Nonimmigrant Visas

U.S. Embassy Santiago began a phased resumption of visa services on November 2, 2020. Limited visa processing resumed for all visa classes except B1/B2 visitors for tourism/business. We continue to provide emergency and mission-critical visa services for all visa classes as resources and local conditions allow. While the Embassy aims to process cases as soon as practicable, there will be increased wait times for completing visa services due to substantial backlogs. We are unable to provide a specific date when we will resume full routine visa operations at this time. Given local conditions, limited resources, and other ongoing challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic, visa appointments are subject to change with little or no notice

The health and safety of both our visa applicants and workforce remain our highest priority, and we will be enforcing strict social distancing measures and require masks covering mouth and nose while in our facility. To support social distancing, applicants should not arrive more than 5 minutes before their scheduled appointment time. Any applicant with symptoms such as a cough, sore throat, or fever should reschedule their interview immediately, for a date at least 14 days after the disappearance of symptoms.

  • Nonimmigrant visa fees have been extended: The State Department has extended the validity of nonimmigrant visa payments (known as MRV fees) until September 30, 2023, to allow all applicants who were unable to schedule a visa appointment as a result of the suspension of routine consular operations an opportunity to schedule and/or attend a visa appointment with the already paid fee.
  • Interviews for B1/B2 visitors (tourism/business) remain suspended until further notice. Appointments for B1/B2 visitors that appear as scheduled in the online Visa Information and Appointment Scheduling System are not guaranteed and are subject to change with little or no notice.
  • Interview Waiver visa services have resumed: Currently, B1 / B2 renewals are not eligible for the interview waiver.S. Embassy Santiago is accepting interview waiver visa applications for some qualified visa classes. Eligibility to apply as an interview waiver case is determined based on the answers provided online during the appointment scheduling process. If you already have a full-validity visa last issued in Santiago, which is still valid, or which expired less than 48 months ago, you may be eligible to renew your visa without an interview (by mail). As of January 1, 2022 applicants that are not Chilean citizens but have permanent residency in Chile are also eligible for the interview waiver provided that they were previously issued a visa in Santiago.  Start the application process here: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-cl/niv/. Please note that qualified first-time applicants for H2A visas (and their dependents) may also apply for visas with a waiver of their interview, now through end of 2022. If you do not qualify for interview waiver processing, you will need to appear for an in-person interview. Expect significant delays in the processing time for interview waiver applications. The processing time for interview waiver cases is up to 8 weeks from the date that all documents are in order and received by the consular section. Do NOT make travel plans without first having a visa printed and in hand. If you require the return of your passport WITHOUT a visa, please send an email to santiagovisa@state.gov indicating in the subject heading: “Return Passport.”

COVID-19 Travel and Entry Restrictions
Travelers may be subject to additional entry requirements based on U.S. national and state COVID-19 regulations, including but not limited to the disclosure of health information, a PCR test, required vaccinations, and/or a quarantine period. Please see the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s website for guidance specific to your point of origin, your transit route, and your destination in the USA: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

For more information about other travel restrictions in place, please visit: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html

General Information on Nonimmigrant Visas

Welcome to the nonimmigrant visa section of the U.S. Embassy in Santiago. This section provides information on visa requirements for travelers to the United States who wish to visit, work or study for a temporary period. The type of visa required will depend on the purpose of your travel.  The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Santiago is responsible for providing visa services to those seeking to enter the United States for a temporary period and for those wishing to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.

To ensure safe physical distancing, appointment scheduling has been carefully planned. Therefore, visa applicants arriving more than 5 minutes before their scheduled appointment time WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ENTRY. Applicants arriving more than 15 minutes after their scheduled appointment will be asked to reschedule.

Please note: If you have a passport issued prior to 2013 (blue in color and without a chip), you are not eligible to use the Visa Waiver Program, but you can still apply for a B1/B2 visa if the passport is unexpired. If your travel date is approaching and you only have a blue passport, we recommend that you apply for a visa. Visa processing takes five business days, so please plan your appointment in advance of your travel. If you have difficulties obtaining an appointment before your travel date, you can use the visa information website to request an expedited appointment. 

Please visit our Global Support Services (GSS) website for complete information on applying for a nonimmigrant U.S. visa, including a directory of nonimmigrant visa categories. Always be sure to plan ahead for your trip to the U.S. Visit the Visa Wait Times for current visa appointment wait-times.

All applicants should be aware that the times given are current averages, and are subject to sharp seasonal fluctuations. Processing wait time does not include the time required for additional administrative processing or special requirements. In such cases, processing wait time will vary based on the individual circumstances of each application.

The Embassy strongly encourages applicants for nonimmigrant visas to apply well in advance of their proposed journey and to refrain from making irrevocable travel plans until the visa has been issued and they are in receipt of their passport and visa.

To contact a customer service representative, please visit the GSS Contact Us page for full information or use contact information below:

  • Telephone: The Visa Information Service Center operators are available Monday to Friday, 8:00-20:00, for telephone calls to answer questions, accept payments, and book appointments. The Interactive Voice Response (IVR) is available 24 hours.
    • From Chile: +(56-2) 25829335
    • From the US: (1) 7032494664
  • Email: Contact us here.
  • Skype: usvisachile

All of the information that you need to apply for a visa, pay your fee, make an appointment and arrange the delivery of your passport is on https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-CL/niv. It is best to read the entire process and follow the steps in order to make your visa appointment go as smoothly as possible.

Applicants who are unable to conduct interviews in Spanish and/or English may bring a personal interpreter to their visa interview appointment.

Interpreters may assist with only one appointment at a time inside the Embassy:

      • A single applicant’s appointment
      • A single family that shares one appointment time
  • Interpreters may not remain in the waiting room with multiple applicants who have separate interview appointments.
  • Interpreters must enter with his/her applicant (or single family) through the security screening checkpoint, proceed directly with the applicant to the waiting room, assist with interpretation, and depart at the same time as the applicant.
  • Applicants and interpreters must queue in the same line as all other visa applicants at the Visitor’s entrance of the embassy.
  • Entry for applicants attending interviews with interpreters is permitted according to visa interview appointment time. Applicants should not arrive more than 5 minutes before their scheduled appointment time. Applicants arriving late to their appointments will not be admitted.

Inability to follow these guidelines will result in refusal of entry.

To request an urgent / emergency appointment, the applicant must first complete the online visa application form DS-160. Second, the applicant must pay their MRV fee and schedule an appointment through the Official Visa Appointment and Information System Service for the United States Embassy. Only then can you schedule an appointment, and they may request that the Consular Section grant you an earlier appointment date in emergency circumstances.

The Official Visa Information and Appointment System Service handles the scheduling of all interview appointments, including requests for advance appointments due to emergency circumstances. You can request an urgent appointment on the website of the Official Service of the Visa Information and Appointment System (https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-cl/niv  by selecting the link “Request Expedite” on the “Page summary of the application” and following the instructions.

Emergency appointments are granted at the discretion of the Consular Section. During suspended visa operations, it will probably be reduced. The availability of resources, local regulations, and other restrictions related to a suspension, including the health and safety of Embassy personnel and visa clients, may limit or delay visa processing, even in emergencies.

B1/B2 renewals are not currently eligible for interview waiver. Most applicants are required to appear personally at the Consular Section to apply for a U.S. visa. However, certain applicants may be exempted from that requirement based on their age or other criteria as determined by the Embassy and U.S. Immigration laws.

MINOR CHILDREN UNDER THE AGE OF 14 YEARS, IF ALL THE FOLLOWING APPLY:

  • One or both parents must have a valid tourist (B1/B2) visa (10 years)
  • The applicant has not been previously refused.

Applicants who meet the requirements above must:

a. Register an account through the Visa Information Website: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-CL/niv

b. Collect the required visa application documents and send them to the Consular Section by DHL courier.

Note: Applicants should not schedule an appointment in the online registration if the requirements above are met.

The application package must include:

  • Complete DS-160 visa application (https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/) and print confirmation sheet.
  • Applicant’s valid passport and previous passports with valid visa and any new passports issued since visa obtained.
  • MRV fee payment confirmation.
  • A photocopy of one or both parents’ visas (as applicable).
  • An original birth certificate of the child, or other pertinent document establishing the relationship.
  • A passport photo. This can be uploaded on the DS-160, but it is recommended to send an actual photo as well. Please see the photo requirements for more information.

Print the courier confirmation page after registering on the Visa Information and Appointment Service website and include this document in the application materials you bring to the chosen courier drop-off location.

NOTE: The Consular Officer reserves the right to request an in-person interview, for any applicant, for any reason.If the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be required to schedule an interview and attend in person.

 

APPLICANTS OVER THE AGE OF 80 YEARS, IF THE FOLLOWING APPLY:

  • The applicant has not been previously refused.

Applicants who meet the requirements above must:

a. Register an account through the Visa Information Website: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-CL/niv

b. Collect the required visa application documents and send them to the Consular Section by DHL courier.

Note: Applicants should not schedule an appointment in the online registration if the requirements above are met.

The application package must include:

  • Complete DS-160 visa application (https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/) and print confirmation sheet.
  • Applicant’s valid passport and previous passports with valid visa and any new passports issued since visa obtained.
  • MRV fee payment confirmation.
  • A passport photo. This can be uploaded on the DS-160, but it is recommended to send an actual photo as well. Please see the photo requirements for more information.

Print the courier confirmation page after registering on the Visa Information and Appointment Service website and include this document in the application materials you bring to the chosen courier drop-off location.

NOTE: The Consular Officer reserves the right to request an in-person interview, for any applicant, for any reason.If the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be required to schedule an interview and attend in person.

If the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be required to schedule a Consular interview and attend in person.

VISA RENEWAL

Each visa application is unique. Most applicants are required to schedule an appointment to apply for a nonimmigrant visa.  In limited cases visa applicants are not required to schedule a Consular Section interview.

In Chile, applicants who meet the criteria below may submit visa applications via DHL courier.

The applicant must:

  • Be a Chilean citizen, with a valid Chilean passport OR be a permanent resident in Chile, with a valid passport and permanent resident card (RUT) issued by the Chilean government.
  • Physically be present in Chile at the time of renewal application with plans to remain in Chile until new visa has been issued.
  • Apply for the same visa category.
  • Have already had all ten fingerprints taken at a prior interview at U.S. Embassy Santiago.
  • Apply for a C1/D, F, M, J, I, H1B1, O, or P visa.
  • Have never been arrested or convicted of a crime, deported from the United States, denied entry to the United States, or had any other problems with U.S. immigration.
  • Have a valid visa, or a visa expired less than 48 months from the day the application is submitted (UPDATED 3/25/2021).

Other Requirements:

  • If renewing a work or student visa, the ongoing work or study must be at the same institution/company.
  • Visa classes and program subcategories suspended by Presidential Proclamation 10014/10052 are not eligible for interview-waiver processing. This includes: H1B, H2B, L, and select J1 subcategories (Camp Counselor, Summer Work and Travel, Teacher, Intern, Trainee, Au Pair), as well as their dependents.

Applicants who meet the requirements above must:

a. Register an account through the Visa Information Website: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-CL/niv

b. Collect the required visa application documents and send them to the Consular Section by DHL courier.

Note: Applicants should not schedule an appointment in the online registration if the requirements above are met.

The application package must include:

  • Confirmation page with bar code from a completed visa application (DS-160 – https://ceac.state.gov/genniv/)
  • Applicant’s valid passport, expired passport containing the visa to renew, and any passports issued since the most recent visa was obtained.
  • MRV fee payment confirmation.
  • A passport photo. This can be uploaded on the DS-160 form, but it is recommended to send the photo as well. Please see this Web site on photo requirements for more information.
  • Photocopy of current valid RUT showing permanent residence in Chile (for non-Chilean nationals)

Print the courier confirmation page after registering on the Visa Information and Appointment Service website and include this document in the application materials you bring to the chosen courier drop-off location.

NOTE: The Consular Officer reserves the right to request an in-person interview, for any applicant, for any reason. If the applicant does not meet the above criteria, the applicant will be required to schedule an interview and attend in person.

If your visa was refused under INA Section 221(g), your case is currently under administrative processing.  For more information on administrative processing, you may consult the FAQ at https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-cl/niv/information/faqs or the State Department website at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/administrative-processing-information.html.

If your case is missing documentation, you can send scanned documents to the Embassy by email to SantiagoVisa@state.gov.  Please put “Document Submission – 221G” in the subject line of your email.  If you are required to send original documents, please send them via DHL. Information on document submission by mail can be found in the FAQ here: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-cl/niv/information/faqs.

Applicants must send a copy of the police report of a lost or stolen passport with U.S. visa to the Consular Section prior to the interview date and bring a copy of the report to the interview. A Travel Certificate (“Certificado de Viajes”) from the International Police showing all travel during the last 10 years will be required at the interview.

Send an e-mail to here with key word ‘LOST/STOLEN’ in the subject line and to protect the applicant’s identity provide:

  • Applicant’s full name
  • Date of birth
  • Number of the lost passport booklet, and
  • Date of issuance of the visa (if known)
  • Police Report

If new visa is required, applicant must follow the steps as it is instructed in ”How to apply for a visa” section (Accordion 2). Note: Applicant must bring Police Report and Travel Certificate (10 years) from International Police to the interview.

The Photograph should be:

  • Taken within the last six months;
  • 2 inches (50mm) square, with the head centered in the frame. The head (measured from the top of the hair to the bottom of the chin) should measure between 1 & 1 3/8 inches (25mm to 35mm) with the eye level between 1 & 1/8 inch to 1 & 3/8 inches (28mm and 35 mm) from the bottom of the photograph;
  • In color, against an off-white background. Photographs taken in front of busy, patterned or dark backgrounds are not acceptable;
  • Full face, with the face covering about 50% of the area of the photograph. In general, the head of the applicant, including both face and hair, should be shown from the crown of the head to the tip of the chin on top and bottom, and from hair-line side-to-side. It is preferable that the ears be exposed.

Note:

Head coverings and hats are only acceptable due to religious beliefs, and even then, may not cover any portion of the applicant’s face;

Sunglasses or other wear which detracts from the face are not acceptable unless required for medical reasons (an eye patch, for example);

Applicants who wear eyeglasses should ensure that their eyes are visible in the photo;

A photograph depicting a person wearing a traditional facemask or veil that does not permit adequate identification is not acceptable;

Photos of military, airline, or other personnel wearing hats are not acceptable.

Applicants should avoid photographs with very shiny backgrounds, or photographs in which there are many shadows or high black and white contrast.

Photos taken at professional photography studios tend to better meet the Embassy’s requirements than those taken in booths by machines.

Some photo studios in Santiago:

Mi Foto
Parque Arauco Shopping Center
Av. Kennedy 5413, Las Condes, First Level, Store 149
Tel: 2201-0557
Hours: Monday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 21:00 hrs.

Mi Foto
Costanera Center Shopping Center
Av. Andrés Bello 2461, Providencia, Store 1125
Tel: 2618-9656
Hours: Lunes a Domingo 10:00 a.m. – 22:00 hrs.

Mi Foto Pro
Alto Las Condes Shopping Center
Av. Kennedy 9001, Las Condes, Second Level, Store 2011
Tel: 2213-1705
Hours: Monday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 22:00 hrs.

Mi Foto
Alto Las Condes Shopping Center
Av. Kennedy 9001, Las Condes, First Level, Store 1014
Tel: 2213-1079
Hours: Monday through Sunday 10:00 a.m. – 22:00 hrs.

Estudio Fotográfico Luis Stuart
Av. Providencia 2198 # 17 (Portal Lyon)
Tel: 2234-1492; cel: (569) 95170786
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:15 am-19:30 hrs; Saturday 10:00 am-14:00 hrs.

Av. Providencia 2528, Local 41 (2do Nivel)
Lunes a Viernes 9:30  a 20:30 hrs

Note: This list is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as an endorsement of these businesses.

Visit Embassy Santiago’s Report Fraud web page:

  • Learn how to report suspected fraud and illegal activity
  • Learn about Embassy fraud prevention efforts
  • Learn about consequences of fraud