How to obtain Chilean nationality?
There are four ways to obtain Chilean nationality, namely:
- Territoriality: anyone born in Chile, regardless of the nationality of their parents, is automatically granted Chilean nationality.
- Blood relationship: people who have a Chilean father and / or mother but are born in another country can apply for Chilean nationality.
- Nationalization letter: foreigners over 18 years old who have been living in Chile for more than 5 years can apply for nationality. Likewise, children under 18 years old but over 14 years old, who have been living in Chile for more than 5 years and who have a notarial agreement of their legal representatives, may apply for Chilean nationality.
- Nationalization by grace: conferred by law to foreigners who have provided an important service to the Republic of Chile.
In this article, we focus on the nationalization letter.
Is it possible to have dual citizenship in Chile?
It all depends on your nationality of origin. Chile recently authorized dual citizenship. From Chile’s point of view, foreigners who decide to opt for Chilean nationality may keep their original nationality. However, if your country of origin is a country which refuses dual citizenship, you will have to waive your current nationality by obtaining Chilean nationality.
What are the advantages of Chilean nationality?
Having Chilean nationality can be advantageous in many situations. The main difference between permanent residence and Chilean citizenship is that as a resident, if you leave Chile for more than one year, you will lose your permanent residence, unless you have previously undertaken a particular procedure.
Furthermore, if you obtain Chilean nationality, you can benefit from certain free trade and free movement agreements between Chile and several as countries, such as MercoSur. You can also get grants from the Chilean state, and you can also work in the civil service…
Be aware that you do not need to be a Chilean citizen to vote in elections. You can register on the voters list as long as you obtain permanent residence.
How to apply for Chilean nationality?
You can apply for Chilean nationality if you meet the following conditions:
- You are the holder of permanent resident visa.
- You have held a Chilean resident visa for more than 5 years (the temporary visas are included in this period).
- You have a clean criminal record (depending on the nature of the offense, minor offenses may not discredit your request).
- You have a document proving that you have a sufficient recurring monthly income to live in Chile, through a job or a pension.
If you meet these criteria, you must provide the following documents:
- Application form completed and signed.
- Passport or certificate of the consul or your country’s diplomatic agent accredited to Chile, certifying your nationality or foreign passport.
- A letter or document that explains why you want to be a Chilean citizen.
- Two passport photos with your RUT or passport number overleaf.
- Photocopies of your passport, both sides of your identity card and your permanent residence card.
- Your criminal record.
- In the case of a child of nationalized parent(s), a birth certificate indicating the name of the parent(s). In the event of the death of one of the two parents, you must provide the death certificate.
- In the case of children under 18 but over 14, you must provide a notarized authorization from both parents.
- If your spouse is Chilean, you must provide the marriage or civil union certificate (if applicable), the birth certificate of your spouse and the birth certificate of the children (if applicable).
Once the request has been made, you will be contacted by the PDI to an interview. We therefore advise you not to leave the country while your application is being processed.
After your application is analyzed, you will be notified by email if it has been approved and / or requires additional information. You can also follow the progress of your application online by registering here.
If your application is accepted, you will have to pay fees in order to receive your Decreto Exento, which will then allow you to apply for a Chilean identity card and passport at a civil register office.
In the case you have Chilean relatives, you can apply for citizenship if your parents or grandparents have Chilean nationality, or if they have had it at any time.
To apply in this case, you must meet the following requirements:
- Provide documents indicating your relationship with the person of Chilean nationality (usually a birth certificate).
- Fill in a form from the Chilean Civil Register so that you are added to the civil register. You can do this in most Chilean consulates and in Chile.
If you want more information about the requirements to obtain Chilean nationality, you can consult the website of the Departamento de Extranjería y Migración.
Where to apply for nationalization?
If you live in Santiago, you send the request by mail to the following address: Clasificador N ° 8 Correo Central, Santiago. If you live in other cities, make the request in person at the immigration office corresponding to your home.
How long does it take to obtain Chilean nationality?
If your request is accepted, the process takes between 90 days and 1 year, starting from the date of application.
How much does Chilean nationalization cost?
To obtain Chilean nationality, you will have to pay approximately $34. However, if your spouse is Chilean, this price declines to approximately $6.
What to do if your nationalization request is refused?
The reason why your request was declined will be explained to you. If your application is rejected because you do not meet one of the requirements, you can send a document proving that you meet that requirement. Indeed, even if your application is rejected, it does not mean that the procedure is over.
Is it possible to waive Chilean citizenship?
You can choose to waive your Chilean citizenship. Indeed, if you have Chilean nationality but want to obtain the nationality of another country that refuses dual citizenship, you must renounce your Chilean nationality. The waiver will only take effect if you have been previously nationalized in another country.