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Chile

Chile is attracting an increasing number of immigrants from neighbouring countries. In 2013, the number of immigrants who arrived in Chile (permanent and temporary) at 132 thousand was more than twice the figure recorded in 2012.

However, the foreign-born population as a percentage of the total population remains low and has increased only slightly since 1990, from 0.8% to 2.3% in 2013.

The outflow of Chilean emigrants to OECD member states and countries of Latin America has been considerably lower in recent years than the flow of migrants into the country. Chilean emigration has decreased some 12% since 2009. The United States continues to be the most important destination country, receiving more than 30% of Chilean emigrants, although this percentage has been declining. Argentina is the second destination of preference for Chileans and this figure has grown in importance over the same period.

The outcomes of Chilean migrants in the labor markets of Europe and the United States has remained relatively stable from 2010-2011 to 2012-2013, with a small increase of 0.7 points in both the employment and unemployment rates.

In the year 2013, Chile received 249 asylum seekers, showing an increase of 48% relative to the number of asylum requests in 2012. Colombia and Syria are the most important countries of origin. For the same year, there were 1,743 refugees in the country.

Remittances grew to a total of 923 million dollars in the year 2013, which represents an increase of some 3.2% relative to the previous year. This amount represents less than 1 percent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product.

On June 4, 2013 it was introduced to the Chamber of Deputies a new Immigration Bill. This Bill seeks to replace the Decree 1094 of 1975, legislation that continued to address  the national security concerns of the Cold War. A special legislative commission has approved it and at the time of the drafting this note, it was under the First Legislative Review in the Chamber of Deputies at the Chilean Congress.

On September 22 2014, under Decree No. 1393, the Migration Policy Council was created with the aim of drafting the national migration policy as well as coordinating institutional actions, plans and programs on migration.

The main responsibilities of the Council are to analyze migration phenomena, update the existing information regarding migration; generate proposals that regulate the migration; to coordinate state agents and civil society involved with immigration policy; and, to propose amendments to the current legislation.

The current administration is planning to introduce changes to the Bill proposed by the previous administration. The changes to the bill cover human rights issues, different visa categories, immigration institutions andlinks with nationals living abroad.

Additionally, in May 2014, President Bachelet enacted the constitutional reform that allows Chileans abroad to exercise the right to vote, in plebiscite consultations as well as presidential elections.

The Chilean State has taken a number of initiatives to integrate immigrants to the country. First, the children of all migrants who reside in Chile are to be formally incorporated into basic and childhood education. Secondly the public healthcare system is to provide health care to all foreign children and adolescents under 18 years of age. Thirdly, access to the National Women’s Service protection network for victims of domestic violence is facilitated for immigrant women, asylum seekers and refugees residing in Chile.

Additionally, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has implemented the Program “Network for Victims of Gender Violence” for Chileans living abroad. The program is being implemented mainly in countries with a significant presence of Chileans, starting with Argentina.

The Pacific Alliance was created on April 28, 2011, with Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru as founding members. Costa Rica and Panama joined as observers. 

The purpose of the Pacific Alliance is to make progress towards “the free movement of goods, services, capital and persons.” It established as an initial priority the movement of business people and the facilitation of migration flows and cooperation among immigration and consular police . The People Mobility Group was instituted to monitor movements of non-residents.[1]

Recent trends in migrant’s flows and stocks and in labor market outcomes of emigrants

Chile
Migration inflows (foreign nationals) Persons Per 1000 inhabitants Percent change
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 2013/2010
Permanent and temporary 63912 76337 100051 132139 7.4994999917138 106.75147077231
Total migration inflows (foreign nationals) by type Persons   % distribution      
  2010 2012 2010 2012    
Family 9033 11772 14.133496057078 11.765999340336    
International agreements 8123 15605 12.70966328702 15.597045506792    
Study 2120 2363 3.3170609588184 2.361795484303    
Work 37403 64160 58.522656152209 64.127295079509    
Other 7233 6151 11.317123544874 6.1478645890596    
Total 63912 100051 100 100    
Migration outflows (nationals) Persons       % of total % change
            outflows
From unstandardised destination country data 2009 2010 2011 2012 2012 2012/2009
All countries 26252 24118 24136 23184 100 -11.6867286302
United States 9889 8099 7982 7575 32.673395445135 -23.399737081606
Argentina 4896 4438 4630 5110 22.041062801932 4.3709150326797
Spain 4258 3829 3355 2427 10.468426501035 -43.001409112259
Canada 1393 1680 1300 1295 5.5857487922705 -7.035175879397
Asylum seekers and refugees Per million inhabitants         Number of persons
          Average 2010-2013  
  2010 2011 2012 2013   2013
Inflows of asylum seekers 15.159465920354 17.621451812349 9.6193409216955 14.13190275344 14.13304035196 249
Refugees resident in the country 94.513439449595 96.715771586466 97.052278942106 98.923319274077 96.801202313061 1743
Components of population growth Per 1000 inhabitants          
  1985-1990 1990-1995 1995-2000 2000-2005 2005-2010  
Total 17.17 17.75 13.58 11.12 9.71  
Natural increase 17.79 16.434 12.769 10.737 9.353  
Net migration -0.62 1.316 0.811 0.383 0.357  
Foreign-born population Percentage of the total population       Persons % change
          (thousands)  
  1990 2000 2010 2013 2013 2013/2010
  0.81354298077862 1.1474530040049 2.1540503161376 2.2602587965703 398.251 4.930640646461
Remittances Millions of dollars       % of GDP % change
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2013 2013/2010
  820 936 902 923 0.4 12.560975609756
Macroeconomic indicators Annual growth in %       Average annual growth Level
  2010 2011 2012 2013 2010-2013 2013
Real GDP 5.7629725327972 5.8389352613547 5.3817561461629 4.0747149120716 5.2645947130966 -
GDP/per capita ((PPP ) in constant 2011 international dollars) 4.7990392890085 4.8974083063653 4.4671341529238 3.1967326329686 4.3400785953166 21714
Labour market outcomes of emigrants in Europe and the United States Percentages          
  Men   Women   Total  
  2010-11 2012-13 2010-11 2012-13 2010-11 2012-13
Participation rate 84.64078 82.00824 67.32623 72.17525 75.72444 77.20551
Employment rate 73.39898 68.19376 55.06796 61.04017 63.9592 64.69973
Unemployment rate 13.28178 16.84524 18.20727 15.42784 15.53691 16.19805


[1] Programs such as   Holidays and Work, Academic and Student Mobility and Exchange of Immediate Information for Migration Security have been approved