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Understanding Brazil: CTPS – The Work Card
By Volker Ruther
This is one in a series of helpful articles by Volker which are a collection of information and experiences about how and where to get documents and permissions, or how to resolve bureaucratic subjects and matters in Brazil as a foreigner.

Note that although the best efforts have been made to ensure the information is valid, we cannot guarantee that it is 100% correct, as the article is based on a mixture of personal experiences and information that has been collected from various sources like Internet sites, official documents and an exchange of experiences with other foreigners in Brazil. Also even Brazilian law is subject to change, and often difficult to interpret.

Always check your own situation via a suitable source e.g. consulate or appropriately qualified lawyer, before proceeding.


To be able to work legally in Brazil it&rsquot;s necessary to have the Carteira de Trabalho e Previdncia Social (CTPS, the Work and Social Security Card). This is issued by the Delegacia Regional do Trabalho (DRT, the Regional Work Delegacy) located in larger cities. When you get a job it is entered on the CTPS, which is also updated with new jobs, raises, and holidays/vacations.

You need the following documents to apply for the CTPS, depending on your visa status and if you already have a CIE (Cdula de Identidade de Estrangeiro, the foreigner&rsquot;s ID card covered in the previous article).

It’s possible to apply for the CTPS while waiting for the visa, as long as the Federal Police can provide the printout of the SINCRE (Sistema Nacional de Registro de Estrangeiros).

Here is a table of the document requirements depending on your Visa status:

Type of VisaWith CIEWithout CIE
Residence/Permanent (Permanente)1. Application form
2. Photocopy of the CIE
1. Application form
2. Photocopy of the Protocolo from the application for the CIE
3. Photocopy of the printout of the SINCRE
4. Photocopy of passport
Temporary V (Temporario V)1. Application form
2. Photocopy of the CIE
3. Photocopy of the working contract
4. Photocopy of passport
5. Publication of the DOU
1. Application form
2. Photocopy of the Protocolo from the application for the CIE
3. Photocopy of the working contract
4. Photocopy of passport
5. Publication of the DOU
Provisional Registration (Registro Provisório)1. Application form
2. Photocopy of the CIE
1. Application form
2. Photocopy of the Protocolo from the application for the CIE
3. Photocopy of the printout of the SINCRE


As part of the application you will also need to provide a 3x4cm photo (colour or black and white).

The photocopy of the passport must contain the main page with all personal details and also the page with the visa and the stamp when you entered Brazil.

When all documents have been handed in successfully, the CTPS will be ready in around 10 days. The validity is as per the the CIE, usually 10 years.

The DOU (Dirio Oficial da União) newspaper can be viewed at http://www.in.gov.br or http://www.mj.gov.br.

To contact Volker, as well as get a copy of his free eBook (PDF) of this information, send an email to mineiro_alemao@hotmail.com.

Previous articles by Volker:

Understanding Brazil: CIE – Foreigners ID CardUnderstanding Brazil: The Permanent Visa

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