The LegalFácil Guide to Immigration Law in Chile: Temporary Residency

/, Immigration Law in Chile, Legal Fees, Notary, Public Translators, Temporary Residency, The LegalF/The LegalFácil Guide to Immigration Law in Chile: Temporary Residency

The LegalFácil Guide to Immigration Law in Chile: Temporary Residency

We recommend to anyone intending to live in Chile for more than a few months and who is eligible for residency that you apply for residency as soon as possible upon arriving in the country.

If you are a first-time applicant for residency, you must apply for temporary residency first, and then apply for permanent residency when you have been a temporary resident for 2 years.

To apply for residency, you must go in person to the Departamento de Extranjeria y Migracion and present certain documents.  After you are granted your residency, you must go to the Policia Internacional to have it registered, and then to the Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificacion to obtain your cedula de identidad.  The latter two procedures are very easy and can be done together in half a day.

The visa application also takes about half a day to submit, though it can take as much as three months for your visa to arrive.  In some cases, visa processing will be much faster, such as for government-sponsored residents or investors.

 

Application Process

The single most important thing to know about the whole process is what documents you need to submit, and the single most common pitfall is not having all of those documents with you and/or not having them properly prepared.

 

Start Preparing at Home

Certain essential documents either cannot be obtained or prepared in Chile or else are much more difficult to obtain or prepare from Chile.  Getting your federal criminal background check, for example, takes a very long time when done via mail from Chile, but is usually much easier done from the your home country.

 

Legalization

Any official document that did not originate from Chile must be legalized by a notary in the Chilean consulate of the country where the document originated.  Legalizing documents is tedious but utterly necessary.

Though there is currently some movement toward legislative change, Chile currently does not accept or provide Apostille certifications.

Apostille certification was developed by the Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement for Legalization for Foreign Documents; nations that are party to the convention, including Argentina and the U.S., recognize official documents with an Apostille certification from other member countries as legally equivalent to official documents from within their own borders. In countries such as the U.S., each state is authorized to give Apostille certification to a local document.

An Apostille certification comes in the form of a single standardized page from the Apostille issuer, which overlays the document that has been certified.

 

Translations

If you are coming from a non-Spanish-speaking country, all of your documents must be translated into Spanish by an official translator (traductor público) at the Cancillería (at Augustinas 1320, in Santiago). Be warned that the translation process is slow.  If you want to speed it up, you may want to provide the traductor with an unofficial translation for them to work from when doing their official translation.

To be clear! If you apply for residency or citizenship with foreign documents that have not been legalized and/or have not been translated by an official translator, your application will be rejected automatically.

 

Types of Temporary Residency Permits

Chile grants 3 kinds of temporary residency permits to foreigners:

  • Visa sujeta a contrato (visa subject to contract; essentially a work visa)
  • Visa de residente para estudiantes (residency visa for students)
  • Visa temporaria (temporary visa)

There are several categories of foreigners who qualify for a visa temporaria; the most relevant for our discussion are

  • Investors, or inversionistas
  • Pensioners, or pensionados: persons who receive pension payments from abroad
  • Rentiers, or rentistas: persons who receive income from economic rents abroad

 

When applying for temporary residency, you must show documented proof that you are included in one of these categories. The documentation required for workers, students, investors, pensioners, and rentiers is described below.

 

Duration and Renewal

Temporary visas (for investors, pensioners, rentiers, etc.) last for one year.  They can be renewed once, for a total of two years, after which time you must apply for permanent residency or leave the country.

Student and work residency permits last for exactly the duration of the academic program or labor contract submitted with your application.

 

Costs

There is no application fee, but you must pay a fee to obtain your residency permit.  This fee varies according to your country of origin and the type of residency you are applying for, ranging from about US$20 to over US$600.

 

Application Process and Checklist

To apply for your temporary residency, you must go in person to the Department of Foreign Affairs and Immigration, either alone or accompanied by a lawyer, and bring the documents required for the particular type of residency you are applying for.  Here are checklists according to applicant type:

 

Workers

  • Letter from employer addressed to the Consul that justifies hiring
  • Labor contract (notarized and, if necessary, legalized and translated)
  • Professional qualification (if necessary)
  • Criminal background check
  • Medical certificate
  • Valid passport
  • 4 passport photos

 

In addition, the employer must submit the following:

  • Information about their incorporation in Chile
  • Legal address in Chile
  • A statement explaining why the activity for which the employee is being hired is essential for Chile’s development

 

Students

  • Certificate of enrollment or letter of acceptance issued by the university or educational institution; the institution must be recognized by the Chilean state
  • Proof that you will be economically solvent during the period of studies
  • Criminal background check certificate
  • Medical certificate
  • Passport
  • Four passport photos

 

Investors

  • Photocopy of passport (main identification pages, including your passport number and the date of issuance, as well as the page showing your date of entry into Chile)
  • One photocopy of your most recent tourism card
  • Three recent passport-size photographs (3x2 cm.)
  • Description of the project, including geographical location, the employees who will be hired, the amount of capital invested, and your general expectations for the project
  • If you are transferring more than US$10,000 into Chile, the transfer must be certified by the Central Bank.

If your business is already running:

Pensioners

  • Photocopy of passport (main identification pages, including your passport number and the date of issuance, as well as the page showing your date of entry into Chile).
  • One photocopy of your most recent tourism card
  • Three recent passport-size photographs (3x2 cm.)
  • One photocopy of the last three monthly statements or retirement pension, notarized
  • A certificate from the Chilean Consulate in the country where your pension payments are coming from, verifying the validity and amount of the payment.

Rentiers

  • Photocopy of passport (main identification pages, including your passport number and the date of issuance, as well as the page showing your date of entry into Chile).
  • One photocopy of your most recent tourism card
  • Three recent passport-size photographs (3x2 cm.)
  • Documents showing rentier status, such as ownership certificates for properties in Chile or abroad, or similar documents showing the regular provision of economic resources

About the Author:

Leave A Comment