Home Institution

Georgetown University

Publication Date

Fall 2019

Program Name

Chile: Cultural Identity, Social Justice, and Community Development


This investigation examines the political motives behind President Sebastián Piñera’s implementation of the Visa of Democratic Responsibility and examines how the visa has affected the migratory process of Venezuelans coming to Chile. Since the economic implosion of Venezuela in 2013, hundreds of thousands of Venezuelans have fled political violence and poverty, choosing Chile as their desired place of refuge. Implemented in June 2018, the Visa of Democratic Responsibility was allegedly created as an option for Venezuelan migrants to settle in Chile without the pressure of securing a labor contract as well as a strategic maneuver to combat irregular migration into Chile. This study is extremely relevant because there is little existing literature on how the visa has affected Venezuelan migrants given that it has only been in effect for approximately 18 months. As such, this investigation seeks to fill in the gaps surrounding the motives of the Piñera administration in enacting this visa and its direct impact on Venezuelan migrants. Therefore, the guiding question of this investigation is: What are the political, economic and social objectives of the Piñera administration regarding the Visa of Democratic Responsibility, and how does the visa affect the migratory process of Venezuelan migrants coming to Chile?

In order to conduct this study, several periodicals, news sources and government publications were examined and eight people were contacted and interviewed based on their direct relation or involvement with Venezuelan migration to Chile. From extensive research and the responses of the interviewees, this study found that the Visa of Democratic Responsibility currently stands as the best option for Venezuelan migrants as it provides immediate legitimization and a secure future in Chile, a luxury that migrants using other visas struggle to attain for years. However, this visa does have several considerable drawbacks: the processing period is extremely slow, obtaining up-to-date, government issued documents is nearly impossible given Venezuela’s current political situation and the cost of the visa as well as transit are higher than the majority of Venezuelans can pay. As such, the Piñera administration should revise the requirements of the visa to reflect the current political and economic circumstances in Venezuela, especially if they want to continue to advertise Chile as an accommodating, neighborly country.


Immigration Law | Labor Economics | Latin American History | Latin American Languages and Societies | Latin American Studies | Migration Studies | Social and Cultural Anthropology | Work, Economy and Organizations


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