How to apply for a Chilean visa within Chile

If you are in Chile under a tourist visa and you want to stay longer and become a resident for a short term (temporary visa) or long term (permanent residency or citizenship), you can still do it within Chile, without having to leave the country.
 
There’s a lot of confusion on this topic, because many believe a new Immigration Act has already been approved. Well, that’s not the case.
The truth is that there’s a bill currently being discussed at the Senate, which will create a new Immigration Act (“Ley de Migración y Extranjería”) and which will prohibit foreigners to switch from tourist visa to a residency visa within Chile, having to leave the country and apply for a residency visa through a Chilean Consulate.
 
The bill has already been approved by the Chamber of Deputies and “in general” by the Senate. The bill will be discussed by several commissions on the Senate, article by article, and will likely suffer changes. And even when it’s approved it won’t have effect before the Regulation (“Reglamento”) is drafted and published by the Ministry of the Interior (they will have up to a year to do it).
So, that being said, you can still apply for a residency visa within Chile, according to article 102 of the Immigration Regulation (“Reglamento de Extranjería”) which states:
“(…) Tourists may change their status for the ones of resident or official resident (…)”
 
In Spanish:
“(…) Los turistas podrán solicitar el cambio de su calidad por la de residente o residente oficial (…)”.
 

How to apply for a Chilean Visa within the Metropolitan Region (“Región Metropolitana”)

You need to put the application form (duly filled and signed) and the documentation required for the visa you are applying for inside an envelope and send it by certified letter to:
 
CLASIFICADOR Nº8
CORREO CENTRAL
SANTIAGO
 
You will receive a receipt from Correos. Save it (with your life).
You are not allowed to work after you submit your application.
 
If you checked the box “Deseo obtener permiso para trabajar con visa en trámite” (“I want to obtain a permission to work while my visa is being processed”), you will have to wait around 120 days after the submission (time when the application is registered on Extranjería’s system) to then get the permission to start working, and only after you pay for it and collect it from Extranjería.
 
If you didn’t check that box (“Deseo obtener permiso para trabajar con visa en trámite”):
  • You will have to apply for a permission to work (online) after your application is received (https://tramites.extranjeria.gob.cl); OR,
  • You will have to wait until your visa is approved, paid and stamped on your passport to start working.

How to apply for a Chilean Visa within the Antofagasta Region

You need to put the application form – V5 (duly filled and signed) and the documentation required for the visa you are applying for inside an envelope and send it by certified letter to:
 
SEÑORES:
SOLICITUD DE RESIDENCIA
CLASIFICADOR Nº 31
CORREO ANTOFAGASTA
ANTOFAGASTA
 
You will receive a receipt from Correos. Save it (with your life).
You are not allowed to work after you submit your application. 
 
If you checked the box “Deseo obtener permiso para trabajar con visa en trámite” (“I want to obtain a permission to work while my visa is being processed”), you will have to wait around 120 days after the submission (time when the application is registered on Extranjería’s system) to then get the permission to start working, and only after you pay for it and collect it from Extranjería.
 
If you didn’t check that box (“Deseo obtener permiso para trabajar con visa en trámite”):
  • You will have to apply for a permission to work after your application is received; OR,
  • You will have to wait until your visa is approved, paid and stamped on your passport to start working.

How to apply for a visa from outside the Metropolitan Region and Antofagasta Region (Gobernaciones Provinciales)

You need to make an appointment online for the process named “Ingreso de Solicitud de Residencia (puede obtener permiso de trabajo)” on https://reservahora.extranjeria.gob.cl/ingreso:
ingreso de solicitud de residencia gobernaciones provinciales departamento de extranjeria y migracion ingles chile waiting list

If there are no slots available, you need to register on the waiting list (“asignación automatizada de citas”) and you will be notified by e-mail when the appointment is confirmed: 

ingresar al sistema de asignación automatizada de citas departamento de extranjería y migración chile inglés waiting list

The day of the appointment you will have to concur to the Gobernación Provincial you selected with your passport and the documents required for the type of visa you are going to apply for. Also, don’t forget to print the confirmation e-mail and take it with you the day of the appointment.

After you apply, you will receive a receipt from Extranjería, which will be the proof that your visa is being processed and also which will allow you to work during the date of the application and the date of the approval.

Sources

Application form for the Antofagasta Region (V5): https://www.extranjeria.gob.cl/media/2019/02/solicitudCORREOANTOFAGASTA2017.pdf
Check the status of the bill online: http://www.senado.cl/appsenado/templates/tramitacion/index.php?boletin_ini=8970-06
Current Immigration Regulation (Reglamento de Extranjería): https://www.leychile.cl/Navegar?idNorma=14516

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