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U.S. Citizens FAQ

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Where can I find information on Adoptions and Child Custody Issues?

    Where can I find information on Adoptions and Child Custody Issues?

  • What is the Consular Section's role in the event of the arrest of a U.S. citizen?

    What is the Consular Section's role in the event of the arrest of a U.S. citizen?

    • U.S. CITIZENS DETAINED OR INCARCERATED IN CHILE

      One of the most important tasks of the Department of State and U.S. Embassies is to provide assistance to U.S. citizens detained or incarcerated overseas.   In the event of the arrest of a U.S. citizen in Chile, the American Citizen Services Unit may be reached during regular business hours (8:30 – 5:00) through the Embassy’s main telephone line (56-2) 330-3000; after hours, the caller will be transferred to the Embassy’s duty officer.

      The U.S. consular officer can provide the following assistance:

      • Visit the detainee in jail.
      • Provide the detainee with a list of attorneys in the case that the detainee does not have legal counsel.  Consular officers cannot provide legal advice or intervene in judicial cases under federal regulations. 
      • Contact family members or friends and relay requests for monetary assistance or other aid at the request and express consent of the detainee, in compliance with the Privacy Act. 
      • Ensure that the prisoner is treated fairly and humanely.
      • Process a U.S. Government loan for medical and dietary assistance when the host government cannot provide such services to the prisoner.

  • Where can I find the list of Attorneys-at-Law in Chile?

    Where can I find the list of Attorneys-at-Law in Chile?

  • How do I cancel my ATM and Credit Cards? How do I place a fraud alert?

    How do I cancel my ATM and Credit Cards? How do I place a fraud alert?

    • Bank ATMs
      Contact your bank directly. But if you are calling your credit card company, they can fax the cancellation request to your bank on your behalf.

      American Express 1-230-020-0538
      (800) 992-3404 (from U.S.) (336) 393-1111 (overseas, call collect) (http://www.americanexpress.com)

      MasterCard 1-230-020-2012
      (http://www.mastercard.com)

      Visa 1-230-020-2136
      (410) 581-9994 (overseas, call collect) (800) 847-2911 (from U.S.) (http://www.visa.com)

      Discover (801) 902-3100 (overseas, call collect) (800) 
      (528-4800; from U.S.) (http://www.discovercard.com)

      Place a Fraud Alert

      Equifax: (888) 766-0008 (U.S. only) Equifax (overseas)

      Experian: (888) 397-3742 (U.S. only) Experian (overseas)

      TransUnion: (800) 680-7289 (U.S. only) Transunion (overseas)
  • How do I process a report of birth and U.S. passport for my newborn American baby?

    How do I process a report of birth and U.S. passport for my newborn American baby?

    • Please see the following link at this website: http://chile.usembassy.gov/birth_abroad3.html
  • How can I obtain a replacement Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

    How can I obtain a replacement Consular Report of Birth Abroad?

  • What documents does my U.S. citizen child need to travel outside of Chile?

    What documents does my U.S. citizen child need to travel outside of Chile?

    • CHILDREN: CHILEAN EXIT REQUIREMENTS FOR MINORS UNDER AGE 18

      Departure checklist:

      1. U.S. passport
      2. Chilean passport (if applicable)
      3. Notarized permission from non-traveling parent(s)
      4. Child’s birth certificate

      Important notice to dual national citizens: Please note that it is likely that your child acquired Chilean citizenship if your child was born in Chile.  In that case, your child will need to have a valid Chilean passport at the time of travel in addition to the U.S. passport.  Chilean passports are issued by the Chilean Civil Registry and Identification Service.
       
      Chilean law mandates that all minors under age 18 must have a notarized travel consent letter from the non-traveling parent(s) when traveling alone or in the company of only one parent.  The notarized consent letter must be presented to Chilean International Police with the child’s birth certificate and passport(s) when departing Chile.  The child’s birth certificate must be presented to International Police even when traveling with both parents to establish the relationship. Any questions regarding this issue should be directed to the Chilean International Police.  This requirement applies to all minors living in Chile, regardless of the child’s nationality.

      Minors under age 18 in tourist status in Chile

      Children under age 18 visiting Chile must depart the country in the company of the same adult they entered the country with.  If not, they will be required to have a notarized travel consent letter and birth certificate.

      The notarized travel consent letter and birth certificate will also be required for a child whose 90-day tourist visa expired during the visit, even if the child is in possession of the exit permit issued by the office of Extranjería (Chilean immigration office).

      Any questions regarding this issue should be directed to the Chilean International Police office

  • How can I contact the Chilean Embassy in the U.S.?

    How can I contact the Chilean Embassy in the U.S.?

  • What do I need to know about U.S. Customs?

    What do I need to know about U.S. Customs?

  • What medical services are available in Santiago?

    What medical services are available in Santiago?

  • Do I need a special permit to drive in Chile?

    Do I need a special permit to drive in Chile?

    • CHILEAN DRIVING REGULATIONS

      Driving Permits

      U.S. citizens visiting Chile must be in possession of a valid U.S. driver’s license and a valid international driving permit (IDP) to drive during their stay in the country.  The IDP must be obtained before departing the U.S. at an Automobile Association.  The IDP will permit you to drive in Chile for the validity of your tourist card.

      Residents of Chile must have a valid Chilean driver’s license to legally drive in the country.  An application for a Chilean driver’s license must be filed at the motor vehicle department in the municipal building of your home district.

      General requirements for a Chilean driver’s license are the following:

      - Applicant age 18 or older.
      - Chilean Identification Card.
      - School record to demonstrate that applicant has 8th grade education or higher.
      - Successful completion of the written and practical driving tests, and medical evaluation.

      If you have U.S. school records, you must obtain the authentication by the Chilean consul in the United States to be acceptable for official use in Chile.  Keep in mind that U.S. consular officials are not authorized to authenticate U.S. issued documents for use overseas. 

      Obligatory Insurance for Personal Accidents (SOAP)

      Law number 18490 mandates owners of motorized vehicles to have insurance coverage in the event of death or bodily injury as direct consequence of accidents in which the insured vehicle participates. It will also cover the expenses if you are a pedestrian or the passenger of a public motorized transportation service, but will not cover any damages to the vehicle.

      This insurance is called SOAP (Seguro Obligatorio de Accidentes Personales) and it must be purchased once a year when paying for the corresponding vehicle registration.

      If you are the victim of an accident report it to Carabineros  as soon as possible. Provide the complete name of the injured or deceased person, the license (plate number) of the vehicle, and the date, time and place of the accident. The police report is required to file the claim for compensation with the insurance company.

      Keep all the receipts for the expenses (hospital, medicines, funeral, etc) you may have as direct consequence of the accident. Although this mandatory insurance can cover an important amount of medical and/or funeral expenses, it may not cover all of them. Depending on the nature of the incident the law establishes different amounts of compensation.

      Learn more about SOAP and how it can protect you in case of an accident in the Chilean Securities and Insurance Supervisor’s website.

  • How do I pay Consular fees?

    How do I pay Consular fees?

    • Consular fees may be paid in cash (pesos or dollars) or credit card. No checks are accepted.
  • Does the embassy provide fingerprinting services?

    Does the embassy provide fingerprinting services?

    • Fingerprint Service

       

      “The American Citizen Services Unit provides fingerprinting services only under very exceptional circumstances.
      Please read the following link on the State Department website for further information, including FBI background checks. 
      http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/abroad/legal-matters/criminal-record-check.html
      If you have any further inquiries, please email us at santiagoamcit@state.gov”
      “The American Citizen Services Unit provides fingerprinting services only under very exceptional circumstances.
      Please read the following link on the State Department website for further information, including FBI background checks. 
      (http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/english/abroad/legal-matters/criminal-record-check.html)
      If you have any further inquiries, please email us at santiagoamcit@state.gov”

       

  • How can I find a friend or relative living in the U.S.?

    How can I find a friend or relative living in the U.S.?

    • The U.S. Embassy does not have the resources to help locate a person living in the United States. There are, however, many public records  to help you locate a U.S. resident yourself.

      To search for your friend or relative in U.S. phone books, try Infobel.com. You may also wish  to contact the Chilean Embassy in the U.S.

  • How can I authenticate a U.S. birth, death or marriage certificate or U.S. school records for use in Chile?

    How can I authenticate a U.S. birth, death or marriage certificate or U.S. school records for use in Chile?

  • What are the requirements to get married in Chile? (In Spanish)

    What are the requirements to get married in Chile? (In Spanish)

  • What notary and authentication services are available at the Embassy?

    What notary and authentication services are available at the Embassy?

    • - Authentication Service.
      - Notary Service.
      - Certification of True Copies
  • How do I renew my passport?

    How do I renew my passport?

  • How do I renew my child's passport?

    How do I renew my child's passport?

  • How do I replace a lost/stolen passport?

    How do I replace a lost/stolen passport?

  • How do I add pages to my passport?

    How do I add pages to my passport?

  • How do I change my name on my passport or correct printing error on my passport?

    How do I change my name on my passport or correct printing error on my passport?

  • What kind of passport photos do I need? Where can I get them?

    What kind of passport photos do I need? Where can I get them?

  • How can I travel with my pet?

    How can I travel with my pet?

    • Taking Cats and Dogs from Chile to the United States

      The Public Health Service is the U.S. Government agency that regulates the entry of non-working dogs (pets, show dogs, etc.) and cats into the United States. The Public Health Service currently lists Chile as a country that has rabies. As a result, the following requirements must be met when exporting cats and dogs to the United States.

      Cats -- Animals must appear in good health. Rabies vaccination is not required for the United States, but is required to export a cat from Chile.

      Dogs -- Non-working dogs, as opposed to working dogs (cattle and sheep herding animals), being shipped from Chile to the United States may be admitted if they are:

      1. At least three months old.
      2. Free of infectious disease.
      3. Accompanied by a valid certificate of vaccination against rabies signed by a licensed veterinarian that identifies the dog and specifies the expiration date for the vaccination not earlier than the date of the dog's arrival in the United States. If the expiration date is not indicated on the certificate, it will be valid for only one year from the date of issue. The certificate also must specify the date of vaccination not less than 30 days prior to the date of arrival.
      4. An export permit from the Servicio Agrícola Ganadero (which will be required by the airline when departing Chile). The export permit valid for 7 days will be issued upon presentation of a health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian within the last 7 days, a valid certificate of vaccination against rabies and payment of approximately 2,000 pesos.

      The export permit may be obtained at the following locations in Santiago:

      Avenida Portales 3396, Estación Central, office hours 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., Monday - Friday.

      SAG also has an office at the international airport compound: Puerta Uno, office hours 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.; 3:00 - 5:30 p.m., Monday - Friday; telephone numbers (2) 601-9131; (2) 601-9120.

      Working dogs are required to meet the same requirements as non-working dogs. However, additional requirements must be met before entry is allowed into the United States. These requirements are handled on a case by case basis. Inquires should be referred to APHIS, Veterinary Services at (301) 734-4357.

      The United States Customs Service is the agency responsible for implementing and enforcing these regulations at the United States Port of Entry. For additional information, please contact the nearest office of the United States Customs Service.

      For information on Pet Travel visit the Animal and Plant Inspection Service.

  • What Religious Services in English are available in Santiago?

    What Religious Services in English are available in Santiago?

    • Anglican/Presbyterian
      Santiago Community Church|
      Avenida Holanda 151, Providencia
      Phone 232-1113 (8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.)
      Sunday Morning Service: 10:30 a.m.;
      Children’s Sunday School: 10:30 a.m.
      Thursday, 12:00 noon, Holy Communion

      Baha’I Faith - Information 273-1581, 209-7692

      Baptist
      Victoria en Cristo Baptist
      Roberto Peragallo 6678, Las Condes
      Phone 229-6920, Services are in Spanish only

      Catholic
      Congregation of the Holy Cross - St. George's College Chapel
      Old Americo Vespucio 5400, Santa Maria de Manquehue, Vitacura
      Phone 228-1628
      Sunday Mass: 10:15 a.m.

      Christian Scientist
      Church of Christ, Science
      Av. Sanchez Fontecilla 832, Las Condes
      Phone: 638-3907
      Sunday: 10:30 am

      Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)
      While there are no services specifically in English, the majority of English-speaking families go the ward on:
      Av. Lo Barnechea 539, Lo Barnechea
      Santiago Temple: Pocuro 1940, Providencia, Phone 223-3860, 223-9976, 225-8910

      Jehovah's Witnesses
      Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses
      English Congregation
      Zanzibar Oriente 7099, Las Condes (2 blocks from "Plaza Los Domínicos")
      Phone: 224-5337
      Schedule: Thursday 19:30; Sunday 16:00
      Also Home Bible Studies

      Jewish Sabbath Services
      Templo Or Shalom
      Av. Las Condes 8431(in Estadio Israelita), Las Condes
      Phone 210-8300
      Services are in Hebrew and Spanish.  In the US, Or Shalom would be considered a Conservative synagogue.  If you plan to attend a Sabbath service, please call ahead on Friday, then take your US passport when you go.

      Lutheran
      Lota 2330, Providencia
      Phone 231-7222, Services in Spanish and German only

      Presbyterian
      San Marcos Presbyterian Church
      Av. Padre Hurtado Central 599, Las Condes
      Phone 224-5893
      Sunday Services: 9:30 a.m. (Sunday school and nursery available during service)
      Weekdays: Home Bible Studies and Youth Meetings, Church Office

  • Where can I obtain federal tax forms and information on tax issues?

    Where can I obtain federal tax forms and information on tax issues?

  • If I am a Dual Citizen, do I need a Chilean Passport to Travel to and from Chile?

    If I am a Dual Citizen, do I need a Chilean Passport to Travel to and from Chile?

  • Do I need a visa (tourist card) to enter Chile? How much do I have to pay?

    Do I need a visa (tourist card) to enter Chile? How much do I have to pay?

    • Entry Requirements

      A passport is required to enter Chile. U.S. citizens do not need a visa for a stay of up to three months.

      A tourist card is issued at the international port-of-entry.

      A fee of $160.00 payable in U.S. dollars or credit card is levied on U.S. citizen visitors. The receipt is valid for multiple entries during the validity of the traveler's passport.

      Note: Dual Citizens (U.S./Chile) are required to enter and exit Chile using a Chilean passport, and should not pay the $160 fee.

  • Where can I extend my visa (tourist card) or change my visa status?

    Where can I extend my visa (tourist card) or change my visa status?

    • U.S. citizens visiting Chile who wish to extend the 90-day stay granted by International Police may apply for an extension at the "Departamento de Extranjería". The applicant should be in possession of his passport and tourist card and will be required to pay a fee of US$160.00 at time of application. The application must be submitted at least two weeks before expiration of the initial 90 days. The extension is usually granted on a one-time basis for an additional 90 days.

      U.S. citizens in the Metropolitan Region should request this service at the following location and hours:

      San Antonio 580 , 2nd floor, downtown Santiago
      Hours 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., Monday through Friday
      .

      Phone: 600-626-4222 from 9.00 a 16.00

      U.S. citizens visiting other regions should contact the nearest government office known as "Gobernación" for this service. For the location of this office in your region please see the information available at the Chilean Foreign Office (http://www.extranjeria.gov.cl)

      U.S. visitors who are interested in living, working or studying in Chile should inquire about changing their visa status at the same office. More information is available at the Chilean Foreign Office (http://www.extranjeria.gov.cl)

  • My tourist card was lost/stolen. How can I replace it?

    My tourist card was lost/stolen. How can I replace it?

    • You must replace your tourist card if it has been lost or stolen.  You are required to surrender the tourist card to International Police officers at the time you exit Chile.  If not, you will not be allowed leave the country. A duplicate tourist card must be obtained at any of the offices for Policía Internacional.  You will be required to present your passport at the time of application.
       
      In Santiago, request your tourist card at the following location and hours:

      Morandé 672
      Telephone: (2) 6809110 and (2) 6809116
      Hours: Monday - Friday 8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

      The tourist card may be replaced at the Santiago International Airport in case of an emergency.  You need to arrive at least an hour earlier than your scheduled arrival time.  We recommend, however, if possible, that the duplicate tourist card be obtained in advance at the International Police office listed above.

      If you will exit Chile from another departure point, you must apply for your tourist card in advance of your arrival at the point of departure.

  • Information for Antarctica Tour Operators: Emergency services for U.S. citizens

    Information for Antarctica Tour Operators: Emergency services for U.S. citizens

    • October marks the start of the austral summer, and the high season for tourism in southern South America. Thousands of foreign tourists visit the Patagonian coastline, the historic Falkland/Malvinas islands and retrace the path of famous explorers like Shackleton and Darwin. While the vast majority of these tourists return home with stunning memories, a few each year suffer serious illness, injuries, or death on board cruise ships in this region. The purpose of this guide is to help tour and cruise operators coordinate with the nearest United States Embassy to provide the best possible service in difficult times to American citizen visitors to southern South America and Antarctica.

      In the event of serious illness, injury or the death of an American citizen onboard a cruise in southern South America, the Falkland Islands, or the Antarctic Peninsula, the vessel's master and/or tour operator(s) should immediately contact the nearest United States Embassy. The United States has embassies in Buenos Aires (Argentina), Santiago (Chile) and Montevideo (Uruguay). Each embassy includes an American Citizen Services unit that is ready to provide emergency services to American citizens in distress. This includes contacting family members in the United States and providing assistance in dealing with local regulations. Contact information for the U.S. Embassies in Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay is provided below for your convenience.

      The Falkland Islands, also known as the Malvinas Islands, are a popular destination en route to Antarctica. These islands are sparsely populated and the largest town is Port Stanley, with a population of 2,000 residents. No funeral or mortuary services are available on these islands, and there is no resident medical examiner. Under no circumstances should human remains be put ashore in the Falklands/Malvinas unless explicitly requested by the next-of-kin of the deceased American citizen. There is no capability for preservation of remains or cremation on the Falkland/Malvinas Islands, and the only commercial air carrier that operates regular (weekly) service to the islands, LAN Chile, cannot transport unpreserved human remains more than 24 hours after death. In the event of the death of an American citizen passenger or crew member, the vessel should refrigerate the remains onboard until making a port call in Argentina or Chile. Once remains of an American citizen are put ashore in Argentina or Chile, the vessel's master or agent should immediately notify the nearest U.S. Embassy.

      Public hospitals in Argentina and Chile are generally well-equipped to handle medical emergencies, but the quality and type of follow-up care available varies and may not be up to U.S. standards. If it becomes necessary to leave an ill American passenger in a hospital in the region, please immediately notify the nearest U.S. Embassy:

      U.S. Embassy Buenos Aires
      Tel. 54-11-5777-4873
      e-mail: BuenosAires-ACS@state.gov

      U.S. Embassy Santiago
      Tel. 56-2-330-3000; 330-3321
      e-mail: santiagoamcit@state.gov

      U.S. Embassy Montevideo
      Tel. 59-82-411-8888

  • Where can I obtain a copy of a Chilean birth, marriage, or death record or other civil records information?

    Where can I obtain a copy of a Chilean birth, marriage, or death record or other civil records information?

    • Obtaining Vital Records:

      The Registro Civil (Civil Records Office) can provide official printouts of Chilean birth, marriage, or death record or other civil records information. The central office of the Registro Civil is located at Huérfanos 1570, 2nd Floor in Santiago with office hours Monday through Friday, 8:30-14:30, phone number 56-2-648-2546.

      U.S. birth, marriage and death records can be obtained through the National Center for Health Statistics.

      Note: A United States consular official does not have the authority to authenticate any U.S. issued document. Any U.S. issued document for official use in Chile must be authenticated by the Chilean Embassy or Consulate in the United States.

  • Where can I obtain a copy of a U.S. birth, marriage or death record?

    Where can I obtain a copy of a U.S. birth, marriage or death record?

  • Travel to Other Countries, Visa Types and Requirements, Notarial Services -- Adoptions and Child Custody Issues

    Travel to Other Countries, Visa Types and Requirements, Notarial Services -- Adoptions and Child Custody Issues

  • Top 10 Tips for Travelers

    Top 10 Tips for Travelers

  • How can I vote absentee? Voting Information?

    How can I vote absentee? Voting Information?

    • NOTE: SURVEY - Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) need your help to make absentee/overseas voting easier for you.
      The official U.S. Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance is the Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) website.

      Generally, all U.S. citizens 18 years or older who are or will be residing outside the United States during an election period are eligible to vote absentee in any election for Federal office. This includes primary, run-off, and special elections that occur throughout the year. Some states allow overseas voters to vote in elections for state and local offices, and for state and local referendums.

      Voting eligibility and residency requirements are determined by the various U.S. states available at FVAP. Your "legal state of residence" for voting purposes is the state where you last resided immediately prior to departure from the United States. Voting rights extend to overseas citizens even though they may no longer own property or have other ties to their last state of residence, and even if their intent to return to that state may be uncertain. For those who have never resided in the U.S., sixteen states, to date, allow eligible U.S. citizens to register where a parent would be eligible to vote.

      To register to vote and/or apply for an absentee ballot, you can use the Federal Post Card Application. The on-line version, the OFPCA, is accepted by all states and territories except American Samoa and Guam. Voters from American Samoa and Guam must use the standard form of the FPCA (PDF 200KB), available at the Consulate General or through many American civic groups. The on-line OFPCA form must be completed legibly, printed, signed, dated, and mailed to your local election officials. Your state may allow faxing to speed the process, but you will still need to send in the original by mail. Use an envelope and affix proper postage. The official U.S. Government website for overseas absentee voting assistance, has a wealth of information about absentee voting, including the state-specific instructions for completing the FPCA form, links to state and local officials, and a downloadable emergency ballot for use by those who register in time but fail to receive an official ballot.

      As a general rule, you should try to send in the FPCA so that it reaches your local election officials at least forty-five days before the first election in which you are eligible to vote --- ample time for them to process the request and send you a blank ballot. If applying for both registration and an absentee ballot, you may want to mail the FPCA earlier. One FPCA will qualify you to receive all ballots for Federal offices for the next two regular Federal elections (through 2010). However, we recommend that you submit a new FPCA (PDF 98KB) in January of every year, and whenever you move, to ensure that your most recent mailing and e-mail addresses are on file with your local election officials.

      Under normal circumstances, most states and territories begin sending ballots to overseas citizens 30-45 days before an election. However, if you haven’t received your ballot within three weeks of your state’s ballot receipt deadline, and you are required to return your voted ballot by mail, you should download, complete, sign, date, and send in a Federal Write-in Absentee Ballot (FWAB), available at www.fvap.gov. Make sure it is witnessed if required by your state. If you subsequently receive your regular absentee ballot, execute it and return it regardless of when you receive it. Court decisions sometimes require late counting of ballots voted by Election Day, but received by local election officials for a specified period of time following Election Day.

      Be an Educated Voter

      Non-partisan information about candidates, their voting records, and their positions on issues is widely available and easy to obtain via the Internet. Use the links appearing on the FVAP website at www.fvap.gov and read your hometown newspaper on-line, or search the Internet to locate articles and information.

      The Voting Assistance Officer at the U.S. Embassy is also always available to answer questions about absentee voting. To contact the Voting Assistance Officer, send an e-mail to VoteSantiago@state.gov

      Voting Information News