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.

Visa applicants arriving more than 30 minutes before or after their scheduled appointment time WILL NOT BE ALLOWED ENTRY and will be asked to re-schedule.

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: santiagovisa@state.gov
  • 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.

H1B1 Work Visa – U.S.-Chile Free Trade Agreement

The H1B1 visa is a special opportunity available to qualified Chilean citizens to work and live in the US.

Thanks to a treaty between Chile and the U.S. finalized on January 1, 2004, Chileans are eligible for this 18 month, multiple entry work visa that includes an expedited qualification process and the possibility of renovations. You must receive an offer of employment from an employer in the U.S. before applying for the visa. Families may join as well – spouses and children of H1B1 visa holders may apply for an H-4 visa, giving them the same amount of time permitted in the U.S. H-4 visa applicants are not required to have Chilean citizenship.

 

How to Qualify

The requirements for both the visa applicant and the employing company are as follows:

 

  • The job must be considered a “specialty occupation,” meaning that it requires the application of specialized knowledge. This includes such fields as engineering, science, medicine and health care, education, technology, agriculture, and business specialties, including human resources and management.
  • You must have a four-year college degree, or have work experience that is equal to a degree, as determined by an independent credentialing agency.
  • You must be employed by an existing company in the US – you may not be self-employed or an independent contractor.
  • You understand that the employment period is temporary, so you must demonstrate that you intend to return to Chile when you are no longer working in that job.

 

How to Apply for the H1B1 Visa:
If you have received a job offer from a company in the U.S., and meet the qualifications above, you must also provide additional documents at the time of the visa interview. The process for the scheduling the visa interview, filling out the application, and paying the required fees can be found here.

  • A written offer of employment from the company in the U.S. signed by an authorized supervisor. The letter must include all relevant details about the job offered, including:
    • Job responsibilities
    • Salary and benefits
    • Duration of job
    • Description of the employing company
    • Your qualifications for the job

 

  • A certified form ETA-9035 or ETA-9035E filed with the U.S. Department of Labor. This form may be found at the Department of Labor’s H1B1 website and should be completed by the employer.

 

  • Proof that you meet the educational or work experience requirement, including copies of your university diploma and/or an equivalency certificate from a credentialing agency.

 

 

Spouses and Children Eligible for H-4 Visas
Spouses and children (under age 21) of an H1B1 visa applicant should apply at the same time if possible; if not, the H1B1 applicant must be approved first and the spouse and/or children may apply later. To qualify for H-4 status, spouses must provide a copy of a valid marriage certificate. Partners in a civil union are not eligible for H-4 visas. Children of H1B1 visa holders seeking H-4 status must provide a birth certificate which includes the names of both parents. H-4 visa holders may study at any level while in the U.S., and do not require a separate student visa. While the H1B1 visa is only available to Chilean citizens, H-4 spouses and children can qualify regardless of citizenship.

 

H1B1 and Other Work Visas

The H1B1 visa is similar to the H1B work visa program, with notable differences that make the H1B1 application process easier. The H1B requires that employers and visa applicants be approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prior to the visa interview. This process includes the issuance of the I-797 form and is subject to a time limit of continuous work in the U.S. Although there is a cap on the total number of H1B1 visas which can be issued annually, there is no time limit and the visa can be renewed multiple times. No other approval is required to qualify for the H1B1 visa besides the ETA-9035 – USCIS is not involved in the process. H1B1 visa holders may switch to an H1B visa on future applications, and vice versa.

 

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.

Take courier confirmation page printed after registering on the Visa Information Website and application package to the chosen courier drop off location.

NOTE:

  1. 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 a Consular interview and attend in person.
  1. If one or both of a minor’s parents are eligible for Visa Waiver, are United States Citizens or U.S. permanent residents, they should consult with Embassy Santiago Consular Section via e-mail using the key word ‘WAIVER’ in the subject line.

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.

Take courier confirmation page printed after registering on the Visa Information Website and application package 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 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 (for work visas, possession of permanent resident is sufficient)
  • 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 had any visa issued in Santiago on or after December 20, 2007 (All ten fingerprints must have been captured at the prior interview).
  • Apply for a B1/B2, C1/D, F, M, J, I, H1B, H1B1, O, P.
  • 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.
  • If a tourist visa (B1/B2), the previous visa must:
  • Be valid or expired less than 4 years from the day the application is submitted and
  • Have a validity of 10 years.
  • If a non-tourist visa, the previous visa must be valid or expired less than 12 months from the day the applications is submitted.
  • If the previous visa is a work or student visa, it must be for work or study at the same institution/company.

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.

Take courier confirmation page printed after registering on this Web site and application package to the chosen DHL 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 a Consular interview and attend in person.

If the applicant wishes to verify the status of their visa process that is pending for a specific reason, please visit the following site

If the visa process is pending after the interview, you will receive a green form with the instructions to follow.

Please submit the following information to the Embassy through DHL mail service (www.dhl.cl/en/express/shipping/find_dhl_locations.html) or drop the documents off at the Consular Section between 15:00-16:00, M-F at window 4.  Please send the green letter you received at your visa interview along with your documents or show to the security guards at the entrance if you choose the drop-off option.

Note: The Embassy cannot issue you a visa until the applicant has submitted the documents requested the day of the interview.

Find the case number provided to you in the green form and for up-to-date information on your case status.

You may find the following status:

1.- Pending in administrative processing

Your case is still pending administrative processing. The Embassy cannot issue you a visa before completion of the processing.

  • Send I-20

To continue with the process of the visa, the applicant must send the form I-20 issued by the academic or institution that will attend and/ or the Sevis fee.

  • Send DS-2019

To continue with the process of the visa, the applicant must send the form DS-2019 issued by the academic or institution that will attend and/or the Sevis fee.

  • Send Passport

The administrative process has been finalized; the applicant must send the passport to issue the visa and/ or the Sevis fee.

  • Send Petition

To continue with the process of the visa, the applicant must send the petition approved by the USCIS office in the United States.

 2.- Printing process

Your visa has been granted and it is in printing process.

The Consular Section will process your case as quickly as possible after reviewing the documents that you provide.

  1. If the case is approved, you will receive your passport with the visa via DHL within approximately 5 business days.
  2. If the case is denied, you will receive a letter explaining the grounds of the denial.

For further information, contact DHL Service (www.dhl.cl) orsantiagovisa@state.gov.

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 SantiagoVisa 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.