On May 11, The Brazilian authorities published an official decree (Decree 8757/16) easing the application process for obtaining work permits in Brazil. This decree continues Brazil’s recent efforts to streamline and simplify their challenging immigration system. While many of these changes have yet to be implemented, it is anticipated that the amendments will improve processing times and provide greater flexibility for foreign employees, their accompanying dependents, and global mobility teams alike.
The following two changes have already come into force:
- Work permit renewals can now be filed via an online system as opposed to paper applications being lodged manually. Note that this change does not apply to conversions to either conditional permanent residency or permanent residency: these applications must still be filed manually at the Ministry of Labor (MOL); and
- Dependents over 16-years-old are eligible to obtain work authorization via a CTPS Work Booklet after registering with the Federal Police. Note that this new regulation only applies to dependents who obtained their visas after the May 11 implementation of this decree.
In addition, please note several additional expected changes that have not yet been implemented:
- Foreign nationals holding tourist status either via a tourist visa or visa-waiver nationals registered as tourist will be permitted to change status in-country to a Student Visa (VITEM IV). Note that the decree does not provide provisions for business visitors to change into student visas or for any visa category to change status to a work permit;
- Change of employer notifications will be submitted online through the MOL; however, the MOL has yet to publish instructions or document requirements for this online application process. Traditionally, these notifications were filed manually at the Ministry of Justice;
- Employers will not be legally responsible for declaring that they will pay a foreign employee’s repatriation costs upon submission of a work permit renewal application;
- A new visa category will be rolled out for foreign employees engaging in a sponsored research project and/or development or innovation approved by the government or other agency. Note that the Normative Resolution providing the eligibility criteria, process information, and document requirements for this new visa category has yet to be published; and
- “Strategic Professionals” will benefit from streamlined work visa processes; however, the Brazilian authorities have yet to define their meaning of a “strategic professional” or what the streamlined process will entail.
How These Changes Affect You
This most recent announcement comes as part of Brazil’s long-term strategic and extensive immigration reform aimed at both increasing the country’s position in the world economy and providing an easier and faster immigration process for foreign talent. Both current and future sponsoring employers in Brazil will especially enjoy the increased reliance on online application and notifications systems, new benefits extended to accompanying dependents, and additional flexibility that these changes offer.
Employers should note, however, that many of these changes have yet to be implemented into practice and the timeline for such remains unknown at the time of this writing. Even once the various amendments have been rolled out throughout the country, it will most likely take several weeks to months for the Brazilian officials to learn the new systems, streamline their own internal procedures, and provide the amended services in a consistent manner.
More information on Brazil's recent efforts to "rebrand" their economy and immigration program can be found in our recent white paper, which is available for free below.
Pro-Link GLOBAL continues to monitor the developments out of Brazil very closely and will provide updates as soon as they are made public.
Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader
This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. We would like to remind you that Immigration laws are fluid and can change at a moment's notice without any warning. Please reach out to your immigration specialist or your client relations manager at Pro-Link GLOBAL should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by your Pro-Link GLOBAL Knowledge Management team. We worked with our PLG | KGNM Brazil Office “MRS Global” to provide you this update.
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