- Who Needs a Visa?
- Business Visa
- Work Authorisation
- Penalties for Non Compliance
- Points to Note
Who needs a visa?
In general all nationals require visas to enter Brazil, although exceptions do apply. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further advice. There are various categories of visas available, for all manner of requirements. There is, for example, a reciprocal agreement in place with New Zealand which allows entry to Brazil on a Temporary Work Visa.
Business Visas known as VITEM II are issued to visitors travelling to Brazil for a short-term visit to conduct business activities including attending business meetings, discussions or conferences.
Types of Visa
Other business related visas include the Temporary V Visa which is typically issued to those travelling to Brazil to perform contracted work and the Technical Visa – also issued under the Temporary V Visa, allows foreign nationals to provide training to Brazilian nationals.
All applications need to be submitted in the applicant’s country of residence and in most cases the applicant will need to apply in person to the relevant Consulate.
Processing times tend to vary, but there has been considerable investment in infrastructure in advance of the World Cup in 2014 and Olympic Games in 2016. The current guidance advises that the Consulate aim to process applications within 14 days, but certain visa applications can take up to 3 months. However, it is common for a Consulate to advise that a minimum of 5 working days will be required.
A business visitor is generally only granted a 3 month Visa which cannot be extended in-country.
Due to the large number of categories, the following information provides details of the favoured work authorisation category.
Type of Visa
The most common work authorisation is the Temporary Work Visa, Technical Assistance Visa or VITEM V.
The procedure of applying for this category of work authorisation is initiated in Brazil by the Brazilian sponsoring company or institution. A Work Authorisation is applied for via the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment.
Once the Ministry of Labor approves the application, they notify the Ministry of Foreign Relations. They in turn advise the Brazilian Consulate in the jurisdiction of the applicant’s country of residence that the Visa application, once submitted, can be processed.
Once the Consulate receives authorization from the Ministry of Foreign Relations, the applicant can apply for the Visa.
It will take about 30 to 45 working days to obtain the Work Visa approval after all the required documents are submitted in Brazil.
It will take about 10 working days to process the visa, once all necessary application materials have been submitted to the Brazilian Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.
VITEM V Visas are valid for between 3 months and 5 years.
Dependants may be granted permission to remain in line with the foreign worker.
The spouse and unmarried children under the age of 18 years can join the foreign worker in Brazil. They are known as dependants.
Dependants are not automatically entitled to work in Brazil.
Penalties for Non Compliance
If the employer breaches the immigration rules the Ministerio do Trabalho e Emprego can impose a number of sanctions including but not limited to:
- Prevent the employer from sponsoring or nominating any employees for a specified period of time.
- Cancel the business sponsorship agreement.
- Cancel the visas of any employees and their accompanying family members.
- Consider previous non-compliance when assessing any future sponsorship applications made by the employer or by any other business operated by the same principals.
- Impose a financial penalty.
If the foreign worker breaches the immigration rules their Visa may be cancelled and they will be compelled to leave Brazil. Longer term Work Visas are issued for specified roles rather than on a general basis. A change of employer will require a new Visa application.
Areas of Concern
- The employee must meet the minimum salary and qualification criteria for specific offers of employment.
- Police clearance certificates are required for each country the applicant has lived in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years since turning 16 years of age.
- A notarized and legalised “letter of experience” is required that will also need to be translated.
- Educations certificates and transcripts of results are required which will need to be legalised and possibly translated.
- Copies of the latest version of the corporate documents (by-laws) of the Brazilian company, duly registered by the Commercial Registry are required.
- In the case of a corporation (Sociedade anonima), a copy of the minutes of the shareholders, appointing the directors and officers, as well as those concerning the last increase to the social capital of the company is required.
The contents of this article are for information purposes only. The information and opinions expressed in this document do not constitute legal advice and should not be regarded as a substitute for legal advice or a comprehensive statement of law or current practice. Immigration rules and requirements frequently change without notice. You should not rely upon the contents of this document but instead should seek appropriate professional and legal advice in the light of your personal circumstances. No liability is accepted for the opinions contained or for any errors or commissions. Please contact our Global Immigration Team for further information.