Brazil – Government implements reforms to improve work visa processing

A government decree recently published in the Official Gazette significantly changes work permit procedures under Brazilian immigration law.

 

The decree positively impacts Brazilian companies that hire foreign nationals, all new and renewal applicants for work visas, and tourists applying to change their status to students.

 

Companies and applicants will experience streamlined procedures and reduced processing times. Additionally, the decree will provide greater flexibility to Brazilian employers seeking to sponsor or retain foreign workers.

 

Further details will be published in coming weeks and months. Presently, sponsor companies in Brazil and foreigners need to be mindful of the changes so that they can proceed with work visa applications and renewals, and change of migration status.

 

Key changes contained in Decree 8757 include:

 

  • Applications to renew Work Contract Visas will now be submitted electronically, directly to the Ministry of Labor.
  • Temporary visa holders, such as business and student visa holders, can request a change of status to a Temporary Work Visa by applying directly to the Ministry of Labor.
  • Work Contract Visa holders who change employers may now submit a request to the Ministry of Labor, which will review and forward it to the Ministry of Justice for a final decision.
  • Temporary Work Contract Visa holders’ family dependents who are over 16 years old are now allowed to work in Brazil.
  • Temporary Work Visa holders applying to extend their visas may now use the extension protocol to guarantee their legal status in Brazil until the final approval.
  • Company sponsors applying for work contract extensions are no longer required to be responsible for the applicant’s repatriation costs.
  • Anew Temporary Work Visa subcategory will be introduced for individuals engaged in research, development and innovation projects granted by a sponsor organization.
  • A new work visa category will be established for foreigners deemed to be strategic professionals by the National Immigration Council. The Council will establish simplified procedures for applications in this category, whereby the Ministry of Labor may provisionally approve the work visa before the sponsor and employee have signed a work contract, on the condition that a signed work contract is submitted within six months of the employee’s arrival in Brazil.