Immigration Fast Facts – Brazil

At Emigra Worldwide, we know that even experienced expats can be caught off-guard when immigrating to a new country. With that in mind, here are five aspects of immigration that can trip up – or thrill! – First-time travelers to Brazil.


The Brazilian immigration process includes a pre-arrival application for work permission at the Ministry of Labor followed by a consular visa application.  These two (2) steps can take over three (3) months (including document gathering). Therefore, we recommend planning in advance. Please note that although these steps can be initiated in country, we do not recommend this, as the applicant will not be permitted to commence work until the permit is approved by the Ministry of Labor and they have completed the applications for what would normally be post-arrival documents (Taxpayer ID Number [CPF], Brazilian ID Cards [RNE/RNM] for foreigners and Work Booklet [CTPS]).

Current post arrival delays

Delays with the application for RNE/RNM cards have recently been encountered due to a change in the local immigration system. The introduction of the Brazilian Federal Police’s new SISMIGRA (Sistema de Registro Nacional Migratório) immigration system earlier this year has led to disruption and limitation of services so that applicants are experiencing longer queues and slower processing times.

Non-standard processes

Non-married and same-sex partners’ processes should be accepted, as long as the long-term cohabitation can be proven. Applications for non-married partner’s Family Reunion Visas are frequently rejected, so we recommend contacting your Emigra Consultant in order to confirm the most appropriate process.

Commencement of employment

Foreign employees may legally start working in Brazil once they have obtained their visa, and applications have been made for all local post-arrival documents (RNM, CPF and CTPS). Pre-arranged appointments can be made for these applications and are typically completed within the first two (2) weeks of an individual’s arrival in Brazil. In order to avoid delays to the employment commencement date, our recommendation is that employees plan their arrival ahead of time.

Local processing times

Applications for post-arrival steps (i.e. RNE/RNM cards) submitted in locations outside Sao Paulo city may be delayed due to lack of appointment availability. The requirements may also vary depending on the relevant authority. Some jurisdictions may require individuals to provide legalized personal documentation; some may require personal presence for collection, whereas others will permit a 3rd party to represent the applicant.