Permanent residency in Chile

What is permanent residency in Chile? Who can obtain Chilean permanent residency? What are the advantages and how to apply.

What is permanent residency in Chile?

Permanent residency is the authorization granted to foreign citizens holding a valid temporary resident visa to stay indefinitely in Chile and to do any kind of businesses, as long as it is legal. Once you obtain permanent residency, it is valid for life, you do not have to renew it.

It is important to know that, although the permanent residency is valid for life, it automatically expires if you stay outside of Chile for longer than 2 years without coming back, even a few days. If you plan to live in another country, please note that you shall request an extension of your permanent residency at the nearest Chilean consulate, at least 60 days before the expiration of the 2-year period.

Who can obtain permanent residency in Chile?

To be eligible for permanent residency, you must meet one of the following three conditions:

  • You have held a “subject to contract” work visa for 2 years.
  • You have held a temporary resident visa for 2 year.
  • You have held a student visa for 2 years and have completed your professional or secondary studies.

If you stay outside Chile during the first 2 years, you will be required to wait up to 4 years (instead of 2), to qualify for permanent residency. The longer you stay outside, the longer you have to wait. Contact us for more information.

How to obtain permanent residency in Chile?

All applications for permanent residency are to be made online on the website of the immigration service.

First of all, to apply for permanent residency, you must have a ”clave única”, which is a unique password that allows you to access all the services of the State, safely and easily. You can ask for in any Civil Register office or on ChileAtiende, which is the multi-service state platform.

Then log on to the online platform, using your RUT and unique key, and apply for permanent residency.

Make sure you provide all the required documents. The allowed document formats are: pdf, jpg and png.

You must apply within the 90-day period before the expiration of your temporary visa. To gather the documents, you will have to contact your origin country for some documents, and potentially have to legalize and translate some documents. Start enough in advance the process to have all the documents on time.

Once the request is sent, it is submitted to an eligibility process to check that all requirements are met. You will then receive a letter at home, indicating whether your request has been accepted or not. If your application is incomplete, you will be asked to provide the missing documents using the same online platform. If your application is approved, you will receive an email to download your permanent residency certificate.

Throughout the process, you can monitor the completion status of your case online on the platform.

Be aware that an application for permanent residency can only be reconsidered once. If your application is rejected once, you only have one chance left. If your application is definitely rejected, you have to apply for a new temporary resident visa or leave the country. The immigration department may also decide that your application is not receivable, but you will be granted a new temporary visa, valid for another year. This is for example the case of entrepreneurs who have obtained a temporary visa to create a company, and have not yet obtained sufficient turnover or profits from the point of view of the Extranjería.

What are the steps to follow once you have a certificate of permanent residency?

Following the withdrawal of your certificate, you have to go to a Civil Register office to ask for your updated ID card. This is not mandatory for minors but it is advisable to do so. To obtain your identity card, you need your passport, your certificate of permanent residency, as well as the registration paper that was given to you at the PDI.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding permanent residency in Chile

It is the permission to settle indefinitely in Chile, and perform any legal activity.

  • With a work visa subject to contract: two uninterrupted years.
  • With a temporary visa: one year.
  • With a student visa: two years and you must have completed your studies

Within 90 days before the expiration of your temporary visa

See our page Cost of visas in Chile, at the bottom of the page.

  1. Register your permanent residency at the international police department: go to the nearest international police office. You must bring with you:

    • Valid passport,
    • Certificate of permanent residency.
  2. Register to the civil register to obtain your updated identity card: go to the nearest Civil Registry office. You must bring with you:

    • Valid passport,
    • Registration card received during step 1 at the international police department,
    • Certificate of permanent residency.

Absolutely. You are free to travel outside Chile while they process your request.

Two years uninterrupted. After that period, the permanent residency is revoked. However, at least 60 days before the expiration date, you may request a two-year extension at any Chilean consulate. Only one extension may be granted. This is useful if you plan to live outside Chile a few years. You can also come and spend a few days in Chile once every two years.

  • By revocation, for committing any of the actions of articles 65 and 66 of the immigration law and / or articles 139 and 140 of the immigration regulation.
  • By tacit revocation: for staying out of the country for more than two years without interruption without requesting an extension

Only one extension. After that, you need to come back at least a few days in Chile.

It lasts forever, unless it is revoked. Yet, be aware that the Chilean Identity card only lasts 5 years, and this card must therefore be renewed.

nce you have completed 5 years of residence in Chile (not only the permanent residency, your years with a work / temporary visa counts), you can apply for the Chilean nationality.

No. But you can let it expire after 2 years.

If you lose your certificate, you can request a duplicate online by following this link. To do so, you need your “clave única”, that is to say your unique password provided by the Civil Register.

Students can apply when they:

  • Have completed their professional or secondary education.
  • Have resided for two years with a student visa.
  • Have economic support. This must be demonstrated with bank deposits, rental contracts, shares, etc.

Yes. For this you must start a normal process, and accredit income: work contracts, invoices, initiation of activities, VAT payments, shares, etc.

Yes. If you have lived in Chile for at least five years, counted from the date of your first work visa or temporary resident visa, and if you meet the legal requirements, you can apply for Chilean nationality. For more information on the subject, you can read this article.

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