A work permit (Autorização de de Trabalho) is needed by any person intending to involve themselves in any form of remunerated employment in Brazil, and anyone applying for such a document must also obtain the appropriate immigration visa (Vista) which is applicable to their individual case. Work visas are issued by the Brazilian Consulate in the applicant's country of legal residence under the authority of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministério das Relações Exteriores), though it is possible to to change visa class while in Brazil under certain circumstances.
Work Visas classes
Temporary Visa II - (Business Visa) - Vitem II
Travellers with business purposes (i.e. business meetings, signing of contracts), except when the trip involves the provision of services of any nature in Brazil (e.g. technical assistance, installation, maintenance or repairs of equipment, consulting, etc, in which case a Vitem V visa is mandatory);
- Business visas are issued to business travellers who possess signed import/export contracts or who are travelling to visit companies or make commercial contacts
- Media coverage or filming (previous authorization from the “Agência Nacional do Cinema-ANCINE”)
- Flight/ship crew members not holding an international crew card, excepted if working on ship operating offshore (in which case a Vitem V is mandatory);
- Participant/exhibitor in a trade/industrial exhibition.
- Adoption of a Brazilian child
Temporary Visa V (Working Visa) -Vitem V
NOTE: PRIOR AUTHORIZATION MUST BE OBTAINED FROM THE BRAZILIAN MINISTRY OF LABOUR (MINISTÉRIO DO TRABALHO) BY THE BRAZILIAN COUNTERPART
In order to obtain a work visa, a work permit application must be sent to the local Ministry of Labour and Employment (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego) office by the company wishing to employ the foreigner. Once the application has been approved, the approval is published in the Diario Oficial (Brazilian legal newspaper) and sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will then authorise the Consulate or Embassy to begin to process the work visa.
In most cases, only employees of Brazilian registered companies subject to local tax and labour regulations are eligible for work permits. This means that no one may work in Brazil whilst being paid by a company which is registered outside Brazil.
Eligible people for this visa include those involved with:
a. Provision of services to the Brazilian Government, in relation to an international agreement, contract or undertaking to which Brazil is a party;
b. Employment contract with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil;
c. Provision of voluntary services to a religious or social assistance entity, without employment relationship with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil;
d. Technical assistance services arising from a contract, cooperation agreement, services agreement, or similar instrument signed with a foreign corporation or other legal entity;
e. Professional training, without an employment relationship, immediately after the completion of vocational training or university education;
f. Medical residency in an educational institution accredited by the Ministry of Education and Recreation;
g. Employees of foreign companies admitted to work in Brazil as trainees or interns at a subsidiary or Brazilian branch of the foreign company, provided that they are paid exclusively outside of Brazil by that foreign company;
h. Foreign instructors or professors who intend to travel to Brazil for a period of training in foreign language instruction;
i. Crew members of foreign vessels travelling to Brazil to operate in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction, as required under a charter, services or risk contract entered into with a Brazilian company;
j. Crew members of foreign fishing vessels leased by Brazilian companies;
k. Crew members or other professionals who perform paid activities aboard cruise vessels along the Brazilian coast, in the Amazon River basin, or in other inland waters.
The prior authorisation by the Ministry of Labor may be waived for an emergency situation requiring the immediate presence of visa applicant in Brazil; beneficiaries, however, cannot apply for another emergency visa within a 6 month period.
Temporary Visa I-Vitem I
- Scientists, professors, researchers, participants in cultural, technological or scientific missions (services provided must not be paid for by a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil). Scientists, technicians, researchers or volunteers under the umbrella of an international cooperation program;
- Interns and other unpaid trainees, bearers of scholarships receiving professional practice in Brazil;
- Exchange students;
- Technicians receiving training in the operation and maintenance of machinery or equipment produced in Brazil;
- Amateur athletes, under 21 years old, participating in training programs in Brazil.
Temporary Visa VI-Vitem VI
- Media correspondents
Permanent Visa - Managers, Administrators or Directors
This five-year visa is granted directly to a company administrator or someone who is directly responsible for final decisions regarding the running of the company and the signing of documents.
The foreign-based company for whom this individual works must be investing or be preparing to invest, through its Brazilian-registered branch, a minimum of US$200,000 in the country.
The company employing the person to whom this visa is issued must prove that they intend paying the employee a salary that is at least equivalent to that which he would be earning for the same duties in his native country.
Permanent Visa for Investors (Vista Permanente por Investidor):
This visa is granted to individuals intending to invest a minimum of US$150,000 in Brazilian-based business enterprises.
Once the individual is in Brazil, he will be expected to follow all the guidelines established for the foundation of a company.
The different types of work permit available relate directly to the different types of work visa available. Once the visa has been issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the company contracting the foreigner will start the work permit application process with the Ministry of Labour and Employment in Brasília.
To check on the status of your work permit application:
Examples of documents that may be requested include:
- Work permit application form
- Applicant and candidate form (any type of remuneration received abroad must be submitted to the Brazilian Revenue Service)
- Copy of the applicant's foreign passport identification page(s) showing the passport number, name, date of birth, nationality and photograph
- Employment contract
- Proof of education, qualifications and professional experience
- Copy of the Brazilian Federal Tax Number (Cadastro Nactional de Pessoa Juridica - CNPJ)
- Signed document from the applicant stating that full responsibility will be taken for all medical and hospital expenses incurred by the foreign citizen or their dependants during their stay in Brazil
- Signed document from the applicant firm confirming responsibility for the repatriation of the foreign citizen as well as their dependants after the end of the stay
- Information on the locations (including addresses) where the foreigner will work
- Proof of payment of individual immigration tax for the foreigner and each of their dependants
- Officially delegated power of attorney
For information on documents needed for each visa type: Click here
Translation of Documents
Any documents that are not in Portuguese must be authenticated at the Brazilian Consulate or Embassy of the applicant's home country, and then translated by an authorised translator in Brazil.
Once all the appropriate documents have been submitted to the Ministry of Labour the work permit is issued within 30 days.