The Chilean Congress is currently discussing a reform bill that seeks to modernize the current Immigration Law -which dates back to 1975- by orienting it towards a model based on safety, order and regular immigration, adapting the rules to modern times and the needs of the country. Likewise, it intends to respect the rights of immigrants such as the promotion of human rights, the best interests of the child or adolescent, integration and inclusion, and non-criminalization. One of the innovations of the bill is the possibility of entering the country to seek work opportunities, not as a tourist, and for a limited period of 90 days. In this way, the aim is to make the migrants’ reasons for travelling visible and thus to have accurate information on the subject. This proposal has been a relevant issue during the discussions at the Congress. Among other things, the project suggests granting temporary residence to foreigners who are in an irregular status, but who maintain two years of stay in the country, evidencing an economic support and changes the procedure for obtaining temporary residence, prohibiting the possibility of applying for a change in immigration status from tourist to resident while in Chile. Therefore this could only be requested from outside of Chile. It also seeks to guarantee the right of immigrants to appeal in the event of an expulsion measure before a higher Court. In addition, the bill seeks to establish a new migration institutional framework creating a Migration Policy Service. The bill has yet to be approved by the Senate.
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