Sunday, October 4, 2020

How to get a tourist visa to visit Chile

 

A beautiful mountain lake in winter near Pucon 

Covid 19 Alert- Currently the borders of Chile are closed to tourists only permitting citizens and permanent residents to come and go. As of September 15, President Pinera extended the state of emergency for another 90 days but we are hoping that he will lift the restriction before the tourist season starts in December. Check back here for the latest updates. 

Americans, Canadians, Latin Americans, and Europeans for the most part can come to Chile as a tourist and not have to apply for a tourist visa before arriving.

Citizens from the following countries can arrive in Chile without a prior visa for 90 days: Albania, Germany, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, El Salvador, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Granada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Malta, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent And Grenadines, San Marino, Holy See, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Vatican City, Venezuela.

Citizens arriving from Greece and Indonesia can receive only a 60 day visa upon entry. And citizens arriving from Belize, Georgia, Jamaica, Macau, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, and the Ukraine can receive only a 30 day visa upon entry.

For a citizen of any country not listed above, you must request a visa prior to arrival in Chile from the closest Chilean Consulate or online.

For my readers from the following countries - Hong Kong does have a consulate. Ukraine uses the Russian consulate in Moscow. UK has one in London. Turkmenistan uses the consulate in Kazakhstan. Hungary has one in Budapest. China has consulates in Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. UAE has one in Abu Dhabi and Italy has one in Rome and Milan. Portugal has an embassy in Lisbon.

Please note that the laws for immigration and foreigners to Chile are changing rapidly and this post may become obsolete. As of this writing on October 4, 2020 the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate have been drafting new laws on foreigners and immigration. I would advise that you check with an immigration attorney or your closest Chilean consulate before you do anything and please buy my book - listed in the right side bar-  which has lots of valuable information for immigrating including some trusted contacts in the attorney, immigration, and real estate world. A purchase of my book gets you a free documents worksheet and a 30 minute consultation with Jim by phone or Lori by email.


Power and the cost of living

 


The water and sun that keeps our lights on!

The cost of living is an important consideration for  most people on a budget and Chile is certainly not one of the cheaper countries to relocate to in Latin America but we feel you get what you pay for! Chile may be a bit more expensive than Ecuador or Peru but the quality and standards of living are quite a bit higher. 

Two people in a two bedroom apartment will spend an average of $30,000 CLP per month on electricity. Five people living in a four bedroom house should expect to pay around $80,000 CLP per month.

Most homes use a propane stove and a propane hot water heater with no central heating. Many city-dwellers use propane space heaters since they can’t burn firewood because of pollution regulations. A two person home will spend around $18,000 CLP per month on propane. A four- five person home should expect $54,000 CLP per month just for the stove and hot water but with no propane heater. 

We currently pay around 25,000 CLP for a square meter of firewood which could last a month if we were using it only for heat. But on our farm we use wood for heating,cooking, and hot water and we often harvest wood off our own property so our price per month could be much lower depending on how hard we want to work to harvest the wood!

If you are interested in more information on the cost of living in Chile and other important topics to immigration, please consider purchasing my book available for sale on the right sidebar. Your purchase includes a document worksheet plus a 30 minute free phone or email consultation. We are not lawyers or immigration experts but we can share our experiences and put you in contact with those who are the experts!

Energy production in Chile is mainly through coal fired power plants with a roughly equal production through hydro and less in natural gas and oil power plants while wind and solar generation is growing. The coast of Chile is always windy so many wind turbines are going up. The Atacama desert is the sunniest and driest place on earth so solar plants are going up there. 




This wind farm is in Loncotoro near the town of Llanquihue


Big beautiful wind turbines. Here are the statistics-

Each tower is 119 meters or 390 feet tall
The blades are 61 meters or 200 feet in length and weigh 14 tons and are made of reinforced fibreglass.
Each turbine is 3 megawatts and with 43 turbines the project, when fully operational,  will have a maximum capacity of 129 MW and will supply clean energy to around 200,000 homes.
The largest wind farm in South America is the El Arrayan in northern Chile and there seem to be plans for several other sites as well in the Coquimbo region north of Santiago and one in the deep south near Punta Arenas.
It is great to see Chile investing in wind and solar energy as energy has been a real problem and Chile and has high costs compared to other South American countries.
What's even more interesting is that one wind turbine is going up in our neighborhood! Great to see though it won't affect us much as we are solar off grid. 

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-28950685 - La Serena , Chile's biggest wind farm

https://www.evwind.es/tags/chile - lots of news on all the different energy projects going on all over Chile

International Energy Agency - the stats on Chile's energy production

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Chilean Healthcare

 Healthcare is always a big question to answer when you are considering moving to a foreign country. Our experience with the system overall has been very favorable. We typically use our little local hospital for most of our health problems. We signed up for Fonasa which is the public healthcare insurance system based on your income. Our income level entitles us to almost  free service at public hospitals. We sometimes have to make a co-pay for diagnostic services like x-rays. The higher your income, the more is your co-pay. When we have a problem, we go to our local hospital to see the doctor. If they cannot handle the problem, they will send us by ambulance to the larger city hospital an hour away. 

A very scared unhappy boy on his ride to the big hospital


Last Christmas, our son had a sharp pain in his side that we did not feel to good about so we took him to the hospital emergency room. We only waited a few minutes. After an exam, the doctor thought it might be appendicitis so they put him in the ambulance and took him to the big hospital. There he had an ultrasound showing an inflamed appendix so that night the pediatric surgeon came in and did the surgery. We were impressed with the professionalism and care we got at this public hospital. Everything was clean and well maintained on par with US hospitals though not as much marble and chandeliers. The best part of the whole experience was that we paid absolutely nothing! In the US, we lived in fear of a major medical emergency. 

If you don't like or want to use the public healthcare system, you can always use the private hospitals. Jim needed an MRI and he didn't want to wait for an appointment at the public hospital so we went to the private hospital and got it done right away and only paid $256 for 3 MRIs. These would have been thousands of dollars in the USA and they even used the same machine as his US doctor. 

Want to know more about healthcare in Chile? Then buy my book for a whole chapter on this topic. See side bar for the link. Your purchase of my book includes a worksheet on what documents you need to gather for immigration and includes a chat by phone or email with Jim or Lori to answer all your most pressing questions!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

The answer to all your mail problems!







Many people ask me how the mail service is in Chile and how do we get mail. I know in some South American countries the mail service is unreliable and even nonexistent in some areas! But Correos Chile has been fine for us. We get packages with tracking in 2-4 weeks but letters can take considerably longer without tracking. Tracking is great and helps keep it honest. We have had a few problems with customs taxes but usually only on new purchases. With mail service, we pick up our packages at the local post office. 
Don't ever use DHL for shipping as they are terrible thieves. Fedex and UPS only deliver in Santiago. When we order through Amazon they ship through Chilean carriers that will even deliver to our house in the country!
I have recently discovered a new service to take care of all your mail problems and it is awesome! Here is how it works- 
US Global is a mail forwarding service with a physical US address. The physical address is important because oftentimes products won't ship without it. Within 2 hours of your mail arriving at the US Global mail facility in Houston, you will receive an email notification. You can then log into your virtual mailbox where you will see a scanned image of the outside of your package. Then you can decide what to do with it. You can request them to forward it to your international location, shred it as in junk mail, or even open and scan letters for you! They will even send checks to your bank for deposit. This is an awesome service with many benefits and perks to make living internationally easier.

It's easy to set up an account and prices start as low as $10 a month!
Please click the affiliate link below to take advantage of this service which will give you peace of mind and help support our chilean adventure and chile expat family on Youtube     

 US Global Mail