From the Andes mountains to the Atacama Desert, Chile is a South American country with lots to offer US citizens hoping to travel here. You may be in the process of planning a trip and seeking to discover all that the country has to offer. If you’re a US citizen hoping to travel to this fascinating country, you’re probably wondering about the visa requirements.
Fortunately, passport holders from the United States can visit without a visa for short stays of up to 90 days. Although you won’t need a visa to visit for tourist or business purposes, there are still a few important points you’ll want to read up on before your trip. Read on to find out more about the Chile entry requirements for US citizens.
- 1 Chile Visa Vs Chile US Visa Waiver Program
- 2 About the Chile Visa Waiver for US Travellers
- 3 Chile Visa Requirements for US Citizens
- 4 Is There a Chile Visa Fee for US Citizens?
- 5 Travelling to Chile as an American
- 6 US Embassy and Consulate in Chile
- 7 Chile Visa USA FAQs
- 8 More Information on Travelling to Chile
Chile Visa Vs Chile US Visa Waiver Program
If you’re asking yourself “Do US citizens need a visa for Chile?”, you may be pleased to know that US travellers are not required to obtain a visa to gain access to this country.
If you are travelling for tourist or business purposes, for a period of no more than 90 days, you only require a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining from the date you enter the country.
You will be issued with a Tourist Card before entering the country, which will enable you to stay for a set time. The Tourist Card will be issued to you upon arrival by the immigration authorities at the airport. You must retain this document and present it to immigration when you leave the country.
If you wish to extend your stay beyond 90 days, you are able to do so upon payment of an extension fee at the Chilean Immigration Office. This office is located at Matucana 1223, Región Metropolitana, Santiago.
In this case, if you would like to extend your stay beyond 90 days, it is very important that you go through the proper channels to request an extension. If you have stayed for more than the allowed time period without paying the extension fee, you will not be allowed to leave the country until you first pay a fine. The fine cannot be paid at the airport, and so to save yourself a lot of hassle and missed flights, you need to pay before attempting to depart the country.
About the Chile Visa Waiver for US Travellers
Chile is designated as a member of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP), which allows nationals of designated countries to travel here for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa. The US is included in the VWP, and so citizens of the US are not permitted to obtain a visa for travel.
This said, examples of reasons that are not permitted on the VWP and thus require a different type of visa for travel include:
- For study
- For employment
- For permanent residence
US citizens who intend to work, live or study here must apply in advance for a Chilean visa from the embassy or consulate in the US prior to travelling.
Chile Visa Requirements for US Citizens
To enter here for tourist or business purposes, US citizens only require a valid passport. However, to ensure your entry into the country runs smoothly, it is important that your passport is in good condition and is valid for the period of stay.
You will not be permitted to enter this country if any of the following applies:
- You do not hold a valid US passport.
- Your passport is damaged or mutilated.
- You arrive without a visa when one is required (for stays longer than 90 days or for work/study purposes or permanent residency).
Is There a Chile Visa Fee for US Citizens?
No, for US travellers, there are no direct costs associated with entry into the country, because you are not required to obtain a visa prior to travel. Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand need only a valid passport to enter.
Travelling to Chile as an American
Regarded as having one of the most vibrant democracies in South America and with a healthy economy, Chile is a popular tourist destination for Americans.
In 2019, approximately 400,000 US citizens travelled here, contributing to a large portion of the country’s international tourists for that year. The country is a well-established tourist destination, with visitors from the US flocking every year to discover the rich geographical landscapes and breath-taking scenery.
If you’re travelling here, the chances are you’ll be flying into Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL) to start your trip. It is the busiest passenger airport in the country, and one of the busiest airports in Latin America. The airport is the main gateway to the country by air and is the closest airport to Santiago, the country’s capital.
US Embassy and Consulate in Chile
The chief US embassy is based in Santiago in the Región Metropolitana. Its opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, and its address is Av. Andrés Bello 2800, Las Condes, Santiago.
When you are planning your visit, it’s important to bear in mind that the US embassy closes on US and Chilean holidays. This may affect your plans, so it’s useful to check for any national holidays before visiting.
Chile Visa USA FAQs
By now you should know everything you need to about the visa waiver for Chile for US citizens. For more useful information, below you will find answers to some common FAQs!
Can All Americans Travel Here?
Yes, for business or tourist purposes, travelling here is usually a straightforward process. US travellers are permitted for short stays so long as they have a valid passport with at least 6 months remaining from the arrival date into the country. It is also possible to extend this stay beyond 90 days if an extension fee is paid, as mentioned previously.
Is It Safe for Americans to Travel to Chile?
Chile and the US have excellent diplomatic relations and as such it is perfectly safe for Americans to visit the country. Equally, though, travellers should take the obvious precautions as they would when travelling anywhere and be mindful of any changes to government guidelines.
What Do I Need to Know Before Travelling to Chile from the US?
The Chilean peso is the national currency and as such is used widely. However, US dollars are often also accepted. Coins are not as common as banknotes, which come in 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000 and 20,000 peso denominations.