27/07/2019, updated 15/06/2023
What is permanent residency in Chile?
Permanent residency is the authorization granted to foreign citizens to stay indefinitely in Chile and do any business 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 essential to know that although permanent residency is valid for life, it automatically expires if you stay outside of Chile for longer than two years without returning, even a few days. Therefore, 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 two years.
Who can obtain permanent residency in Chile?
You must first obtain a two-year temporary visa to be eligible for permanent residency.
If you stay outside Chile during the first two years, you must 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, to apply for permanent residency, you must have a "clave única", a unique password that allows you to access all public administration services safely and efficiently. You can ask for it 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 apostille or legalize and translate some documents. Start the process in advance to have all the documents on time.
Once you apply, the immigration service checks that your application meets all requirements. You will then receive an email indicating whether your request is accepted. If your application still needs to be completed, the immigration service will ask you to provide the missing documents using the same online platform. Finally, if they approve your application, 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. However, the monitoring system indicating a percentage of progress could be more reliable.
What are the steps to follow once you have a permanent residency?
You shall go to a Civil Register office to ask for your updated ID card. To obtain your identity card, you need your passport and your certificate of permanent residency.
Frequently Asked Questions regarding permanent residency in Chile
It is the permission to settle indefinitely in Chile and perform any legal activity.
If you want to be able to apply after the two years of your temporary visa, you must have stayed in Chile for at least 22 months. If not, you will have to renew your temporary visa for 6 to 24 months extra before being able to apply for permanent residency. Therefore, the longer you remain outside Chile, the longer you wait to apply for permanent residence.
You must apply within 90 days before the expiration of your temporary visa.
See our page Cost of visas in Chile, at the bottom of the page.
Register to the civil register within 30 days to obtain your updated identity card: go to the nearest Civil Registry office. You must bring with you: - Valid passport, - Certificate of permanent residency.
Absolutely. You are free to travel outside Chile while they process your request.
Two years uninterrupted. After that period, the immigration service can revoke your permanent residency automatically. To avoid this, at least 60 days before the expiration date, you may request a two-year extension at any Chilean consulate. You can only get one extension and spend four years outside Chile. This extension is helpful if you plan to live outside Chile for a few years. You can also come and spend a few days in Chile once every two years.
- By revocation: for foreigners in the situation described in article 32 of the ley 21.325).
- By tacit revocation (article 83 of the ley 21.325): for staying out of the country for more than two years without interruption without requesting an extension
Only one extension. After that, you must return for at least a few days in Chile. You can stay up to 4 years outside Chile while remaining a permanent resident.
It lasts forever unless it is revoked. Yet, be aware that the Chilean Identity card only lasts five years. This card must be renewed in Chile, as foreigners can not renew the Chilean ID card at a consulate.
You don't have to do any additional immigration process once you are a permanent resident, as long as you don't leave Chile for more than two years. Yet, once you have completed five years of residence in Chile (not only the permanent residency, some of the years with a temporary visa may count), you can apply for the Chilean nationality.
You could probably formally request that, although this is not a case planned by the immigration service. The easiest solution is to let it expire after two years outside Chile.
If you lose your certificate, you can request a duplicate online by following this link. To do so, you need your "clave única", 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. They must demonstrate it with a support letter, bank deposits, rental contracts, shares, etc.
No, but make sure to download a certificate from the website of the immigration service to justify that you have sent a permanent residency application.
Yes. They must start a standard application 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 last 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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