Brazil – New Policies Implemented to Offer Reduced Processing Times and Relaxed Reforms

Following an official decree on May 11, there have been new implementations regarding immigration policies in an effort to reduce processing times and simplify the immigration process.

Work permit extensions and one year technical visas may now be filed online, rather than paper applications.  The applications no longer have to be filed within 30 days of expiration, but any time before expiry and will be processed by the Ministry of Labor within 30 calendar days, rather than the eight month processing time it had with the Ministry of Justice.

Besides filing work permit extensions and the one year technical visa online, foreign nationals may also notify the Federal Police, within 30 days, of change of residence on the new electronic system as well.  Foreign nationals who wish to become naturalized may now do so without having to renounce their previous nationality.  The certificate will be issued electronically.

Dependents over the age of 16 may now apply for work authorization after registering with the Federal Police.  However, this only applies to dependents that have received their visa after May 11th, once the decree was issued.  The dependent will still be tied to the main applicants visa validity.

There are also several changes to be expected by this implementation that have not yet gone into effect.

  • Foreign nationals with a pending visa renewal may enter Brazil with their renewal protocol document that was issued by the Ministry of Labor. However, since this is not fully implemented, some airports may not allow entry into the country.
  • Change of in country status will be available. Temporary residents may change to a work visa status once in Brazil, along with tourists changing to a student visa status.
  • Change of employer can now be done through the Ministry of Labor and the employee can begin working immediately upon filing.
  • New visa category will be available regarding research project and/or development or innovation, as well as a “strategic professional”. Criteria on these categories have not been provided yet.
  • Proof of residence no longer needs to be submitted with business and work visa applicants.

Although the decree has been announced to reduce processing times and simplify Brazil’s immigration policies, many of the announcements have yet to be implemented.  There will be a New Normative Resolution detailing all the announcements to be released soon.