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FAQ | Arrival and entry - Visa - Flight


How can I get a cheap flight?
From USA and Canada:
From the USA you can get direct flights to Santiago de Chile from Miami, Atlanta, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth and Los Angeles. The airlines offering those flights are American Airlines, Delta and LAN. If you are departing from Canada, AirCanada offers connecting flights from Toronto to Miami and Atlanta, then connecting with another airline for your flight to Santiago.

In addition, you can get the practical South America Airpass from LAN. On coupon basis you can fly all over Chile or South America (the coupon can be booked only in conjunction with your flight to Chile). A Chile-coupon costs 90-138 USD if you are traveling with LAN, otherwise it costs 107-165 USD.

From Europe:
The long flight (at least 16 hours) is not cheap, even for last-minute offers. You can choose from Lufthansa Frankfurt (change in Buenos Aires or Sao Paulo), Aerolíneas Argentinas (Buenos Aires), Air France (Paris), Iberia (Madrid) and of course LAN (direct flight via Madrid), the Chilean airline. In addition, you can get the practical South America Airpass from LAN. On coupon basis you can fly all over Chile or South America (the coupon can be booked only in conjunction with the overseas flight). A Chile-coupon costs 90-138 USD if you are traveling with LAN, otherwise it costs 107-165 USD.

Travelers departing from Zurich fly with Swiss Airlines directly to Santiago (stop in São Paulo). Travelers from Vienna, will have to switch in Frankfurt/M. An inexpensive, but long variant is going through an airport in the USA. U.S. airlines including American Airlines, Delta and United fly daily to Santiago de Chile.

The minimum price for a flight to Chile from Central Europe is about 700 €. Cheap special tickets can usually be transferred but only to higher fares.

To search for cheap flights, you can use our flight search engine for individual flights to Chile and South America.


How do I get from the airport to my destination?
For a small fee we can arrange a pick up from the airport. Alternatively, you can also travel by bus.


How can I get around in Chile?
Chile is covered with an excellent bus network down to the farthest village. Modern air-conditioned buses with toilets drive on the overland routes. In general, there are three different classes: salón cama, semi cama and clase turista. For long distances we recommend the classes salón cama or semi cama. The prices are relatively low. Trains only run between Santiago and Chillán (with refreshments).


Which flights are there within Chile?
Chile has a total of over 120 airports. As the country extends over a length of more than 4000 kilometers, the air traffic plays a crucial role. The majority of these airports are, however, small regional airports which offer domestic flights over the Chilean airlines LAN and Sky Airline and connect the various regions of Chile with each other. Some of the major passenger airports in Chile are the airport in Santiago de Chile, Puerto Montt and Punta Arenas. But also in Concepción and Iquique there are major passenger airports.

The airport in Santiago de Chile is not only an international hub, but also the home base of the Chilean airline LAN. From here flights go to South America, North America, the Easter Islands and Europe. The airlines LAN, Air France, Iberia, Swiss and Lufthansa all fly once a day, sometimes with a stopover in Sao Paulo, to European cities. The airports in Punta Arenas and Iquique only offer domestic flights and flights to South America, for example, to La Paz in Bolivia or to Rio Gallegos in Argentina. From Puerto Montt and Concepción there are many domestic flights, for example, to Santiago de Chile or to Balmaceda. As Chile's main airports are located in the largest, well developed cities and the flight network is comprehensive, you can reach all the beautiful holiday regions of Chile and South America quickly and comfortably. For example, the popular national park Torres del Paine is located just 140 kilometers from the city of Puerto Natales, which has its own airport, or 250 kilometers from Punta Arenas. Just as fast you come to the Valle de la Luna, which lies some 100 kilometers from the town of Calama which also has an airport.

You can benefit from making many flights within Chile as the Chilean airline LAN offers its passengers a frequent flyer program called LANPASS. If you fly with LAN or its partner airlines or make use of car rental partners, you will get air miles and may soon be free to fly a distance. On the flights with LAN you can take one bag up to eight kilograms as hand luggage and checked baggage of up to two times 23 kilograms. If you fly in business class, then 12 kg hand luggage and three bags of 23 kg each is possible.


Do I need a visa?
Citizens of the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Great Britain, South Africa as well as citizens of EU countries do not need a visa, just their passport. At the border they get a Tourist card (Tarjeta de turismo). This entitles you to stay in Chile for up to 90 days for any tourism activities. Through a short exit and re-entry (e.g. a weekend trip to Mendoza in Argentina), the tourist card will be automatically renewed for another 90 days. Many foreigners take advantage of this opportunity, which is not expressly recognized by law. Another possibility is a unique extension by the Chilean foreign authority Extranjería.
The copy of this tourist card must be kept until the departure. It is important to have a passport, which is valid for at least 6 months. It is not possible to enter with an identity card.
Alternatively, there are also special visas for interns and volunteers. A visa extension or the exit and re-entry every three months is not necessary then.

For practiced activities within Chile, e.g. an internship, summer job or volunteer work, a visa is officially required. Most foreigners, however, enter the country with a tourist card. To be sure, we recommend that you contact a Chilean Consulate in your country and discuss your particular case with the staff. You should estimate 6-8 weeks for the processing time of a visa.


How can I extend my tourist visa?
If you want to extend your three-month tourist visa (Tarjeta de Turismo), you can renew it through a short exit and re-entry for another 90 days. To connect the exit with a short trip, a visit of the nearby Mendoza in Argentina is recommended. Theoretically you can repeat this process as often as you like. This type of extending your visa is not regulated by law, neither allowed nor forbidden, but in general does not lead to any problems at customs. Alternatively you can request an extension for about 100 US dollars at the Departamento de Extranjería in Santiago (Agustinas 1235, Phone +56(0)2-5502469) or in other regions at the Gobernación Provincial.


What type of visa is required for an internship and / or Spanish course?
For language courses a tourist card is sufficient. For practiced activities within Chile, e.g. an internship, summer job or volunteer work, a visa is officially required. Most foreigners, however, enter the country with a tourist card. To be sure, we recommend that you contact a Chilean Consulate in your country and discuss your particular case with the staff. You should estimate 6-8 weeks for the processing time of a visa.
Another option is to apply for a work permit after entering with a tourist card (Authorization to work as a touirst (T-3) Extranjería).


What do I do if I lose my tourist visa?
Since the copy of the tourist card must be kept until departure, if this is lost you have to obtain a new card at the Policía Internacional in Santiago, General Borgoño 1052, Metro Calicanto, Mon-Fri 8.30-12.30 or in other regions at the Policía de Investigaciones.


What documents do I need for entry?
Tourists from most countries of the world will only need a passport which is valid for at least 6 months and will receive a three-month, extendable tourist card (Tarjeta de Turismo).
In some cases, proof of sufficient financial resources (e.g. credit card or bank statement) as well as confirmation of your return or onward travel (e.g. return flight ticket) may be required at the check-in counter. Therefore we recommend  always to book your return flight together with your outward flight.


Where can I apply for a visa (not a tourist visa)?
Before beginning your trip you can apply for a visa at a Chilean embassy or consulate in your country. You should expect a processing time of 8-10 weeks. More information about the different types of visas can be found on the website of the Chilean immigration office (Extranjería). Here you can also find forms to apply for a visa for a longer stay, if you are already in Chile. The processing time for this is approximately 3-6 months. For a personal consultation you can get in contact with:

Intendencia de Santiago
Departamento de Extranjería
San Antonio 580 piso 2
Santiago Centro
Phone: 600-626-4222
Opening times: Mon-Fri 8:30-14:00


What types of visas are there?
In the event that you would like to stay longer than three months in Chile and / or carry out paid work, there are different types of visas. Detailed information about the types of visas can be found on the website of Chilean Consulates. Below we have listed and briefly explained the main types of visas:

  • Visa Estudiante: 
    Student visa without a work permit, limited to the period of your study abroad
  • Visa Sujeto a Contrato: 
    Tied to an employment contract with a Chilean employer
  • Visa Temporaria: 
    Temporary visa (usually 1 year) for holders of a professional title. This visa is not tied to a specific employer. Prerequisite is the recognition of a professional title.
  • Permanencia Definitiva: 
    Permanent visa for foreigners. Prerequisite is the stay of two years with a temporary visa in Chile and the proof that costs for living can be covered.

 

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