NewsAll you need to know about the new National Migration Service (ex “Departamento de Extranjeria y Migración”)

Julio 20, 2021

The Law on Migration No. 21.325, published in the Official Gazette on April 11, 2021, establishes new tools to ensure an orderly, safe and regular process for those who come to live to Chile.

Ann Bruggeman

After almost 8 years of processing in Congress, the new Migration Law was promulgated on April 11, 2021, replacing a previous law dating from 1975, whereby duties and obligations of migrants arriving to Chile were established.

Needless to mention that Chile has faced an important vague of immigrants over the past decade. Hence, the need arose to improve the migration system in place. Last April 11, was a key day in immigration matters as the new norm establishes important changes for more than a million and a half foreigners living in Chile, which currently represent around a 7% of the Chilean population.

In practice, what actually changed since its promulgation?

  • Creation of a new institution: the National Migration Service (“Servicio Nacional de Migraciones”) and its Regional Services (“Direcciones Regionales”), ensuring a better assistance on the entire territory. This new Service allows to standardize the procedures and processing times throughout the country, by centralizing the analysis, but decentralizing the attention, orientation, inclusion and delivery of benefits, in addition to promoting coordination and communication with civil society, municipalities and regional governments.
  • Unification under one roof of all responsibilities and tasks of the Department of Immigration and Migration (“Departamento de Extranjería y Migración”) and the Chilean Investigative Police (“PDI”), in order to improve and streamline their tasks. Hence, all procedures related to /i/ migration cases in Chile (under the responsibility of the Department of Immigration and Migration), and /ii/ migratory control, consisting in verifying when a migrant enters Chile, leaves or returns to the national territory, but also monitoring border crossings, supervising the permanence of foreign citizens and ensuring that foreigners do not have a criminal record or are part of drug trafficking or human trafficking networks (under the responsibility of the Chilean Investigative Police), will be transferred to a single unified entity : the National Migration Service. Thanks to the latter, this new entity will have more independence, budget and organization to manage said matters.
  • Paperwork facilitated: As a result, foreign citizens will be able to complete all immigration paperwork in one place.

Expectations of the entry into force of this new law, are high as the service of migration processes should be more agile, and the attention given to each case is expected to be more direct.

Likewise, the extensive steps that must be taken to achieve settlement should be avoided, and thus migrants will be enabled to work, obtain a RUT number and begin to be part of the workforce in the country in a short time.

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