The Chilean National Immigration Service (Servicio Nacional de Migraciones) is currently approving Special Work Permit for Tourists requests for a longer period than the usual 30 consecutive days. Under the new immigration law1 (for related coverage, see GMS Flash Alert 2022-038, February 23, 2022), the National Immigration Service has interpreted that these work permits can also be requested for the total period indicated on the Tourist Card, which can be for up to 90 consecutive days.


By allowing the possibility of requesting this work permit for a longer period than the one that was previously allowed, a decrease in the number of consecutive renewal requests should be expected, making coming to, working in, and staying in Chile more convenient.  For the time being, this measure may entail a reduction in the cost for business travelers’ assignments, as the need for multiple work permit renewals may no longer be necessary. On the other hand, it is possible that government fees for extended work permits may increase in the future, in proportion to the number of days a permit is requested. 


As a general rule, foreign nationals with a tourist status may stay in the country for up to 90 days.  A 90-day extension may also be requested to the National Immigration Service.

Typically, tourists may not engage in remunerated activities in Chile.  As an exception, those who are required to perform specific and sporadic activities that result in direct remuneration or economic profits in Chile or abroad may request authorization to the National Immigration Service to carry out such activities.  Therefore, to engage in remunerated activities in Chile while being a tourist, a work permit must be obtained.


This fluid situation is not stipulated in statute; but ambiguity in the existing legislation has created room for this practice.  So, even though the new Chilean immigration legislation does not specify that these work permits may be granted for up to ninety days, it does not prohibit the possibility either.  Thus, the practice of the National Immigration Service has shifted with the implementation of this new legislation and is now allowing requests for a longer time-period.

It is yet unclear, however, how this change in practice will affect the government fee that the National Immigration Service charges for each request.2  At the present time, the government fee structure for immigration processes in Chile is solely based on nationality. However, given the current possibility of requesting special work permit for tourists with different length periods, we cannot dismiss the possibility that this structure will be changed in the future to adapt it in accordance to the length of the work permit request. 


1  Chile Immigration Law. Library of the National Congress, Law No. 21.325 (2021, April 20th). Link in Spanish.

2  National Immigration Service (2023, March 2nd). Tariffs. Link in Spanish.

* Please note the KPMG International member firm in the United States does not provide immigration or labor law services. However, KPMG Law LLP in Canada can assist clients with U.S. immigration matters.


The information contained in this newsletter was submitted by the KPMG International member firm in Chile.


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