There are eight types of visas in Brazil, each one of them with a few subtypes. The most common ones are the temporary visa (visto temporário, known as VITEM); the permanent visa (visto permanente, known as VIPER); and the tourist visa (visto de turista, known as VITUR).
However, there are various situations where a visa is not needed for someone travelling to Brazil. Essentially, the government embraces the concept of reciprocity: if a nation allows Brazilians to enter their country without a visa, the reverse will be the same. Travellers holding a passport from countries such as the United Kingdom and Norway (Schengen Area), for example, are able to enter Brazil without a visa, depending on how long they are staying in the country.
Requirements that must be met to obtain a permanent visa
Citizens from other nations are usually able to stay in Brazil for 90 days. It is possible to extend this period for up to 180 days, as long as the renewal application is submitted before the first period has expired.
However, for businessmen and investors, 180 days may not be enough time. Foreigners often need to stay in Brazil longer than this to completely establish a company, or just to manage a business or investment. Foreigners willing to do business in Brazil are able to obtain a permanent visa, as long as some requirements are met, such as proving that a certain amount is being invested in a local company.
This condition was created by Conselho Nacional de Imigração (CNI, or National Immigration Council) to stimulate the local economy and to attract foreign capital.
There is no such thing as a minimum limit for investments being made to Brazilian corporations, but the government states that foreigners must invest a minimum amount in local companies in order to obtain a visa.
Such investments must be designated to either new or existing Brazilian companies. They can be made with cash, purchase of capital goods or technology transfer.
For these purposes, the minimum amount to be invested in a Brazilian company is BRL 150.000. The higher the investment, the greater the chances of it being approved. Social relevance is also important: when the visa application is analyzed, other factors are taken into account, like:
- Creation of jobs
- Generation of income
- Region and type of business where the investment is being made
- Growth on productivity or new technology
It is possible that the Brazilian government issues a permanent visa even if the foreign investment is lower than BRL 150.000. However, these cases are less likely to be approved, since CNI defines that the social impact resulting from the investment needs to be considerably higher. The minimum requirements are not defined by a federal law, but are demanded due to administrative procedures by CNI. Therefore, such factors are susceptible to change.
Investments classified as “passive” – such as the purchase of a house, stocks or properties – do not qualify for receiving a permanent visa.
In addition to the investment required by CNI, a few documents must be submitted by the interested party or its attorney, as follows:
- Application form for the permanent visa
- Power of attorney, if applicable
- Articles of association
- Registration of direct foreign investment in SISBACEN, which is the Information System of the Central Bank
- Original proof of payment of the individual immigration fee
- Delivery receipt of the latest Income Tax declaration of the requesting company
- Business plan describing the investment being made and its social impact
Renewing an investment visa
If everything is approved, foreigners obtain a Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros (RNE, or National Foreigners Registration), which is basically an ID for people that were not born in Brazil.
The condition of the foreign investor will be printed on the RNE, as well as the expiration date, which corresponds to three years from the issue date. To avoid cancellation, the visa must be renewed before its expires.
To renew a visa, it is necessary to present:
- Original RNE
- Proof of payment for the RNE renewal fee
- Delivery receipt of the latest Income Tax declaration
- Copy of Relatório Anual de Informações Sociais (RAIS, or Annual Report of Social Information) demonstrating that the business plan proposed by the company has been followed over the past two years
- Copy of Fundo de Garantia do Trabalhador Social (FGTS, or Government Severance Indemnity Fund), containing the list of all employees.
Find more information on Itamaraty webpage
Do not forget to check Itamaraty webpage (The Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs) to get updated information on procedures and status of ongoing applications. Link to the Embassy of Brazil in Oslo: http://oslo.itamaraty.gov.br/