Do I want to be a Chilean?

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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JSMort
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Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by JSMort » Thu Mar 05, 2020 12:42 pm

Hello everyone, I’m a regular reader and not so regular poster here at all-chile. I have had my permenencia definitiva for like 8 years now and I can ask for citizenship if I want. Especially in times like these, I am unsure whether I should. If I were single the decision would be easier, but I have a Chilean wife and 2 Chilean-American Daughters that were born here in CL and I want to protect my ability to always be able to enter the country should they chose to live in Chile in the future. I have detailed some of my primary doubts/concerns below and would appreciate any perspective you might be able to provide.

* Would having citizenship affect my ability to exit the country in an extreme situation? Either because the Chilean Gov’t wouldn’t allow me to leave or a difference in the treatment I might receive from the U.S. gov’t/embassy as a result of my dual citizenship status…

* If I stay a resident only (no citizenship), I understand that I have the right to take out all of my AFP and AFC (maybe some other things) if I am leaving the country, which is looking more likely every day unfortunately. Is this accurate? How feasible is that? Do we think that this matters? --> (if a corrupt gov’t takes power, I imagine I can just kiss that money goodbye…)

* In the long term, is it likely that I will be denied entry into Chile if I am not a citizen (even if I have Chilean children)?

*If I return the the U.S., what kind of scrutiny might I experience being a dual-citizen of a country like what a potential Chilezuela could be?

In summary, my first instinct is to get it now while I can, in order to guarantee my ability to enter always. But a second thought says that maybe me not being a CL citizen might get me and my family out of a bind some time in the relatively near future. As I mentioned above, I would really appreciate any perspective/insight you might be able to share.

P.S.
I put this under the crisis section as the question is not around if I can get citizenship or how to obtain it; rather, if I should considering the current and potential future situations.
I'll think of a witty signature later..............

mem
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by mem » Thu Mar 05, 2020 1:48 pm

Interesting questions regardless, but also in light of a virus/border lockdown quarantine evac situation.

In Wuhan it definitely seemed like foreign residents that were not Chinese nationals had more options, thinking of the the foreigners that got evac'd by foreign governments.

I can see a person being treated very differently even between dual-citizen and foreign only citizen.

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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by admin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:06 pm

yea, i moved this as it is not directly related to a national crisis. close, but I am being very careful to not dilute the crisis thread with other information.
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PXYC
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by PXYC » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:08 pm

CONs having Chilean citizenship:
- if you are a citizen of Chile, you can't withdraw your AFP funds. note that retirement laws are likely to change (demographics, social crisis, political changes).

PROs on having Chilean citizenship:
- if you want to sell a house that you own, your profits will be taxed much heavier when you don't have a Chilean citizenship.


I would appreciate if contributors could keep this type of structured scheme, it is much easier to go trough a list when making a decision (I'll have to make it myself in 3 years).

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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by admin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:12 pm

now, in answer to your questions, it is sooooo full of 'what if's' and hypotheticals, that it almost becomes meaningless.

The number one consideration however that should frame everything, is you have a chilean spouse and child.

Would you want to risk being separated from them over your nationality (or lack of it).

by getting citizenship, you are making it very difficult for anyone to do that. you could, in theory, loose your perment residency and be forced to leave the country. for example, a serious felony criminal charge. The supreme court just ruled that having family, or children in chile, does not exclude a resident from deportation.
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by admin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:15 pm

PXYC wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:08 pm
CONs having Chilean citizenship:
- if you are a citizen of Chile, you can't withdraw your AFP funds. note that retirement laws are likely to change (demographics, social crisis, political changes).

PROs on having Chilean citizenship:
- if you want to sell a house that you own, your profits will be taxed much heavier when you don't have a Chilean citizenship.


I would appreciate if contributors could keep this type of structured scheme, it is much easier to go trough a list when making a decision (I'll have to make it myself in 3 years).
just on the tax, it get's higher if you want to take money out of the country as a non-citizen; even then there are a bunch of mitigating circumstances to cut the bill.

That said, a little bit of tax is a terrible reason to make or break a decision about citizenship. perhaps a consideration, or if there is a lot of tax, but hardly a deal breaker.
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by admin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:20 pm

* In the long term, is it likely that I will be denied entry into Chile if I am not a citizen (even if I have Chilean children)?
this one I don't even understand.

hell, even most repressive countries in history have let their citizens back in the country, even if it was just so they could arrest and torture them; but they almost always let them in.

Let me put it another way, if things are that bad, we all have way bigger problems to worry about than the color of the stupid little book in our pocket.
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by admin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:26 pm

I am going through that list, just makes no sense. I think you are letting you imagination run away with you.

what sort of scrutiny might you get if chile turns in to Venezuela?

your an American citizen. even if you were not, how many millions Venezuelans live just in florida? Irans? chinese? north koreans? cubans?

frigen hugo chavez family is living florida (last I checked), with millions in stolen money.

I just don't get where you are getting these questions from.
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by admin » Thu Mar 05, 2020 3:39 pm

Let me put it another way.

You can always renounce your citizenship. Things would have to get pretty bad in chile to not be able to do that, simply not using it is a pretty universally accepted way to renounce a citizenship, regardless of what a governmentmight say.

As for your right to apply for citizenship after just 5 years of residency, that very well could go POOF in the drafting of a new constitution. It might never come back. It could take 10, 20, 30 years of residency, or they could add all sorts of Mickey mouse requirements, etc.

If you file now, you will be protected under the current one, even if it takes a few years to finish the process. They will have to include bridging laws to make the old laws and regulations square with any new laws or regulations.

Do not assume you will have that right, if a new constitution is approved.
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by RocketRichard » Thu Mar 05, 2020 4:23 pm

For me personally, I liked that having Chilean citizenship would give me more options. Nevertheless, Its been 3 years last month that I sent in all of the paperwork for my Chilean Citizenship and NADA as of yet. Like Admin stated , your perm residency can go "poof" regardless of your marital status. With all of the crazy batshit laws that the Chilean Congress is passing (Equal men-women representation in Congress regardless of the vote) and with the xenophobic sentiments combined with the possibility of a new constitution, I personally would think application for citizenship would be a wise move to ensure your residency.

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hlf2888
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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by hlf2888 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:15 pm

I am not so sure I would want to stay if I felt unwanted.

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Re: Do I want to be a Chilean?

Post by Jamers41 » Thu Mar 05, 2020 8:05 pm

hlf2888 wrote:
Thu Mar 05, 2020 5:15 pm
I am not so sure I would want to stay if I felt unwanted.
I agree, although it's hard to imagine Chileans suddenly hating all gringo looking people.....as long as John Corbin doesn't get loose again.

But the future is notoriously hard to predict.

Personally I am in a very similar boat that the OP is in, and I need to get hopping on the citizenship application, both for my family and since I am a home owner here (if for no other reason).

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