Visa Eligibility and FAQs for Chilean Citizens Traveling to the USA

The United States, a land of diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, beckons travelers from all corners of the globe. Whether you’re a Chilean citizen dreaming of exploring the bustling streets of New York City, the sun-kissed beaches of California, or the serene parks of Oregon, the adventures that await you are as varied as they are exciting. Traveling to the US offers a chance to immerse yourself in a society known for its melting pot of cultures, historical landmarks, and innovative spirit.

But before you pack your bags, it’s crucial to understand the essentials of entering the United States. For citizens of Chile, this often means acquiring the necessary travel authorization – the ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization). In this article, we’ll navigate through the process of determining US visa eligibility and address common questions that Chilean nationals may have when planning their visit to the United States.

Understanding the Visa Waiver Program for Chilean Citizens

Chile is one of the VWP (Visa Waiver Program) countries, which allows Chilean passport holders to travel to the US for tourism, business, or transit purposes without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Instead, Chileans can apply for an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which is a simpler, faster, and more efficient process than obtaining a traditional visa.

Eligibility Criteria for ESTA

  • Chilean passport must be an electronic passport with a digital chip containing biometric information.
  • The purpose of the visit should be business, tourism (including medical purposes), or transit.
  • The stay in the US must not exceed 90 days.
  • The traveler should not have a visitor’s visa in their possession.
  • Travelers must arrive via a VWP-approved air or sea carrier.
  • Applicants must have no history of violation of any previous admission under the VWP.
  • No criminal record or other issues that may make you inadmissible under US law.

Meeting these criteria makes you an eligible candidate for applying for an ESTA before your travel to the United States.

How to Apply for an ESTA as a Chilean Citizen

Applying for an ESTA is straightforward. Just follow these steps:

  1. Fill out our easy-to-use online application form. The application takes about 10 minutes. Make sure to have your passport handy.
  2. Submit & Pay for your application. We accept all payment types. PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay & Credit Card.
  3. Get your ESTA emailed to you within 72hrs. We’ll email you your approved travel authorization, and that’s it, you’re ready to go!

If you need your ESTA in a hurry, you can choose from our two expedited processing options. Simply select your add-on at checkout.

Common Questions from Chilean Nationals About the ESTA

Is an ESTA a Visa?

No, an ESTA is not a visa. It’s an authorization to travel under the Visa Waiver Program. However, it serves a similar purpose in allowing you to board a flight to the US.

How Long Does ESTA Approval Take?

Although approval can come through in as little as a few hours, it’s recommended to apply for your ESTA at least 72 hours before your departure, as processing times can vary.

What if I’m Not Eligible for an ESTA?

If you do not meet the criteria for an ESTA, you’ll need to apply for a visa suited to the purpose of your trip (e.g., tourist, worker, student visa) at the nearest US embassy or consulate.

Can I Extend My Stay Beyond 90 Days with an ESTA?

No, you cannot extend your stay in the US beyond 90 days under the Visa Waiver Program. You must leave the country before the 90 days are up.

What If My Passport Expires?

Your passport must be valid for at least six months beyond your period of stay in the US. If your passport expires, you’ll need to renew it before applying for an ESTA.


Traveling to the United States as a Chilean citizen is an exciting prospect that requires some preparation. By ensuring you meet the ESTA eligibility requirements and understanding the application process, you can anticipate a smooth journey to the US. Remember to apply early and prepare for your trip with all the necessary documentation. Safe travels and enjoy the vibrant culture, spectacular landscapes, and unforgettable experiences the United States has to offer!


Q: Do Chilean citizens need a visa for the US?
A: Chilean citizens who are eligible for the Visa Waiver Program do not need a traditional visa if traveling for business or tourism for 90 days or less. Instead, they can apply for an ESTA.

Q: How long is an ESTA valid?
A: An ESTA is valid for two years from the date of approval, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first. It allows for multiple entries into the US.

Q: Can I work in the US with an ESTA?
A: No, an ESTA does not authorize you to work in the US. If you wish to work in the US, you will need to apply for the appropriate work visa.

Q: What should I do if my ESTA is denied?
A: If your ESTA is denied, you can apply for a visa at a US embassy or consulate. This process is longer and requires an appointment and an in-person interview.

Q: Can I visit the US multiple times with my ESTA?
A: Yes, an ESTA allows for multiple entries into the US during its validity period. However, each stay must not exceed 90 days.

Share this...