Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Resettlement to Chile

Any decision regarding resettlement of refugees to Chile is made by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Interior. They establish an annual resettlement target in consultation with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). 

Cases are selected on the basis of a paper application (dossier) when the number of the cases submitted from any one country of asylum is less than ten dossiers. The Resettlement Registration Forms are submitted to the government by UNHCR- Argentina, through UNHCR Headquarters.
The Government undertakes in-country selection of refugees for resettlement when the number of dossiers submitted from any one country of asylum exceeds ten cases. The selection of candidates is made through refugee status determination and resettlement eligibility interviews on the basis of the Resettlement Registration Forms submitted by UNHCR.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for resettlement in Chile, the person must be recognised by UNHCR and belong to one of these categories:

  • legal or physical protection needs:  when the refugee meets one of these conditions:
  1. Immediate or long-term threat of forced repatriation or expulsion
  2. Threat of arbitrary arrest, detention or imprisonment
  3. Threat to human rights or physical integrity/safety, analogous to that considered under the refugee definition and rendering asylum untenable
  • refugees victims of violence and /or torture
Refugee victims of violence and /or torture who require special medical attention will be considered for resettlement, subject to the availability of appropriate medical services.
  • women at Risk
Women facing serious physical and /or psychological threats (rape, sexual harassment, violence, etc) lacking the protection of their families or communities.
  • refugees without local integration prospects in the first country of asylum
Refugees are considered for resettlement to Chile if they remain a certain period in a country of asylum without being able to integrate and there is no prospect for repatriation in near future.

Family Reunification for Resettled Refugees

The family reunification of a refugee with his/her family takes place within the resettlement quota. Members of the family are:
  • spouses, including common-law spouses with proof of relationship (e.g. birth certificates of joint offspring);
  • children, biological or adopted, under 21-years-old or economically dependant regardless of their age; and
  • elderly parents who are economically dependent.
Sources: this information has been taken from the Chile country chapter in the UNHCR Resettlement Handbook.