Moving Your Career to Santiago, Chile

Posted on Nov 29, 2016 | 0 comments

Moving Your Career to Santiago, Chile

Bienvenidos a Chile. Chile is an economically and politically stable country and various multinational companies have their headquarters for their South American operations in Santiago. However, unless you have been offered a job as an intracompany transferee or you possess a highly sought after skill, it is important to note that you will probably not find a job before you move to Chile. So what are your options?


1) Apply for the Working Holiday Program Visa if you’re under 30 and from one of the following countries: Canada, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Germany, Denmark or Australia.


2) Apply for a visitor visa for three months and look for work during the duration of the visitor visa. Visitor visas can be extended for another three months by leaving the country and reentering. While it is possible to renew indefinitely, questions regarding your source of income are likely to be asked when exit and reenter the country every three months.


3) As a partner of an expat with a job offer (also called a Resident Subject to Contract), you have the right to be in the country, but not to work. If you are accompanying your partner to Chile under these terms, you may want to consider entering the country on a visitor visa. It’s easier to switch from a visitor visa to a work visa than to obtain a work visa as the partner of a Resident Subject to Contract.


Local companies are reluctant to hire foreigners because they believe the work visa application process is complicated. This makes it challenging for foreigners to find employment other than teaching English or working for a multinational company that is comfortable with the work visa process.


To find a job in Chile, be sure to:


  1. Learn to speak Spanish at a fairly advanced level. Chilean Spanish is not like Spanish from Spain or the Spanish spoken in other Latin American countries. It’s packed with slang and can be hard to understand and speak. Even advanced Spanish speakers will want to take a few classes to get their Chilean Spanish up to speed. Check out some of the most common phrases on the FluentU Spanish Language and Culture Blog.
  2. Start your search in Santiago. Business is conducted in Santiago, there is not a lot happening in the rest of the country.
  3. Networking is crucial. While this is true everywhere, it is especially true in Chile. Use the ‘pitutos” (connections) you may have through your partner, friends or family of friends, etc. Don’t forget to network both in the Chilean and international community. There are many networking events for all sorts of professionals. A great international networking organization that offers professional development activities for career-minded-women based in Santiago is IPWA. Internations, a global network for expats, is also very active in Santiago. A lot of networking is done online through LinkedIn. Make sure to research the extensive listings of networking opportunities/organizations and strategies in the Passport Career’s networking chapters in the Chile Portfolio. You may also want to contact your embassy or the Santiago Chamber of Commerce. Although they are geared towards businesses, they may occasionally organize interesting networking events and welcome in individuals job seekers.
  4. Check the local employment websites such as Trabajando, Laborum, and Pegas as well as others listed in this article.
  5. Be prepared to answer invasive interview questions, such as: “are you considering having a family” if you are a woman between 20 and 40 years old and don’t be surprised by employment assessments dating back to the 1800s, such as the Rorschach test or scientifically unfounded tests such as Your Personality Color.
  6. Consider starting your own business. Chile offers many resources to help you set up and/or grow your business, especially for women. Check out this blog on how to start a business in Chile.
  7. Learn about cultural differences and business etiquette in Chile. You can check out Passport Career’s wealth of information on business culture in the Chile Portfolio and read this eDiplomat article on business etiquette in Chile. Chileans believe in doing business based on trust and will want to develop long-lasting personal relationships prior to doing business with you. Be prepared to share personal information about yourself and your family during business meetings and don’t expect immediate decisions.
  8. El Mercurio is one of the bigger newspapers that still includes Job Postings. On Facebook you will find groups that publish job postings across Chile: such as Ofertas de trabajo en todo or Datos de pega, trabajos, anuncios en región metropolitana y alrededores.
  9. And last but not least, you can always start teaching English and continue to search for the perfect position while you’re making some money. Just make sure to have a clear plan and timelines to find a position you enjoy so you don’t lose track of your long-term objective of continuing your career. You can search teaching jobs and other jobs that require English language skills here: English Teaching and Other English Speaking Skills Jobs.




Marian Hazke, Expert Global Career Coach for Passport Career





Passport Career provides more detailed career information and extensive resources as well as career training about networking, finding a job, internship, alternative career opportunities, job search using social media as well as information on writing CVs, cover letters and interviews. If your organization, embassy, university/college, library, or other institution would like access to our country portfolios (15,000+ pages of expert content for 80+ countries and 250+ cities) to share with your students, employees, spouses/partners, and others managing a national or international career transition, please click here to contact us (or send email to: regarding a free, live, online demo and details on how to obtain a license to access Passport Career.




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