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I'm on a tourist visa in Chile that will expire in a few days. I might not be able to leave the country in time due to bad weather conditions. I'll need to reenter Chile after.

I've frequented the extranjeria website of the Chilean government here and on the list for fines (as of June 2014) it seems I'd only have to pay approximately 30,000 pesos (~ 55$) without any further disadvantages (according to "Extranjeros: Residencia Irregular", Tramo 1). It also seems that overstaying up to 100 days this fine will not change.

Is it so, that there are no further disadvantages for first time offenders apart from paying the fine (especially regarding reentering Chile)? Would this fine be the same regardless if I overstay 1 day or 100 days?

I cannot really believe how cheap this fine is, considering the large number of people who cross the Argentinian border only to reenter with a freshly stamped 90 day tourist visa. Why not just stay in Chile and pay when finally leaving (as little as ~ 90$ for overstaying up to a year)?

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    Some updates, though not a thorough answer yet: a) the "Extranjeria" is responsible for extending tourist visas. b) a 90 day extension costs 100$ (for Germans?). c) there is a 10-day period of grace after your visa expires if you cannot leave the country due to bad weather or circumstances beyond your power. d) overstaying comes with a fine of 30,000 Ch$. – Stockfisch Jun 7 '14 at 1:02
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    Another update (early 2016): Overstayed tourist visas now have to be reported to the Policía de Investigaciones (PDI). Source: Extranjeria La Serena – Stockfisch Mar 24 '16 at 18:17
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+50

Let's say money is the only factor here, and then indeed, you may be fine with it. That's still a bit of cash for others.

However, if anything eventuates that you need a clean record for - remember, they'll have a record of this. You want a permanent visa? Odds are that's a black mark against your application. Background check? Another issue.

Further to that, if it's on your international record (many countries share information) you are often asked in other countries if you've ever overstayed. Assuming you're answering honestly, you're going to have more trouble. Then if they have the info from Chile anyway, and you lie, there are even bigger problems as you've now lied on an official form.

So yes, it might be just a little bit of money, but the long term impacts might be greater than you can foresee from your situation now :/

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Besides Tom's great answer, there are two more reasons.

First is that overstay laws can change, and might introduce much harsher penalties. For example, a fine might increase 100x, or jail time may be introduced. Those changes might be implemented very quickly in certain political situations (i.e. "terrorism"), and you might not be able to leave quickly enough to escape them. Or the procedure of paying fine may change, suddenly making it very inconvenient (for example forcing you to go to your port of entry to pay the fine). Latter is especially true when collection of overstay fines is regulated by some ministry, as those regulations can change overnight and you might not even know about those changes until you appear at the airport.

Another reason is that once you overstay, you're usually breaking the law of the country. This means if for any reasons law enforcement stops you, and checks your paperwork (or you're a victim of a crime and go to the police), they may detain you, and eventually deport you. Whether this would really happen depends on the country and the area, but those things are volatile. Thus even if the country law enforcement historically was lax toward overstayers, an act of terrorism, unrest in neighbor country or regime change may change this overnight.

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