Introduction to Residency in Chile

The allure of residency in Chile is not just in its breathtaking landscapes, unique culture, or robust economy. Many are drawn to the prospect of Chile residency due to its status as South America’s richest country.

There are two main types of residency in Chile. Temporary residency and permanent residency. Each offers its own unique set of advantages. Embarking on this journey is not merely about the destination – it’s about embracing a vibrant South American lifestyle while enjoying new privileges that come with each type of residency.

One of the key attractions of gaining Chilean residency is that it can lead to Chilean citizenship. The Chilean passport is the best in Latin America, with visa-free access to 157 countries. It’s the only Latin American country that has visa-free access to the US. This allows residents to traverse the globe without worrying about visa applications or restrictions – a true testament to the international respect and recognition enjoyed by Chile.

Another enticing benefit of Chilean residency is the potential for investment opportunities. Whether you choose to invest in real estate, start a business, or pursue other forms of investment, there are ample opportunities for wealth generation – providing both financial security and freedom.

In essence, obtaining residency in Chile presents not just an opportunity to live in a captivating country but also a chance to explore new horizons, both personally and professionally.

Temporary Residency in Chile

Chile, with its dynamic economy and stable political climate, is considered the gem of South America. This status makes it a sought-after destination for individuals looking to acquire residence in Chile through a temporary resident visa. But how does one navigate this pathway to become a temporary resident in Chile?

The process begins with an application for a visa, which can be done online or at the Consulate of Chile in your home country. The applicant must fill out the form, and submit supporting documents such as a valid passport, proof of financial stability, and certificates of good conduct from their home countries.

Inputs for the application form:

  • Personal information: Full name, nationality, date, and place of birth
  • Current address and contact details
  • Purpose of stay
  • Proposed residence address in Chile

Supporting documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Certificate of good conduct from home country’s authorities (or country of residence for the last 5 years)
  • Proof of financial stability (bank statements, salary slips etc.)
  • Medical certificate stating good health
  • Letter explaining the purpose of stay

Once the application is submitted and approved, the applicant obtains a Visa Subject to Contract, which allows them to reside in Chile for up to two years.

Benefits of Temporary Residency

While it might seem like a stepping stone towards permanent residency or citizenship, holding temporary residency in Chile offers several advantages on its own that should not be overlooked.

  1. Freedom to Work: A temporary resident visa allows you to work legally within the country. This means you can take advantage of opportunities to contribute to and benefit from Chile’s booming economy.
  2. Access to Education: If you are considering studying in Chile’s renowned universities or participating in exchange programs, this visa facilitates that process.
  3. Investment Opportunities: With this visa, you can explore investment opportunities across sectors like mining, agriculture and real estate.

However, there are also certain limitations that come with this status. For instance, temporary residents cannot vote or hold public office. They also need to renew their visas annually until they qualify for permanent residency.

Tax Implications for Temporary Residents

From a tax perspective, living as a temporary resident in Chile has its own set of implications. Unlike permanent residents who are taxed on their worldwide income, temporary residents are only taxed on their income earned within Chilean territory during their first three years of residence.

This tax structure provides an opportunity for individuals looking to establish businesses or work contracts within Chile while keeping their foreign income tax-free during these initial years.

Legal Note: Tax laws vary by individual circumstances and may change over time; always consult with a tax professional before making any decisions.

Next up is understanding the concept of permanent residency – what it entails and how it compares to citizenship – as well as exploring potential passive income sources. Stay tuned!

Permanent Residency in Chile

Obtaining permanent residency in Chile brings with it a plethora of benefits. It grants the right to live and work indefinitely within the country, while also opening doors to a myriad of social services and privileges.

Eligibility Criteria for Permanent Residency in Chile

One must have held temporary residency status for at least one year to be eligible for permanent residency. This rule comes with exceptions, such as refugees who can apply directly for permanent residency or those married to a Chilean citizen.

The government evaluates applications based on factors like:

  • Proof of financial stability
  • An absence of criminal records
  • Proficiency in Spanish

Applying for Permanent Residency

The process to obtain permanent residency in Chile is fairly straightforward. Applicants must:

  1. Complete the “Solicitud de Permanencia Definitiva” form.
  2. Provide documentation proofing financial stability.
  3. Obtain a certificate of police record.
  4. Show proof of current temporary residence visa.
  5. Submit all these documents to the Department of Immigration.

Typically, processing times for applications can range from three to six months.

Advantages and Privileges of Permanent Residency

Permanent residents enjoy numerous benefits:

  • Freedom: Permanent residents can live and work anywhere in Chile without restrictions.
  • Social Services: Access to various state-provided social services including healthcare and education.
  • Travel: No need for visa renewals or applications when leaving or entering the country.

Passport to Permanent Residency

An intriguing concept in Chilean immigration policy is the ‘passport to permanent residency’. It’s not an actual passport, rather a metaphorical term describing how specific investments or business activities can fast-track one’s path towards permanent residency.

Investments leading to Permanent Residency

Investors willing to make significant contributions to sectors identified as key growth areas by the Chilean government may have their applications expedited.

Business Activities leading to Permanent Residency

Entrepreneurs who start businesses that create jobs and contribute positively to the economy may also be considered favorably.

Passive Income and Permanent Residency

Passive income sources play an essential role in obtaining and maintaining permanent residency status. Regular income from rented properties, dividends from shares, or royalties from intellectual properties are examples of passive income that can prove financial stability – an essential criterion for obtaining permanent residency.

From eligibility criteria and application process to privileges and access, each facet of obtaining permanent residency in Chile has its unique nuances. The journey involves meticulous planning, preparation, and patience, but with careful navigation – it’s entirely achievable!

Citizenship of Chile

Achieving the status of a Chilean citizen bears a significant set of benefits and privileges. The allure of citizenship is often rooted in the promise of a better life, one filled with opportunities and freedoms that extend across borders.

Benefits and Privileges

Chilean citizens enjoy an array of rights and benefits that enhance their quality of life. Included in these privileges are:

  • Visa-free travel: A Chilean passport grants visa-free access to 157 countries, including most European countries, Canada, and Australia. This provides flexibility for global exploration, business, or even relocation.
  • Access to social services: Like all citizens, those in Chile have access to public healthcare, education, social security benefits, and other essential services.
  • Political participation: As a citizen, you get a say in the country’s governance. You can vote in national elections, run for political office, and participate actively in charting the country’s course.

Options for Lowering Taxes and Obtaining Citizenship

Chile offers several options for lowering taxes while working towards obtaining citizenship. For instance:

  • Foreign-source income tax exemption: Non-residents are taxed only on their Chilean-source income for the first three years. This means if you manage to keep your foreign income separate during this period, you can significantly lower your tax liability.
  • Tax treaties: Chile has signed double tax avoidance agreements with 32 countries. These agreements prevent fiscal evasion and avoid double taxation on your income.

Naturalization Process

The process for naturalization as a Chilean citizen is relatively straightforward:

  1. Residency requirement: Before applying for citizenship, you must have had permanent residency status for at least five years.
  2. Good behavior: You must demonstrate good behavior within society and no history of crime.
  3. Proven means of livelihood: You need to prove you have sufficient financial resources or verifiable economic activity in Chile.
  4. Language proficiency: Spanish language proficiency is required.

Once the application is submitted with all necessary documentation and fees paid, it undergoes review by the Ministry of Interior.

Advantages of Being a Chilean Citizen

Being a citizen goes beyond acquiring rights – it’s about becoming part of the social fabric of the nation. As a Chilean citizen:

  • You can contribute to shaping the nation’s future through political involvement.
  • You enjoy protection from the state both within and outside the country.
  • You have unrestricted access to work opportunities without needing any work permits.

As we delve deeper into understanding what it means to be a resident or citizen in Chile, it’s clear that this South American nation offers a unique blend of opportunities suited to different needs and aspirations. Whether you’re contemplating temporary residency or aiming for full citizenship, each path offers its own share of rewards and challenges.


In conclusion, residing in Chile opens up a world of opportunities, whether it’s as a temporary resident, a permanent resident, or a citizen. Each type of residency offers its unique benefits. As a temporary resident, you can work legally within the country, access education, and explore investment opportunities. Permanent residents enjoy unrestricted living and working rights within Chile, access to state-provided social services, and ease of travel without visa renewals.

The pathway to permanent residency can be expedited through significant investments or job-creating business activities. Passive income plays an essential role in obtaining and maintaining this status by providing proof of financial stability. Chilean citizenship bears even more advantages like visa-free travel to 157 countries, access to social services, and active participation in political processes.

There are also several options for lowering taxes while working towards citizenship, including foreign-source income tax exemption and double tax agreements with 32 countries. Overall, the journey to becoming a resident or citizen involves careful planning and preparation but is entirely achievable with the right approach. The vibrant lifestyle coupled with numerous privileges makes Chile an attractive destination for residency.

Your Questions Answered on Residency in Chile

What are the benefits of obtaining residency in Chile?

Residency in Chile gives you a safe haven residency in the South American country. It allows you to live there year-round and benefit from living in South America’s richest country.

What are the different types of residency available in Chile?

There are various visa categories for Chilean residency. You can get a visa by proving financial resources or by starting a business.

How can one become a citizen of Chile?

You can get citizenship of Chile after being a legal resident for five years.