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Brazil: The rights and duties of permanent residents, including the rights and duties of individuals who have a permanent visa, such as professors, researchers, highly-skilled technicians and foreign scientists; procedure to obtain or renew a residency permit; grounds for losing permanent residence (2014-May 2016)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Publication Date 25 May 2016
Citation / Document Symbol BRA105515.FE
Related Document(s) Brésil : information sur les droits et obligations des résidents permanents, y compris sur les droits et obligations de ceux qui détiennent un visa permanent à titre de professeur, de chercheur, de technicien de pointe ou de scientifique; marche à suivre pour obtenir ou renouveler un permis de résidence; motifs de perte de résidence permanente (2014-mai 2016)
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Brazil: The rights and duties of permanent residents, including the rights and duties of individuals who have a permanent visa, such as professors, researchers, highly-skilled technicians and foreign scientists; procedure to obtain or renew a residency permit; grounds for losing permanent residence (2014-May 2016), 25 May 2016, BRA105515.FE, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/587369304.html [accessed 21 January 2018]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

1. Permanent Visa

Law No. 6.815 of 19 August 1980, which "defines the legal status of aliens in Brazil" and is attached to this Response, establishes that "[a] permanent visa shall be awarded to an alien who intends to live permanently in Brazil" (Brazil 1980, Introduction and Art. 16). According to a document on immigration legislation in Brazil, on the website of the Undersecretariat of Foreign Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, published by EMDOC, a company that provides consultation services for immigration issues in Brazil, "although [the permanent visa] is called 'permanent', it is usually granted with a period of validity" (EMDOC Oct. 2009, 195, 232).

In compliance with Article 18 of Law No. 6.815, "[t]he award of a permanent visa may be conditional, for a period of no more than five (5) years, unto the exercise of a determined activity […]" (Brazil 1980). According to a report on migration between Brazil and Europe, prepared by the National Immigration Council (Conselho Nacional de Imigração - CNIg) of Brazil and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD [1]), "the permanent resident, even if highly qualified, is in reality a temporary resident who may only do his/her job in the company which he/she was hired to work for, at least during the first mandate" (Brazil and ICMPD 2013, 75). Similarly, EMDOC highlights that the holder of a permanent visa is bound, during the initial five-year period, to the corporation responsible for applying for the visa; after that, "the foreigner becomes free to exert any labour activity in Brazil, provided [they] compl[y] with the Brazilian laws" (EMDOC Oct. 2009, 233). For example, according to that same source, if, during the first five years, the visa holder returns to their country of origin, the corporation is required to inform the Brazilian authorities and request that the visa be cancelled (ibid.). According to EMDOC, a holder of a permanent visa may not obtain a travel document for an undetermined period before this [five-year] period has lapsed (ibid., 232). Similarly, it is written in the CNIg and ICMPD report, with no further details, that some permanent resident visas are subject to confirmation after five years (Brazil and ICMPD 2013, 71-72).

The website of the Consulate General of Brazil in Montréal states that a permanent visa (VIPER) can be issued in the following cases: "[f]amily reunion; […] [r]etirement; [w]orkers" (Brazil n.d.a). The same webpage adds that the following cases belong to "Other permanent visa subcategories":

Professors, researchers, highly-skilled technicians and foreign scientists intending to pursue activities in a public or private educational or research institution for a period exceeding two years;

Investors;

Administrator, manager, director or corporate executives coming to Brazil to represent civil society, business group or economic conglomerate;

Foreigners who come to represent in Brazil [a] financial institution or a like headquarters abroad;

Foreigners taking up a position of director, manager or administrator of a non-profit corporate entity governed by private law. (ibid.)

Sources state that the permanent visa for professors, researchers and scientists [as well as technicians (EMDOC Oct. 2009, 233)] is governed by Normative Resolution No. 01 of 29 April 1997 (EMDOC Oct. 2009, 233; Brazil and ICMPD 2013, 75). Article 01 of that resolution states that "a temporary or definitive visa may be authorized to alien professors, high-level technicians or researchers and scientists who intend to perform activities in privately or state-owned teaching , or scientific and technological research entities […] for a term in excess of two years" (Brazil 1997, Art. 01).

2. Procedure to Obtain a Permanent Visa

Article 02 of Normative Resolution No. 01 of 29 April 1997 establishes that "[t]he application request for either the temporary or the definitive visa shall be submitted with the Ministry of Labor, by the applicant entity" (ibid., Art. 02). The website of the Consulate of Brazil in Montréal states that the permanent visa for professors, researchers, highly-skilled technicians and scientists belongs to one of the permanent visa subcategories, the applications from which must be made directly through the General Coordination of Immigration (Coordenação Geral de Imigração, CGIg) of the Ministry of Labour (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego, MTE) or through the CNIg by the inviting entity (ibid. n.d.a). Once the CGIg or the CNIg has sent their approval to the Consulate, the applicant must submit their visa application and include the following documents:

Passport (valid for at least 6 months)

Visa request form receipt (RER). This receipt, which must be printed out and signed, is generated after the applicant complete[s] an online visa request form.

2x2 inch[] photo of the face against a white or off-white background (professionally taken); […]

Police clearance certificate issued by RCMP or local police (non-fingerprint type). (ibid.)

3. Loss and Renewal of Permanent Visa

Article 30 of Law. No. 6.815 of 19 August 1980 states that the holder of a permanent visa "shall be obliged to register with the Ministry of Justice within thirty days as of his/her entry" (ibid. 1980, Art. 30). The Law states that "an alien's registration shall be cancelled if":

the alien is awarded Brazilian nationality;

the alien's expulsion has been ordered;

the alien requests his/her definitive departure from the Brazilian territory, and expressly waives the right of return as provided in article 51;

the alien absents himself/herself from Brazil for a period exceeding the one mentioned in article 51 [two years];

in case of visa transformation as provided in article 42;

the alien violates article 18, article 37, [para.] 02, or 99 to 101; and

the alien is a temporary resident or a political refugee nearing the expiration of his/her stay in the Brazilian territory (ibid., Art. 49).

The section "[l]oss and recovery of the permanent resident status" on the website of the Consulate General of Brazil in Montréal states that "[f]oreigners will lose their permanent resident status in Brazil if absent from the national territory for a period exceeding two years" (ibid. n.d.a). Similarly, the website of the Consulate of Brazil in Vancouver states that, if the holder of the visa "leaves the country for more than two years in a row, the visa will expire, the ID for foreigner[s] (RNE) will automatically be revoked and the person will have to re-apply for a new permanent visa" (ibid. n.d.b).

However, according to the website of the Consulate General of Brazil in Montréal,

[t]he Consular Authority may grant a new VIPER to a foreigner who once lived in Brazil as a permanent resident and then left in order to pursue or complete:

University studies (undergraduate or graduate level);

Professional training;

Research activity at an institution recognized by the Brazilian Ministry of Science and Technology;

Professional activity for the Brazilian government. (ibid. n.d.a)

The application should be submitted directly to the Consular Office which has jurisdiction over the applicant's place of residence. The following documents are required:

Proof of the activities developed abroad;

Official proof of the prior permanent residence status in Brazil until the start date of the activities abroad;

Certificate of absence of criminal record (Police clearance certificate (non-fingerprint name check) from RCMP or local police department for applicants)[,] and other documents required by the Consular Office. (ibid.)

4. Rights and Duties of Permanent Residents

The Brazilian Federal Constitution states the following:

[translation]

Art. 5. All persons are equal before the law; without any distinction whatsoever, Brazilians and foreigners residing in the country being ensured of inviolability of the right to life, to liberty, to equality and to property, […].

Art. 6. Education, health, work, leisure, security, social security, protection of motherhood and childhood, and assistance to the destitute, are social rights, as set forth by this Constitution. (ibid. 1988)

The CNIg and ICMPD report states that Article 6 of the Constitution guarantees the right to healthcare and education with no distinction between Brazilians and immigrants (Brazil and ICMPD 2013, 63). In addition, EMDOC states that, "[i]n all categories of permanent visas, it is possible for the foreigner to bring his/her dependents to Brazil" (EMDOC Oct. 2009, 232).

According to the CNIg and ICMPD report, the Constitution also contains some restrictions to the rights of foreigners, and among "the most important" are the prohibition of military service and vote […] and the veto to some important public office positions (Brazil and ICMPD 2013, 63). The rights and duties of foreigners are also listed in Title X of Law No. 6.815 of 19 August 1980, which is attached to this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

Note

[1] ICMPD, whose headquarters are located in Vienna, is an international organization with 15 Member States that was created [ICMPD website] "to provide expertise and services […] on migration and asylum issues" (ICMPD 11 Dec. 2015, 1).

References

Brazil. 1997. Normative Resolution No. 01, of April 29, 1997. In EMDOC. October 2009. Daniela Lima, Idalmir Correia da Luz, Renê Ramos and Samantha Machado Mendes Sampaio. The Foreign National in Brazil. Legislation and Comments. Edited by João Marques da Fonseca Neto. Fourth edition. [Accessed 17 May 2016]

Brazil. 1988 (amended in 1996). Constitution de la République fédérative du Brésil. Translated by Jacques Villemain and Jean François Cleaver. [Accessed 19 May 2016]

Brazil. 1980 (amended in 1981). Law No. 6.815 of August 19, 1980. In EMDOC. October 2009. Daniela Lima, Idalmir Correia da Luz, Renê Ramos and Samantha Machado Mendes Sampaio. The Foreign National in Brazil Legislation and Comments. Edited by João Marques da Fonseca Neto. Fourth edition. [Accessed 17 May 2016]

Brazil. N.d.a. Consulate General in Montréal. "Permanent Visa (VIPER)". [Accessed 24 May 2016]

Brazil. N.d.b. Consulate General in Vancouver. "Permanent Visa (VIPER)". [Accessed 17 May 2016]

Brazil and International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). 2013. Brazil - Europe Migration. The Situation of Brazilian Immigrants in Spain and Portugal, and Portuguese and Spanish Immigrants in Brazil: Legal Aspects and Experiences. By Cláudia Finotelli, Diego Acosta, Duval Magalhães Fernandes, João Peixoto, Luisa Belchior, Maria da Consolação Gomes de Castro, Silvana Pena Knup and Thais França da Silva. [Accessed 17 May 2016]

EMDOC. October 2009. Daniela Lima, Idalmir Correia da Luz, Renê Ramos and Samantha Machado Mendes Sampaio. The Foreign National in Brazil: Legislation and Comments. Edited by João Marques da Fonseca Neto. Fourth edition. [Accessed 17 May 2016]

International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD). 11 December 2015. Mission in Bruxelles. "ICMPD se présente". [Accessed 17 May 2016]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Brazil - embassy in Ottawa, consulates in Montréal, Toronto and Vancouver.

Internet sites, including: Brazil - ministry of foreign affairs, ministry of labour and employment; ecoi.net; France - embassy of Brazil; International Migration Institute, Oxford University; International Organization for Migration; Organization of American States - Migrations at the OAS; United Kingdom - embassy of Brazil, Home Office; United Nations - Refworld; United States - embassy of Brazil, Library of Congress.

Attachment

Brazil. 1980 (amended in 1981). Law No. 6.815 of August 19, 1980. In EMDOC. October 2009. Daniela Lima, Idalmir Correia da Luz, Renê Ramos and Samantha Machado Mendes Sampaio. The Foreign National in Brazil Legislation and Comments. Edited by João Marques da Fonseca Neto. Fourth edition. [Accessed 17 May 2016]

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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