Tourist Visa Issue

All things related to Moving to Chile, tips, tricks, FAQS. Here is where to exchange information between those that have already moved and those planning to move to Chile so you do not need to learn the hard way. Please also check Living in Chile forum for related information.
Brandonio
Rank: Chile Forum Tourist
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 1:54 pm

Tourist Visa Issue

Post by Brandonio » Mon May 23, 2011 2:32 pm

Hello,

Just wondering if anybody has had a similar problem to this...I am a UK citizen.

I have been in and out of Chile on a tourist visa 4 times - December '09, October '10, January '11 and March '11. The last time I went out (Peru border - March '11) and came back in, at first they wouldn't give me another 90 day tourist visa. They wanted to know why I have gone in and out the country so much, why I am not working...etc...how I can support myself?

After half-hour explaining in my broken spanish and being insulted by the PDI guy, I explained that I have good intentions here of learning Spanish and finding work, I also have a girlfriend they let me through but they said only for 3 months more. They asked me to show them the funds I have available to me.

Now there isn't anything on my passport or tourist visa that says specifically that I can't do the in and out trick again but I am a bit scared of doing it and them coming down heavy on me. What will actually happen in this situation? I just have to stay in Peru...how long do I have to wait until I can go back to Chile again.

My visa expires end of June. I am looking for work at the moment here, mainly teaching English. I live in a flat in Arica under my girlfriend's name. The ideal situation is to find a job offer and apply for work visa (do they really cost something like 800usd?) would a school/uni pay for this do you think...probably not hey.

The other thing is of course possibly setting up some sort of business here but to do that in Chile you need to be a citizen so you can open a Chilean bank account...is that right?

Cheers for any advice/stories offered...

Adam

rachelmarama
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Antofagasta, Chile

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by rachelmarama » Mon May 23, 2011 10:26 pm

Hey,
Another forum member Morrissey the 23rd had the same issue a while back.
http://www.allchile.net/chileforum/topi ... t=scotsman

It doesn't seem to have been a problem for others down the line who go to Mendoza for the weekend, so maybe it's just an Arica-Tacna thing. I'm in Antofagasta and did Visa runs to Bolivia and didn't have any issues at all, and I had tourist visas for 18 months. I know it's not nearly as convenient to go to La Paz but it might be an option as it's a different border?

I work online, making websites & get an income from that. You could always tell the PDI guys something vague like that, that you have income via the UK?

And yes, the visa is REALLY expensive for UK citizens. I have a UK passport as well as an NZ one and checked out prices on both. Unfortunately Chile has a different price for each country which I think is based on what it costs a Chilean to get a visa in that country (although I could be wrong).

rachelmarama
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 235
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 11:23 pm
Location: Antofagasta, Chile

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by rachelmarama » Mon May 23, 2011 10:32 pm

oh, and Bank Account:
You need permanent residency or a good pituto AND proof of Chilean income. Eg a work contract plus Permanent Residency. This can vary from person to person, bank to bank, but on a Tourist Visa .... nope. However, you don't need a Bank Account to start a business. You will need a lawyer and accountant though, to work out what TYPE of business and tax, boletas, facturas etc etc. You'll probably need a Chilean business partner. My advice tells me you don't need residency to do this, but like all other advice on this forum and in Chile, double and triple check.

User avatar
audeo13
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 12:04 am
Location: Quinta región
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by audeo13 » Tue May 24, 2011 6:34 pm

FWIW, my boyfriend and I have been here since fall of 2009. I'm Chilean Canadian and he's only Canadian, so we do a border run every 3 to 6 months. We always cross via Mendoza and were considering the Arica-Tacna run this time around to explore a bit more but I'm thinking maybe not then. Since the earthquake last year, we've only gone on border runs every six months. When we hit the 3 month mark, we just go get a prorroga (visa extension) which costs about $50 000 pesos, give or take. You qualify for one visa extension per entry to the country. We've never been hassled (however we have only ever crossed to Mendoza, which seems to have less issues) but we also never list ourselves as unemployed. I'm a web designer and although my boyfriend is not, I list his status as a web designer as well. Technically, he's a semi-professional gambler and makes his earning via online poker and sports betting but I figure that will create more questions than web design :D They never ask us anything.

So you might consider spending a bit more and crossing through Mendoza. Something to consider, no?

Something of note: we usually get our visa extension through the extranjeria in Llolleo (Valpo region, San Antonio province) and the lady there is very nice. This time around she was out on sick leave for the day, so the big boss was handling everything. She commented that we lived by extensions and visa runs and I said yes. She didn't bat an eye, just nodded and said have fun.

That being said, last time I spoke with the usual lady that handles this, she asked me why I didn't just apply for a temporary visa for my boyfriend. Apparently because I am a Chilean citizen, I can apply for his temporary visa (and through there permanent residency) simply because we live together and are common-law. I would need to show some proof of income (for me she said savings would suffice and the fact that I have property in my name here) but she said it was nothing overly excessive and of course he would need to show some savings, etc. She said an official letter from the bank in Canada would be fine. She also told me that if I got all the paperwork together, she would go over everything with me and submit it. She was very specific in stating there was no charge for her help, that this is a service the extranjeria offered and so no one should be charging me for this. Honestly, we probably should have gone this route a while back, but we're lazy/procrastinators/ambivalent/really enjoy Mendoza/not sure how long we're in Chile for/shocked into inaction by an actually helpful government official in Chile.... take your pick.

Anyhow, I thought I would throw all that out there for edification purposes. I cannot verify the accuracy of what I've been told, I can only verify that it was told to me by an official of the extranjeria. I should also mention the that extranjeria in Llolleo is shockingly easy to deal with and we rarely encounter huge line-ups or anything like that, so YMMV depending on where you go. We got a Visa extension in Santiago once and it took close 4 hours. We went a couple weeks ago to Llolleo and it took about an hour or so. That included walking to the bank to pay for said extension and then going back to hand in the receipt and get the actual extension stamp.

Hope that helps someone! Cheers.

*edit: Bolded admonition pertaining to information provided by gov't official. No guarantee that this is true or correct in any way, so DYODD.
Does anyone want a very sweet little puppy, she's vaccinated and fixed...

http://www.refinedhedonist.com

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 21985
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by admin » Tue May 24, 2011 6:58 pm

audeo13, we have never heard of immigration being approved based on boyfriend/girlfriend relationship. As much as the lady might want to help, the decision is made by Santiago main office and there is no regulation permitting this that I have ever heard about. Very, very high probability that it will be reject because he would not qualify as a dependent, if he did not already qualify on his own (i.e. he has his own periodic income source, or work contract). Married people have to submit legalized marriage licenses to qualify, kids need legalized birth certificates to qualify, so how do you prove official title to your boyfriend (sure he will love that)?
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

User avatar
audeo13
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 220
Joined: Fri May 01, 2009 12:04 am
Location: Quinta región
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by audeo13 » Tue May 24, 2011 7:04 pm

Yup well aware of all that which is why we've never bothered following up on it (well and really we just don't care) and also why I inserted the caveat that I could not verify the accuracy of said information, only that it had been given by a government official. Most officials I've dealt with here in Chile like to make rules up as they go on if they're unsure, so not shocked. Just thought someone might find it interesting. Will bold the caveat though ;)
Does anyone want a very sweet little puppy, she's vaccinated and fixed...

http://www.refinedhedonist.com

User avatar
eeuunikkeiexpat
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 8187
Joined: Fri Sep 01, 2006 1:38 am
Location: Megalith of unknown origin near my digs, south V Region coast

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Tue May 24, 2011 9:59 pm

I can back up audeo13 at least on the Llolleo Extranjería workers. I was also offered tons of help and to just bring in the paperwork and they would tell me if passed muster. YMMV.
There are two ways to be fooled.

One is to believe what isn't true;

the other is to refuse to believe what is true.

- Søren Kierkegaard

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 21985
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by admin » Tue May 24, 2011 10:30 pm

If you can get your boyfriend registered and some papers from the local AKC chapter, and have them legalized, it might work. 8_0 :shock:
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 21985
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by admin » Tue May 24, 2011 10:35 pm

Yea, the boyfriend or girlfriend link to residency seems a bit fuzzy. Can you just imagine what a mess that would be, considering how loose the society can be? One date, and your in.

We could just turn the forum in to a online match making site, so all the gringos could get residency.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 21985
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by admin » Tue May 24, 2011 10:40 pm

By the way, that is far from the strangest things we have ever heard from people at the immigration offices around the country. Not by a long shot. That even sounds downright reasonable, compared to some of the zingers we get. We spend a lot of time filing petitions with immigration to have all kinds of silly request overturned that are made by people at the bottom of the bureaucratic totem pole in the immigration offices, simply because they either do not know the regulations (they seem to miss the memo), they are making up things as they go along, or they simply don't want to do something and figure you might at least go away for a while if you are asked to file some impossible piece of paper.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

User avatar
gato
Rank: Chile Forum Citizen
Posts: 352
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 1:40 pm
Location: IX Región de la Araucanía

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by gato » Tue May 24, 2011 10:54 pm

admin wrote:By the way, that is far from the strangest things we have ever heard from people at the immigration offices around the country.
Well, here is what I'd add. Seems to be the issue of how much power to make decisions with respect to, say, "not entirely clear" visa cases each [very small and nice] local office has (in comparison to the Santiago). Looks like in certain cases the local "lady" could possibly make small "adjustments" to the decisions made in Santiago. In case, say, there is some degree of "freedom" in the final resolution made by the Santiago office. Like, when it doesn't say "yes" or "no" clearly, but it could say something as, "visa approved, but let the applicant do this or that". Kind of a "conditional approval". So here the local "lady" would have all power to decide: how exactly the applicant must do "this or that".
The time that you spend reading this sentence could be employed to better advantage in almost any other way.

User avatar
admin
Site Admin
Posts: 21985
Joined: Sat Aug 26, 2006 11:02 pm
Location: Frutillar, Chile
Contact:

Re: Tourist Visa Issue

Post by admin » Tue May 24, 2011 10:57 pm

One of the most common reasons we get for initial application rejection from immigration these days is that we need to legalize document x, y, or z in the home country. The problem is that we know that already, and the document was provided properly legalized in the folder with the application, and it is fully translated and explained. Along with things like we need to have documents "officially" translated, that do not need to be translated according to regulations, even though we provide translations of them anyway as a curtsy (that they obviously did not read).

We have a rather extensive list of cases with clear evidence that Santiago never even opened the application packet.

The only thing we can conclude is that it is a standard procedure by the people reviewing the files in Santiago to reject applications for failure to provide something without even looking at the file, as a way of getting rid of their own work of reviewing and processing files. Perhaps on a wholesale level. If they simply issue a blanket rejection, it takes weeks or months for it to work its way back down to the regional office, and then back up. Either the person really needs to provide the document (which in some cases can take months to obtain from outside the country), or a petition needs to be filed for why they do not. In any case, they have washed their hands of the case file for the time being until the file comes back up the chain.

One instance we had of this which really shows they do this regularly, was that they came back with a request to legalize a document for an application that had absolutely no bearing on the granting of immigration or not. It was just a supporting document included in the application for informational purposes. They simply randomly picked a document in the folder, and declared it had to be legalized. The piece of paper they picked really had nothing to do with anything, but would easily take months to legalize.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

Post Reply