Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Anything related to legal issues, immigration, problems, regulations, tax issues, or any other law or legal related problem in Chile. Moderated By A Chilean Attorney.

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Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by admin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 9:53 am

To be completely clear, you can not enter Chile with a criminal record even as a tourist. You can not receive residency if you have a criminal record. You can not receive citizenship if you have a criminal record.

It was recently brought to my attention that some expat web sites have quoted something I wrote a long time ago, about a totally different subject, way out of context, and it has been circulating around the web for some time in regards to submitting criminal records when applying for residency in Chile at the Chilean consulates outside of the country vs. inside the country.

A bunch of people, that I guess have criminal records from other countries, got all excited about it and believe it to be some sort of loop-hole that would allow people with criminal records to apply for residency or citizenship in Chile. It is not.

Your criminal record will be checked, on entry to Chile. The PDI / boarder police / Interpol / FBI of Chile, have real time access at all boarder crossings to international databases such as the U.S. FBI, Interpol, and so on.

If you have been convicted of anything that is considered a serious crime in Chile, you will be turned back at the airport or boarder, even as a tourist.

We have seen tourist, that were just transiting Chile to change planes to antartica, turned back at the airport.

If by some chance, someone with a criminal record was not turned back, there are multiple points along the way to applying for residency in which your criminal records are checked.

Just because you are not asked to submit a criminal record from home, does not mean they are not checking. A formal report is requested for each immigrant application from the PDI, as a standard application procedure. It is all internal bureaucracy.

Even if you made it to the point to be granted residency by some accident, your finger prints, photo, etc are entered in to a searchable database when applying for your national id in Chile. Chile has fairly advanced biometric ID systems for the entire population. The first thing that happens when granted residency, is you have to visit the PDI and be entered in to the national database as a resident. Everyone is in there. No exceptions.

If at any point a criminal record is discovered (e.g. there was a error or delay in it showing in the international databases), your residency, citizenship, or any other application can be canceled. You could be here for 5 months or 5 years, and it would still be canceled as it is considered immigration fraud.

Perhaps a decade or two ago, someone would have been overlooked, and probably granted residency. Now, the databases are everywhere and with live real time access for the Chilean government.
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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by Space Cat » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:09 am

As far as I understand, this starts at "crimen o simple delito" tiers. "Falta" tier (less than 60 days of jail) is ok.
Faltas:
grado mínimo: 1 día a 20 días.
" medio: 21días a 40 días.
" máximo: 41días a 60 días.
Todas estas son prisión.

Simples delitos:
grado mínimo: 61días a 540 días.
" medio: 541días a 3 años.
" máximo: 3 años y un día a 5 años

Crímenes
grado mínimo: 5 años y un día a 10 años.
" medio: 10 años y un día a 15 años.
" máximo: 15 años y un día a 20 años.

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by admin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:51 am

it is not that simple.

The government always has the right to bar anyone but a full citizen, with or without cause, entry in to the country. For just entry, the call is up to the PDI officer at the boarder.

There are bunch of things however that list of jail time does not cover.

For example, sex offenses will always be denied entry.

another is drug related offenses. Given the neighborhood we are in (Peru, Colombia, Bolivia drug smugglers everywhere), drug crimes will probably always be denied. They are not going to care too much about the context.

However, in theory, possession of small amounts of marijuana is not a felony in Chile and typically does not involve jail time. Yet, many U.S. states even a seed is a felony (e.g. Nevada). Now, would some one be able to appeal, and get a waiver, we have never had to deal with such a situation. I would not be surprised if they just denied it anyway to play it safe. I doubt anyone is going to risk their carrier over a one-off marginal situation and sign a waiver for someone with a criminal record; but, I guess someone could try. I would not hold your breath.
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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by Rhodolite » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:52 am

" ... entered in to the national database as a resident. Everyone is in there. No exceptions."

Then why the census?

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by admin » Mon Apr 24, 2017 10:56 am

Rhodolite wrote:" ... entered in to the national database as a resident. Everyone is in there. No exceptions."

Then why the census?
No clue. We discussed that over on the census thread.
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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by Space Cat » Mon Apr 24, 2017 12:31 pm

On the other hand, I think that most countries do not send small crimes to international databases plus small crimes tend to "expire" fast to be included in a police record that is now required for the citizenship.

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by mem » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:36 pm

Does anyone know if a US misdemeanor counts or will show on a criminal background check for purposes of chilean immigration? I have a family friend that wants to move to chile but has a misdemeanor from 6 years ago in the US and is concerned it will torpedo his immigration application

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by mem » Tue Jun 26, 2018 12:39 pm

It was a reckless driving misdemeanor due to excessive speed

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by Jamers41 » Tue Jun 26, 2018 3:17 pm

I'm still wondering about how to fulfill the background check requirement for the citizenship application since the timeframe is only 20 days (absurdly short considering how long it normally takes) and it seems to me that this would effectively kill many citizenship applications since it's a relatively new requirement.

I still have not gotten much feedback here on the forum about it though, so it seems others are just as miffed as I am.

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by admin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:18 am

You include a letter stating the reason for the delay. Department of immigration knows most countries can not issue it in that time.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by Jamers41 » Wed Jun 27, 2018 6:48 pm

admin wrote:
Wed Jun 27, 2018 11:18 am
You include a letter stating the reason for the delay. Department of immigration knows most countries can not issue it in that time.
A letter I just write myself or from the agency (for example a US state) where I get the background check from?

Thank you!

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Re: Chile Residency, Citizenship, tourism and Criminal records

Post by admin » Wed Jun 27, 2018 7:38 pm

Just write it yourself.
Spencer Global Chile: Legal, relocation, and Investment assistance in Chile.
For more information visit: https://www.spencerglobal.com

From USA and outside Chile dial 1-917-727-5985 (U.S.), in Chile dial 65 2 42 1024 or by cell 747 97974.

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