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Obtaining your Chilean ID

Yesterday we were taken by the Startup Chile staff to get our temporary Chilean ID’s. Your Chilean ID is very important to your stay here because without this you cannot get a bank account (& therefore cannot be refunded your money), a mobile phone contract (for which you also need a bank account) or get a PAYG Data SIM (you can get data free SIM’s though). It is therefore important that you get this done as soon as you possibly can before you arrive. Little did we know that if we had gone to the SUP offices as soon as we arrived we could have done this earlier, but you live and learn.

Before we arrived in Chile we were asked to sign up to a list for whether we wanted to get our ID’s on the Monday or the Tuesday. Our batch has over 200 people in it, so this was a good idea to get the numbers down. I recommend you try and get in to the Monday group. For us, Banco Edwards came to sign up people for bank accounts on Tuesday afternoon while the remaining entrepreneurs went to get their ID cards. By being in the Monday group it was quicker and easier to set up a bank account as there were less people trying to do the same thing at the same time.

So, Monday was induction day 1. At the end of the morning induction talks, and after lunch, we all met at SUP’s Moneda office to get our Chilean ID’s. After our passports & residency visas had been photocopied, we were taken back out of the offices in 2 groups. Obtaining your ID is a very long process so I highly recommend that you get yourself into the first group to leave. We were then shepherded down to the Chilean Police offices where we showed our visas and passports, paid 800 pesos and were awarded a Chilean International Police Check certificate.

With our police check certificates in hand we traipsed en-masse to a photocopy shop where we paid 50 pesos for a photocopy of the police check certificate. We were then led to the Civil Registry office to get our temporary ID’s. At this point, get yourself to the front of the group. We hung around at the back, and by the time we realised we had to put our names a sheet of paper to denote the order in which we were seen it was too late and we ended up 21st, 22nd & 23rd on the list – of about 30 names! You then get to hang about watching the other people head in and out of the office getting their ID’s ahead of you.

At this point it became pointedly clear that if things continued in this manner then the end of the list would not be reached for about 1.5 hours and there was still the second group yet to turn up. The strategy changed and we were then asked to provide our parents names on our passport photocopy and give it to Catalina, who filled in a form on your behalf. When our turn came (it was going much faster now) we took our forms in and got fingerprinted, both hands, on the back side of the form.

We were then asked to leave the room and wait. DO NOT JUST SIT DOWN AND WAIT TO BE CALLED AGAIN. This is what we did and after a while asked how much longer it was going to be. It turns out that what they really meant was wait in a queue to be called back in to have your form processed and photograph taken. Luckily we found this out after only a further 10 minute wait. For some people the word did not get through for some time and they ended up waiting to be called for up to an hour.

After your form has been processed and your photo taken & everything stamped, you have to pay 4,050 pesos and get given your temporary Chilean ID. We were asked to return to the Civil Registry office about a week later to pick up the real thing. One thing about all of the payments throughout this process – they really do not like giving change. Try as much as possible to give the exact money. At the police station especially they refused to take anything other than exact change which caused a few problems for some people.

We started the ID process at 2pm. We finished at 5:30pm. This will eat up your whole afternoon, so don’t book anything else that day. However, the ID process really seemed to bond many of the Startups and we ended up with a party to go to that evening and there was plenty of time to get to know our fellow participants.

More about the Startup Chile induction process to come, but for now I shall leave you as a legal entity in Chilean society.

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