The Brazilian government has announced that the application process for work visas to Brazil has been simplified significantly in response to demands from industry, calling for more qualified overseas workers to fill gaps in the Brazilian labour market.

Brazilian visa. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The process for applying for a work visa to Brazil should now be quicker and require fewer documents. Photo by Ben Tavener.

The government says it hopes that regular work visas, which currently take around three months to be issued, will take just 30 days.

The new rules, published under Normative Resolution (RN) 104, aim to speed up the process by requiring fewer documents and allowing documents to be sent online.

Industry and foreign workers have long complained that the process for granting a work visa was too long and overly complicated, requiring some fifteen documents and sometimes a number of visits to the Consulate; just three documents will now be required.

The government admits the new rules were a direct response to demands by industry, which struggles with Brazil’s lack of specifically qualified workers – particularly engineers, oil and gas experts, and systems analysts – to help ready the country host the World Cup and the Olympics.

Two other recent changes in work visas should also prove interesting to companies in Brazil and foreign students:

Resolution RN 100 provides a work visa of up to ninety days to foreign nationals providing technical assistance or technological know-how to Brazilian companies. Applicants go straight to their local Consulate, without the need for a permit from the Ministry for Labour and Employment (MTE).

Resolution RN 103 allows students with a Master’s degree or above to work up to ninety days in Brazil during their vacations. This work still requires MTE authorisation, but is expected to be popular with temporary jobs appearing for highly-qualified professionals for the World Cup and the Olympics.

Despite past concerns that Brazil should not encourage foreigners to work in Brazil but instead focus on improving the quality of homegrown professionals, Brazil’s Minister for Labour and Employment, Manoel Dias, says that boosting worker numbers from abroad would not take jobs from Brazilians.

Read the full article on The Rio Times website.

CNIg deferido page, Ben Tavener

“DEFERIDO” (“granted”, not “deferred”) was the magic word I had so long been waiting for. Immigration processes are all transparent and freely accessible online – anyone can see migrants’ applications.

It has finally happened.

After over a year of gathering documents, filling in forms, lawyers, judges and a lot of waiting, I have finally been granted a permanent visa, the Brazilian equivalent of the UK’s “indefinite leave to remain”, in accordance with the now-famous Resolução Normativa 77, a piece of legislation from 2008 that granted “stable partners” a raft of new rights, including the opportunity to bring their partner to Brazil on a temporary or permanent visa, regardless of gender.

The law allows a Brazilian to bring their “stable partner”, i.e. in an união estável (“stable union”) – less than “married”, but with many of the legal rights and safeguards, regardless of gender, into Brazil to live, work and stay.

Full marriage would have made the process much simpler, but we were not ready for that (and gay marriage had not been introduced in any states at that point) and were happy with the união estável solution, which appeared simple. In essence it is, but there have been many unforeseeable hurdles and we have come up against more than our fair share of useless people.

One of the big problems is that an união estável is easy to do – you walk into a cartório (legal registry office), pay R$90 or whatever it was, and you are partners – with many legal rights, including pensions and – now – immigration rights for your partner.

However, the fact that it is easily obtained means that if you wish to bring your partner into the country, you must supplement this união estável with other documents, and in some cases an audience with a judge, to back up the claim you’re asserting that you are a couple – and not just trying to get into Brazil on a “visa of convenience” for work or whatever else.

However, many of these documents have to be of a certain “age” – at least one or two years old. Some of the documents are rather “catch 22”, such as having a joint bank account: we couldn’t open one without me having the appropriate visa. Some of the documents were too big for us – joint mortgages, joint property…

deferido closer, ben tavener

For a number of reasons, mainly incorrect advice from a number of sources (even some official advice was wrong), we did not take out the easier documents – a will, life insurance – at an earliest stage in proceedings, and this demanded a more difficult solution – the legal trump card.

This trump card is an application to the local federal or family court to get a judge to vouch for you as a couple – for this, he or she looks into your relationship – with all the supporting documents (photos, statements, plane tickets, etc.) that you can muster. Then an audience of your friends is called for them to vouch for you, your status as a couple and your reason for wanting a permanent visa.

If the judge is satisfied, you get a document that goes to along with your application. This more or less forces the Immigration Service’s hand.

However, this takes time, and our our first, useless lawyer messed up proceedings in spectacular – initially not even lodging the application for a number of months, and then asking for the wrong document from the judge. In the time, thinking that the application was moving on, I decided not to renew my temporary visa – which could have been renewed for another year – and came back to Brazil after a summer break on a tourist visa.

We then discovered the application still had not been made and forced the lawyer to do his job. Luckily, we soon found a better, specialist lawyer to take over the case.

But the process took a long time: from August 2012 when it was initiated lodged with the judge, we finally got the document we needed in February 2013. By this point, my tourist visa had run out and I was stuck outside Brazil.

With an array of documents, plus our judge-signed trump card, I applied to Brasília and, to give them credit, my application for a permanent visa was authorised in a little over a month, and the word DEFERIDO (“granted”) finally appears on my application – all of which are visible to the public.

Now, once authorisation has reached the Brazilian Consulate in London, I can finally apply for the permanent visa that goes in my passport – for the princely sum of £160 (plus a reciprocal fee of £124).

That is the final step allowing me to return to my life in Brazil – return to a new chapter, as I will be living in São Paulo and not Curitiba.

Please get in touch if you would like information about the specialist lawyer that helped me in my visa authorisation application and court audience.