Yes, Indians do need a visa for chile as well. Are you surprised?
Chile Visa update for US Visa holders:
Indian citizens with a valid US Visa will now be able to travel to Chile for up to 90 days, with Visa on arrival facility. This is effective 2019 provided the US Visa is valid for at least 6 months and is not a transit Visa.
While this is a great development and brilliant news for Indian passport holders, it probably wouldn’t have helped me too much anyway in 2016 when I applied for Chile Visa as part of my South America adventure because I didn’t have a US Visa either.
My experience of getting Chile Visa during demonetization:
Chile Visa would have been one of the easiest Visas to get, had demonetization been announced a week later in India.
Applying for Chile tourist Visa for Indian citizens from India is a streamlined process that begins at filling the online application on the tramites portal which requires the applicant to attach other standard documents like bank statements, cover letter, itinerary, etc. as they are not accepted in hardcopy later. Successful submission of form does not guarantee a Visa though. The applicant has to wait for the status to change on the portal and based on the outcome – Interview or Payment has to make a trip to New Delhi for further processing including Visa stamping. This can take between 1-2 working days.
Other documents you would require to successfully submit your application are listed below.
Documents required for Chile tourist Visa:
- Website: http://chile.gob.cl/nueva-delhi/en/
- US $50 – Single Entry
- US $81 – Multiple Entry (If you’re planning a road trip or intend to travel to Argentina as well then please choose Multiple entry)
- Processing time: Once the payment is made the Passport is stamped the same day but they mention two working days (So, keep some buffer time). Total turnaround time was 12 days (Would have been way lesser if I was staying in New Delhi)
- Embassy: New Delhi
- Email Id: email@example.com
- Visa Requested: 30 days, Multiple Entry
- Visa Issued: 60 days multiple entry
- Validity: 60 days from the date of arrival but to be used within 90 days of Issue
- Online form: https://tramites.minrel.gov.cl/
- Documents: They don’t accept any hard copy of documents. All the documents are to be uploaded on the online form.
A common problem while filling out the Application for Chile Visa:
I filled the online form which was slightly troublesome because the page wouldn’t respond on my laptop (mac) as it was supposed to. I eventually used my friend’s laptop (Windows) to fill the form.
If you’re facing similar issue, try using a different OS and/or a browser. The form is originally in Spanish and uses on page translation which could be the cause of trouble.
I got an email with an interview date 4 working days after submitting the form which came as a surprise to me. I had not read anywhere about an interview in the process of getting a Chile visa for Indians.
The interview date given to me was very close to my flight date (I was flying on the 20th Nov, the interview date was 18th Nov). I was flying out of Mumbai and the only Chile embassy in India is in New Delhi so it was going to be a close call.
I responded to the email requesting for an earlier interview date (I had already attached my flight tickets to the application). I also very subtly informed them of my other Visas being in order (Brazil, Argentina, and Peru) and that only Chile Visa was pending.
I received a response the very next day stating that the interview had been canceled as I had all other visas. The status of my online application then changed to ‘Payable’, in Spanish it would state ‘Pagar‘.
Do attach a copy of all your other Visas on your online application even though it’s not asked for. It strengthens your case.
With the lack of resources available back in 2016, I didn’t know what this meant. I wrote to them multiple times for an explanation but received no response this time. Their phone always ends in voicemail which never gets answered. I eventually booked my tickets for Delhi when I couldn’t wait any longer. I received a response the day I was traveling to Delhi.
Chile Embassy Experience in Delhi:
They were really helpful at the embassy though. One of the best embassy experiences I had in India. As soon as my online application was verified (I had carried a hardcopy), I was given a demand draft slip. Had I been able to return with the DD same day, they would have stamped my passport the same day. Unfortunately, I couldn’t.
They had given me the USD 80 equivalent in INR along with the DD slip for the bank that was to be paid at HDFC bank. The bank is not too far from the embassy.
The only issue was getting that DD done as the country was going through a very difficult time with the announcement of demonetization. I was backpacking so did not have a cheque book with me and the cash withdrawal limit was much lesser than what I needed. Also, people had been queueing in banks since days, There was no cash in any of the ATMs I went to. And I did go to quite a lot of them from one end of the city to the other. There was no way I could get the required amount.
A friend who works in a bank helped me out otherwise I don’t think I would have been able to enter Chile at all as attaining Chile Visa for Indians outside the country of residence can be a challenge.
Eventually, everything turned out well and I had all the Visas I was hoping to get minus Uruguay (I eventually didn’t go to that country).
Chile Visa stamping at Delhi embassy:
My passport was stamped with Chile Visa the very same day I submitted the Demand draft. It could take an additional day in a regular scenario. Owing to demonetization chaos they were being accommodating wherever possible.
Step by Step process to fill the online application:
In the video I fill out each column of the online application with you.
While US Visa makes the life of a backpacker so much simpler esp. for the ones with weaker passports like an Indian passport, it’s not the easiest to get and costs $160. I’m all for applying for the Visa but do ask yourself why you need the Visa and be ready to back your story.