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CHILE – New Flexible Work Visa Launched

The Chilean government has introduced a new work visa (“visa temporaria por motivos laborales”) which offers more flexibility for employees than the existing Work Contract Visa (“visa sujeta a contrato”).

What are the Differences?

The new visa differs from the existing Work Contract Visa, mostly to the benefit of the foreign national employee.

For the Employee

Flexibility

  • The new Temporary Visa for Work Purposes allows the employee to work for multiple employers, and to change jobs without any additional cost and without obtaining a new visa;
  • The Work Contract Visa only allows work for one employer, changing jobs carries an additional fee, and the visa becomes invalid when the work contract ends.

Permitted Activities

  • The new visa allows the holder to work, study, start a business or offer freelance services;
  • The existing Work Contract Visa only allows work as set out in the local contract.

Permanent Residence

  • A holder of the new visa is entitled to apply for permanent residence after only one year in Chile;
  • A Work Contract Visa holder must have resided in Chile for two years before applying for permanent residence.

Application Process

The new work visa can only be obtained post-arrival, in Chile, while the existing Work Contract Visa can be obtained either at a Chilean consulate abroad or in Chile.

For the Employer

  • The main advantage of the new visa for the employer is that they are not liable for repatriation costs when the contract with the employee ends. They are also not required to report the termination of the contract to the authorities.
  • The Work Contract Visa requires the employer to pay the repatriation costs of the foreign national. The employer also risks being fined if the termination of the employment contract with the foreign national is not reported.

Action Items

  • Employers considering sending foreign nationals to Chile should consult with their immigration provider about which is the most suitable work visa for their needs.

This news alert was prepared using information provided by Employee Mobility Solutions and ContactoChile.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.