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Start-Up Chile - things you need to know to obtain a visa to Chile

I’m part of the first batch of Start-Up Chile 2011. We are working on Buffr.com now working fulltime on JustUnfollow . The process to obtain a visa to Chile involves a few documents that you need to obtain in India and I thought it would be best to provide some info here.

If you’ve been selected into the Start-Up Chile program then the next step is to reach Chile. If you are in India these are the set of documents that you need before you get your visa to Chile.

  • Medical Certificate

This can be obtained from any general physician. All you need is a letter from the physician saying you are in good health.

  • HIV (AIDS) Test

Get your HIV (AIDS) test done at the local pathology lab, you should get the report within 2 days.

  • Police Certificate

This is where most of the confusion arises. You can obtain the Police Certificate (I think it’s called PCC, not sure) from either the local police station or from the regional passport office. If you go to the police station it usually would take around 2 weeks. At the regional passport office they give it within a week and if you request a little they might even give it within a couple of days. So your best bet is to first go to the regional passport office and apply for the Police Certificate there. You would need to carry proof of residence.

If there are any more documents required please obtain the same, these are the important ones that I can remember and the Police Certificate is the one that is a pain in the ass. The rest of the documents are easy to obtain.

Start-Up Chile folks would send you a code that helps you schedule an interview with the Chilean embassy in New Delhi. We got our visa within a couple of days but I would suggest you keep a weeks time in your head after you have obtained all the documents. 

Once you have obtained your visa, it would be time to book your tickets. There are no direct flights to Chile from India hence you would be going with stop overs (there will be a minimum of 2 stop overs in any route). 

Please remember, you need to check if any of the countries that you would be stopping over at require a Transit Visa. If they do, the best thing to do is choose a different route, one that does not require a Transit Visa.

We initially booked

  • Mumbai -> London -> Sao Paulo -> Santiago(Chile)

But later realized that London requires Indians to obtain a Transit Visa. Obtaining a Transit visa is almost the same as obtaining a tourist visa and if you do not have enough time on your hands it’s best not to go through such routes.

We finally booked

  • Mumbai -> Qatar -> Sao Paulo -> Santiago

None of these require a transit visa. There are a couple of other routes that do not require a transite visa for indians : 

  1. India -> Netherlands -> Lima -> Santiago
  2. India -> Turkey -> Sao Paulo -> Santiago

I think there’s another route through Johannesburg that does not require a transit visa but I’m not too sure about it.

While booking the tickets, you have 2 options, either a one way ticket or a return. I did a mistake and booked one way since I wasn’t sure when I would want to return from Chile. But that was a mistake. Not because I do not like it here, it’s a beautiful country with wonderful people. But the tickets back home now cost me several times more! To give you context, I was getting return tickets for around US$2000 But I booked one way for around $1600. And the tickets from Santiago to India costs around $2200. Which means had I booked return tickets it would have cost me $2k but because of one way I’ve ended up paying $3.8k

This seems like a long post! If you have any questions please let me know, I’ll be glad to help.

Update: You can check if a transit visa is required on this site.

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