IMPACT – HIGH
The government decree that implements the new Brazilian Immigration Law was published today in the Official Gazette (Diario Oficial). The law overhauls Brazilian immigration law and represents the most significant amendments in the 30 years since the original law was enacted.
- e-Visa The decree confirms that e-visa processing will be implemented by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs according to reciprocity with individual countries.
- Visitor Visa
- This new visa category will cover short-term stays in Brazil for business purposes (including maritime business), tourism, transit as well as artists and athletes. The maximum period allowed to stay in Brazil with a visitor visa is 90 days, extendable for an additional 90 days, and with a maximum of 180 days in any 12-month period). Certain subcategories such as maritime, artists and athletes cannot extend their visitor status. Visitors will also be able to change their status to local resident while in country.
- Temporary Visa Foreign nationals who intend to establish residency in Brazil will be able to request temporary visas at the Brazilian consulates. However, those requesting a temporary visa for work-related activities will be required to apply for a residence authorization from the Ministry of Labor prior to having the work visa stamped at the consulate. Temporary visa holders will be allowed to convert their status to resident visa holder while in Brazil.
- Residence Authorization Immigrants and visitors may now apply for a residence authorization while in Brazil, regardless of their current immigration status in Brazil.
- Normative Resolutions to be Implemented The decree indicates that normative resolutions must be implemented by the National Immigration Council, and are expected to be published in the coming weeks, as they will determine specific requirements for applicants. BAL will track any updates and keep our clients informed.
- Local Federal Police Registry (CRNM – Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório) The former RNE card has been renamed CRNM. This change was necessary because the new law abolishes the term “foreigner” and replaces it with the term “immigrant.” It is expected that the new ID cards may be issued electronically. Temporary-visa holders must have their registration completed within 90 days from the date of entry in Brazil, while those who request residency authorization have 30 days to update their status at the local Federal Police office.
- Fines and penalties As anticipated, the decree establishes stronger punishment for foreigners and Brazilian companies using inappropriate visas and/or illegal status. Penalties for individuals will be established between 100 and 10,000 Brazilian reals (about US$30 and $3,070) while companies could be subject to fines of 1,000 to 1,000,000 reals.
- Transition provisions All visas granted under the old Immigration Law will maintain their validity until the expiration date, including the ability to convert or extend visas. Immigrants with pending work authorization applications at the Ministry of Labor (submitted before Nov. 21) will continue to be processed under the old law. Brazilian Consulates that are processing visas for approved work authorizations will follow the old law as long as they are processed within 90 days of the approval date of the work authorization. If applicants do not submit the consular filing within 90 days of the ministry’s approval date, the visas may still be granted, but the legal status will be adjusted according to the new law. The decree also notes that local authorities will have 12 months to adopt processes and systems in furtherance of the new immigration law.