Chile has enacted changes to ease travel procedures and application processes for visa and residence permit applicants.

Key Points:

  • Officials will no longer require foreign nationals with pending visa or permit applications to obtain an exit permit before leaving the country. The change reverses a policy that was put in place in October and will increase mobility options for those with pending applications. Residence permit applicants will be able to travel as soon as an application is lodged. Visa applicants (new or renewal) will be able to travel with the receipt they receive stating that their application was lodged.
  • Applicants for permanent residence will no longer be required to obtain a travel certificate from International Police detailing how long they have been out of the country in the last year. Instead, immigration authorities will obtain this information directly from the International Police as part of their effort to work more closely together. Applicants should note that while application procedures have changed, the underlying rule has not. Applicants cannot travel abroad for more than 180 days during their last valid visa year in order to be eligible for permanent residence.
  • Copies of permanent residence permits can now be requested online. Previously, applicants had to make an appointment with the Immigration Department in order to obtain a duplicate copy.

Analysis & Comments: The changes are designed to enhance mobility, speed up permanent residence application processes and free up appointment times to allow authorities to address more urgent requests.

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