Obtaining short-term technical visas in Brazil for short-term foreign workers has just become easier. On April 23, 2013, the Brazilian National Immigration Council issued Normative Resolution No. 100 (the “Resolution”), which brought changes to 90-day technical visa applications. Brazilian companies that need short-term foreign workers to provide technical services and transfer of technical knowledge and foreign companies with assignments in Brazil will benefit from the new streamlined procedure. The new rule entered into force on May 9, 2013.

Temporary Technical Visas

According to Law No. 6.815/1980, foreigners need to obtain a visa in order to enter and remain in Brazil, unless it is dispensed with by agreement between the Brazilian government and the foreigner’s country of origin. The issuance, renewal or transformation of any kind of visa is conditional upon Brazil’s national interest.

A foreign individual who intends to work in Brazil on a temporary basis under a technology transfer or technical assistance contract between a foreign company and a Brazilian company must obtain a temporary visa and a work permit. Administrative, financial and managerial activities are not considered to be technical assistance.

As a general rule, technical visas and work permits are requested by the host Brazilian company to the Brazilian Ministry of Labour through the National Immigration Council. Uncontested work permit applications are usually processed between 30-45 days and visa authorizations are forwarded to the Brazilian consular post having jurisdiction over the applicant’s country of citizenship or place of legal residence.

In addition, several documents must be provided with the visa application, including: corporate documents of the Brazilian company, the technology transfer or technical assistance agreement between the Brazilian company and the foreign company and proof that the applicant has at least three years of professional experience in the services to be rendered in Brazil.

Technical visas are valid for one year and are renewable for an additional year, subject to proof of necessity, and cannot be transformed into permanent visas.

Changes to 90-day Technical Visas

If the technical services are to be rendered within a short period of time (up to 90 days), the new Resolution provides that the visa must be requested directly to the Brazilian Consulate abroad without any involvement of the Brazilian Ministry of Labour, so the processing time was reduced.

Moreover, the only documents required to be submitted with the visa application are a letter of invitation from the Brazilian company attesting the bond between the foreign applicant and the services to be rendered in Brazil and proof of enrollment of the Brazilian company with the Corporate Tax Registry (CNPJ). This type of visa may be granted for up to 90 days, but cannot be extended or transformed into permanent visas. The 90-day technical visa also can only be granted once every period of 180 days.

However, this visa can be cancelled by the Brazilian Ministry of Justice if there is evidence of domestic manpower replacement by the foreign professional or an employment relationship between the foreigner and the Brazilian company.

Note that all foreigners entering Brazil to work under a temporary visa, regardless of the length of their visa, must register at the local Federal Police Department within 30 days of arrival.

Conclusion

The issue of immigration has only recently gained prominence in Brazil and the Resolution is another step in Brazil’s immigration movement to attract skilled workers. The Resolution will benefit Brazilian companies and foreign companies with assignments in Brazil by providing a less complex and onerous procedure for short-term technical assignments. Under the new procedure, the Brazilian Ministry of Labour’s involvement is no longer required and less documents are needed for the visa application.