Chilean bureaucracy often annoys immigrants from common law countries such as the United States and the United Kingdom. The Chilean law system is based on the continental law similar to most European countries — it takes a different approach to private and public legal processes.

Keep in mind these facts for legal safety:

  1. All legal processes in Chile are dependent on notaries — an agreement must be notarized for it to have legal power.
  2. Chilean power of attorney is a dangerous document, and you should never give full power of attorney to your legal representative.
  3. You should check out your lawyer in the public lawyer registry — there are plenty of scammers that prey on foreigners.

RUN

RUN is the unique national ID number for every Chilean and temporary or permanent resident. It never changes, and it functions as your ID in all local information systems. RUN always looks like XX.XXX.XXX-Y and can end with a "K" instead of a digit. Chileans almost never say "RUN" and always use "RUT" instead.

RUT

RUT is the unique tax number, which is the same as RUN for most people. It is possible to receive a temporary RUT from the tax agency (SII — Servicio de Impuestos Internos) when you do not have your national ID and RUN, but need to participate in a legal process.

Cédula de identidad

National ID card, often called a "carnet". Issued by the civil registry (Registro Civil) in about a month after receiving a visa or permanent residency.

Titular, Dependiente

"Titular" is the key person doing something for himself and his "dependientes." For example, during the immigration process "titular" will be a head of a family while other family members would be the "dependientes."

Declaración jurada

A sworn declaration verified by a notary. For example, for a visa application the "titular" must write a statement that he or she will pay all the expenses for their "dependientes".

Certificado de antecedentes

A police record that includes both crimes and family violence records. Required for all immigration applications.

Certificado de viajes

A police record that shows all entry and exit events since the last visa or residency. Required when applying for visas, residency, or citizenship.

Escritura

The process of signing an agreement in front of a notary. Can be "private" (for example, a rental agreement) or "public" — stored in state archives (for example, a real estate purchase agreement).

UF

Unit of account — inflation-adjusted unit that is used for real estate deals and secured loans instead of Chilean peso.

UTM, UTA

Monthly and yearly units used to calculate taxes and fines.

Factura

An invoice for goods, includes 19% of the value-added tax (IVA).

Boleta de honorarios

An invoice for services of a self-employed professional, free from the value-added tax (IVA).

Liquidación de sueldo

A non-standardized document about payment of salary issued by employers. It states final salary after adding and subtracting various bonuses, taxes, insurances, etc.

AFP

Private pension funds, minimal monthly contributions are 10% of salary.

Impuestos de primera categoría

Taxes on income from capital gains: company profits, rentals, investments — 25–27%.

Impuestos de segunda categoría

Taxes on income from labor with a progressive scale from 0% (under about CL$650,000 in 2018) to 40% (above CL$7,000,000). See the full scale.

Recommended articles