Category Archives: Travel

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 a Temporary Work Visa, Brazil – Part 2

In the last part we showed the starting process of getting the documentation in order and ready to send off. After making it thorough all the hoops I now had all my documentation ready to send.

Documentation Continued

I had a pretty serious decision here on how to get my documents down to Brasil. Royal mail do a service called Airsure for about £11, or FedEx do International Priority for about £50, I think when it comes to such important papers you’re far better off going with FedEx, in my mind, if my papers got lost it would take months to re-acquire them from college, university etc. It came to £52.60 for the delivery and it was down in Brasil within 4 days.

Translation and Submission

The next step is to get all of your now legalised documentation translated into Portuguese, this is a requirement for the submission process. As it is a temporary visa requiring a sponsoring company in Brasil, they sorted it out for me – the Brasilian company then submitted all of my documentation, and filled in all the forms – it should take 30 days from this point to get your confirmation or denial of Visa.


Once your Visa is confirmed, you can begin the process of actually collecting it from the consulate. Like most things this is not entirely simple either. After receving confirmation of acceptance you need to head off to and fill in the application form. Once completed you will need to print off the receipt, sign it and attach a passport photo.

Additionally you will need a certificate (ACRO) from the UK Police force confirming that you do not have a criminal record. These can be obtained from the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) – more information and the form. It’s £35 and you’ll get it in about 10 days or so. You’ll need:

  • The Fully completed form
  • 2 Proofs of your current address
  • A recent passport photograph
  • Copy of your passport
  • Payment (Cheque / Postal Order / Draft)

So stick all of this in the post and wait patiently for your response.

Putting it all together

So now you should have in your hands:

  • Completed application form (From the consulate)
  • Your passport
  • ACRO Certificate
  • Payment Method

It’s time to head to the consulate and give them all this information. Part 3

Vegas 2008 – and a few other states ;)

Grand CanyonCrazy, that’s about the only way to sum the place up (for the 3rd time), I love it, I want to live there and that is all there is to it. Suffered the usual jetlag on the way there but managed to keep myself up until the early hours of the next day so didn’t suffer to bad – to be fair jumping into a 37 degree pool in the morning will wake you up!

The best thing about being back (apart from a huge workload) is the fact that I got a few days off to go and explore. I made it up to Area 51 in Nevada, the Valley of Fire, the Hoover Dam (Major Boring), Death Valley in California and even made it up to the Grand Canyon in Arizona passing through Williams and Flagstaff – god knows how far I drove but I loved every minute of it. The worst part of the trip, dropping my new Nikon D40 having just arrived at the Grand Canyon – God Damn It! Bad news especially seeing as how I needed the camera the day after I returned to the UK for Glastonbury Festival – solution: Went to Best Buy and brought another one – Whew!

Did a ton of HDR work whilst I was over there, you can check out my photos on my Flickr page. And my Mount Charleston photos on here.

Rio De Janerio – Impressions, is it safe?

Rio De Janeiro, Sugar Loaf ViewBefore I went to Rio I spent ages searching the net, trying to find out if it was safe and what precautions to take – you know what – Rio is as safe as any other major city in the world (maybe), just keep your eyes and ears open and there are no problems. Don’t walk down Copacabana at 4am drunk, because your just asking for trouble!!

I stayed 2 blocks off the beach at the Copacabana Resedencia Hotel, great place. 3 minutes to the beach. Copacabana leads onto Ipanema (but it’s a long walk!), then onto Leblon. Ipanema beach is much nicer than Copacabana with a ton of police and friendly people. Leblon is the ‘rich’ area of Rio so expect to pay a bit more, same goes for Ipanema.


  • If you want a taxi, just stand at the edge of the road with your hand out, make sure they are on a meter, believe it or not Rio has the cheapest taxis in Brasil. A taxi from Copacabana to Christo cost me R$22 or about £7. It’s a 20 minute ride.
  • If your going to Christo at the weekend leave early, took me 4 hours to queue and get the train up the hill – but you have to go. It’s about R$40 for a ticket.
  • A taxi from Christo to Pão de Açúcar (Sugar Loaf Mountain) should cost about R$25 – 30 max! And takes about 25 minutes. It’s about R$40 to get the cable car – remember to get both!!
  • If you really want to see Rio at night, head off to Lapa (Taxi from Copabana is about R$20), open bars, samba, clubs, heaving. It’s very near to the centre of Rio. You know if you’ve gone to far when you wander past the Gas Station and the music changes to ‘Favella Funk’ – best to turn around :)
  • If your on the beach getting hassled by the street sellers just say ‘Obrigado, não’ pronounced ‘Brigade, Noum’ and off they go – they can be pretty persistent.

Rio De Janeiro is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, beautiful weather, fantastic beaches surrounded by the natural beauty of the mountains, friendly people, great food and a lively night life. Just go, let your hair down and have a great time.

Day Three of the Brazilian Experience

Ahhh - the Ornageness of it all!So I’ve had like about 4 hours sleep, didn’t get to my hotel until gone 1am and couldn’t sleep in the heat. I really wish I had learnt some Portuguese before I came here – life would be so much easier.

So down for Breakfast (that’s all I’m saying about it), met up with Frank and off down the sun soaked street for a short stroll to my new office for the next few weeks. Met the team – great guys and gals. Everyone is so friendly over here, I mean – I’ve never felt so welcome anywhere I’ve been, it’s a different way of interacting with people lots of eye contact and no real concept of personal space, with patting and hand shaking – a very touchy feeling (in a good way) bunch of people.

Manic day – all 12 hours of it working, back to the hotel for a picture of the most beautiful orange sunset I have ever seen. Shower and then off to a restaurant called ‘Temple’, for some Pinga (Cachaca) in a Caipirinha which is so good it’s unreal especially mixed with Kiwi. The best steak I have eaten in a long while topped with proper sundered toms and dressing, added to a little risotto – great evening, good company, good Brazilian music and just a relaxing thing to do.

Day Two of the Brazilian Experience

VW Beetle - Downtown BauruMadness – that just about sums it up. Got to Schipol early…. why bother, took me 2 minutes to find departures and check my baggage in, they are so goddam efficient over here – great stuff, in departures by 6:45am…. whoops, a bit early – but better to be early than late!

12 Hours of fun filled frivolities on the plane (so glad I paid extra for an exit seat), had so much space to myself, lovely service, had about 11 vodkas in a vain attempt to sleep – no chance, just felt like I had a hangover when I landed in Sao Paulo.

Customs: Brasilia this way, Foreigners that way – huge lines, slow customs took me an hour just to get into the airport. Found my ‘guides’ and away we went for the 300km drive to Bauru. Stopped as the ‘Best Petrol Station’ in all of south America on my way for something like a burrito, but was so tired I thought I was going to be sick.

It’s hot, like 27 hot, which is crazy (but this is the start of the Brazilian summer) with 83% humidity, walk outside and you either melt or are soaked in seconds either by profuse perspiration or the crazy rainstorms.

Off to my bed for rest and sleep and up early tomorrow. Come on.