Chile Temporary vs. Permanent Residency

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“Temporary residency” (residencia temporaria) refers to the time you must be physically in Chile within one year, before qualifying for permanent residency (Permanencia Definitiva). For most visa types, this time is 180 days within one year.

These do not need to be consecutive days physically present in the country but must total more than 180 days. You may leave Chile within that one year. For certain types of limited work visas in Chile, this time is 180 days out of two years.

If you do not complete your 180 days within the first year of temporary residency, you may request an extension to complete your time in the country in the second year, but you must start counting the day over again.

Also, once you complete your time in the country under temporary residency, you are legally required to either file for permanent residency or leave the country and begin the process all over again. Part of this is to protect against large numbers of people living in legal limbo in Chile.

The earliest you can apply for permanent residency after completing your temporary residency requirement is 3 months before your first year is over. In other words, even though you have completed your 180 days, say by being in the country for a full six months or more, you must wait until the last three months and no later than one year from the time your temporary residency is approved and your passport is stamped with the temporary residency visa.

Note: rules change over time, so check with your lawyer for the latest information.

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