What is the change? Chilean government ministries and other authorities have begun accepting documents authenticated according to rules of the Hague Apostille Convention.

What does the change mean? The apostille process, which is easier and less time-consuming than the legalization process, simplifies document authentication for immigration-related applicants.

  • Implementation time frame: The change took effect Aug. 30.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits requiring submission of foreign documents, such as educational diplomas, support letters, and marriage and birth certificates.
  • Who is affected: Employers and foreign nationals submitting foreign documents; Chilean nationals requesting a visa or requiring documents to be used overseas.
  • Impact on processing times: Apostilling can be completed the same day in person or online, depending on the document.
  • Business impact: The apostille process will save significant time in the document preparation process and eliminate duplicative steps.

Background: Authenticated documents are required for work permits and certain other immigration applications. Prior to the change, Chile required legalization of documents, which entails a lengthy process. The new policy allows applicants to have documents apostilled in person or online at the relevant office, depending on where the document was issued. Furthermore, because apostilles do not expire, documents that were apostilled in another country before Aug. 30 will be valid in Chile. Applicants should note, however, that while apostilles do not expire, the underlying document may have an expiration date. In these cases, applicants may need to obtain both a new copy of the underlying document and a new apostille.

BAL Analysis: The Chilean government has been moving toward streamlining its services for work permit applicants, and adoption of the apostille process will further simplify procedures.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group and our network provider located in Chile. For additional information, please contact your BAL attorney.

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