Considerations for Hiring Foreign Employees in Chile

When contemplating the hiring of foreign employees in Chile, it's imperative to navigate the intricacies of Law 18,156 and ensure compliance with its requirements. HR departments in Chile must broaden their expertise and adapt to cater to international staff.

For Chilean HR departments considering the recruitment of foreign professionals, a thorough understanding of Law 18,156 is crucial.

This law provides the possibility to exempt foreign technical workers from local social contributions under certain conditions:

  • If continuous social security or privately contracted (international) coverage is maintained outside of Chile (potentially through company-provided international social security coverage, thereby avoiding duplicate expenses).
  • If medical leave and absence coverage is clearly explained or secured through additional company agreements or private insurance. It's important to note that once Law 18,156 is invoked to exclude social security payments in Chile, the employee forfeits statutory benefits such as sick pay and medical leave coverage, including maternity leave.


When signing a work contract with a foreign technical worker, it's advisable to include a clause for Law 18,156 retrieval/exclusion in the original agreement from the beginning.


Once the foreign employee applies for the exclusion of social security payments in Chile and the employer ceases local contributions, the HR department should maintain a complete set of relevant documentation (including translated degree or professional qualification certificates and social security/private provision coverage certificates) in the employee's file. Additionally, the employer is responsible for officially informing the AFP company that monthly contribution payments will cease.


Law 18,156 as well as exempting foreign technical workers from social security payments or allowing them to recoup AFP payments also allows them to make tax deductible payments to foreign coverages. If a foreign technical worker is in compliance with law 18,156 they are able to make tax deductible payments of up to 84.3 UF to foreign pensions and health, disability and life insurances. This is a significant benefit that can help you attract and retain the best international talent.


MEFE Consult provides consulting guidance to both foreigners and HR departments with international staff to ensure the correct implementation of Law 18,156. We are also able to identify and implement qualifying international alternative solutions. If you're interested in arranging a presentation at your company (either in-house or online) to enhance your HR services, we offer personalized guidance. Please contact us via email at