POST UPDATED: October 4, 2016
A few documents are now required to be submitted when applying for Chilean visa in Arequipa, Peru. Please read til the end of this post.
Interrupting all my backlogs to make way for this important post. Yes, I am back in South America (I will get to that story one of these days, pramiiis). I did work exchange in a hostel in Arequipa for a month all the while thinking of moving to Chile next. I waited for a sign (yes, sometimes I rely on signs) if I should go for it and make my way down to Valparaíso which was 40 hours away by bus from Arequipa. No, I’m not kidding. ?
When I got my sign, I immediately headed to the Consulate the next morning to lodge my application. Kach and Jon of twomonkeystravelgroup did it before, I just followed suit.
I went on a Friday, a little after 12. The Consul was talking to someone, there was another person in queue but the guy – the Consul’s assistant I reckoned – stood up on his seat and went straight to me to ask what I needed. In my best, albeit broken Spanish (I’m still learning OK) I told him that I wanted to apply for a tourist visa application for Chile. He asked me where I wanted to go (Arica and Valparaíso), how many days I intend to stay (two and a half months just so he’d give me 90 days), do I have bus bookings, etc. (no, I will buy them later when I get my visa)? Next, he asked for my passport and payment (I handed him a crisp $100) then proceeded with his paperworks.
After 15 minutes of waiting, I was called to his desk to check if there were any errors with my personal details that he just encoded (there was a typo on my birthday). After printing a copy, he asked for my fingerprint and I signed the document. He told me to come back on Monday to pick up my passport.
I applied for a single entry to Chile which costs $30 according to their handbook but in total I paid $40. I guess the extra $10 is for the handling fee? Multiple entry costs $60. No receipt was issued.
On Monday, I was at their office at exactly 11am. The guy instantly recognised me and went straight towards me to show my visa document. My heart sank when I saw that my 90 days got demoted to 60 days. I asked (in Spanish) why to which his only response was “60 days only”. There’s really nothing I could do so I just nodded to let him know I agreed, signed the paper, and placed my thumbprint again. He made 2 photocopies, one he gave to me along with the original copy to be shown at the border while the other one he kept for his personal file. Then I said my thanks and left.
Easy peasy. I mean compared to the ridiculous requirements (typewritten application form? seriously!) we had to submit back home, I feel better paying that extra $10 here in Arequipa.
By the way, I’m currently in Valparaíso. I arrived yesterday after merely surviving being trapped for 31 hours on the bus! Que horror said my bum. Kbye!
UPDATE: October 4, 2016
For the second time this year I am back in Arequipa but no longer alone since JC is here with me now. We are here because we are making our way down to Patagonia. While in Lima, we tried to apply in the Chilean embassy but they had a list of requirements we needed to submit and we must wait 3 weeks for our visa to be released. Um, no gracias.
So off we went to Arequipa. We arrived yesterday (a Monday) after hitchhiking from Lima. After a quick nap we went straight to the Chilean consulate to apply for a multiple entry visa. I was just here 7 months ago but it seems there have been a few changes already. These are:
1) The application form is new, no more thumbprint needed.
2) A hotel/hostel booking is now required but one booking, anywhere in Chile, is enough. We submitted a hostel booking for Puerto Natales.
3) Bank statement or whatever form you can show that you have money. In our case, we submitted a screenshot of our savings account.
4) Three (3) copies of passport size photo. There’s a lot of small studios where you can get it in Arequipa for about 15 minutes. We paid 5 soles each for 6 passport size copies.
Multiple entry visa cost $60 per person plus $10 consultation fee so a total of $70. I specifically asked 90 days for us both since we will be zig-zagging between Argentina and Chile but in the case that our Argentina visa application will not be accepted (we’re sincerely hoping we get accepted!!!) at least we could stay longer in Chile, maybe do a bit of work exchange instead.
I hope this new information will help fellow Filipinos who are planning of applying their Chilean visa in Arequipa. It’s still not as arduous as visa application for Argentina but it’s no longer show-up-pay-come-back-the-next-day thing like it used to be.