ESTA for Chilean Citizens -

ESTA for Chilean Citizens

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Chile became a member of the Visa Waiver Program in 2014, making it one of the more recent countries to join. As a result, citizens of Chile can currently enjoy the benefits of applying for an ESTA instead of a visa.

ESTA Requirements and Important Information

  • The applicant must have a biometric passport
  • Valid for two years,or until passport expires if sooner
  • For use on trips of no more than 90 days
  • Use on multiple visits to the US whilst valid
  • Required if travelling to US by air or sea
  • For tourism, business, medical or transit
  • Children require their own individual ESTA
Application for Chilean Citizens

Benefits of Applying for ESTA for Chilean Citizens

Citizens of Chile can use the ESTA to visit the US, which offers a significantly cheaper and faster alternative to a visa. For Chilean citizens who want to visit the US for business meetings or conferences, or just for tourism to visit any of the great US sates, an ESTA is a very convenient form of travel authorization.

Applying for a US visa can take weeks, or even months, whilst an ESTA will usually be processed in a day, or even less in many cases. It is worth noting that whilst ESTA is usually processed very quickly, it is recommended that applications are submitted at least 72 hours prior to travelling to the US.

Obtaining and ESTA enables a traveller from a VWP country to visit the US multiple times, for visits of up to 90 days maximum at a time. The same ESTA can be used again and again whilst it is valid, provided that the passport it is linked to is also still valid. If the passport expires, a new ESTA must be applied for when another US trip is planned, as it cannot be transferred to the new passport.

How Chilean Citizens Can Apply for ESTA

Applying for the ESTA is easy and just requires the completion of an online form that should take less than 20 minutes to fill in. The form includes details such as name, address, date of birth and also passport details. There is also a set of eligibility questions including criminal convictions and medical details.

Any kind of error can cause the ESTA application to get declined, so Chilean citizens applying for ESTA should take care to check all of the details that they provide in their form to avoid any mistakes. If the ESTA is declined then this could delay or even prevent your visit to the US.

What Are the Passport Requirements for the US ESTA?

Travel under the VWP has limitations for people who have passports with certain safety features. The following are the passport requirements for travelling with an ESTA:

  • The passport must be valid;
  • The biographic page of the passport must have a machine-readable zone;
  • The passport must be electronic and contain a digital chip with biometric information on the passport holder.

Why Am I Being Asked About My Employment Information?

Your job information helps prove that you do not intend to enter the United States as an immigrant. Your status for travel permission is non-immigrant, and as an individual, you must demonstrate your desire to return to your place of origin.

How Quickly Does ESTA Get Approved?

ESTA processing time varies from a few minutes to 24 hours. In some rare cases, when the authorities need to do an additional review of the application, the procedure can take up to 72 hours.

How Far in Advance Should I Get My ESTA?

You should ideally apply for ESTA once your travel dates are confirmed, or at least 72 hours before departure, to avoid any issues. While it's possible to apply at the airport just before your flight, it can put you at risk for processing delays and unforeseen problems. Therefore, it's recommended to apply well in advance for a stress-free travel experience.

How Long Is My ESTA Approved For?

Approved ESTA is valid for two years and allows for multiple trips to the United States during that time. Visitors whose passports expire in less than two years will be granted an ESTA that's valid until their passport expires.

How Long Can Travelers from Chile Stay in the US Under an ESTA?

Chilean citizens can stay in the USA for up to 90 days if they use ESTA for travel. They must have the appropriate visa for stays that last more than 90 days.

Can a Chilean Citizen Extend Their ESTA Beyond 90 Days?

Chilean citizens that visit the United States via the Visa Waiver Program cannot extend their stay beyond the original entry term. They must leave America before the date indicated on your entry.

Updating Your ESTA: When Do Chilean Nationals Have to Get a New Travel Approval?

New ESTA travel authorization is required when the traveller:

  • Receives a new passport
  • Changes their name
  • Changes their gender
  • Changes country of citizenship
  • If the traveller's previous responses to any of the ESTA application questions have changed.

Important Information About ESTA Authorization

Before submitting their ESTA application, there are a few more important information Chilean citizens need to be aware of.

Does the ESTA Approval Guarantee Admission to the USA?

No, the ESTA approval doesn’t guarantee admission to the USA. It only confirms that you're eligible to travel under the Visa Waiver Program, but the border officer makes the final decision on whether you can enter the US or not.

What to do when ESTA is Declined

Depending on the reason for your ESTA getting declined, you might still be able to get travel authorization for a trip to the US. If the decline was due to an error on the application form, you should be able to re-apply by filling in another ESTA application form. If it is for another reason, you could still apply for a US visa instead, attending an interview at the US Embassy in Chile.

Address of US Embassy in Chile

Av. Andrés Bello 2800
Las Condes
Santiago, Chile 7550006

Who Isn’t Eligible to Apply for an ESTA?

Not all individuals qualify for VWP travel, even though they are citizens of the country which is a member. That implies that some tourists from Chile are not qualified to travel using an ESTA. This includes:

  • Those who were under arrest;
  • Individuals who possess criminal records;
  • People with certain infective diseases;
  • Individuals who previously overstayed on the Visa Waiver program.

Do Chilean Minors Need an ESTA and Who Can Apply on Their Behalf?

Chilean citizens of all ages (including minors) must have an ESTA to travel to the US. Parents or legal guardians may apply for an ESTA on behalf of their children.

Children also must have valid passports; they cannot use their parent's passports.

Do I Need to Bring a Printed Copy of My ESTA to the Airport?

You don't need to print your travel authorisation because the system is completely electronic, and your land, sea, or air operator will be able to get your ESTA information.

Are US ESTA and a US Visa the Same?

No, a US ESTA and a US visa are not the same. There are a few important differences between them:

  • A completed online application is necessary for receiving an ESTA. In comparison, a US visa application needs you to fill out a DS-160 form and attend an embassy appointment in your home country.
  • ESTA is cheaper, but it is only available for business, transit, medical or tourist purposes and for visits that last up to 90 days. Visa provides longer stays.
  • A US visa takes many weeks to process, with timelines that may or may not coincide with your travel plans.
  • Authorized ESTA applicants have no assurance of entry into the US. CBP at the US border have a final say in the admission of Chilean residents going to the US with an ESTA.

Under What Circumstances Do Chilean Citizens Need to Apply for a US Visa Instead of an ESTA?

People for Chile need a visa instead of ESTA to travel to America if:

  • They previously overstayed beyond 90 days with ESTA in the US;
  • They don't possess an e-passport with a picture;
  • They have a criminal record;
  • They have some infectious diseases.
Do Dual Citizens of Chile and the United States or Canada Need an ESTA?

Dual Citizens of Chile and the United States or Canada do not need to have an ESTA. All they have to do is use their American or Canadian passport when travelling to the USA.

Can You Change Your Status if You Enter the United States Under the Visa Waiver Program?

After entering the US, it is not possible for Chileans to change their status.

If they want to change their status, they first must depart from the USA and apply for the appropriate visa or immigration status from their home country.

Benefits of ESTA for Chilean citizens:
  • Faster processing than visa
  • Use for multiple US visits
  • For business, tourism, medical and transit purposes
  • Easy and fast to complete application form
  • Use mobile or desktop to submit application
  • Can be used for visits to US up to 90 days long
Are You Looking for More Information About the ESTA?

Do you want to get more details related to the ESTA? Just visit the website's FAQ page and ESTA requirements to learn more before starting your application.

Written by Abisola Fikayomi

Abisola is an accomplished writer interested in US Travel, immigration, passports and visas. She’s passionate about exploring new places and cultures and willing to share her experiences, expertize and findings with others. That is her primary drive for specialising in this industry.


Yes, Chilean citizens can travel to the USA. Depending on the purpose and length of the trip, they must have either a visa or an ESTA.
Chile is a part of the Visa Waiver Program since 2014. That means citizens of this country can use the benefits of ESTA and traveling visa-free.
Citizens of Chile need a visa for America if their trip lasts more than 90 days. Also, a visa is necessary for any purpose other than travel or business.
Depending on the purpose of the trip, as well as its length, Chileans need an approved ESTA or an appropriate American visa to be able to travel in America.
You cannot renew your ESTA. After it expires, you must apply for the new one.