Brazil Adapts Work Visa Procedures and Creates New Category Geared Towards Graduate Students

20 May 13

BRAZIL

On May 17, the Brazilian government published two new normative resolutions to immigration law. The new resolutions, which are already in effect, make some changes to its work visas and create a new visa category for short-term postgraduate student workers.

Normative Resolution, No. 104, makes several changes to the regulations that govern existing work visas. The changes apply to all work visas and include:

  • In a move to speed up work visa approvals, the Ministry of Labor (MTE) no longer requires  Non-Brazilian documents, such as university diplomas and letters of reference,  to be legalized prior to submission of the work visa application. However, the legalized and translated originals must still be submitted to the MTE within 60 days of the filing. Hence, the process need not be delayed pending consular legalization of the documents abroad.
  • Employee transfers and changes in function must be communicated to the Ministry of Labor within 15 days. The company must provide an amended copy of the employee’s work contract.
  • If a foreign national submits a new visa application while holding another visa, the Ministry of Labor will automatically cancel the original visa before approving the new one.
  • Work contracts that fall under Normative Resolution No. 99 are now permitted to have undetermined or determined expiration dates.
  • Work visas can now be cancelled via email.
  • Signature notarizations (“reconhecimento de firma”) are no longer required, except when specifically required by law.
  • Foreign administrators who will represent Brazilian financial institutions must present an agreement letter from the Brazilian Central Bank (BACEN) when applying for a work visa.
  • Foreign administrators who will represent air transport companies must present an agreement letter from the Brazilian National Agency of Civil Aviation (ANAC) when applying for a work visa.
  • Individuals will now be able to submit work visa requests directly to the Ministry of Labor.
  • Work visa applications will be able to be submitted electronically.

The government also published Normative Resolution, No. 103, creates a new “summer job” visa category for postgraduate students interested in doing short-term work in Brazil over summer vacation. To be eligible, the student must be enrolled in a masters- or doctorate-level course that requires at least 360 hours of instruction. In addition, the student must have a contract with a Brazilian company. The new visa will be valid for 90 days and cannot be renewed.

It is not clear yet how these new resolutions will be interpreted or implemented by the government, especially in reference to electronic processing. BAL will provide updates as they become available.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Brazil. For additional information, please contact brazil@balglobal.com.

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