Venezuelans in Chile

have migrated since 2018

%

of the total population are Venezuelan

%

want to stay

Data: R4V (Venezuela migration, 2023) and World Bank (host country population, 2022)

It is estimated that over 444,000 Venezuelans reside in Chile, accounting for 30% of its foreign population and 2.3% of the overall population. A Development Opportunity, suggests a good match between Chile’s labor market and Venezuelans in the country, and proposes policies that allow them to access labor markets at the level of their credentials.

The 2022 National Migration Survey offers data on adult migrants who have started to legalize their status in Chile. Therefore, Venezuelans in this survey are more likely to be regular labor migrants. Still, social integration is low.

Among those who reported participating in community activities, 8% participated in religious activities and 5% in sports clubs or groups. 

On average, Venezuelans are younger than Chileans and have higher educational levels. Their average age is 36, compared to 46 for Chileans, and they have higher educational levels: 14 years of schooling compared to an average of 12 for hosts. Likewise, 65% of Venezuelans reported tertiary education, contrasting with 27% among Chileans.  

Nonetheless, Venezuelans are likely to work below their qualification level, and only one out of ten have validated their academic credentials. Many Venezuelans work in service and sales (29%), more than the 21% of Chileans in similar roles, but Venezuelans are well represented in high-productivity occupations (such as professionals and technicians) as well.  

Venezuelans in Chile can access health and education services, which are universally provided, even for those with irregular status. Nonetheless, fears of deportation or discrimination might hinder their access to these services. Eligibility for housing and social benefits depends on immigration status; only after a two-year residency can they request state-funded social security and associated benefits.  

The report finds that access to basic services and social integration improves the well-being of migrants and refugees, generating mutually beneficial gains for hosts. It recommends supporting the economic and social integration of migrants into Chilean society and the labor market, which will increase their contribution to host communities. 

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