Brazil, South America’s largest country, boasts a great diversity of the continent’s flora and fauna, with access to the Amazon River, Amazon Jungle, and the powerful Iguazu Falls. It’s also known for its warm and friendly people, who can be described as one large family. These are just a few of the reasons people from North America and Europe choose to relocate abroad to Brazil. For those looking to do just that, here are the visa options available:
In order to enter the country for tourism purposes, you’ll likely need to acquire a tourist visa. There are a select few countries whose passports allow its residents to enter Brazil without a visa, but if you’re traveling from North America, you will need one. These visas are valid for a 90-day visit to the country.
Like the tourist visa, this one may not be required depending on the country from which you’re traveling. It covers your stay if that stay is for business purposes – conferences, professional training, etc. If you do need one, you can get one that’s valid for up to 90 days, similar to the tourist visa, and that can be renewed only one time so that your stay can last 180 days within one 12-month period. This visa allows multiple entries into the country during that time.
Students and unpaid interns will need the student visa in order to gain temporary residency in Brazil. Under this visa, you are unable to take any job that would pay a salary. You can simply study and take unpaid internships. If your stay lasts longer than six months, you may bring immediate family members over under the same type of visa. In order to gain this visa, you will have to have confirmation from the institution in which you’ll be studying, and that institution will need to be one that is recognized by the Brazilian Ministry of Education.
In order to work in Brazil, either for a Brazilian company or for an international company for which you’ll have to be stationed in Brazil, you’ll need a work visa. In order to attain this visa, you’ll have to have a letter from the place of employment. This letter will confirm the job you’ll be working and it will state the beginning and end dates of the contract. This visa cannot be used for anyone receiving training, doing research, artists, athletes, or those working for commercial, civil, non-profit, or financial organizations. These workers must either file for permanent residency, or obtain a visa specific to their type of work.
The permanent visa is just that – a visa for someone who wishes to move to Brazil permanently. Those eligible for this type of visa are: those joining an immediate family member who is either a Brazilian citizen or a Brazilian permanent resident, retirees, directors of religious or charity organizations, those with investments in Brazil, directors of companies transferred from abroad, those with exceptional abilities in technology and/or academia and those who have a job offer. The investor and pension visas fall under this permanent residency category.
In order to apply for the pensioner’s visa, you must be able to prove a monthly income of over $2,000 USD. Under this visa you are also allowed to obtain visas for two dependents, as long as you can demonstrate an additional income amount of $1,000 USD per dependent. You’ll have to apply for this visa at your local Brazilian embassy or consulate. You’ll be expected to provide a statement from your agency proving its responsibility for fulfilling your pension payments and a bank declaration proving that you meet the proper financial requirements.
For the investor’s visa, you can apply when you’ve invested the minimum requirement of $50,000 USD into a productive activity within the country. Alternatively, you can invest less, but employ 10 Brazilians. For this type of option, you’ll need to provide a solid financing and investment plan. This visa is issued for five years’ validity. It can be transferred into a work permit if you can prove that the plan’s goals are being accomplished.
Brazil is known for having a thick bureaucracy and for requiring a heavy paper trail, so the process can be cumbersome. Applications should be submitted to the Ministry of Labour if the type of visa being sought is one of financial importance. All other steps are taken through the Brazilian Embassy. It is strongly advised that a Brazilian expert is consulted in matters pertaining to receipt of a permanent residency visa. This can cost around $2,000 USD, but many who’ve been through the process have assured that the investment pays off.