Practical information


Entering the country

Citizens of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay can enter Chile with their National Identity Card. Citizens from other countries need a valid passport to enter.

Obtaining a student visa

To obtain a student visa the interested party must go personally to the closest Chilean consulate. He/she will be asked for the following original documents (the requirements depend on the country of residence):

  • Valid passport
  • Birth certificate
  • Admission certificate for a post-graduate program of the University of Chile
  • Certificate that shows that you are receiving a loan and/or scholarship. In other cases you must show that you have sufficient means to live in Chile.
  • Medical certificate. Form available at the Consulate.
  • Certificate of No Criminal Record of the country of residence for people older than 18 years. Form available at the Consulate.
  • Three (3) passport size photos. The visa is valid for one year, and once given you have a 90-day period to enter Chile. The student visa can be renewed in Chile. It is not allowed to work in Chile with this kind of visa, except in special cases.

Important: Bring your original diploma or university title certificate, duly legalized in the Consulate or Chilean Embassy of the country of residence.

Registry of visa before a local authority

This formality is done at the office of the International Police in Borgoño street nr. 1052. We recommend you to take Line 2 of the underground and get out at Cal y Canto station (also known at Mapocho Station). They attend from 08:30 to 12:00. Further information can be found on the Website When you register your visa for the first time to must have a passport, three color photos, size 4 x 4 cm, with your name and passport number. The cost of the procedure in July 2007 was $800 (US$ 1.2 payable in Chilean pesos). You will get your certificate of registry immediately.

Obtaining an Identity Card for foreigners

This procedure is done at the Civil Registry Office (Registro Civil e Identificación), in Huérfanos street nr. 1570. We recommend you to take Line 1 of the underground ( and get out at Moneda station (north sidewalk or platform). They attend from 09:00 to 14:30. You can get further information at the following Website: You must have a photocopy of the registry of your visa and a photocopy of your passport (showing personal data and the visa).

Living in Santiago

Santiago has more than 5 million inhabitants. It is in the central zone of the country (33ºS), in a valley next to the Andes mountain range, at about 100 km from the Pacific coast.

Climate The climate in Santiago is Mediterranean, with some rain from May to August and dry the rest of the year. During winter (June-August), the average minimum and maximum temperatures are 4ºC and 15ºC, respectively. Sometimes the temperature goes down to 0ºC. The summer is relatively hot and dry (maximum temperature is around 30ºC in January). Due to an unfavorable topography (the city is surrounded by mountains) and little ventilation, together with the climatic conditions of the region, there are periods of a lot of atmospheric contamination during autumn and winter.
Safety Santiago is not a particularly dangerous city. It has the same safety problems any big city has. That is why we suggest you to follow the basic rules to prevent thefts and attacks in the street: don’t wear valuable jewelry, always keep an eye on your valuable objects; don’t walk in areas you don’t know without safety references, especially at night; only change money in authorized places (banks, official changing houses, hotels), etc.
Arriving in Santiago from another country We recommend you to arrive in Santiago at least one week before classes start. At the airport (Arturo Merino Benitez or more popularly known as Pudahuel), you can use baggage carts for free. It is useful to change money at the airport because people won’t normally accept dollars as payment and during the weekend the banks and official changing houses are closed.
Transfer to the city center: The trip from the airport to the city center takes about 30 to 40 minutes.
Where to live In first instance, check with the National Tourist Office (SERNATUR) at the airport. They have information about hotels and temporary places to stay, as well as a lot of other interesting tips ( To find a permanent place to live, there are different offers to stay in family houses with a wide range of prices according to the place and services offered. Some might only offer a room or also include meals and washing clothes. Another alternative is to rent a house or apartment. In this case it is important to remember the payment of “service costs” which is a monthly payment of a fixed amount, independent of the rent or utilities. The rent of an apartment is paid one month in advance. When paying the first month’s rent the lodger must also pay an extra month, this is the guarantee; this payment will be reimbursed at the end of the leasing contract.
Other information Local time: GMT minus 4 hours in summer, GMT minus 6 hours in winter. Electricity: 220[V], 50 [Hz]
Pesos and Measures: Metric system.
Emergency phone numbers:
  • Police: 133
  • Ambulance: 131
  • Fire fighters: 132