Frequently Asked Questions: Nacionalización
1. Who can apply for the Carta de Nacionalización?
Those who have turned 18 years of age, holders of a Residencia Definitiva permit that have not expired, and have five years or more of residence in Chile (as from the date they obtained their Residencia Temporal that led to their current Residencia Definitiva).
-Nacionalización calificada (Art.85 Law 21.325): Those definitive residents may also apply for "nacionalización" who can demonstrate two years of consecutive residence in national territory, and who have any of the following ties with the Republic of Chile:
a) Those who have been the spouse of a Chilean national for at least two years and whose marriage is registered in Chile, provided that during the same period the provisions of Article 133 of the Civil Code are complied with.
b) The relatives of Chilean nationals by blood up to the second degree inclusive and those adopted by Chilean nationals.
c) A child whose father or mother, who had been a Chilean national, has lost the Chilean nationality prior to the birth of the child.
2. Can foreigners who are underage apply for Chilean nationality?
Yes, as long as they are older than 14 years of age, have a residencia definitiva permit that has not expired, have more than five years of residence in Chile, if they have no ties, or more than two years of residence, in case they have any of the ties established in Article 85 of Law 21.325, and in both cases, have the notarized authorization of their parents or the person who takes personal care of them.
Minors under 18 years of age, whose parents have the status of refugees recognized by Chile, may become Chilean citizens from the moment that at least one of their parents has obtained the Carta de Nacionalización, without the need to comply with any other legal requirement.
3. Who is ineligible from obtaining Chilean nationality?
By a founded decree of the Ministerio del Interior y Seguridad Pública, a Carta de Nacionalización will not be granted to those foreigners who have been convicted in the last ten years for acts that in Chile deserve the qualification of crimes, those who have been convicted in the last five years for acts that in Chile deserve the qualification of simple crime, and when there are records that recommend it.
4. If I am self-employed, which category do I belong to in order to send the corresponding documentation?
On the Servicio de Impuestos Internos (Internal Revenue Service website), enter the RUT associated with the inicio de aactividades. This way, the information pertaining to the right category will be displayed, either it is 1st or 2nd category.
5. What are the Certificado de Nacionalizado and the Certificado de No Nacionalizado used for?
The Certificado de Nacionalizado is used to certify that a person obtained Chilean nationality through the Carta de Nacionalización. The Certificado de No Nacionalizado is used to certify that a person has not obtained the Chilean nationality through a Carta de Nacionalización and therefore, keeps their nationality of origin. These documents are usually requested by family members to be presented at consulates in order to prove dual nationality and obtain the respective passport.
6. Where can I apply for a Certificado de Nacionalizado or a Certificado de No Nacionalizado?
Nationalización Certificates can be applied for through the website tramites.extranjeria.gob.cl under "Trámites de Nacionalización" and selecting "Certificado de Nacionalizado" or "Certificado de No Nacionalizado" as needed. In order to apply for the Certificado de Nacionalizado, a ClaveÚnica is required.
7. What happens if one of my Chilean parents has lost his/her Chilean nationality?
The child whose father or mother, who had been Chilean, lost the Chilean nationality before the applicant's birth, may apply for nacionalización by letter.
8. Is it an obligation to become a Chilean citizen after having my Residencia Definitiva for years?
No. Applying for the nacionalización is not an obligation. You can reside in Chile with your Residencia Definitiva permit for an unlimited period of time.
9. What are the benefits of obtaining the Nacionalización?
Among others, the nacionalización will allow you:
-The right to vote in public elections
-Access to public office of popular election
10. How long does the nacionalización process take?
The Nacionalización process takes an average of 3 years. However, it is a special grace granted by the State, whose analysis procedure must be conducted in an exhaustive manner, being necessary to proceed to the examination of the background information presented in detail and in different instances, which sometimes means a more extensive process than the one expected by the users.
11. Can I lose my nationality of origin if I obtain Chilean nacionalización?
No. Chile allows more than one nationality.
12. How could I lose my Chilean nationality?
Chilean nationality may be lost by:
-Voluntary resignation manifested before a competent Chilean authority. This resignation will only produce effects if the person, previously, has been nationalized in a foreign country.
-By supreme decree, in case of rendering services during a foreign war to enemies of Chile or its allies.-By cancellation of the Carta de Nacionalización.
-By law revoking the nacionalización granted by grace.
Those who have lost their Chilean nationality for any of the reasons mentioned before, may only be reinstated by law.
13. What does the Pronunciamiento de Nacionalidad consist of?
Law 21.325 states among the functions of the Servicio Nacional de Migraciones, that of declaring, in case of doubt, whether a person is a foreigner or not. By virtue of the above, the pronunciamiento de nacionalidad is generally requested when the birth of a person has been registered under the cause of Art.10 N°1 of the Political Constitution of the Republic, in order to determine if they had the quality of "child of a transient foreigner".
14. Who is eligible for the Opción a la Nacionalidad?
Those who were born in national territory and have been registered as children of foreigners who were in the country in the service of their government, or children of transient foreigners (a foreign person who is passing through the national territory on a transitory basis and has no intention of residing in the country), may apply for Chilean nationality.
15. What is the process to be apply for the Opción a la Nacionalidad?
Those who decide to apply for Chilean nationality must do so by means of a declaration of Opción a Nacionalidad chilena, which must be made within the fatal term of one year, counted from the date the applicant reaches 18 years of age. This application must be submitted to the Servicio Nacional de Migraciones or to the Chilean Consulate or diplomatic agent abroad in the applicant's place of residence. In any of the situations described above, the corresponding fees must be paid.
Once it has been determined by the authority that the applicant meets the requirements, they will be informed, either through the Servicio Nacional de Migraciones or the consulate, depending on whether the applicant is in Chile or abroad, that must be documented as a Chilean national.
16. What happens if my application is incomplete or I have enclosed the wrong documentation?
It should be noted that the computer system does not allow incomplete applications to be submitted, so all requested documents must be uploaded. Otherwise, it will not be possible to proceed with the entry of the application and complete its submission.
It is also necessary to bear in mind that if the user attaches erroneous, incomplete or incorrect information, they will be notified that the application will not proceed and will be granted a period of sixty working days, counted from the notification, to rectify the lack of documents or attach the missing ones.
If you do not do so within the period indicated, the procedure will be considered abandoned and your request will be filed. You may submit a new application through the digital platform once you have all the information supporting your request.
When submitting this new application, you must again submit the complete, updated and valid documentation as of the date of entry into the process.
17. Who can apply for Nacionalización Calificada?
- Permanent residents who can prove two years of consecutive residence in national territory may do so.
-Those who have been the spouse of a Chilean national for at least two years and whose marriage is registered in Chile may apply for it. This, as long as in the same period the right and duty to live in the common household is fulfilled, unless one of them has serious reasons for not doing so.
-Relatives of Chilean nationals by blood relationship up to and including the second degree and those adopted by Chilean nationals may apply for nacionalización.
-If you are the son or daughter of a father or mother who, had been Chilean, has lost the Chilean nationality before the birth of the applicant, you may apply for nacionalización.
18. Who may not apply for Nacionalización Calificada?
As a matter of fact, those who have less than two years of residence in Chile, who do not have a residencia definitiva permit or who do not have the required ties to apply for this type of nacionalización may NOT apply for it.
19. If I am the child of a Chilean citizen born abroad, what must I do? The children of a Chilean father or mother born abroad must prove that one of their parents or grandparents has obtained Chilean nationality: 1.- by birth in Chilean territory 2.- by Carta de Nacionalización or 3.- by special grace. The birth registration of the children of Chilean citizens born abroad may be made before the respective Chilean consulate if they are out of the country or before the Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación if they are in Chile.