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Visa Tech: Chile facilitates the arrival of overseas professionals and technicians for the technology sector

The director of InvestChile, Carlos Álvarez, highlighted the importance of this new process for obtaining visas for work in the technology sector and underlined the commitment shown by all the public and private entities involved in the initiative, which will help position Chile as a regional hub of talent.

The electronic signing of its management protocol marked the official launch of Visa Tech, a public-private initiative to streamline the processing of work visas for professionals and technicians in the technology sector. By reducing the time required for their hiring, the initiative provides support for entrepreneurship and productivity in technology services companies in Chile.

Led by InvestChile and Start-Up Chile, the initiative has received extensive support and coordination from entities that include the Undersecretariat of Economy, the Department for Overseas Citizens and Migration, the Civil Registry, the Transforma Program of the government’s Economic Development Agency (CORFO) and the Chiletec association.

The director of InvestChile, Carlos Álvarez, indicated that Visa Tech will have short-term benefits in that companies opting to use the system will be able to hire highly qualified professionals to provide sophisticated services and products. In the long term, “there will also be benefits due to the incorporation of knowledge that will boost Chile as a pole of innovation and talent regionally and internationally,” he added.

“What we are doing today, with the launch of Visa Tech, is to confirm our commitment to offer ready and simple entry to Chile for those overseas professionals who want to contribute with their talent to the development of our knowledge-intensive export industries,” said Álvarez, who also pointed out that this will help position Chile as a regional hub of talent.

The director of InvestChile also pointed out that Visa Tech is a tool that forms part of a much broader policy or vision – “the vision that the new post-copper Chile needs to consolidate an important technological leap as it looks to the future.”

Rocío Fonseca, executive director of Start-Up Chile, Latin America’s largest business accelerator, underscored the fast and coordinated work of all the public institutions and private companies involved in drawing up Visa Tech’s terms and protocols as well as the government’s willingness to support large and small technology services companies.

Undersecretary for Economy Natalia Piergentili indicated that Visa Tech is designed to boost the entry of highly trained professionals as a quick way to offset a shortage in some IT areas. At the same time, she said, work is underway to modify the structure of courses at universities and institutes in order to foster the development of technological talent “made in Chile”.

She also noted that Visa Tech will help to reduce companies’ productivity gap, permitting the ongoing rapid growth of Chile’s technology services sector which, in 2016, showed an expansion of 11% as compared to the industry’s 9% growth globally.

The ceremony at which the Visa Tech protocol was signed was attended by Natalia Piergentili, undersecretary of economy; Rodrigo Sandoval, national head of the Department for Overseas Citizens and Migration; Víctor Nakada, national head of the Overseas Citizens and International Police area of the Plainclothes Police Service (PDI); Rolando Ortega, director of consular policy at the Ministry of Foreign Relations; Jorge Álvarez, national director of the Civil Registry; Rocío Fonseca, executive director of Start-Up Chile; Raúl Ciudad, president of the Public-Private Committee for Service Exports; Francisco Mardones, president of the Transforma Intelligent Industries Program-CORFO; and Álvaro Portugal, president of the Association of Chilean Technology Companies (Chiletec).


How Visa Tech works

The Visa Tech program will reduce to a maximum of 15 working days the time required to obtain a work visa for professionals in the technology sector, facilitating hiring processes, the incorporation of specialized human capital and the growth of large and small ITC companies.

Companies and SMEs interested in using the Visa Tech program for one or more employees should contact InvestChile, Start-Up Chile or Chiletec and, if the potential overseas employee is already in the country, submit a request for a Certificate of Sponsorship for the streamlined visa process.

If the potential employee is not yet in the country, the company should apply for a Personalized Letter of Invitation for Business Purposes. This will permit the potential employee’s early entry into Chile in order to complete the hiring process there and then apply for a Work Visa. For this purpose, the company’s request should indicate specific details of the potential employee’s identity and background.

Learn more about Visa Tech.

Since the start of pilot operation of the Visa Tech program in May, work visas have been awarded to some dozen professionals from India, Venezuela, Cuba and China. They include engineers in statistics, public accountants and IT engineers of whom one holds a master’s degree in information sciences and systems.

To access the Visa Tech program, click here.