Permanent residency in Chile

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.

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 1 year.
  • You have held a student visa for 2 years and have completed your professional or secondary studies.

Furthermore, you must not have left Chile more than 180 days during the validity of your current visa. And you must send your application for permanent residency within 90 days before the expiry of your temporary visa. However, you have the right to stay up to 90 days without a visa, between the expiry date of your temporary visa and the date of application for permanent residency. This period may allow you to meet the requirements in terms of temporary visa duration.

How to obtain permanent residency in Chile?

As of May 1st, 2019, all applications for permanent residency are to be made online, and no longer by mail.

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. The more complete your application is, the faster it will be processed. Also take into account that you will have to consult other public institutions and the consulate of Chile of your country of origin, and that each organization has its own deadlines. If you must provide documents issued outside Chile, they must be apostilled or legalized by the Chilean consulate in your country of origin. If the document is written in a language other than English, French, Italian or Portuguese, it must be translated into Spanish.

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 to the following address: Sres. Permanencia Definitiva, Clasificador N°8, Correo Central, Santiago. You have to attach a copy of the letter you received. If your application is approved, make an appointment to an office of the Extranjería to withdraw your certificate of permanent residency.

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.

How much does a permanent resident visa cost?

To know the price that corresponds to your nationality, you can consult the following map. At the time of writing this article, the permanent residency costs 76,666 CLP. The visa is free for foreigners whose spouse/partner is Chilean as well as for minors.

Like temporary visas, when your permanent residency is accepted, you can download an Orden de Giro (payment order) on the website. You must then go to a commercial bank or on Serviestado to pay the amount requested. Keep the payment receipt, as it will be required to withdraw your Certificate of Permanent Residency.

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

Following the withdrawal of your certificate, you have 30 days to register your permanent residency with the PDI (Policía de Investigación). To do so, you go to a PDI office with your passport and certificate of permanent residency. If you live in Santiago, you can make an appointment here.

Then, 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.

Can I leave the country during the processing of my application for permanent residency?

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

What should I do if I lose my certificate of permanent residency?

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.

How long can I leave Chile without losing my permanent residency?

You can stay outside Chile for up to one year continuously. Beyond this period, your permanent residency will be tacitly revoked. However, within 60 days before the end of the year spent outside Chile, you can apply for a one-year extension in the Chilean consulate of the country in which you are. A maximum of four successive extensions can be granted.

Can I obtain Chilean citizenship with a permanent resident visa?

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 our dedicated article.