Immigration Alerts

BRAZIL | Normative Resolutions Published, New Immigration Law Implemented

December 12, 2017

Brazil Migration Law Immigration Change

On December 8, 2017, the National Immigration Council published the much-awaited new Normative Resolutions regulating residence authorization for foreign professionals. The resolutions implement the recent Brazilian immigration law (13445/2017, published May 25, 2017). For further details of this immigration overhaul, see our previous alert of June 23.

It is important to note that the resolutions do not mention renewal applications – these are expected to be regulated in a future publication.

In addition, as with any major change in regulations, global mobility professionals and foreign nationals should expect to see application processing delays, possible inconsistent execution of the regulations, and potential minor adjustments to the regulations as the new guidelines are rolled out in practice and the Brazilian authorities become acclimated to the changes.

What's Changed?

Below, we summarize 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 authorization, including for work purposes.
  • A birth certificate, and criminal record certificates covering the last five years (previously one year), legalized 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 legalization 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.

Other changes

  • Generally, residence authorization 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 authorization 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 90 days per 180 days, and up to 180 days per year, previously authorized by a consulate abroad, now always requires Ministry of Labour authorization. This authorization 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 authorization 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 authorization 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).

How These Changes Affect You

Global immigration professionals around the world have anxiously awaited the publication of these Normative Resolutions since Brazil’s planned overhaul of the country’s Migration Law was first announced earlier this year. As with any major immigration changes, companies and their foreign employees should expect to see processing delays, inconsistent execution of the new mandates, and possible confusion from both the authorities within Brazil and the Brazilian diplomatic posts abroad. Close contact with your Immigration Specialists and early assignment planning will be crucial in the weeks ahead as the Brazilian authorities learn, implement, and train within the new system.

For specific guidance on how your Brazilian immigration program may be affected by these new regulations, please reach out to your Pro-Link GLOBAL Immigration Specialist who can assess your company’s specific corporate immigration needs. 

global immigration alertsCaveat 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 and Newland Chase teams.

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