All posts by Darren Cornwell

Getting a Temporary Work Visa, Brazil – Part 3

amazingly it’s taken me 2 years to get around to writing this post, I guess that’s what happens when you move here, you really relax ;)

Getting to the Brasilian Consulate

Get yourself to old London town and head to: 3 Vere Street, London, UK, W1G 0DG. You will have already setup your appointment of course in the last step. Once you get there, like many things Brasilian, be prepared to queue, be patient, remember the people that work there are just as busy as you are, and you really don’t want to have to come back again, especially if you don’t live in our Capital. Eventually you’ll be ushered to a window where a person will meticulously check your paperwork, if you have messed something up, this is where your in trouble – you’ll have to fix the problem and come back another time (they’ll let you know).

Waiting time for Visa

If all is well, the consulate staff will take all your paperwork and start the process, incredibly I only had to wait for about 5 days, and wham, my SAE landed back in my mailbox in Devon – 2 year visa stuck right in there – I’m off to Brasil and that’s where the fun starts.

Getting to Brasil

You’re good to go, as by this point I had been waiting for nearly 9 months for my VISA to process and go through, I was on a plane out of the UK 2 days after my visa turned up. I decided to leave most of my stuff in the UK (and what I didn’t leave I sold) and managed the trip with about 80kg of luggage (2 cases and a backpack for carry on), it’s around 11 hours from the UK to Brasil, but it’s a pleasant enough flight, just not something you’d want to do every few weeks.

More Documentation

Upon arrival in Brasil (after going through immigration / customs and arriving at your final destination), you’ll have 30 days to register with the Federal Police. Find your nearest Federal Police station on their website and there you can apply for…

RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros)

Literal translation – National Registration of Foreigners, sounds a little rude, but the word Estrangeiro (foreigner) does not carry to same negative connotations as it does in the UK, so don’t be bothered by it. This is a pain in the ass to get, and you really really need it. All natural born Brasilians have an RG (Carteira de Identidade) number, this is an identity card and you are required to carry it with you at all times. This is the first thing you’ll apply for in Brasil. You do it at the federal police. Bring your passport, a notarised copy of your passport, 2 passport photos, every piece of documentation the consulate gave you, all pieces of paper you still have, a copy of your contract (notarised), and anything else that you have regarding your employment in Brasil. They have a list of what you need to bring but in my experience, when you get there, people are not 100% which pieces you need, so take everything to be sure. Took me a few attempts to get this one right.

Work Card

Anyone working in Brasil needs a ‘Carteira de Trabalho’ or work card (it’s actually a little blue book the same size as a passport) – it’s list your current employment and any notes that are pertinent to your job. You’ll need to apply for one at the ‘Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego’, basically the ministry of work, find them here. In order to apply for this you’ll need your RNE. Again, I ended up going to the MTE office 3 times before someone actually got it right and I got a work card. Same applies, take every piece of documentation you have, including copies of everything, notarised if possible.

CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físical)

This is basically a financial number, you can use it when you buy items in Brasil and receive a tiny payout from the goverment every 3 months. Everything you do in Brasil needs a CPF, without it you don’t exist. They are very easy to get as well, head to Correios (post office) and find your nearest branch, take your Visa with you and enter an application for a number – they’ll issue it right there and then.

The above will take you a few weeks to sort out, what with working in your new job, finding somewhere to live and getting used to the culture, don’t panic, relax, be a Brasilian – calm.

Getting Married in Brasil as a Foreigner (Estrangeiro) – Part 1

FIrst up, take a deep breath, this is going to take some effort.. ;)

Like most processes in Brasil, getting married is marred by an amazon rain-forest like amount of paperwork if you are a foreigner. To get married to a Brasilian here I needed to provide the following (I’m a UK Citizen):

  • My birth certificate (Original long form, legalised by the consulate in London, translated, and registered here)
  • My parents names and dates of birth (Verbally)
  • 4 people to declare that I was single (You can also use a CNI, certificate of no impediament).
  • My passport
  • A public translator (my portuguese is OK, but not perfect for marriage).

I also took my CNH (Brasilian Driving Licence), my RNE (Foreigner Registration Number), my permanent VISA protocol number (it’s in progress) and copies of every piece of paper I could find – you can NEVER have enough paperwork in Brasil.

My spouse needed only provide her Birth Certificate and RG. Let me explain each piece of the above.

The Birth Certificate
As I’m living in Brasil I did not have my birth certificate with me (I’ve been here for years and it never occurred to me that I might actually need it – good job too really… as it would be useless here unless first legalised by the Brasilian consulate in London. It’s important to note that the BR Consulate is London only legalisies the Original Document, don’t bother sending it and a copy, they’ll just return it and waste your time. I got my folks back home to send it (twice) and after around about 10 days I got it back, a 3 day fedex trip to Brasil and it was in my hands.

I then took the document to a public translator and begged her to do it quickly, I paid around R$200 to have it done and it was finished the same day.

After having it translated it needs to be registered at a special Cartorio for marriages, this I did straight after (R$75) and was told it normally takes a week to process, I managed to get them to do this in 2 days, be nice.

My parents names and dates of birth
This part is easy, just have the information ready on your registration date. You just have to tell them, it’s critical you get your parents names EXACTLY the same as on your birth certificate, failure to get this right will result in a non-wedding.

4 People to declare my Single status
To get married anywhere you need to prove that you are single – when you get married here they take your Birth Certificate away, so it’s easy to see if your married or not when they ask to see your documents. There are two way to prove this:

1. Get a certificate of no impediment from the government, have it stamped by the FCO (Foreign and Commonwealth office), then legalised at the Consulate in London, then translated in Brasil, and finally registered here.

2. Take 4 people with you to the Cartorio who have known you for a long time, and have them all sign sworn statements testifying that you are to the best of their knowledge single. (I chose the simpler option)

My Passport
You need a current VISA entry stamp that will not expire until 20 days after you start the marriage process. If you already have you’re RNE and it doesn’t expire I belive you can use that too.

A Translator
If you do not speak fluent and I mean like a native fluent portuguese you’ll need a public translator or they will refuse to marry you. R$200 for the first hour and then R$80 per 15 minutes there after. I used the same lady that translated my Birth Certificate for me.

It costs around R$300 to get married at the cartorio (Registry office) and takes around 40mins depednign on your level of preparidness.

Supporting Documentation
Like everything here, take as much as possible, it’s better to have too much than not enough, I took every official document I could find, I also took copies of everything just in case.

Part 2 to Follow