March 16, 2024


 min read

Chile Citizenship: Everything You Need to Know








Chile Citizenship: Everything You Need to Know


Why Chile?

Chile, located on the southwestern coast of South America, is a country of remarkable natural beauty and a thriving economy. It boasts a diverse landscape that includes the Atacama Desert, the Andes Mountains, and a pristine coastline along the Pacific Ocean. Moreover, Chile is known for its political stability and commitment to democratic principles, which provide a secure environment for its citizens. According to the political stability index, the latest value from 2022 is 0.12 points. For comparison, the world average in 2022, based on 193 countries, is -0.07 points. 

Immigrants made up only 1% of Chile's population in 1992, but over the next three decades, their numbers grew to nearly 1.5 million, accounting for nearly 9% of the country's population as of 2022. Applying for a Chilean passport opens the door to a dynamic and culturally rich society that places a premium on education and innovation. From the energetic streets of Santiago, alive with arts, culture, and a gastronomic scene, to the bohemian charm of cities like Valparaíso, Chile offers a unique blend of tradition and modernity. By becoming a Chilean citizen, you not only gain access to a diverse and welcoming community but also contribute to and benefit from a nation that cherishes creativity, learning, and progress.

Chile Citizenship Laws

Chilean citizenship is primarily governed by the Chilean Constitution and related laws. The Ley de Migraciones, or Immigration Law, outlines the rules for entry, residence, and departure of foreigners in Chile, including provisions for acquiring citizenship. Foreigners seeking Chilean citizenship through naturalization must generally meet specific criteria, such as a minimum period of legal residence, a clean criminal record, and evidence of economic stability. Additionally, proficiency in Spanish and integration into Chilean society may be required. Exceptions may apply for certain groups, like refugees or spouses of Chilean citizens. 

The application process involves submitting required documents, paying applicable fees, and potentially participating in interviews or examinations. The ultimate decision on granting citizenship rests with the relevant Chilean authorities.

Benefits of Chilean Citizenship

Obtaining a Chile passport comes with various benefits that encompass legal, social, economic, and political aspects, as outlined below. 

Visa-free Travel 

Holders of a Chilean passport enjoy visa-free access to numerous countries around the world, granting them the freedom to travel and explore various destinations without the need for prior visa arrangements. These countries include the USA, UK, EU, Singapore, Hong Kong, Mexico, Argentina, etc. This privilege reflects the diplomatic relations and international standing that Chile maintains with a wide range of nations, further enhancing the global mobility of its citizens. This unrestricted access opens up opportunities for cultural exchange, business ventures, and personal growth on a global scale.

Right to Vote and Participate in Elections

Chile nationals have the right to vote in all national and local elections. This fundamental democratic right allows citizens to influence political decisions and choose their representatives. The right to participate in elections is protected by law, ensuring that every eligible citizen can exercise their civic duty. This cornerstone of democratic governance empowers individuals to actively shape the direction of their nation.

Right to Hold Public Office

Citizens can stand for public office, enabling them to actively participate in the political process and potentially hold positions of authority or leadership within the Government. This right is essential for fostering a diverse and representative political landscape, allowing individuals from various backgrounds to contribute to the decision-making process. It embodies the principle that governance should reflect the interests and perspectives of the broader citizenry. 

Protection and Assistance From Overseas 

As a citizen, you have a right to the protection and assistance of the Chilean Government when traveling abroad. This includes access to Chilean embassies and consulates for consular services. In 2023, Chilean embassies and consulates assisted over 6,000 citizens in various situations, ranging from passport renewals to emergency evacuations. This exemplifies the Government's commitment to safeguarding the rights and welfare of its citizens beyond national borders.

Unrestricted Entry and Exit

Chilean citizens can enter and exit the country freely without the need for visas or other travel permits. This facilitates easy travel and access to various destinations around the world. Every year, several million Chileans travel abroad, demonstrating the significant benefits of this policy in promoting global connectivity and individual mobility. This freedom of movement exemplifies Chile's dedication to facilitating easy travel for its citizens.

Social Benefits and Services

Citizens are eligible for various social benefits provided by the Government, such as healthcare, education, social security, and welfare programs. These services are designed to support citizens' well-being and quality of life. Furthermore, recent statistics indicate that in 2023, the Chilean Government allocated more than 20% of its annual budget to social benefits and services, demonstrating a strong commitment to its citizens' well-being. These programs have a tangible impact, with approximately 90% of the population benefiting from at least one form of Government-provided social service, ranging from healthcare subsidies to educational grants. 

Access to Higher Education

Chilean citizens typically have easier access to public universities and educational institutions, including scholarships and financial aid opportunities. In 2023, the number of undergraduate students enrolled in Chilean universities will exceed 693,000. Professional institutes had approximately 419,000 students enrolled in their respective professional degrees that year. Additionally, there has been a steady increase in the number of scholarships and financial aid programs available, with over 120,000 students benefiting from these opportunities in the last academic year. This concerted effort ensures that higher education remains accessible and inclusive. 

Employment Opportunities

Being a citizen can enhance employment prospects, as certain Government positions may require citizenship. The employment rate in Chile is more than 55% in 2023. Citizenship may provide advantages in the job market, especially in sectors that require security clearances. It can also open doors to specialized roles in areas like defense, law enforcement, and Government agencies, where security clearances are a prerequisite. This highlights how citizenship not only broadens employment opportunities but also offers advantages in securing positions that contribute to national security and governance. 

Property Ownership

Citizens face fewer restrictions when it comes to owning property, including agricultural land or real estate. Chile’s house prices continue to rise amidst limited supply. Citizens often benefit from preferential policies and incentives for property acquisition, contributing to a robust and stable real estate market. In simpler terms, this helps the economy grow and improves the financial well-being of individuals, all while showing that the Government is dedicated to encouraging people to own property

Business Ownership and Investment

Citizens may be subject to fewer restrictions when establishing businesses, investing, or engaging in commercial activities in Chile. Over 90% of registered businesses in Chile are owned by citizens, demonstrating the favorable environment for local entrepreneurship. Citizens often also enjoy preferential treatment in terms of access to government grants, loans, and business development programs, further encouraging their active participation in the economy. 

Inheritance and Succession Rights

Citizens generally have full rights to inherit property and assets in Chile, and they can also pass on their citizenship to their children. Additionally, these inheritance and succession rights provide a vital avenue for wealth preservation and intergenerational financial stability within families. This legal framework reflects Chile's commitment to ensuring that citizens have the means to secure their future and pass on their legacy to the next generations.

Military Service

While military service in Chile is generally voluntary, citizenship may confer additional rights and responsibilities related to national defense and security. Citizens who choose to serve in the military often receive specialized training, which can enhance their skill set and provide valuable career opportunities. According to the World Bank's collection of development indicators compiled from officially recognized sources in 2022, Chile's military expenditures were 1.834% of the country's gross domestic product. 

Dual Citizenship

Chile permits dual citizenship, allowing citizens to retain the citizenship of their home country while also enjoying all the benefits of Chilean citizenship. Dual citizenship can be especially advantageous for individuals with strong ties to both Chile and their country of origin, as it facilitates seamless travel, work, and residence in either location. It also fosters cultural exchange and international cooperation, enriching the diverse fabric of global citizenship.

Citizenship for the Whole Family

Chilean citizenship laws extend the benefits of citizenship to the immediate family members of citizens, allowing them to also enjoy the rights and privileges that come with being a part of the Chilean community. This includes spouses, children, and parents. This family-centered approach to citizenship promotes social cohesion and motivates individuals to build their lives and futures together in Chile.

Tax Benefits 

Chilean citizens holding dual nationality benefit from an advantageous tax regime driven by the country's territorial tax system, double taxation treaties, absence of wealth, and estate taxes. This grants them the flexibility to choose the most favorable tax residency, potentially reducing their overall tax burden and minimizing tax liabilities. Chile's territorial tax system means individuals are basically taxed only on income earned within the country and are not required to pay taxes on their global income.

Chile Dual Citizenship

Chile embraces a dual citizenship regime, allowing individuals to hold citizenship in Chile alongside citizenship from another country. This arrangement offers a range of benefits. It enables individuals to maintain strong ties with both Chile and their country of origin. Dual citizenship also facilitates seamless travel, residence, and work opportunities in both nations, eliminating the need for visas or special permissions. 

Moreover, it provides access to social services, including education, healthcare, and public amenities, in both countries. Dual citizens may also exercise their right to vote in elections in both Chile and their second home country, participate in business ventures, and own property without facing the restrictions that may apply to non-citizens.

However, it is important to be aware of considerations like military service obligations, tax implications, and adherence to the legal frameworks of both countries.

Chile and USA Dual Citizenship

Both Chile and the USA allow dual citizenship, meaning that you can hold citizenship in both countries simultaneously. Please see the comparison table below.

Country Chile USA
Acquisition of Dual Citizenship Chile allows dual citizenship through a variety of means, including birthright, descent, marriage, and naturalization. It does not require renunciation of previous citizenship The USA allows dual citizenship and recognizes it. It is possible to acquire US citizenship through birth, naturalization, or descent. Renunciation of previous citizenship is not required, but the US Government requires new citizens to renounce allegiance to their former country
Rights and Responsibilities Dual citizens of Chile have rights and responsibilities in both countries. This includes the right to vote and participate in political processes Dual citizens of the USA have rights and responsibilities in both countries. They are subject to the laws and duties of both nations, including the obligation to pay taxes on worldwide income
Taxation Chile taxes its residents on worldwide income, but non-residents are only taxed on income earned within Chile. Dual citizens may have tax obligations in both Chile and their other country of citizenship The USA has a system of citizenship-based taxation, which means that US citizens are required to report and pay taxes on their worldwide income, regardless of where they reside. This can lead to complex tax situations for dual citizens
Military Service Since 1992, military service has been voluntary, then mandatory if quotas for the armed forces are not met Dual citizens of the United States are not required to serve in the armed forces unless they voluntarily enlist
Passport Dual citizens must have passports for both citizenships: a Chilean passport to enter and depart Chile and a U.S. passport to return to the United States
Consular Assistance The embassies and consulates of the United States and Chile provide consular assistance to their citizens, including dual citizens, abroad

Chile and Swiss Dual Citizenship

Both Chile and Switzerland generally allow dual citizenship. Here is a comparison of dual citizenship between Chile and Switzerland:

Country Chile Switzerland
Acquisition of Dual Citizenship Chile allows dual citizenship through various means, including birthright, descent, marriage, and naturalization. It does not require renunciation of previous citizenship Switzerland generally permits dual citizenship, but it's important to note that acquiring Swiss citizenship while holding another may require approval from Swiss authorities. It does not typically require renunciation of previous citizenship
Rights and Responsibilities Dual citizens of Chile and Switzerland have rights and responsibilities in both countries. This includes the right to vote and participate in political processes
Taxation Chile taxes its residents on global income. Non-residents are taxed only on income earned within Chile Switzerland uses a residence-based taxation system, which means residents are taxed on worldwide income
There is a double taxation treaty between Chile and Switzerland
Military Service Military service is voluntary Switzerland has mandatory military service for Swiss male citizens from 18 to 25 years old, but alternative civilian service is available
Passport Dual citizens have the option of choosing which passport they will use for travel.
Consular Assistance Chile and Switzerland provide consular assistance to its dual citizens when they are abroad. This includes services like helping with emergencies, legal issues, and travel documentation.

Chile and Italy Dual Citizenship

According to Italian law, multiple citizenship is explicitly permitted under certain conditions, in particular through ancestry and blood ties. The following is a comparison table between Chile and Italy based on the specified aspects:

Country Chile Italy
Acquisition of Dual Citizenship Chile allows dual citizenship through birthright, descent, marriage, and naturalization Italy generally allows dual citizenship through descent (jus sanguinis) or by marriage
Rights and Responsibilities Dual citizens of Italy and Chile have rights and responsibilities in both countries. They can vote in the elections and may have specific responsibilities in both countries
Taxation Chile and Italy tax their residents on worldwide income. Non-residents are taxed only on income earned within the national territory. Dual citizens may have tax obligations in both Chile and Italy
Military Service Chile has voluntary military service for dual citizens Italy has selective conscription requirements, but there are exemptions and alternatives available
Consular Assistance Countries offer consular services to their citizens when they are overseas. Dual citizens can seek assistance from both countries' consulates if needed

Chile and Argentina Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is permitted in Chile and Argentina, as mentioned in the table.

Country Chile Argentina
Acquisition of Dual Citizenship Chile and Argentina allow dual citizenship. You can acquire a second citizenship without renouncing your original citizenship
Rights and Responsibilities Dual citizens have the same rights and responsibilities as native-born citizens in Chile and Argentina. This includes the right to vote, work, and live in both countries, as well as access to public services and benefits
Taxation Chile uses a territorial tax system. Dual citizens are taxed on their Chilean-sourced income, regardless of their residency. Income earned abroad is generally not taxed. However, tax treaties with other countries may apply Argentina uses a worldwide tax system. Dual citizens are subject to taxation on their worldwide income, regardless of where it is earned. There may be tax credits available for taxes paid in other countries
Military Service Chile has voluntary military service, but there are exceptions and alternative forms of service for dual citizens The Mandatory Military Service Law remains in effect and may be enforced in times of war, crisis, or national emergency
Consular Assistance Dual citizens can seek consular assistance from both their countries of citizenship. This includes help with passport issues, legal aid, and other consular services

Taxes for Chile Dual Citizenship

In managing dual citizenship in Chile, residency status plays a pivotal role in tax obligations. If you spend a significant amount of time (183 days or more per year) in Chile or have established a permanent residence there, you may be considered a tax resident, subjecting you to the reporting of worldwide income.

As a Chilean tax resident, you are required to report and pay taxes on your global income, which encompasses earnings from both within Chile and abroad. It is essential to understand the specific tax treaty, if any, between Chile and your other country of citizenship, as these agreements aim to prevent double taxation by providing relief for taxes paid in one country against the taxes owed in the other. As a dual citizen, you need to ensure compliance with Chilean reporting requirements for foreign assets and bank accounts, as failure to do so may result in penalties. 

How to Get Citizenship in Chile?

To acquire citizenship in Chile, you must first establish legal residency through a visa, and then reside continuously in the country for a specified period, often around 5 years. You have to maintain a clean criminal record, demonstrate proficiency in Spanish, and gather necessary documentation, including background checks, birth certificates, and proof of income. Once these requirements are met, you will need to submit an application, along with any required fees, to the relevant Chilean authority. 

Chilean Citizenship by Investment

Chile does not have a formal Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program. This means that you cannot obtain Chilean citizenship simply by making a significant financial investment in the country. 

However, Chile does have an Investment Visa Program (Inversionistas y personal relacionado) which allows foreign investors to obtain temporary residence in Chile for up to 1 year, renewable for an additional year. To be eligible for this visa, you would generally need to demonstrate a commitment to making a significant economic contribution to the country, such as creating jobs or investing in local industries. This visa is typically granted to foreign investors who plan to invest in  Chile of at least USD 500,000. 

After 1 year, you may apply for a permanent residency permit if you continue to meet the requirements, have spent at least 183 days in the country annually, and have paid all applicable taxes. 5 years of residency (including temporary and permanent) may qualify a person for citizenship.

Citizenship in Chile by Marriage

When a foreign national marries a Chilean citizen, they become eligible to apply for citizenship through marriage after 2 years of continuous residence in the country. During this period, the foreign spouse has to maintain legal residency and demonstrate active integration into Chilean society. This may include activities such as learning the Spanish language, participating in community events, and establishing social ties. Also, both spouses must ensure that their marriage is legally recognized in Chile, with all required documentation in order.

Citizenship in Chile by Descent

If you are a relative of a Chilean citizen up to the second degree of consanguinity or if you were adopted by Chilean nationals, you are eligible for citizenship. You can also get Chilean citizenship if any of your parents lost their Chilean citizenship before your birthday. 

It is important to note that in order to acquire Chilean citizenship by descent, you will need to submit relevant documentation proving your familial ties or adoption status. This may include birth certificates, adoption papers, and any legal documents confirming the loss of Chilean citizenship by your parents. 

Chile Citizenship by Naturalization

For foreign nationals who meet the following criteria, the Chilean Government will grant them Chilean citizenship through naturalization:

  • If you are 18 years old, have a valid permanent residence permit (Residencia Definitiva permit), and have 5 years or more of residence in Chile; 
  • If you are the son or daughter of a foreigner, are 14 years old or older, have a permanent residence permit, have 5 years or more of residence in Chile and have a notarized authorization from your parents or the person in charge of your custody (this must be confirmed by a legal document); 
  • If you are under the age of 18, and your parents or at least one of them has refugee status (recognized by Chile), and at least one of them has obtained the Carta de Nacionalización;
  • If you are a permanent resident and can certify 2 years of continuous residence in Chilean territory (counting from the date you obtained temporary residency - the  Residencia Temporal permit that gave rise to the permanent residency that is still valid), and you have any of the following family bonds with a Chilean citizen.

Chile Citizenship Requirements

The following are the general requirements for obtaining Chilean citizenship: 

  • Residence in Chile. You must have resided in Chile for a certain period of time, typically 5 years. The exact duration may vary depending on your circumstances (e.g., marriage to a Chilean citizen, refugee status, etc.).
  • Temporary Residency. Generally, you have to hold temporary residency in Chile for a specified period before applying for citizenship. This can range from 1 to 5 years, depending on the circumstances.
  • Permanent Residency. After obtaining temporary residency, you may need to maintain this status for a specific period (usually 1 to 5 years) before being eligible for citizenship.
  • Criminal Record. You must not have any serious criminal convictions, both in Chile and in your country of origin.
  • Financial Stability. You may be required to demonstrate that you have a stable source of income (at least $1,000 per month) and are not dependent on Government assistance.
  • Language Proficiency. A basic understanding of Spanish is generally expected in most cases. During interviews and interactions with immigration officials, this can be assessed.
  • Knowledge of Chilean History and Constitution. You may be required to demonstrate a basic knowledge of Chilean history, culture, and the constitution. This can be assessed through an interview or written examination.

Application for Chilean Citizenship

Applying for Chilean citizenship involves several steps, such as: 

Step 1. Determine Eligibility

Before applying for Chilean citizenship, you must meet certain eligibility criteria. These criteria may include having a certain period of residency in Chile (usually 5 years), having a clean criminal record, and demonstrating a basic understanding of the Spanish language. It is important to ensure you have fulfilled specific requirements outlined by Chilean immigration authorities.

Step 2. Gather Required Documents

You will need to collect the necessary documents to support your application. Common documents include passport and any other identification documents, proof of legal residence in Chile, birth certificate, criminal record certificate, proof of income or employment in Chile, etc. It is essential to ensure that all documents are up-to-date and in compliance with Chilean immigration regulations.

Step 3. Obtain a Temporary Residency Visa

If you do not already have permanent residency status in Chile, you will need to obtain a temporary residency visa. This can be done through the Chilean consulate or embassy in your home country. Make sure to check the specific requirements and application process for your nationality before proceeding.

Step 4. Apply for Permanent Residency

After living in Chile for a certain period (usually 1 year with a Temporary Residency Visa), you can apply for Permanent Residency. This entails submitting the required documents to the Servicio Nacional de Migraciones (SERMIG) via an online portal. Be sure to adhere to the application deadlines and guidelines set by SERMIG for a smooth process.

Step 5. Pass Language and Integration Exam

As part of the citizenship application process, you may be required to pass a language and integration exam. This typically tests your proficiency in Spanish and your knowledge of Chilean culture and society. It is advisable to prepare thoroughly by attending language classes and familiarizing yourself with Chilean customs and traditions.

Step 6. Gather Additional Supporting Documents

Depending on your specific situation, there may be additional documents required. For example, if you have dependents, you may need to provide documentation for them as well. Review the specific document requirements based on your circumstances and ensure that all paperwork is complete. 

Step 7. Submit Citizenship Application

Once you meet all the eligibility criteria and have gathered the required documents, you can submit your application for Chilean citizenship to the SERMIG. This can be done in person or through their online portal, if available. Keep copies of all submitted materials for your records.

Step 8. Wait for Processing

The processing time for Chilean citizenship applications can vary. In most cases, it takes up to 2 years. You will receive notification regarding the status of your application. If your application is approved, you will be informed of the next steps. Keep your contact information updated with SERMIG to ensure timely communication regarding your application.

Step 9. Take the Oath of Allegiance

If your application is approved, you will be required to take an oath of allegiance to Chile. This is usually done in a formal ceremony. Remember to arrive on time and bring any necessary identification or documentation as instructed by the authorities.

Step 10. Receive Your Chilean Citizenship Certificate

After taking the oath, you will receive your Chilean citizenship certificate, passport, and ID card (Cédula de Identidad). Notify relevant authorities and institutions of your updated citizenship status, if necessary.

Path to Chilean Citizenship: Where to Start?

Our knowledge of navigating the route to Chilean citizenship underscores the importance of diligent documentation and adherence to local immigration regulations. To get started on the path to Chilean citizenship, it is suggested that you keep in mind the following guidelines, based on our experience. 

  1. Residence Requirement 

The first step is to establish your residency in Chile. You can do this through various visas, such as Temporary Work visas, Student Visas, or other types of visas. Each visa type has its own requirements. You must maintain stable residency in Chile for a specified period of time before you can apply for citizenship. This requirement is 5 years of continuous residence. You have to spend at least 183 days per year in Chile. 

  1. Local Ties

To embark on the path to Chilean citizenship, begin by establishing local ties and a bank account. Choose a reputable Chilean bank and visit in person with the necessary identification, proof of address, and income documentation. Complete application forms, meet minimum deposit requirements, and await approval. Concurrently, immerse yourself in Chilean culture, improve your Spanish proficiency, and engage in community activities to demonstrate your commitment to integration. Stay compliant with residency regulations, remain informed about local affairs, and consider seeking employment or starting a business to solidify your ties with Chile. These steps, when taken diligently, lay a strong foundation for your journey towards Chilean citizenship.

  1. Up-to-date Documentation 

Make sure that all your documentation is current and valid, as outdated or expired paperwork can hinder progress in various aspects of life, from travel to legal matters. The supporting documents should be issued within 3-6 months prior to the application date. Regularly review expiration dates and renewal requirements to stay ahead of potential issues. Additionally, keep copies of important documents in secure, accessible locations, and consider digital backups for added security. This commitment to up-to-date documentation will not only streamline administrative processes but also contribute to a smoother and more hassle-free daily life.

  1. Legal Assistance

Consider seeking legal assistance or consulting with an immigration lawyer who specializes in Chilean immigration laws. Golden Harbors team can provide guidance on the specific requirements and documents needed for your unique situation and help you navigate the application process more smoothly. We give insights on potential challenges and offer solutions tailored to your circumstances. This professional guidance will ensure you have the best possible chance of success in your immigration endeavors in Chile.

Citizenship in Chile FAQs

How Hard Is It to Get Chilean Citizenship?

It is not hard to get Chilean citizenship. Obtaining Chilean citizenship can be a relatively achievable goal but involves a moderately complex process. It basically requires meeting residency requirements, which can vary depending on the visa category, demonstrating proficiency in Spanish, a clean criminal record, financial stability, integration into Chilean society, and adherence to specific timeframes. 

How Much Does It Cost To Get Chilean Citizenship?

The cost of acquiring Chilean citizenship can vary based on a variety of factors, such as the method of application and the applicant's personal situation. The application fee is $33.026. In addition, there are other substantial costs associated with professional services, document preparation, and certification. Please contact us for a more accurate estimate based on your circumstances.

Does Chile Allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, Chile does allow dual citizenship. This means that a person can hold citizenship in Chile while also being a citizen of another country. 

Can You Regain Citizenship in Chile?

Yes, you can regain citizenship in Chile if you have lost it under Art. 11 of the Chilean Constitution (by voluntary resignation, supreme decree, cancellation of the nationalization letter, or law that revokes the nationalization granted). The process for regaining citizenship may vary depending on the specific circumstances and the laws in place at the time.

How Long Does It Take For US Citizens To Acquire Chilean Citizenship?

It usually requires 5 years of residency for U.S. citizens to acquire Chilean citizenship. The application process for obtaining citizenship takes about 2 years.

What are the Crimes that could Prevent you from Receiving Chilean Citizenship?

In general, Chile has laws that can prevent individuals from obtaining citizenship if they have committed certain serious crimes. These crimes often include: terrorism-related offenses, human trafficking, war crimes and crimes against humanity, money laundering and financial crimes, corruption, subversion of the democratic process, drug offenses, and immigration violations. 

How Do I Get Chilean Citizenship if My Dad Was Born in Chile?

Children born abroad to Chilean citizens acquire Chilean nationality at birth if any of their parents or grandparents were Chileans. To obtain Chilean citizenship through descent, you will need to gather essential documents like your birth certificate, your Chilean parent's birth certificate or national ID, and potentially your parents' marriage certificate, if applicable. You have to translate and legalize these documents if they are not in Spanish or require authentication. Then, you should visit the nearest Chilean consulate or embassy in your country of residence to apply for citizenship, following their specific requirements and paperwork. 

Does Chile Have Birthright Citizenship?

Yes, Chile does have birthright citizenship, known as "jus soli." This means that a person born in Chile is automatically considered a Chilean citizen, regardless of the nationality of their parents.

Can You Apply for Chilean Citizenship Without Speaking Spanish?

Yes, in exceptional circumstances (for example, citizenship by descent), you can apply for Chilean citizenship without speaking Spanish. In general, Chile requires applicants for citizenship to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish.

If You Renounce Chilean Citizenship, How Can You Get It Back?

Yes, if you renounce Chilean citizenship, you can get it back at some point in the future. If you are outside of Chile, you can apply at the appropriate consular authority; if you are in Chile, you can apply at the Foreign Department of the Ministry of the Interior. Chileans who resigned before 2005 must confirm their resignation in writing if they wish to reclaim Chilean nationality. You must also sign a Public Deed requesting the removal of the notation of loss of nationality, which will be forwarded to Chile's Civil Registry Service for processing.

Do I Need to Enter Chile With a Chilean Passport If I Have Dual Citizenship?

No, you do not need to enter Chile with a Chilean passport if you have dual citizenship. If you have dual citizenship and one of those citizenships is Chilean, you have the option to enter Chile using either your Chilean passport or the passport of your other nationality. 


Residence Benefits

Swipe icon


Fast application processing

3-4 months


Global mobility and freedom

international business expansion, entry into the South American market, and setting up a company in Chile allow you to get a residence permit through a business for the whole family


Access to quality healthcare & education

Residents have access to Chile's healthcare system, which is one of the best in Latin America. Additionally, there are opportunities for quality education, both for the permit holder and their dependents


Global mobility and freedom

a residence permit is issued with the rights to work, do business and study in Chile


An opportunity to live in Chile

no residence limits


Global mobility and freedom

option to purchase commercial and residential real estate with an annual return of up to 5%


The clear path to citizenship

residents can apply for Chilean citizenship if they have been in Chile for 5 years


Global mobility and freedom

there is no need to renounce your previous citizenship when obtaining a Chilean passport


Residence for the whole family

family members (spouse, financially dependent parents, and children) can apply for a residence permit together with the main applicant


Global mobility and freedom

Chile has a favorable tax regime, with low taxes and generous incentives for foreign investors


Residence Permit

Processing Time and Terms

Enter your estimated application start date for the Chilean Residence Permit and receive a clear timetable for each step

Step back

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.


Sign a service agreement with Golden Harbors, pay the initial service and due diligence fees, and fill out application forms


Prepare the necessary documentation for your chosen residency category


Arrive in Santiago and apply for a temporary residence permit. Submit all the documents to the Chilean Immigration Department (Departamento de Extranjería)


Government due diligence check, application review, and final approval


Get your Residence Permit card, rent an apartment, and register your presence at the Local Police Station.

There are Always Options to EXPAND YOUR BOUNDARIES! Let's Discuss Yours

Every client is unique

Every case requires an individual approach and solution. Our years of experience in the industry allow us to provide both.

We will answer all your questions and provide detailed information about the available second passport and residency programs to help you make the right choice.


Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors

Staff Headshot


Lead Attorney at Golden Harbors