By Volker Ruther
This is the first 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 some details may not be 100% correct, as the article is based on 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. Always check your own situation via a suitable source e.g. consulate or appropriately qualified laywer, before proceeding.

There are four ways to qualify for a Permanent visa (also known as the Permanency Visa, or Permanncia Definitiva / Visto da Permanncia in Portuguese) for Brazil:

  • to be the spouse of a Brazilian citizen
  • to be the parent of a child with Brazilian citizenship
  • to invest a minimum of US$50,000 in Brazil
  • to be retired with a min. monthly income of US$2,000

The visa application can be made in your country of residence via the local Brazilian Embassy or Consulates or in Brazil via the Federal Police (Polcia Federal).

It’s important to note that a visa gained by investment is only valid for 5 years, after which it must be renewed.

Applying for the Visa Outside of Brazil
You will receive the visa much faster if you apply in the country of your residence. Usually within two or three months the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate will issue the visa if you handed in all necessary documents and the application fee is paid. Once the visa is stamped into your passport you have 90 days to enter Brazil, and then once in Brazil a further 30 days to be registered at the local office of the Federal Police. If you do not register within 30 days you will need to pay a fine. You will find more details about the necessary documents and application fee on the official homepage of the Brazilian Embassy in your country of residence, (e.g. in the USA: http://www.brasilemb.org)

Applying for the Visa within Brazil
If you want to apply for the visa in Brazil you have to file the application at the local office of the Federal Police. The following documents are necessary:

  • passport, along with a photocopy of all pages!!!
  • wedding certificate
  • certificate of criminal records e.g. issued by the FBI in the USA, and often the local Police in other countries (not older than three months)
  • prove of residence in Brazil (usually done with a phone or light bill showing your
    address in Brazil)
  • Application form (available at the Federal Police)
  • Receipt of payment for fee of R$ 53,83 (The voucher for the fee can be printed here: https://www2.dpf.gov.br/gru/gru?nac=1)

With all documents you must present the original and an authenticated photocopy, which will remain together with the application form at the Federal Police. All documents not issued in Portuguese have to be translated by a sworn public translator recognized by the Federal Police. If you do the translation in your country of residence, the documents and translations have to be legalized by the responsible Brazilian Consulate or Embassy.

When you have successfully handed all documents over and paid the fee (R$53,83) you will receive a receipt, the so-called protocolo. The protocolo shows the number of your application (processo) it’s also a kind of temporary foreigner ID and visa, so you should keep it together with your passport.

Now you have to wait for the publication of your application. The decision will be published in the Government’s newspaper (Dirio Oficial da União – DUO). There is an ONLINE-version of the DOU available on the Internet at: www.in.gov.br or www.mj.gov.br [Search in section 1 (SEO 1)] The publication in the DOU will take at least one year, usually more. I waited one year and two months and I’ve heard about cases where people have waited five to six years! Probably the Federal Police will not send you any information about the progress of your application. So you have to check from time to time with the DOU or call the office of the Federal Police to ask about the status of your application.

Also make sure that you inform the Federal Police in case you travel abroad or within Brazil. This is very important in case the Federal Police want to get in contact with you, if you are not at home or they can’t get in touch with you, they can cancel your application.

Once your application is published, you have 90 days to claim your Permanncia at the Federal Police. If you miss the deadline (90 days) to claim your visa, the visa expires and you will have to make a new application with all the paperwork, costs and lost of time. To claim the visa, you have to present the Protocolo and a copy of the DOU that published your visa. You can buy a copy of the DOU at the local office of the Imprensa Nacional or you can buy an authenticated Xerox of the page where your process is published.

You can track the progress of your application ONLINE at: http://www.mj.gov.br/sistemas/EstrangeiroWEB/index.asp

Visa Expiry
By law the Permanent Visa will expire if you leave Brazil for more then two years. Usually there is no problem leaving Brazil for a period of three months or even more. In case you should stay outside Brazil for one year or more, you should check the status of your Permanncia after your return, to avoid any problems in case it has been cancelled.

That means the other parent of the child is a Brazilian citizen (you do not have to be married) or the child is born in Brazil, because everybody born in Brazil automatically has Brazilian citizenship.
You either have to invest US$50,000 into a business or invest less than US$50,000 and employ a minimum of 10 Brazilians for 5 years. In either case the visa is only issued after review and approval of the plan.

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.

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