Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:55 GMT

Chile: The procedure that a spouse of a Chilean citizen must follow in order to obtain Chilean citizenship through naturalization

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 30 April 2010
Citation / Document Symbol CHL103470.FE
Related Document(s) Chili : information sur la procédure que doit suivre le conjoint d'un citoyen du Chili afin d'obtenir la nationalité chilienne par naturalisation
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Chile: The procedure that a spouse of a Chilean citizen must follow in order to obtain Chilean citizenship through naturalization, 30 April 2010, CHL103470.FE, available at: [accessed 13 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

According to a document of the Department of Immigration (Departamento de Extranjería y de Migración) under the Ministry of Internal Affairs (Ministerio del Interior) of Chile, an applicant must meet the following conditions to be eligible for Chilean citizenship through naturalization:


-Be a citizen of a foreign country;

-Be aged at least 21 years, or 18 years if one of the parents is a Chilean citizen by naturalization;

-Have resided in Chile for more than five consecutive years . . .;

-Hold a valid permanent residence permit;

-Not have been convicted or accused of an offence or a crime;

-Be capable of earning a living;

-Personally complete and sign the "application for a naturalization card" form [Solicitud de Carta de Nacionalización] (Chile Apr. 2008, 1).

The document also specifies that the following documents must be submitted along with the application for citizenship:


-The "application for citizenship" form [Solicitud de Nacionalidad];

-A certified photocopy of the most recent foreign passport, whether it is valid or not; or the identity documents issued by the authorities in the applicant's country of origin or last country of residence, or (in the case of a person who does not have a passport or other identity document), a certificate attesting to the applicant's nationality and identity issued by the authorized consul or a diplomatic agent from Chile . . .;

-A two-sided photocopy of the applicant's identity card;

-A photocopy of the applicant's permanent residence certificate;

-A certificate issued by the International Police [Policía Internacional] attesting to the validity of the applicant's permanent residence;

-A background check certificate issued by the Civil and Identity Registrar's Office [Servicio de Registro Civil e Identificación];

-Two passport-size photographs bearing the applicant's name and identity card number;

-In a case in which the applicant has a Chilean spouse, he or she must submit the spouse's birth certificate and a valid marriage certificate;

-In a case in which the applicant has children with Chilean citizenship, the applicant must submit the children's valid birth certificates;

-In a case in which the applicant owns real estate, investments or vehicles, he or she must submit photocopies of contracts, bank deposits or a valid driver's licence (Chile Apr. 2008, 1-2).

According to the same source, other documents can also be requested depending on the applicant's occupation, that is, whether he or she is an employee, a self-employed worker, a professional, retired, a student, an annuitant, a priest or unemployed (homemaker) (ibid.).

The document stipulates that once the application for citizenship is approved by the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a letter is sent to the applicant at his or her home (ibid., 4). The applicant must then pay in person the respective fees, which are established annually, and submit his or her original permanent residence certificate to the Department of Immigration in Santiago de Chile, if the applicant lives in the metropolitan area, or to the regional immigration office nearest his or her home (ibid.).

According to the website of the Department of Immigration, people living in the metropolitan area must send an application for a naturalization card by regular mail to the Permanent Residence and Naturalization Division (Sección Permanencia Definitiva y Naturalización) of the Department of Immigration in Santiago de Chile (Chile Sept. 2009, 9). People living outside that area must submit their application in person at the regional immigration office nearest their home (ibid.). The fees attached to an application for a naturalization card are 11,855 pesos [1 Chilean peso = $0.0019 Canadian dollars ( 23 Apr. 2010)] for foreigners in general, and 2,371 pesos for spouses, widows or widowers, or children of Chilean citizens (Chile n.d.). Also, citizens of Colombia and Peru must submit a police clearance document (ibid.).

The document from the Department of Immigration stipulates that a foreign citizen wanting to obtain Chilean citizenship is not required to renounce their citizenship of origin because Chile accepts dual nationality (Chile Sept. 2009, 9).

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Chile. September 2009. Ministerio del Interior. "Preguntas frecuentes." [Accessed 18 Feb. 2010]

_____. April 2008. Ministerio del Interior. "Requisitos para solicitar la nacionalidad chilena por nacionalización." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2010]

_____. N.d. Ministerio del Interior. "Carta de solicitud de nacionalización." [Accessed 19 Apr. 2010] 23 April 2010. "Résultats du convertisseur universel de devises." <<> [Accessed 23 Apr. 2010]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including: Chile - Embassy of Chile in Ottawa, Chile - Embassy of Chile in Washington, DC, Chile - Ministerio de Relaciones Exteriores.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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