Chilean citizenship

Apply after 5 years in Chile

After having permanent residency for five years you are entitled to apply for Chilean citizenship. New laws state you do not need to renounce your current citizenship but can hold dual Chilean nationality.

There are two paths to obtaining Chilean citizenship, one as a foreigner who has resided in Chile for five years, or, through parents or grandparents with Chilean nationality.

There is little difference in day-to-day benefits between being a permanent resident and becoming a citizen. After five years residency you can register to vote, and apply for a Chilean passport. As mentioned above you don’t need to renounce your current citizenship, but you can hold dual nationality.

The main difference between permanent residency and citizenship is, as a resident, if you leave Chile for a year you will lose your visa status. As a citizen there is no such worry. In fact if you receive Chilean citizenship you may be able to take advantage of some of Chile’s free-trade agreements with other countries.

How to apply for citizenship

You can apply for citizenship after five full years of permanent residency provided you meet the following requirements:

Once you meet these criteria you can apply with the following documents:

If you have Chilean family

You can apply for citizenship if your parents or grandparents have or have had Chilean citizenship at some point.

To apply through this route you will need to complete the following steps:

If your situation is particularly complicated, involves foreign paperwork or relatives that are not registered in the Civil Registry, you may need the help of a specialist immigration lawyer.

Timeline for gaining Chilean citizenship

Temporary residency visa - 180 days out of 1 year or 2 years continuously if you are on a work permit visa. (The earliest you can apply for permanent residency is nine months after receiving your temporary visa).

Permanent residency visa - five full years with a permanent residency visa (if you leave Chile for more than a year you will lose this visa).

Application for citizenship - This can take a while to process, sometimes as long as a year.


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