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Are you considering a move to Chile and find yourself thinking about how on earth you will be able to support yourself? Would it help if we told you that you can indeed find work in Chile. For many professions there are big opportunities to be had in this diverse country. As foreign trade is a large part of the Chilean economy, foreign workers help to provide unique skills and talents that allow businesses compete on an international level.
Depending on the part of the country you are interested in living, there are a variety of career paths available. The larger cities of Santiago, Valparaiso, and Concepcion are where many expats flock to find office type work in Chile. In the more rural areas there are vast opportunities for more “blue collar” labor, such as mining and engineering.
For foreigners interested in working in Chile you will need to either be a permanent Chilean resident or have authorization to work in Chile. As an expat looking for the right opportunities, an important first step is to know what is needed to work in Chile and how to go about getting the proper documentation to start the process.
As with most countries in the region, the process to be eligible to work in Chile can be at times frustrating and slower than you might like. Chile has put channels in place to make the process straightforward, however in each case it is quite important to have the correct documents ready to present. It is equally important to remember that the process is worth the small frustrations and this “barrier to entry” into the job market gives you a little advantage when you do become legal to work in Chile.
Most companies will be hesitant to hire an expat who doesn’t have a work visa, as it can put them at risk for a fine or worse. The challenge for many job seekers is that you need an employer contract verifying your intent to work in Chile under their company as part of your work visa application. This catch 22 can often lead to frustration, however you will find that starting the rest of your process will give you a leg up when approaching companies for a job. Large international companies can often provide the best opportunities to get started, as they usually have a number of foreign workers on staff and are familiar with the expat hiring process. These companies can also provide a lawyer to help walk you through the process and will sometimes have influence within the labor department to expedite your request and get you working in Chile much quicker.
Here are some of the large multinationals that operate in Chile:
Chile is not too different from other countries in that getting your foot in the door is as much about what you know as who you know. Building personal and professional relationships is all a part of how business is done in the country. Word of mouth advertising is quite common among companies who are looking to hire and are often not even published online.
Tip #1: Network for friends. Friends lead to more friends and if they have a job they are likely to know how to help you get one as well.
Tip #2: Network for professional development. Building your professional network is key to finding the best opportunities in competitive industries.
Tip #3: Ask around, as locals have their ear to the ground and can help point you in the right direction.
Tip #4: Search Online. Searching online can help you get a feel for the type of jobs available in the area.
Tip #5: Know your USP. Knowing the thing that makes you unique and valuable within the job market is a big boost when applying for a job in Chile. Often this can be as simple as having English as a first language.
In order for you to work in Chile as a foreign-born person, you must have residence or be a legally permanent citizen in the country, as well have authorization to work. Authorization is achieved by having a signed contract for employment.
Once given a residency visa in Chile or the special foreigner work permit (with visa processing) you will be able to start working.
Here are the requirements to begin work in Chile, per the Chilean Government’s Chile Abroad information:
On the other hand, the work contract for foreign-born workers in Chile, must comply at least with the following contents:
It is necessary to consider, that the duration of the work contract for the foreign-born worker, may be:
With respect to the above mentioned, the foreign-born worker must have a series of necessary and relevant documents. On the one hand, the former contract settlement, or appearance document, or evidence in writing made by the national Work Inspection Department, which consists in a drawn up and written letter where the worker gives evidence, with a copy, that its former employer ended the labor relation. It also requires a new work contract, that must meet the requirements already described.
On the other hand, it is important to consider that the contingency situation of the foreign-born worker in Chile is regulated by the common and general rules on the subject, that is to say, by the Decree Law Nº 3.500. However, the Law Nº 18.156, grants the possibility of not to pay completely the deduction payments to the foreign-born worker who meets some requirements, it is to say:
It is necessary to make clear that, in case the foreign-born worker does not pay deduction in Chile, he will be deprived of the benefits of the Chilean contingency system, except for those derived from the coverage of industrial accidents and occupational diseases, which deduction payment are mandatory for the employer.
Similarly, the hiring of foreign-born-workers is subject to inspection, according to what stated in the regulations of the Foreign Legalization Service, dependent on the Ministry of Interior, through the Department of Foreign Legalization and Migration.
The inspection of the work, contingency, hygiene and security according to the Work Code, are of exclusive competence of the Work Directorate, bound to protect all workers, without exception, whether Chilean or foreign-born citizens.
At last, it is necessary to stress that there are certain special situations of the foreign-born worker in Chile, that is to say, a subject to work contract residence visa may be granted for free and without a written contract, when it comes to artists, scientists, teachers, writers, and in general, people of special relevance in the cultural field or highly prestigious figures. Besides, when they are sponsored by public or private institutions of a recognized solvency. And, when their activities are performed with charitable, teaching or diffusion purposes.
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