U.S. citizens entering Chile must have a valid passport. U.S. citizens traveling to Chile for recreation, tourism, business, or academic conferences do not need to obtain a visa prior to their arrival in Chile. A Tourist Card will be issued for a stay of up to 90 days. An extension of stay for another 90 days is possible upon payment of an extension fee at the Chilean Immigration Office located at Matucana 1223, Santiago; telephone 600 486 3000 and +56-2-3239-3100. The Tourist Card must be surrendered upon departure. Failure to submit this card upon departure may result in delays until a replacement is obtained. If lost or stolen, the Tourist Card must be replaced by the International Police (website is in Spanish only) at their nearest headquarters or at the international airport prior to departure.
If you have stayed in Chile for more than the allowed time period, you will not be allowed to leave the country without paying a fine. This fine cannot be paid at the airport, so you should pay it before attempting to depart Chile. To pay the fine prior to your departure, you should go to the Departamento de Extranjería and make an autodenuncia or complaint against yourself in the Sanciones office. Upon doing this, you will be told how much the fine will be, and once you pay it, you can depart Chile. If you attempt to depart Chile without paying the fine, your passport will be confiscated by the airport police, and they will give you directions on how to pay the fine. This process involves going to multiple Chilean government offices, first to find out how much the fine is, then to pay the fine, next to show that you have paid the fine, so that you can get a document indicating your passport should be returned, and lastly, to retrieve your passport. The entire process may take from several days to three weeks.
All people traveling on official business in possession of an official or diplomatic passport must obtain a visa at a Chilean Embassy or Consulate before traveling to or through Chile. If you hold an official or diplomatic passport and are traveling for tourism or personal reasons, you should obtain a tourist passport to present upon arrival in Chile as the authorities will not grant you a tourist visa or Tourist Card without one. You will not be allowed to enter Chile as a tourist using your Diplomatic passport.
Ensure that you have appropriate documentation to enter Chile. U.S. passports must be in good condition and valid for the period of stay. The U.S. Embassy cannot secure entry on your behalf if you arrive without a valid U.S. passport, with a passport that is damaged or mutilated, or if you arrive without a visa when one is required.
For up-to-date information on visa requirements, visit the website of the Embassy of Chile in Washington, D.C.
Chile imposes severe restrictions on the importation of agricultural products. Visit the Ministry of Agriculture website (Spanish only:http://www.sag.gob.cl/) for current guidelines. You must declare all agricultural items, including fruit provided on incoming flights and packaged products. If you fail to declare food items, you may be detained and fined a significant amount. For further information regarding Chilean customs regulations, visit the National Customs Service website.
For general information regarding customs, please read our Customs information page.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Chile.
Entry / Exit Requirements for Minors
In an effort to prevent international child abduction, Chile has put in place strict requirements for the entry/exit of minors under the age of 18. Even when the minor is traveling with both parents, the parents will be required to show evidence of their relationship to the child when departing the country. Please carry an original, apostillized or authenticated birth certificate.
Minors who are present in Chile on a visa category other than tourist will always be required to submit a written notarized authorization from any non-traveling parent(s) and a birth certificate at the time of departure. In Chile, the authorization can be executed before a local notary public. If the non-traveling parent(s) is in the United States, the written authorization can be notarized and executed directly at the Chilean Embassy or Consulate. If the non-traveling parent is in the United States and is unable to visit the Chilean Embassy or a Chilean Consulate, the authorization can be executed by a U.S. notary. However, an authorization executed by a U.S. notary must be authenticated to be valid in Chile. This means that after the document is notarized, it must be apostillized in order to be valid for legal use outside of the U.S. Depending on the state, this may be a lengthy process and should be commenced well in advance of travel. In August 30, 2016 The Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents (Apostille Convention) has been in force in Chile. As a result, U.S. public documents for use in Chile are no longer subject to the old legalization process. U.S. state-issued documents may be apostillized by the appropriate U.S. state competent authorities, a list of those authorities may be found here. Federal documents may be apostillized by the Office of Authentications at the U.S. Department of State’s Office of Authentications. Once an Apostille is obtained, no other form of authentication may be required.
A minor entering Chile as a tourist will generally not be required to present a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent(s) at the time of departure if the minor leaves with the same adult companion with whom the minor entered Chile. The minor’s immigration record will be annotated to record the name of the adult(s) with him or her at the time of entering the country. However, we recommend traveling with a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent in order to avoid misunderstandings and ensure a smooth exit out of the country. On occasion, a parent traveling with their minor child for tourism purposes has encountered difficulty exiting the country because they did not possess a notarized statement from the non-traveling parent. Minors departing alone or in the company of another party are required to submit a written notarized authorization from the non-traveling parent(s) and birth certificate. If the authorization is notarized outside of Chile, it must be authenticated following the steps in the paragraph above.
The written notarized authorization should be in Spanish and include the following: 1) the full name of the custodial and/or non-custodial parents(s) or legal guardians; 2) the parents’ full address; 3) the full name of the child; 4) the child’s date of birth, place of birth, passport number and date of issuance; 5) full name and passport details of the person accompanying the minor; 6) dates of travel, including arrival and departure information; 7) address where the minor will reside; and 8) explicit authorization that a minor can travel alone or in the company of another person.
The U.S. Embassy is unable to assist with requests for assistance in resolving entry and exit issues for U.S. citizens. The Chilean Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides detailed information about requirements for children traveling into and out of Chile.
Entry/Departure Requirements for U.S. Citizens Born in Chile
U.S. citizens who also have Chilean citizenship (acquired by virtue of being born in Chile or otherwise) are required to enter and depart Chile using a Chilean passport. This law applies to all Chilean citizens, even if they have acquired U.S. Citizenship, and even if they have lived in the United States for most of their lives.
If you were born in Chile and arrive in Chile on a U.S. passport, the Chilean immigration officer will check the Chilean Civil Registry and Identification Service database to determine if you maintain Chilean nationality. If the database reveals that you are a Chilean citizen, you will be admitted into the country, but will be required to obtain a Chilean passport to depart the country. Please note, the mere act of acquiring U.S. citizenship does not cause you to lose your Chilean citizenship.
If you suspect you may have Chilean nationality, we recommend before traveling to Chile you contact a Chilean consulate to determine if you maintain Chilean nationality. If you are a Chilean citizen, we recommend you obtain a Chilean passport before leaving the United States to prevent any delays in your return trip or onward travel. You may also obtain a Chilean passport after arriving in Chile through the Chilean Civil Registry and Identification Service, but the process can take up to two weeks. Be prepared to present a national identification number – R.U.N.
Under the Chilean Constitution, children of Chilean Citizens acquire citizenship at birth. Chilean parents of U.S. citizen children should contact the Chilean Embassy or Consulate in the United States to determine if the child is required to enter and depart Chile with a Chilean passport. Be aware that all minors are subject to Chile’s requirements for travel of minors, which are quite rigorous.
If a Chilean citizen formally renounces citizenship, he/she is no longer required to enter and leave the country on a Chilean passport. The process to renounce citizenship is complex and may take longer than obtaining a valid passport.
Entry / Exit Requirements for Dual Nationals
Dual U.S./Chilean nationals must enter and exit Chile using their Chilean passports, and they must enter and exit the United States using their U.S. passports. A naturalization certificate is not a valid travel document. The Government of Chile considers all persons born in Chile to be citizens, even if they have since acquired U.S. citizenship. The Embassy has seen cases of U.S. citizen children, born in the United States to Chilean parents, who entered Chile on U.S. passports, being required by Chilean authorities to obtain Chilean passports in order to leave the country. This generally occurs when the child overstays the 90-day tourist entry period. Contact a Chilean Embassy or Consulate for more information. The U.S. Embassy cannot intervene if Chilean officials prevent a dual citizen from departing Chile due to lack of a Chilean passport.