Applying for Residency

Information about the residency application process in Brazil, including any administration fees that may be required...

Applying for residency can be a complex process, particularly if the applicant does not speak Portuguese fluently. The process can be facilitated by hiring a despachante (administrative facilitator) or advogado (lawyer) who specializes in this area.

Individuals already in Brazil can apply for residency if they fulfill the criteria listed on the Brazilian Residency Requirements page. Applications can be made in the country of origin via the Brazilian Consulate or within 30 days of arrival in Brazil, although the process will take at least six months and can take up to two years. During the process temporary documentation will be issued which allows an applicant to live and work in Brazil. Residency permits for individuals already in Brazil are issued by the nearest  Polícia Federal Office.

Individuals outside of Brazil seeking permanent residency should contact their nearest Brazilian Consulate to begin the process of applying for a permanent visa. Once this visa has been obtained the individual must then visit Brazil (normally within 90 days) to complete the process at an appropriate Polícia Federal office.

<>Once the application has been made, a protocol number is immediately issued. This serves as temporary evidence of residency status. An individual is considered legal in Brazil with this document, even if their visa expires. They may also apply for a work permit  Carteira de Trabalho. The work permit is valid until the application process is complete and allows the applicant to seek employment in Brazil or set up their own business.

Once the process is complete (this can take up to two years) the result of the application will be published in the Official Journal of the Union (Diário Oficial da União), which can be bought at most newsstands and is published daily. Applicants have 90 days to return to their local Federal Police office and will need to take a printed copy of the publication in the Diário Oficial da União.

The applicant will then be issued with their Foreigner's Identity Card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro - CIE) which contains their Foreigner's Identity Number (Registro National De Estrangeiro,RNE). The card will be required when seeking employment and in many other situations in Brazil. It is larger than a credit card, is laminated and shows a photo, thumb print and identity number.

The applicant will then be issued with their foreigner's identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro - CIE) which contains the Registro National De Estrangeiro (RNE), the identity number for non-nationals. The card will be required when seeking employment and in many other situations in Brazil. It is larger than a credit card, is laminated and shows a photo, thumb print and identity number.

Further information on this can also be found in the next section ('RNE Number').

Note: If a resident has a change of personal information, such as a change of name or address, it must be submitted to the Policía Federal within 30 days.

Paying Administration Fees

To pay administration fees at a Federal Police office, first print out a Guia de Recolhimento da União form from the Federal Police website.

The form contains drop down boxes to choose the appropriate Federal Police office, the service required, full name of parents and address.

The form has a bar code on it that is scanned when payment is made; the Police then stamp the form as proof of payment.

There are no Internet facilities available within the Federal Police offices. However, it is usually easy to find a despachante (administrative facilitator) office nearby providing services where the form can be printed and filled in for a small fee.