Chilean citizenship refers to the legal status of being recognized as a member of the nation of Chile. This status signifies a commitment to Chilean values and traditions and offers privileges like access to public services, employment, education, and participation in democratic processes. Among other benefits, a Chilean passport provides visa-free entry to 160+ countries, including the U.S., EU, UK, and Japan.
Chilean Citizenship by Birth Overview
Chilean citizenship by birth is conferred upon individuals born within the territorial boundaries of Chile. This principle is firmly established in the Chilean Constitution, under Article 10, which states that those born within the national territory automatically acquire Chilean nationality. This legal doctrine, known as jus soli, holds that a person's nationality is determined by the location of their birth. The geographical scope of Chile's territory encompasses the mainland, various islands, and territorial waters, making those born within these areas eligible for Chilean citizenship.
Chile generally recognizes the concept of dual citizenship, allowing individuals born in Chile to hold citizenship from another country concurrently, depending on the laws of that nation. To formalize their Chilean citizenship, individuals may need to obtain an Identity Card (Cédula de Identidad) or passport, which serves as official proof of their nationality. Chilean citizens, regardless of how their citizenship is acquired, enjoy certain rights, such as the right to vote and work in the country. They are also subject to the legal responsibilities and obligations outlined by Chilean law. For those seeking citizenship through other means, Chile also provides avenues for naturalization, involving specific criteria like residency and legal compliance.
Chile Citizenship by Birth Requirements
Here are the general requirements for acquiring Chilean citizenship by birth.
If at least one of the parents is a Chilean citizen at the time of the child's birth, the child is automatically considered a Chilean citizen.
A child born in Chile receives a Chilean passport as well as a birth certificate right away. The child's parents first obtain a Chilean residence permit, and after 1 year, they are granted permanent residence. Foreign parents can apply for Chilean citizenship in 2 years after the child's birth.
Temporary Foreigners and Parents Serving In The Chilean Government
Children of foreign parents serving in the government of Chile, or children of temporary foreigners, may apply for Chilean citizenship.
In order to become a Chilean citizen, you need to submit an application for "Option to Chilean citizenship" within one year of turning 18. This application should be sent to the National Migration Service (SERMIG) if you're in Chile, or to the Chilean consulate or diplomatic mission if you're abroad. Once the authorities confirm that you meet the necessary criteria, either SERMIG or the respective consulate (if you're outside Chile) will instruct you to visit the Civil Registry and Identification Service (Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación) to obtain your Chilean ID and passport. The supporting documents are as follows:
- Letter addressed to the National Director of SERMIG requesting the opportunity to obtain Chilean citizenship;
- The applicant's birth certificate or partida de nacimiento must state "Hijo de Extranjero Transente" or "Hijo de extranjero que se encuentran en Chile al servicio de su gobierno”;
- Copy of your Cédula de Identidad (Chilean ID card), if applicable.
Chilean Citizenship by Birth Application Process
If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can apply for Chilean citizenship by birth through the following process:
Step 1: Gather the Required Documents and Complete Application
The first step is to collect the necessary documents, which include your Chilean birth certificate, the birth or residency certificates of your Chilean parent(s) or foreign parent(s) at the time of your birth, your identification documents (such as a passport or ID card), and proof of your parents' relationship, if applicable. Fill out any necessary forms and submit an application to the Chilean consulate or diplomatic mission overseas, or to the National Migration Service (SERMIG) if you are in Chile.
Step 2: Pay Fees
There may be fees associated with the processing of documents. The amount may vary depending on the situation and your location. Generally, it is $33.026 USD for the option of Chilean citizenship. Please ensure to check the specific fee details and payment instructions provided by the relevant authorities before proceeding with the application process.
Step 3: Receive Confirmation and Documentation
Once your application is approved, you will receive confirmation and your Chilean birth certificate, which confirms your Chilean citizenship. You should keep these documents in a safe and easily accessible place, as they may be required for various official purposes in the future.
Step 4: Apply for a Chilean ID Card (Cédula de Identidad)
You will visit the SRCel to obtain your Chilean ID and passport. If you do not already have one and are over the age of 18, you will undoubtedly need to apply for a Chilean ID card. This is an important identification document in Chile.
3 Tips How to Get Chilean Citizenship by Birth from Golden Harbors Experts
If you meet the eligibility requirements, obtaining Chilean citizenship by birth is a simple process. Based on our previous successful applications for Chilean citizenship by birth, we have a few suggestions to help you facilitate the process:
- Up-to-date Documents
To obtain Chilean citizenship by birth, it is imperative to ensure that all your documents are up-to-date and accurate. This includes your birth certificate as well as any documents related to your parents' citizenship status. Make certain that they are in compliance with Chilean legal standards and that there are no discrepancies or errors. If needed, obtain official translations or certifications. Keeping your documents current and in order will not only expedite the application process but also demonstrate your commitment to meeting the legal requirements for acquiring Chilean citizenship by birth.
- Contact the Civil Registry and Identification Service
To acquire Chilean citizenship by birth, a crucial step is to contact the Civil Registry and Identification Service (SRCel). This government agency is responsible for maintaining vital records and managing citizenship matters in Chile. Reach out to them to initiate the process and inquire about the specific requirements and documentation needed to establish your eligibility. They will guide you through the application process, helping you navigate any legal complexities or bureaucratic procedures.
- Seek Legal Assistance
Consulting with a knowledgeable immigration lawyer or a legal expert well-versed in Chilean nationality laws can provide invaluable guidance. They will help you gather and prepare all the necessary documentation. Golden Harbors team can advise on specific application procedures and deadlines, ensuring that you follow the correct steps to increase your chances of success in acquiring Chilean citizenship. Remember to stay informed about any changes in the law that may affect your eligibility or application process.
Can I Apply for Chilean Citizenship Later in Life If I Was Not Born in Chile?
Yes, you can apply for Chilean citizenship through naturalization if you were not born in Chile. This process involves meeting specific residency requirements and demonstrating ties to the country.
Can I Pass Chilean Citizenship on to My Children If I Acquired It by Birth?
Yes, you can pass on Chilean citizenship to your children if you are a Chilean citizen by birth, regardless of where they are born.
Is There a Time Limit for Claiming Citizenship by Birth in Chile?
No, there is no time limit for claiming citizenship by birth in Chile. Generally, a person born in Chile to at least one Chilean parent can claim their Chilean citizenship at any time.