Friday, 19 March 2010

Obtaining Residency in Chile: The Intelligent Way

1. Talk to Francisco Agurto so he can tell you exactly what paperwork you need for your type of visa.
2. Get all the paperwork together and meet with Francisco somewhere nice, like Starbucks.
3. Hand the paperwork to Francisco.
4. Forget about things for 3 weeks and then...
5. ...your 'Visa en Tramite' will arrive in the post.
6. Depending on your visa type, wait 6-8 weeks and then start checking Extranjeria once a week to see whether your visa has been processed.
7. When the visa is ready, phone Francisco and arrange to meet him at 8.50am on any work day in Extranjeria. He'll be waiting with a number which he picked up at 8am.
8. 9am, have your visa stamped in your passport.
9. 9.05am, register your visa with Policia International (in the same building).
10. 9.10am, go to Registro Civil to order your Cedula de Identidad.
11. Pay Francisco 60-80,000 Pesos, depending on your visa type.
12. Laugh at everyone else who could afford to pay 80,000 Pesos but thought it'd be more fun to sit in Extranjeria for hours upon end, have their applications rejected due to missing (or not) paperwork forcing them to return to wait even more time.

Get in touch if you want Francisco's number (email address here). He'll save you hours, if not days, of your time, you won't make any mistakes and you'll get your visa quicker as well.

I now have my Residencia Definitiva. Time taken? 4 months and only 15 minutes total in Extranjeria. Actually, the visa was ready in less than 3 months- I just didn't check because Residencia Definitiva usually takes 9...

Yesterday was quite a good Chile day. By 9.45 am I had my permanent residency and a real bank account, complete with cheque book, credit card, debit card and possibility of getting a mortgage. To anyone outside of Chile, this may not seem like much but, trust me, it's a pretty big deal!


  1. I will definitely be calling this guy (in a year or so). My husband is Chilean and I'll get my temporary visa here in the US before leaving, but will have to apply for permanent residency in a year.

    Can you only get a bank account with permanent residency?

  2. Wow! How great was that! I went through the whole DIY-style process many years ago when it involved repeated visits to the 3-hour waiting line only to be told to go back to square one in search of some elusive document that had been left off the original form...
    Congratulations for finding a painless way to work your way through the maze!