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ESTA (United States Travel Authorization) for Citizens of Chile

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Country: Chile

Capital: Santiago

ESTA Required: Yes (from May 1, 2014)

Chile, officially the Republic of Chile has in modern time experienced growing ties with the United States of America for both trade and tourism. Early in 2014, the Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, joined by Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources Heather Higginbottom, the Chilean Foreign Minister Alfredo Morena and the Chilean Ambassador Felipe Bulnes, announced the designation of Chile in the Visa Waiver Program. And since May 1st, 2014, Chileans has been able to apply for the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA).

Strong security standards have been maintained while making the immigration process streamlined for visiting the U.S. It has helped both countries and made it easier for Chileans to visit the U.S. Some still might have to apply for a B-2 tourist visa since the ESTA only applies to visit the U.S. for the purpose of business, tourism (including medical purposes) and non-credit study programs. ESTA is not a visa, and only permits stay for up 90 days for all Chileans. A travel authorization (ESTA) is usually valid for up to two years and can be used multiple times within these two years before a renewal is required. A new application has to be made to renew your ESTA.

U.S. Immigration statistics about Chilean visitors (2017):

  • The total amount of visitors from Chile: 423 098
  • Approved ESTA applications: 268 704
  • Students and exchange visitors: 10 014
  • Temporary workers and family-related applications: 10 330
  • Diplomats and other official representatives: 3 855
  • Other types of visitor categories: 2 464

Flight information from Chile to the United States

Chile’s main airline LATAM has routes connecting Chile and the U.S. The main international airport in Chile is Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL). The airport is located 15km from (9.5 miles) northwest of central Santiago. Travel time to New York is between 10-11 hours.

  • Most popular flight connections from SCL are New York City, Los Angeles, Orlando, Miami, and Boston while the most popular route is from Santiago to Washington.
  • An average non-stop flight from the U.S. to Chile takes 17 hours and 16 minutes.
  • You can purchase flight tickets from Chile to the U.S. from as low as USD 514.
  • Other airports in Chile that has flights going to the U.S. are Hanga Roa, Punta Arenas, La Serena, Calama and Concepción (flight options vary).

When to apply for the ESTA?

It is now mandatory to apply for an ESTA 72 hours before boarding. However, travelers are recommended to apply weeks or months in advance, to ensure that their travel authorization (ESTA) is approved. Non-approved applications mean that a regular B-2 visa must be applied for, which can take weeks or months to complete. If you have plans to visit the United States, apply today or well in advance. Learn more about the ESTA application here.

Travelers with an approved ESTA can verify the status or make updates. Visit this page for more information: verify/update ESTA.


Quick facts

Chilean citizens can apply for ESTA online

The ESTA is valid for 2 years for visitors from Chile

Chileans can stay in the U.S. for up to 90 days with an approved ESTA

Chile’s overstay rate is only: 1.49%