We all know that every country has its own immigration laws and policies. In comparison with the immigration process in the States, I think immigrating to Chile is a breeze, despite the sometimes long lines and stack of paperwork. Here in Chile, you have to run various errands, but if you are from the US, it really isn’t that hard to get temporary residence—especially if you are married, it is guaranteed and only takes a couple months to approve.
Well part of continuing to be a good resident and following the rules means informing the officials when you move. I never did change my address with Extranjeria or Policia Internacional when I was in Chile on a student visa, mostly because I had no idea it was necessary. But now that I will be applying for permanent residency in a few months, I want to stay on the government’s good side.
The first thing you need to do is inform Extranjería of your change of address. This, thankfully, is easy and can be done online. Just go to the Extranjería website, click on Contáctenos and click on the last link on the page where it says “Si se cambió de domicilio....”. A form will open up where you can fill it in and inform them of your new address. Extranjería will then later send you a confirmation email that your new address has been recorded. In the same email, they will remind you that you need to change your address with Policia Internacional.
Unfortunately, you actually have to go to Policia Internacional in order to change your address—there is no nifty online form to fill out. Since I live in Santiago, I went to Policia Internacional located on Calle Borgoño 1050 (Puente Cal y Canto metro stop). Technically they open up at 8am, and I suggest arriving at the first hour, especially if you are going for the first time to register your visa. On the paper that you get from Extranjería, it says they open at 8:30am. I thought I would have to go through the same process—paying at the window, taking a number and waiting with a ton of other people—but when you go to change your address, the process is much more simple. You head up to the second floor, Office No. 10 and speak to someone in that office who will take your new address and ask you some other personal questions (where you work, who you live with, etc.). It was very painless. I didn’t arrive right at 8am, which for the change of address was actually better because the employees in Office No. 10 didn’t get there until 8:30am. In any case, I still think the earlier the better.
Well that is my quick how-to in case anyone else wonders about what you have to do when you move in Chile.