New immigration law modifies visa process for certain visitors

12 May 14

BRAZIL

IMPACT – HIGH

What are the changes? A new law published last week with immediate effect introduces an electronic visa processing system for certain foreign nationals in certain visa categories.

What does the change mean? Foreigners traveling to Brazil on business, tourism or artist/athlete visas may process their entry permits through an electronic application system and avoid having to visit a Brazilian consular post abroad.

  • Implementation timeframe:Although the law takes effect immediately, forthcoming regulations will clarify eligibility criteria and application procedures.
  • Visas/permits affected: Temporary Visas for business, tourism and artists /athletes.
  • Who is affected: Applicants in the above visa categories. Note that the law says that this process will only be available to nationals of countries that enter an agreement with Brazil or that allow the same treatment to Brazilian applicants.
  • Impact on processing times: Electronic visa applications provide faster processing.
  • Business impact: The faster electronic processing will benefit the entertainment industry and companies that frequently need to send their employees to Brazil on business trips, as well as tourist visitors.
  • Next steps: Processing details will be presented in regulations to be published by the Brazilian authorities. BAL will update clients as soon as they are available.

BackgroundThe new law (#12.968), which was published May 7 by Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff along with the National Congress, partially modifies the main Brazilian Immigration Law (# 6815/80). The law formerly required that those applying for business, tourist or artist/athlete visas had to apply for their visas through diplomatic missions abroad prior to their visit to Brazil. The new process will only be available to countries that enter an international agreement with Brazil or that allow reciprocal treatment for Brazilian nationals.

BAL Analysis: This modification of the Brazilian immigration law will facilitate the entry of business and tourist visitors, and foreign artists and athletes, who in the past depended on the Ministry of Labor’s approval and a specific visa category stamped by the Brazilian Consulates abroad. However, many details remain unclear until the government releases regulations.

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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