As the largest country in South America, Brazil has major cities and active communities, all full of expatriates. Thanks to a vibrant culture, beautiful beaches, and stunning environmental draws, many of your employees may want to move to Brazil to work at your new location. However, you need to know how to get a work visa in Brazil for all of your foreign employees before they can begin working for you.
Types of Work Visas in Brazil
All employees working in Brazil need a residence permit and a work visa. Brazil has different types of work visas, including:
- Permanent work visa (Visto Permanente): Foreigner workers entitled to permanent residence in Brazil usually seek this visa. It applies to professional researchers, scientists, investors with more than $50,000 invested per person or $200,000 invested per company, managers, and directors. After two years, some holders of a VITEM V visa in this category can apply for a permanent work visa.
- VITEM V visa: This temporary visa is the most common working visa and is usually issued to foreign nationals entering Brazil for technical assistance, research skills, or professional services for a work contract or other agreement. Employees in this category must get approval by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
- VITEM II visa (Business Trip): Foreign nationals traveling to Brazil for business typically apply for a VITEM II visa. However, they cannot accept any money from companies in Brazil. This visa is valid for up to 10 years and allows stays for up to 90 days per year.
Requirements to Obtain Brazil Work Visas
Each Brazil work permit has its own requirements, including the VITEM V visa. Since this visa is the most common, the majority of your employees will need to meet its requirements. They must have two years of relevant professional experience in the field in which you’re hiring them and at least nine years of education or:
- A relevant university degree and one year of professional experience
- No professional experience with a relevant post-graduate degree
Employees cannot apply for a work visa until they have a temporary or permanent residence visa. They will also need to have a job lined up since a prospective employer must start the application process. If the individual changes jobs throughout their time in Brazil, they will have to apply for a new permit.
Typically, Brazil gives out temporary work visas and residence permits first. Temporary permits usually last up to two years and can be reissued once. After those four years, an employer can apply to switch the temporary permits to permanent options that allow employees to live and work in Brazil.
Both employers and employees need to handle the Brazil working visa application process. Employers must submit all potential employees’ documents translated into Portuguese to the General Coordination of Immigration Department. The documents then go to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which tells the Brazilian embassy or consulate in the employee’s country of residence to start the work visa process. Employees then have to submit all documents to the local embassy.
Only legal entities in Brazil can create a visa application, which means your company must work with a global PEO or have a registered subsidiary in the country. Companies have to show the following documents to start the work permit process for employees:
- Work Permit Application form
- Applicant and Candidate form
- Company statutes or contractual alterations registered with the Commercial Board or Public Civil Registry
- Document proving the appointment of the legal representative of the applicant
Employees will need to provide information on their addresses, a copy of their passport, proof of education and professional experience, and more. Keep in mind that the visa fees vary by country. For example, US citizens must pay $290, and UK citizens owe $225.
Other Important Considerations
The terms of the residence and work permits will determine whether you can bring family members to Brazil. If your employees are American citizens, you can apply for a family reunification visa to make spouses and dependents permanent residents. However, the employee will need to prove that they lived in the region of the embassy they apply at and fulfill other eligibility criteria.
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