BRAZIL – New Immigration Regulations Published
On 8 December 2017, the National Immigration Council published new Normative Resolutions regulating residence authorisation for foreign professionals. The resolutions implement the recent Brazilian immigration law (13445/2017, published 25 May 2017).
Note that the resolutions do not mention renewal applications - these are expected to be regulated in a future publication.
Below, we summarise the important changes in some key visa categories.
Normative Resolution 01 – General Procedures
Courtesy, visit, diplomatic or official visas can now be converted into residence authorisation, including for work purposes. A birth certificate, and criminal record certificates covering the last five years (previously one year), legalised or apostilled, and translated by a certified translator, are required in support of an in-country residence application. These documents are not required in support of a residence application submitted overseas if the applicant waits for approval before applying for a visa. The grace period of 60 days for presenting the legalisation or apostille of documents produced abroad has been removed.
Normative Resolution 02 – Local Hire
Stricter qualifications and experience criteria
Holders of a graduate diploma must now prove one year of experience in the relevant professional field (previously not required); Holders of a higher-level diploma must prove two years of experience in the relevant professional field (previously one year); In non-technical professions not requiring a university degree, four years of experience is now required (previously two years) and twelve years of education are now required (previously nine years); If ‘technical level education’ is required, three years of professional experience are also required. If the suitability of the applicant to the job is to be demonstrated by means other than their education, five years of professional experience must now be shown. Only holders of a masters, PhD or other university degree related to the professional field are not required to demonstrate professional experience. Nationals of South American countries are no longer exempt from providing proof of professional experience.
Generally, residence authorisation is granted for up to two years at a time, up to a maximum of four years, in line with the employment contract. In the case of conversion from a visitor visa, residence authorisation will be granted for one year;
Normative Resolution 03 – Technical Services
Professional experience no longer needs to be demonstrated (previously three years of professional experience was required); The technical visa valid for stays of up to 180 days per year (previously 90 days in any 180 days), previously authorised by a consulate abroad, now always requires Ministry of Labour authorisation. This authorisation will be decided within five days, or within two days in case of emergency applications; A training plan is no longer required for this application.
Normative Resolution 04 – Technology Transfer
Technology transfer has been given its own category and normative resolution, separate from the technical visa. Professional experience no longer needs to be demonstrated (previously three years of professional experience was required); A training plan is required in support of this application.
Normative Resolution 05 – Crew of Cruise Ship
At least 15% of the crew of cruise ships operating for more than 31 days in Brazilian Waters must be Brazilian nationals. From 2021 this rate will be 25%. Cruise ship crew members working in Brazilian waters for up to 90 days do not require a temporary residence authorization if they have a Seamen’s Book issued under the ILO Convention
Normative Resolution 06 – Offshore Work
This resolution addresses residence authorisation for the purpose of working on a vessel or platform in Brazilian waters for more than 90 days.
If the foreign national has a Seamen’s Book issued under the ILO Convention they do not need to obtain residence authorisation to work on a foreign-flagged vessel for less than 90 days. Transfer to another vessel of the same company is allowed with only a notification to the Ministry of Labour.
Normative Resolution 11 – Administrator
Note that the qualifying foreign investment levels have not been changed; There is a new requirement to demonstrate that the investment received by the Brazilian entity from the foreign entity must have “potential for job or income generation”; This visa is now valid for an undetermined period of stay (previously it was valid in line with the employment contract).
Employers who would like further clarification of any aspect of the new immigration law as implemented by the Normative Resolutions should contact an immigration specialist.