Citizens of the following countries may be exempted from the tourist visa requirement:
- Up to 90 days: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Guatemala, Haiti, South Africa, Honduras, Hong Kong, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.
- Up to 60 days: Grenada, Greece, Indonesia and Peru.
- Up to 30 days: Belize, Bolivia, Jamaica, Malaysia and Singapore.
- Up to 21 days: Dominique.
Citizens of other nationalities, including some African and Asian nationalities, cannot enter Chile without applying for a special visa at a Chilean consulate before entry.
Citizens of three countries must pay a “reciprocity fee” of varying amounts. The fee is USD 132 for Canadian citizens, USD 61 for Australian citizens and USD 15 for Mexican citizens. This amount is the same as that country charges for entry visas for Chilean citizens. This fee applies only to tourists entering by air, and the one-time fee is valid for the life of the passport. Tourists must bring cash or a credit card to pay the fee. Citizens of other countries, such as the UK, do not have to pay the fee.
For more information on the tourist visa, see the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
For consular information, please visit the website of the Chilean Embassy in the United States or the Chilean Embassy in the United Kingdom.
Entry and exit procedures
When entering Chile, you will be processed at immigration by the International Police, a division of the Chilean Investigative Police (Policía de Investigaciones de Chile, or PDI). The actual procedure at immigration is for the officer to scan your passport, ask you questions about the purpose of your visit and your situation in Chile, and then print out a receipt that includes your passport information, your destination in Chile and a large matrix barcode. Keep this receipt safe: it is the current equivalent of the old tourist card form. You must present it to the international police when you leave Chile and you will not be allowed to leave without it. Along with your passport, it also exempts you from the 19% accommodation tax at all hotels, which makes it quite expensive to lose.
When you arrive by plane, you must then go to baggage claim. You will need to complete a customs declaration form (which will be given to you in flight) and undergo a customs check. Whether or not you have anything to declare, all bags on all international arrivals are checked by X-ray machines at airport customs posts.
Flights from Chile are subject to an airport tax of USD 30 or the equivalent in Chilean pesos for flights over 500 km, which is usually included in the ticket price. For domestic flights, the airport tax depends on the distance, with distances of less than 270 km costing CLP 1,969 and longer distances CLP 4,992; in both cases it is also included in the ticket price.
As in most countries, Chile has immigration checkpoints at airports for arriving and departing international passengers. The total duration of the immigration check (not including additional time for customs for arriving flights or security check for departing flights) is usually at least 30 minutes to an hour. For this reason, some airlines ask passengers departing from Chile on international flights to check in two hours before departure time to allow sufficient time for immigration and security clearance.
Chile is a geographically isolated country, separated from its neighbours by desert, mountains and sea. This protects it from many of the pests and diseases that can affect agriculture, one of the country’s biggest economic sources. For this reason, the import of certain fresh, perishable or wooden goods (e.g. meat products, fruit and vegetables, honey, untreated wood, etc.) may be restricted or even prohibited. On arrival, you must declare on the customs declaration form that you are not carrying restricted goods. If you are, declare it and show the form to the SAG officials at the customs checkpoint.
Prior to 30 August 2016, Chile was not a signatory to the Hague Apostille Convention, which meant that all documents, with the exception of passports, were considered to have no legal value in Chile unless legalised by a foreign Chilean consulate or embassy prior to entry into Chile. Since the entry into force of the Convention in Chile, notarisation or certification with an apostille is sufficient for foreign documents to be accepted as legally binding in Chile.
Remember that Chile is a centralised country (a ‘unitary state’ in political science jargon), so the laws remain the same regardless of the region.