By Peregrine

On 8 December 2017, the National Immigration Council published new Normative Resolutions regulating residence authorisation for foreign professionals. The resolutions implement the recent Brazilian immigration law (13445/2017, published 25 May 2017).

Note that the resolutions do not mention renewal applications – these are expected to be regulated in a future publication.

Below, we summarise the important changes in some key visa categories.

Normative Resolution 01 – General Procedures

  • Courtesy, visit, diplomatic or official visas can now be converted into residence authorisation, including for work purposes.
  • A birth certificate, and criminal record certificates covering the last five years (previously one year), legalised or apostilled, and translated by a certified translator, are required in support of an in-country residence application. These documents are not required in support of a residence application submitted overseas if the applicant waits for approval before applying for a visa.
  • The grace period of 60 days for presenting the legalisation or apostille of documents produced abroad has been removed.

Normative Resolution 02 – Local Hire

Stricter qualifications and experience criteria

  • Holders of a graduate diploma must now prove one year of experience in the relevant professional field (previously not required);
  • Holders of a higher-level diploma must prove two years of experience in the relevant professional field (previously one year);
  • In non-technical professions not requiring a university degree, four years of experience is now required (previously two years) and twelve years of education are now required (previously nine years);
  • If ‘technical level education’ is required, three years of professional experience are also required.
  • If the suitability of the applicant to the job is to be demonstrated by means other than their education, five years of professional experience must now be shown.
  • Only holders of a masters, PhD or other university degree related to the professional field are not required to demonstrate professional experience.
  • Nationals of South American countries are no longer exempt from providing proof of professional experience.

Other changes

  • Generally, residence authorisation is granted for up to two years at a time, up to a maximum of four years, in line with the employment contract.
  • In the case of conversion from a visitor visa, residence authorisation will be granted for one year;

Normative Resolution 03 – Technical Services

  • Professional experience no longer needs to be demonstrated (previously three years of professional experience was required);
  • The technical visa valid for stays of up to 180 days per year (previously 90 days in any 180 days), previously authorised by a consulate abroad, now always requires Ministry of Labour authorisation. This authorisation will be decided within five days, or within two days in case of emergency applications;
  • A training plan is no longer required for this application.

Normative Resolution 04 – Technology Transfer

  • Technology transfer has been given its own category and normative resolution, separate from the technical visa.
  • Professional experience no longer needs to be demonstrated (previously three years of professional experience was required);
  • A training plan is required in support of this application.

Normative Resolution 05 – Crew of Cruise Ship

  • At least 15% of the crew of cruise ships operating for more than 31 days in Brazilian Waters must be Brazilian nationals. From 2021 this rate will be 25%.
  • Cruise ship crew members working in Brazilian waters for up to 90 days do not require a temporary residence authorization if they have a Seamen’s Book issued under the ILO Convention

Normative Resolution 06 – Offshore Work

This resolution addresses residence authorisation for the purpose of working on a vessel or platform in Brazilian waters for more than 90 days.

  • If the foreign national has a Seamen’s Book issued under the ILO Convention they do not need to obtain residence authorisation to work on a foreign-flagged vessel for less than 90 days.
  • Transfer to another vessel of the same company is allowed with only a notification to the Ministry of Labour.

Normative Resolution 11 – Administrator

  • Note that the qualifying foreign investment levels have not been changed;
  • There is a new requirement to demonstrate that the investment received by the Brazilian entity from the foreign entity must have “potential for job or income generation”;
  • This visa is now valid for an undetermined period of stay (previously it was valid in line with the employment contract).

Action Items

  • Employers who would like further clarification of any aspect of the new immigration law as implemented by the Normative Resolutions should contact an immigration specialist.