Introduction

On 21 November 2017 the new Immigration Law (13445/2017), which is regulated by Decree 9199/2017, came into force. On 1 December 2017 the Brazilian Immigration Council issued Resolution 6/2017, revoking Resolution 72/2006 (issued on 10 October 2006) in order to align its policies with the Immigration Law.

By introducing the new resolution and the changes to the guidelines set out in the regulatory decree, the Immigration Council has amended the rights of immigrants who work on board foreign vessels or platforms in Brazil.

This update compares the earlier rules set out in Resolution 72/2006 with those of Resolution 6/2017.

Resolution 72/2006

One of the main requirements set out in Resolution 72/2006 concerned the issue of temporary visas to immigrants who worked on board foreign oil vessels or platforms operating in Brazilian waters.

Article 1 of Resolution 72/2006 set out that immigrants could receive temporary visas for up to two years if they continuously worked with no employment bond on board foreign oil vessels or platforms operating in Brazilian waters.

Notably, if an immigrant was already in Brazil and wanted to obtain a temporary visa for working purposes, they had to leave the country in order to obtain prior authorisation from the Ministry of Labour.

Another important requirement concerned the minimum number of maritime or other Brazilian professionals that had to be employed on board foreign oil vessels or platforms that planned to operate in Brazilian waters for more than 90 days, thus requiring more Brazilian professionals to be hired.

Resolution 6/2017

The new wording of Normative Resolution 72/2017 (currently in force) has amended the policies applicable to immigrants who work on board foreign vessels or platforms. Now, these individuals must apply for a work residency authorisation, rather than a work permit, to obtain a temporary visa.

Importantly, a work residency permit can be obtained:

  • before entering the country, which means that the immigrant can obtain their permit from the consulate; or
  • locally, by applying for a residency permit from the federal police in Brazil.

If an immigrant intends to work in Brazil and is already in the national territory under another type of visa (eg, a business visa), they need not leave the country to request prior authorisation from the Ministry of Labour.

Under Resolution 6/2017, a company that wants to hire an immigrant to work in Brazil may apply to the Ministry of Labour for a residency permit while such immigrant is in Brazil.

After receiving a residency permit from the Ministry of Labour, the immigrant must convert their visa to a work residency permit through the federal police in Brazil.

Temporary visas are still required for immigrants who work on board foreign vessels or platforms. While Resolution 72/2006 required individuals to have a work permit before they could receive a temporary visa, Resolution 6/2017 requires individuals to have a work residency permit in order to obtain a temporary visa.

Resolution 6/2017 maintains the policy regarding the minimum number of maritime or other Brazilian professionals that must be employed on board foreign oil vessels or platforms that plan to operate in Brazilian waters for more than 90 days.

Comment

The changes made by the Immigration Law and regulated by Resolution 6/2017:

  • amend the conditions for work authorisations and temporary residency work authorisations; and
  • introduce two means of obtaining work residency authorisation:
    • obtaining prior residency authorisation from the Labour Ministry in order to obtain a temporary visa and work residency from the consulate; or
    • registering with the local authorities by apply for a residency permit from the federal police in Brazil if the individual is already in the Brazilian territory on another type of visa.

Accordingly, companies that wish to send employees to work in Brazil on oil vessels or platforms must strictly comply with the necessary procedures to obtain both prior residency authorisation and temporary visas and follow any concession terms in order to prevent delays or unexpected events.

For further information of this topic please contact Vilma Toshie Kutomi, Domingos Antonio Fortunato Netto, Daniel Landim or Larissa Osaki at Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados by telephone (+55 11 3147 7600) or email (vilma.kutomi@mattosfilho.com.br, dfortunato@mattosfilho.com.br, daniel.landim@mattosfilho.com.br or larissa.osaki@mattosfilho.com.br). The Mattos Filho, Veiga Filho, Marrey Jr e Quiroga Advogados website can be accessed at www.mattosfilho.com.br.

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