Immigrate to Brazil from US
Immigrate to Brazil from USUpdated on Monday 20th September 2021
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United States citizens are exempt from the visa requirements when traveling to Brazil for a 90-day period, with the possibility to extend its validity for the same amount of time. However, those who wish to immigrate to Brazil from US will need to follow other requirements as per the purpose of their stay.
Temporary residence, official or diplomatic visas as well as those issues for family reunification purposes are common and US citizens who wish to spend a significant period in Brazil, or even relocate here, need to know what is required for a legal stay.
Our Brazilian lawyers are able to provide complete visa application assistance and can answer any needed questions prior to commencing the submission. By talking to us, you will make sure that the documents are all in order and that your application is likely to be accepted, having followed through with all the requirements.
What are the main types of visas?
Nationality, as well as the reason for traveling to Brazil are two important factors when determining the reason for entry in the country. As stated above, US citizens can enter Brazil for a limited period (subject to extension) and during this time they can engage in tourism activities, participating in conferences and meetings, transiting or religious/spiritual activities, all within the stated time period. If you would like to receive punctual information, please reach out to our attorneys in Brazil.
For lengthier stays, as well as engaging in remunerated activities, US nationals need to check the applicable conditions and apply for a work visa or another type, as needed. Some of the purposes can include the following:
- Work: individuals can immigrate to Brazil from US with an employment contract signed with a Brazilian company or organization as well as for performing technical assistance services or engaging in transference of technology activities and engaging in training activities for over 90 days;
- Business: consultants, auditors, managers or supervisors who are US citizens and will engage in long-term activities in the country;
- Artists and athletes: performing artists, competitors, singers, actors or models, make-up artists, photographers and others who will be in Brazil for more than 90 days;
- Family: US citizens who wish to immigrate to Brazil from US because they are the spouse, domestic partner or child of a Brazil resident (or temporary resident);
- Study: those who have been accepted to a university in Brazil, such as the University of São Paulo, for undergraduate and graduate programs.
If you wish to immigrate to Brazil from US, our lawyers can provide more details about the conditions and the categories of visas. For any other steps on immigration to Brazil, our team is ready to assist you.
What is the visa processing time?
For standard applications, the visa issuance time is on the same day, however, the limit processing time is 5 business days. Accessing the online portal, which is the same one that can be used to fill in the application, will allow an applicant to check the status of the visa.
Please keep in mind that same-day or 5 day processing period is only applicable when all the documents have been submitted and are in order. Our attorneys can help those who wish to immigrate to Brazil from US to make sure that they comply.
When applying for a visa, applicants are expected to pay for the processing fee. The payment form accepted by the Brazil Consulates in the United States is money order of the United States Postal Service. No other payment method is acceptable. The fees applicable for the work visa, the VITEM 5, are listed below according to the applicant’s country that issued the passport:
- 290$: United States;
- 155$: United Arab Emirates;
- 100$: United Kingdom, for up to 170 days and 215 $ for 180 days or more.
Applications for US nationals are filled in online and there is no paper application. Among the needed documents we mention proof of residence, photo, birth certificate, passport and the mentioned money order from the US Postal service. Once the form is filled in, the portal issues an application receipt that must be printed by the applicant. More information is provided upon request by our lawyers who specialize in how to immigrate to Brazil from US.
Visa application particularities
United States citizens who wish to submit a visa application can do so with one of the Brazilian Consulates in the US. These are located in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., each covering a certain jurisdiction.
Our team of immigration lawyers can help you during the application process, from start to finish, so that you can make sure that you submit all the needed documents. Some advice for the application is as follows:
do not mail any documents to the consulates unless given approval to do so;
plan your visa application so that you may observe the 5 day processing time;
the Consulates do not offer expedited applications under rush or emergency fees;
the only solution for emergencies is to present documents that justify the said event (emergency medical treatment, for example) and allow for 2 business days for the Consulate to respond to your request; applicants should not work with agencies that promise an emergency processing fee that is not in line with the provisions of the Consulate;
the application should include a self-addressed stamped envelope, used for the return of the passport and visa;
cash or card payments for the visa fees are not accepted;
when the visa application requires legalized documents, this step must take place before submitting the visa application;
applicants who have a passport that will expire during their trip to Brazil can travel with both the old passport and the new one;
applicants under the age of 18 must provide a notarized letter of consent signed by both parents or the legal guardian that authorizes the Consulate to issue a visa; moreover, a copy of the child’s birth certificate is required;
long-stay visas are valid starting with their issue date; short-term visas are valid starting with the date of entry in Brazil;
there is no need for a yellow fever International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis for entering Brazil, however, it is recommended for those who travel to certain areas in the country;
it is advisable to finish your travel arrangements before your visa is issued.
Covid-19 travel restrictions can still apply to Brazil in 2021. All travelers should verify the updated information on these conditions when they start planning their trip.
Permanent relocation to Brazil
The goal of US nationals who choose to relocate to Brazil for immigration purposes can be to ultimately obtain citizenship. These types of applications can only be submitted in Brazil, however, our team of immigration lawyers can also assist you during this process.
The requirements for naturalization are quire specific and have to do with the applicant’s residence in the country. The following are the most important for those who immigrate to Brazil from US:
be registered as a permanent resident and having had uninterrupted residence in the country for at least four years prior to submitting the application;
sufficient Portuguese language knowledge that allows the applicant to read and write;
have a profession that allows the applicant to earn sufficient income so as to support oneself and his family (as applicable);
no income tax debits;
proof of good behavior and legal capacity;
absence of indictment or a sentence in Brazil for a crime that is punishable with more than one year of imprisonment.
Our team can give you more details about these conditions. For the purpose of income, the applicant can show that he has pension for work performed in Brazil, that he/she is married to a Brazilian citizen, is supported by a parent, relative or descendant who has sufficient income or that he is a student with a maximum age of 25.
Living uninterruptedly in Brazil for four years does not include justified trips abroad, when the absence does not exceed 18 months.
The four-year period can be reduced in the following cases:
- One year: when the applicant has a Brazilian child or is married to a Brazilian national as well as when he/she has a Brazilian parent or when he/she has the ability to provide relevant services to Brazil, as per the discretion of the Minister of Justice;
- Two years: when the applicant offers valuable professional or scientific services;
- Three years: when the applicant is an entrepreneur who complies with certain requirements for having made substantial investments in the country.
A special situation arises when the foreign citizen has been living in Brazil for more than 15 years. In this case, those who have no criminal conviction can be granted Brazilian citizenship without having to meet any other requirements. If you would like to know more about other routes to becoming a citizen, we can give you more details about Brazil citizenship by investment.
Please keep in mind that the information provided in this article is not the equivalent of personalized legal assistance in order to immigrate to Brazil from US. Each case is different and the motives for relocation may mean that the applicant will need to follow through with a number of additional steps.
Contact our immigration lawyers in Brazil who can provide personalized assistance and answers. We can help you relocate to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or another chosen city.