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Europe's Emigrants Face Red Tape In Latin America

Rodriguez and Pascual can testify that their welcome was difficult at best during their first months in Chile.

Without formal work and a visa, they couldn't get the Chilean identity numbers known as RUTs, which are vital for all aspects of life. Without a RUT, you can't get a telephone line, buy a cellphone, obtain a credit card, open a bank account, or make hundreds of other transactions in Chile.

Pascual, a 38-year-old actress, spent five months in low-paid, under-the-table jobs before she got help from the Spanish embassy, where she now works as a cultural representative.

"The bureaucracy here is terrible," Pascual says. But now she sounds contented, and spends much of her time supporting other Spaniards who keep arriving in Chile. "Many people are coming, so we help them a little, because it's very bureaucratic here, very complicated, and they get desperate."

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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