Virginia, US

Oct 21 2019

Protests May Cause Immigration Processing Disruptions

Chile

At a Glance

  • Amid violent protests in Santiago, Chilean president Sebastián Piñera has declared a state of emergency, resulting in road closures and partial shutdown of the public transportation system to ensure public safety.

  • Chile’s Immigration Department in Santiago has closed at least one of its branches through October 25; other branches, as well as other governmental agencies, will likely operate with reduced staff and office hours during this time.

  • Closures or limited accessibility to immigration or other government offices may prevent foreign nationals from attending their registration, visa stamping, or identification card issuance appointments. Additionally, although foreign nationals can continue to file visa or residence applications by mail or online (as applicable), foreign nationals and employers can expect processing delays for all immigration related applications until the situation normalizes.

  • Fragomen is contacting affected clients with case-by-case advice.


The situation

Ongoing protests in Santiago, Chile, are causing service disruptions and limited accessibility to the Immigration Department and other governmental offices.

A closer look

  • Mobility. The ongoing protests have resulted in road closures throughout Santiago, limiting the public’s (including Fragomen’s) ability to visit government offices. Additionally, the Ministry of Transportation continues to partially shutdown the Santiago Metro.
  • Government closures. Chile’s Immigration Department in Santiago has closed at least one of its branches through October 25 (Chacabuco branch). Other branches, as well as other governmental agencies, will likely operate with reduced staff and office hours during this time.

     

Impact

  • Appointments. Foreign nationals may be prevented from attending their registration, visa stamping, or identification card issuance appointments. Fragomen is contacting affected clients with case-by-case advice.
  • General processing delays. Although the Immigration Department continues to receive visa or residence applications by mail or online (as applicable), foreign nationals and employers can expect processing delays for all immigration related applications, including notarization and legalization of documents, while mobility within Santiago remains unsafe and until the situation normalizes.

     

Background

The protests in Santiago started after the government proposed increasing the price of Metro tickets, and have resulted in violence, looting, and the destruction of several metro stations, among other consequences.

 

Looking ahead

Although President Piñera has announced the suspension of the Metro price increase, civil unrest may take several more days to subside.

Given the nature of the situation, affected foreign nationals and employers should remain abreast of the latest available information and safety measures.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to lar@fragomen.com.