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In case you’re wondering why I spend so much time down here…

February 14, 2012
Talca, Chile

One of the local papers here in Chile ran an interesting story a few days ago about the number of young Spanish immigrants coming to Chile in search of work.

Fed up with the ridiculously high unemployment rate in Spain, and tired of being shut out of every single opportunity imaginable, a handful of intrepid young souls is starting to look for greener pastures abroad. And increasingly, that journey is bringing them to Chile.

The report, published in El Mostrador [Spanish-language], profiles several young people who’ve left Spain’s roughly 50% youth unemployment rate. Stymied by the lackluster prospects in Europe, and the even worse prospects (and visa challenges) in the US, they’ve set their sights on Latin America.

Most found success in Chile’s rapidly growing economy where skilled, energetic young people are in demand. For some, the opportunities here in Chile were so plentiful when they arrived that they encouraged their friends and families back home in Spain to hop a flight and make a change for the better.

Santiago, Chile

Like America of the past, Chile is a country that’s friendly to productive, responsible,  hard-working people. It’s very easy to obtain a residency visa and work permit– all you need is a work contract from just about any local company, and you’re entitled to what’s called a “sujeto a contrato” visa.

This particular visa is renewed after one year. After the second year of continuous employment, you’re entitled to permanent residency. Three years later, you can apply for naturalization and a Chilean passport, as long as you meet minimum time-in-country requirements.

Best of all, you don’t even need a lawyer. Compared to what I’ve seen in Europe and North America, the red tape involved in the Chilean immigration process is minimal; local companies in Chile have tremendous latitude in hiring foreign workers without the government getting involved.

I personally know a number of foreigners who have moved to Chile and obtained work visas in this way– South Africans, Americans, Canadians, Spaniards, French, Brits, Russians, Chinese…

One Cuban acquaintance of mine managed to escape the Castro absurdity 3 years ago. Rather than stow away for Miami, though, she opted for a much longer journey, making her way to Chile.

She eventually found a job with a Canadian mining company (an English-language environment) based here. This is remarkable when you think about it– that a foreign company can come to Chile and hire non-Chileans with ease.

In the article, Chile’s Labor Minister Bruno Baranda confirmed his government’s openness to foreigners, indicating that there is a major shortage of laborers, skilled workers, and professionals in mining, construction, and agriculture.

I can personally attest to the shortage of agricultural workers– it’s been extremely difficult to find so much as a day laborer in the town near our farm despite the premium wages we’ve been offering. As a result, I’m considering bringing in additional manpower from abroad under the ‘visa a contrato’ scheme.

Furthermore, agricultural professionals in my area like agronomists and irrigation specialists are often booked weeks in advance… another interesting indicator of the opportunities down here.

I’ve been saying this for a while now, but I’ll say it again: if the job market looks bleak where you are, take matters into your own hands… especially if you’re young and facing absolutely zero prospects. Get your feet wet abroad– the opportunities are much brighter, and the experience can be life-changing.

There are a lot of places in the world where foreigners can come to thrive– others include Singapore, Qatar, Mongolia, several places in the Caribbean, the United Arab Emirates, and many more. Chile just happens to be one of my favorites… and if you take a look at this short video, you’ll understand why.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Gui

    You’re right. Also in Buenos Aires, Argentina, there are more and more young Europeans looking for jobs.

  • Bluwater

    When they find themselves overrun with foreigners looking for a leg up but sucking the life out of the treasury, they’ll lose interest in immigration.  A simple point of reality is that the population of Earth will double in 25 years short of a major war or plague.  Density leads to problems and poverty, and sooner or later countries have to start saying no, and telling other countries that we are finished relieving your government of the results from irresponsible behavior.

    • http://www.michaellockyear.com michael lockyear

      How do foreigners suck the treasury dry?    Only a problem in socialist countries, which are doomed by their own policies.  (the people who have to pay for the free lunches read this blog and are going be going elsewhere!)

      • Bluwater

        Because like in every country, Chili has free public education and assistance to the poor (as any responsible society should).  These may be socialist concepts, but implementing them doesn’t make it a socialist country until these programs start to become a way of living.

        But when a country is doing well and easy to get into, it’s an open invitation to the illiterates and n’er do wells to come and live off subsistence without adequately putting back into the systems.  Who are these immigrants… doctors, scientists, engineers?  Nope… at best they are fruit pickers and bussers at restaurants, live below the country’s poverty level and will therefore absorb resources from their new host country.

        If you put enough leeches on the hull of the most powerful ship, you will slow it to a crawl.  Put more on and it will sink.  It might be awhile till Chili starts attracting the leeches, but they will attract them in droves, just as the USA has. 

      • Lchand51

        The problem is not really population, but government policies and human mentality.  Well represented by countries like Singapore with few resources (except human) and thriving economies versus many Latin American or African countries with huge resources but significant problems with government, freedom, education, etc.  I ascribe to the Julian Simon idea that the greatest resource is the human mind.

  • http://BlackSheepReport.com/ Richard Penney

    Simon, you mention good places in the Caribbean. Do you have those listed anywhere?

  • Gavin

    Off topic, does anyone have thoughts on the economy of Estonia?  I wonder if ex-pats are finding that a good place to relocate to.

    • http://evilspeculator.com molecool

      It’s a great country with much potential and from what I heard it’s business friendly. Beautiful people – beautiful towns – you’ll love it. BUT – it’s cold as hell and dark during winter so you may want to find yourself a place to hide out down South ;-)

  • Anti-NWO

    What are these several places in the carribean you speak of? Thanks.

  • Matt

    One problem with moving to Chile is banking. Apparently, it’s a huge problem when you first get there. By huge problem I mean you can’t get a bank account for a couple of years. You have to use banks outside of the country.

    That was that status of things a couple of years ago. Maybe it has changed by now.

  • Hug_cl

    you are write about the bank accounts problems but you have others alternatives like a debit acount

  • Ivan Cubillos

    I’m from Chile, please feel free to come down to my country all of you who can contribute to make this country even more beautiful. 

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