workers without exception. This means that it applies to both Chilean and foreign-born citizens looking to work in Chile.
There are also certain situations in which the applicant could be granted the work permit for free, or without a written contract. This typically applies to artists, scientists, teachers, writers, etc. It is for those who are believed to have special relevance to the cultural atmosphere or for people performing highly prestigious jobs. This also applies if the worker in Chile is sponsored by recognized public or private institutions, and if the work performed is of a charitable nature.
This process isn’t supposed to be quick and simple, so be prepared to have a lot of patience. Companies in Chile are hesitant to hire individuals who don’t already have work visas, and work visas require you to already have a work contract. See how that could get tough? Chile, however, is a country in which personal relationships mean a great deal, so if you have friends in the country, or pitutos, they can help you get your foot in the door in new companies.
A new life abroad working in Chile has a lot to offer the everyday expat. Whether you’re looking to retire, or just looking for a change of environment, Chile could have just what you’re looking for. Just make sure that if you’re planning on working in this country, you’re planning ahead enough to get through this process. Visas from this country typically take about four weeks for approval, so plan accordingly.
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