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I am an in the US on a visa. I saw this notice on the Chile consulate which basically implies that holders of any US visa are allowed in Chile.

However when I called a few Chile consulates here in the US (NY, DC, Chicago), they insisted that only B1/B2 US visas and green card holders are allowed entry. They weren't even ready to listen to what the New Delhi consulate has put up.

I emailed the consulate and they basically replied with the same link as above without specifically answering my question. I then reached out to the embassy in Chile and they basically told me to f*** off saying this isn't their jurisdiction.

Finally, I checked IATA travel website. That also implies that any valid US visa is allowed.

So at the end I'm really confused. Whom should I believe? How do I confirm what is required? Is this information worth just booking a ticket and showing up in Santiago?

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    After all time you used to contact numerous embassies and consulates, it would not be simpler to apply for a visa? [The embassy in Chile is right, they know the exception on the other way, but it is outside their knowledge, it would be bad if they will give you wrong information, and in any case they will tell you that their info is not legally binding] – Giacomo Catenazzi Sep 13 at 7:54
  • Being allowed to board is one hurdle, the second is getting through Immigration on arrival. I have a very low risk appetite - given the conflicting information and despite the answers from Timatic /IATA, I would apply for a visa. No idea of the cost but for me it would be a small price to pay for peace of mind. – Traveller Sep 13 at 9:13
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If an airline passenger is refused admission to the the destination country or a transit airport country, the airline is subject to fines and is required to return the passenger to the airport of departure at the airlines' cost (although the airline may try to collect that money from the passenger). Thus, airlines are very careful to check passengers' documentation before letting them board the flight.

Airlines use the Timatic database to make this check. Here's a link to the database; there are others. Entering your information (Indian nationality, destination Chile) into the link yields this text:

Chile - Destination Passport

Passport required.

Document validity rules:

Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid on arrival.

So you must carry your passport, and it must be valid upon your arrival in Chile.

The Timatic text goes on to say:

Chile - Destination Visa

Visa required.

The following are exempt from holding a visa:

Nationals of India with a visa issued by the USA valid for a minimum of 6 months from the arrival date. This does not apply to "C" visas.. They must travel as tourists for a maximum stay of 90 days.

Additional information:

Visitors of Easter Island are allowed to stay for a maximum of 30 days. They must : - have a return ticket, and - submit an entry form on https://ingresorapanui.interior.gob.cl, and - have a reservation in a hotel approved by Sernatur (http://serviciosturisticos.sernatur.cl/alojamientos/rapanui), or - have an invitation letter from a resident of Easter Island.

Important:

Visitors not holding return/onward tickets could be refused entry.

If your US H-1 Visa is good for at least six months from your date of arrival in Chile, you do not need an additional visa. You should carry as well proof of a return or onward ticket.

Note, however, the special requirements if you wish to vist Easter Island.

Finally: this answer assumes a non-stop flight from the US to Chile. If your flight stops somewhere else as a layover or transit, you will need to disclose that information to Timatic to see if a visa or visas are required for any additional stop or stops.

EDIT 1: I think the above answer is incomplete, and comes to the wrong conlcusion. @Traveller has pointed out (see his comment below) that if the airline employee believes the OP is a a US resident and enters "Resident of US" into Timatic, the result displayed is this:

Visa required, except for Nationals of India with a Permanent Resident/Resident Alien Card (Form I-551) issued by the USA for a maximum stay of 90 days.

The OP has a US visa, but does not have a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card). Thus, if this result is displayed, the OP could be denied boarding.

It is not clear if a foreign-passport holder who's living in the US after having entered on a visa becomes a US resident for purposes of subsequent international air travel. I would not like to have my trip to South America derailed because an airline employee and I disagreed about semantics.

I'll change my answer: the OP should obtain a Chilean visa for his trip.

EDIT 2: the OP has cited this Chilean government document, which contains this text:

Visa information The Consular Section of the Embassy of Chile in India states that henceforth all Indian travellers holding a valid US Visa, with current validity of six months, do not require a Chilean tourist visa (either Simple Tourism or Multiple Tourism or Multiple-Business). This came into effect from the 1st April 2019. NOTE - All travellers to Chile need to have a valid passport for at least six months from the date of entrance into the country. - Tourist travellers should have enough financial support for their stay in Chile. - The period of stay in Chile for tourists is up to 90 days. - Not applicable to USA Transit Visa (Visa C).

This document is clear that the OP does not require a Chilean visa.

Still, I'd worry a bit that airline check-in staff might see what's presented by Timatic and conclude differently. Asking for a supervisor would then be in order.

All in all: I think now that the OP does not require a Chilean visa for tourist purposes. A conservative approach, however, would be to obtain a Chilean visa to eliminate the difficulties that might arise over a different conclusion drawn because of the imprecision of Timatic's use of the concept "residency."

  • Great! thank you. btw, does "residence country" matter in the timatic web form? Cz i am in the US and technically a resident here ( no green card though), and if i put that it says "visa required" and exemption only for green card holders. – InsatiableTraveller Sep 13 at 0:29
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    Residence is immaterial here, I think. Your Indian passport (if valid on arrival) and US visa (if valid for 6 months from arrival) are enough to secure entry to Chile, without regard to whether you're living in the US or living elsewhere. Have a good trip! – David Sep 13 at 0:43
  • awesome, thank you David, I see you are in CA too and an attorney, any idea why the consulate in SFO/ other cities would not agree with this new rule and insist on only B1/B2? that part is still frustrating me. – InsatiableTraveller Sep 13 at 0:55
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    No idea. My wife's Rule of Life #4 is Some things cannot be explained. – David Sep 13 at 1:39
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    @InsatiableTraveller You're very well equipped to argue the matter if check-in staff comes to a different conclusion. If your risk tolerance is high, embark on the trip without a Chilean visa. If low...consider getting a visa to eliminate the possible issue. I'm convinced, but I'm not going to be the person behind the counter. (The recent change in Chilean governmental policy can explain why various sources, even Indian governmental ones, give different answers.) – David Sep 13 at 15:44

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