Friday, November 13, 2015

Don't leave home without it!

The view coming into Puerto Octay
Who wouldn't want to live here?

Interested in moving to Chile?
Here is what you need to do before you leave.

UPDATE- As of September 2016, Chile has joined the Hague Convention (more on this at bottom of article) and you no longer need to send your documents to the Chilean Consulate in your region or have them stamped in Santiago at the Foreign Affairs Ministry. All you need to do is get the Apostille Stamp from the Secretary of State in the state that issued your documents.

1. Get a passport
No brainer here. You really should have one even if you decide not to go.
You cannot apply on line but this passport wizard linked below will walk you through the steps and help you prepare your paperwork so you can bring it down to your local post office. You may need an appointment so call first. The cost is $110 for adults and $80 for minors.  Here is the link
Passport Wizard

2. Copies of birth certificates
You will need the official long form copy that is already notarized by the Dept. of Health in your state. Costs vary by state but in SC it is $15 per certificate.Then you will need to send it to the Secretary of State in that state to have it legalized. In SC, this costs just $2 per document.This is just the certification that the notary is certified. Then it must be sent to the Chilean Consulate in that region so they can certify that the Secretary of State is certified bona fide. This costs $4 per document and don't send a check. Cash only! Don't ask me how I know!
Here is the link to find the consulate in your region.

The document from the Secretary of State certifying that the notary is official and legal

3. Marriage Certificate

4. University Degree or High School Diploma
Ditto but remember if this is in a different state you have to send it to the Secretary of State for that state and the Consulate for that region.You also need proof of your own education for a driver's license which you must apply for once you get permanent residency. By law, you must have at least an 8th grade education to get a Chilean driver's license. So either your degree or diploma will need to stamped.

5. Income Statements
This includes retirement checks, social security, rents or leases, contracts, paycheck stubs, a letter from your boss, etc. But it must be, you guessed it!, notarized,legalized, and certified. Letters should be in English and Spanish.

6. School transcripts
From your school or home school association - notarized,legalized, and certified. If you plan on homeschooling here, which is legal, do it anyway. Because things may change and it's much easier to do it from there than here. Best to have an English and Spanish version.

7. Bank Statements
Just the first page showing your balance for the most recent 3 months - notarized,legalized, and certified.

The top 2 stamps are from the Chilean Consulate in Miami
The bottom stamp is from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago

8. Licenses or Professional Certifications
If you plan on pursuing your profession here and if not, get it done anyway, just in case.

When you get here it will need to be stamped again in Santiago at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Their address is Agustinas 1320
                             1st Floor
They are open from 9-2 and the service is free.
Chileans love their stamps!

*A note on apostilles- Apostille is the french word for certification. The Hague Convention on the Apostille was a treaty signed by 108 countries to help streamline the certification of documents between countries. Chile did not sign this treaty so that is why your documents from the Secretary of State are legalized not apostilled and then you must send them to the Chilean Consulate of your region and then the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Santiago. Here is a link if you want to read more about it.

The view of  Volcan Osorno at sunset from our home


  1. I have been an expat in Europe and Asia for over 10 years and am looking for new places to call home. Chile has always been on my bucket list. The information you have listed is definitely a different list than I would put together for travel and extremely useful for a future visit and stay. The pictures of your new home from this and other blogs where wonderful and intriguing. I hope that I can take them myself one day. Great choice of lifestyle.
    Dan Pavelka

  2. Hello, So happy to have happened upon your blog. Thank you for all the information and insights into living in Chile. My husband and I will be moving to Chile this coming year - 2016. I read with great interest regarding what documents are needed to apply for a temporary resident visa. I do have a question regarding retirement income: Does it need to be certified by the Secretary of State where we are receiving it? We won't be tapping into our Social Security for another 6 years but will be using our employee retirement accounts. Thank you for any advice you can offer. Warmly, Isabel

    1. Chile wants you to prove that you are self supporting so you need to have your proof of income notarized then legalized by your Secretary of state then approved by your regional consulate then stamped in Santiago. Thanks for the question! And hope your move goes well!