I am delighted to hear that you will soon be joining us in Chile! The country is civilized, beautiful and fabulous. I am sure you will enjoy it.
I have written several key answers/points below to answer some of the main questions I have received about the residency program. I hope these points will clarify things. If you still have further queries after you read these points below, please do not hesitate to write. Otherwise, we will look forward to receiving your email after you have formally joined the program.
1) The cost of the program (is $2,995 for each visa holder plus $500 per dependent ($250 if a minor). If you do not have a Chilean address to receive visa correspondence, there is an added charge of $400 per year for this service. The program takes you through both the temporary or contract visa AND permanent residency stages. That means that you will be under our care for between 14 and 20 months, normally. We also offer, upon request, a temporary tax ID number that can be used to buy a car or home, and we advise on where a person can get a customs broker that can bring in their container. Dr. Cobin is normally available for limited consultation to program participants. If you need to work as soon as possible, the government also provides a temporary work permit prior to obtaining the visa. It takes about six weeks to two months to arrive and bears an additional cost of one-half of the normal visa fee for your country, i.e., normally between US$0 and US$1,000.
2) In order to begin the program, you need (to order your documents (if in the USA they should be new certificates which are sent to the Secretary of State of the state that issued it in the USA and then must be apostilled by thge secretary of state of each state or the federal government), (3) have your social security estimated benefits statement (USA) and account statements notarized, (4) email us your specific travel dates in which you plan to be in Santiago (at least 2 or 3 non-local-holiday weekdays duration), including your full name, address and passport number, and (5) wire us your total program fee. We cannot start any processing or deal with specific questions you might have until our arrangement has been formalized by paying the initial fee. Note that legal documents issued in Spanish, English, French, Italian or Portugese do not have to be translated by official services sanctioned by the Chilean consulate with jurisdiction over your area. All other languages do.
3) Payment by wire transfer should be sent to the Business English Institute’s company bank account. Bank information for the wire transfer is: Scotiabank Chile, Branch: La Dehesa, Santiago, Account number: 971029358, Account name/Beneficiary: Instituto Inglés de Negocios, S.A., Bank address: Av. El Rodeo 12699, Lo Barnechea, Santiago, Chile, Swift Code: BKSACLRM, Universal Identification Chips UID: 006582, Correspondent Bank 1: Wachovia Bank, S.A., New York, SWIFT PNBPUS33NNYC, Correspondent Bank 2: Citibank, S.A., ABA 021000089, SWIFT CITIUS33, Correspondent Bank 3: Bank of America, SWIFT BOFAUS3N, Correspondent Bank 4: Standard Chartered Bank, ABA 026002561, Chips UID 00658, SWIFT SCBLUS33, Notify us once the payment has been effected so that we can look for it.
4) Our specific services with which we can help you obtain your visas and citizenship are generally located here on our Residency Program Costs page.
5) If you are not able to spend at least 185 days out of 365 days (not necessarily contiguous) in Chile after we get your your temporary visa, you WILL NOT be able to get permanent residency. In fact, you will likely have to spend more time, maybe 215 days. The government is now requiring a longer stay during the first year for those who want to advance to permanent residency. The exact number of days is a bit ambiguous stll, since it is still an internal decision of the foreign affairs bureaucracy. If such residency is impossible for you and you want to be a permanent resident you will, unfortunately, have to look for a different country. Our program is primarily designed for those who want to make Chile their new home, or at least half-time home. I hate to be so blunt about this point but the simple fact is that there is absolute rigidity on this requirement set forth by the Chilean government.
6) You can plan on each consulate taking at least 2-3 weeks per package of documents to be stamped and sent back to you. Allow extra time. If the country issuing a document is a Hague Convention signatory, only an apostille willbe required. Otherwise, the more time-consuing consular stamping process is necessary.
7) Chile does NOT tax worldwide income like the USA does. Like a European country, Chile requires you to pay tax on any job income you earn WHILE LIVING in the country of Chile as a permanent resident for money that comes into Chile from employment abroad or from a job in country. The USA taxes your income no matter where you live.
8) Being married does not make the visa process any easier, unless one is planning to have his spouse as dependent on his visa which could make the spouse’s application easier. Having a chilean parent, spouse or child will grant certain benefits, however. Check with us for specific details regarding your case.
9) Silver is very bulky to bring down. I would suggest converting it to 1 ounce gold coins prior to coming, unless you are willing to risk it in your sea container or just pay a bunch of excess baggage fees and hope that customs does not stop you at the airport and pay a tax of 40% of its value. Most of the time a few dozen gold coins divided among arrivees’ pockets will not be detected. Bring Chilean gold coins if you can. The market for gold in Chile is slim, especially for non-Chiean coins.
10) There are a few jobs in Santiago for those who speak only English, but do not count on getting one of them very easily or very soon. I know very qualified people who have waited over a year to get a job. Chile is a Spanish-speaking country. If you plan to live in Chile for a long time you will have to learn Spanish. I know that doing so is difficult but I would rather be upfront with you about it now than for you to have your expectations dashed later on. If you are a professional in certain areas: doctor, lawyer, architect, professional engineer, etc., you will not be able to practice in Chile until you can pass (in Spanish) Chile’s qualifying exams. If you plan to attempt this, be sure to bring your certifications, diplomas and transcripts along, all translated and stamped by the Chilean consulate that has jurisdiction over the issuer of the item. Neverthless, there is one very good option open to newcomers with college degrees which speak English as their native language. See this link for details.
11) Many of our clients find the accommodations at the Versailles Suites (aparthotel) on Callao 2947, Las Condes to be convenient. In Viña del Mar, book at Los Arándanos de Reñaca via Booking.com.
Another Santiago option is Costasuecia located at Suecia 151, Providencia and http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g294305-d1735600-Reviews-Costa_S…. You can search for more details for either of these on the web.
12) As a special service for libertarian Christian Pastors that want to come to Chile and remain in the ministry at least part time, Dr. Cobin will consider boarding them in his home in Viña del Mar for a charge of US$250 per week, and they will be required to preach at least one Sunday service (with translation provided) in Viña del Mar.
13) Having permanent residency or citizenship in Peru or any other South American country will in no way help you get residency or citizenship faster in Chile. In fact, people from Peru, Colombia and the Domincan Republic will face extra bureacratic hurdles in order to get a visa. For one thing, bring a criminal background police report with you if you are a citizen of one of those places.
14) Being a Cuban or Israeli citizen should not be a huge drawback to getting Chilean residency and eventual citizenship. You simply need to apply and go from there. The same is true for India, Iran, Bangladesh, Pakistan, China and all other Third World countries in Africa and Asia. The problem will be getting a tourist Visa to come to Chile int he first place.
15) The account statement with minimum USD$100,000 does not have to be on a financial institution located in Chile. It can come from any part of the world so long as it is translated (if necessary) and preferrably notarized.
16) Insofar as a Spanish language teaching school, I recommend the Goethe Institute in Las Condes or Ecel in Santiago and Viña del Mar.