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Are you looking to take advantage of one of the fastest growing economies in the world? With the Olympics and World Cup coming are you looking to take advantage by expanding your business into the enormous Brazilian market?

Our Objective is to provide customers, whether individuals or legal entities, with a top quality personalised service which guarantees the confidentiality of process.

The services provided aim at:

  • Determining which is the appropriate type of visa for the foreigner’s stay in the country, between the options of Permanent or one of the several types of Temporary Visas;
  • Providing the work execution for the visa issuance;
  • The issuance of the necessary documentation for the foreigner’s permanence in Brazil (RNE, CTPS, CNH and CPF)
  • The follow-up of expirations (Visas, RNE, CNH, etc)
  • The legal orientation of the Department of Human Resources on pre- employment and dismissal procedures of foreigners.

Our Mission: To provide legal immigration consultancy services based on ethics, customisation and confidentiality, adding value to our clients business.

Obtaining visas for Brazil: knowing the procedures will help your visa application 

Once you have decided to visit Brazil for pleasure or on a business trip, or seek to remain in the country for a longer period, you may face a certain amount of bureaucracy to obtain your entry or permanent visa. However, procedures are fairly straightforward if steps are taken in the right order, and at the correct time.

Documentation required to obtain a visa can vary from the simple presentation on arrival of a valid passport and travel ticket, for tourists of certain countries, to documents such as a work contract, educational record, letter of employment, certificate of good standing, etc. for foreigners who wish to reside and/or work in Brazil.

Where to start: The first step, even before thinking of packing your suitcases, is to find out from the nearest Brazilian Consulate which documents are necessary for your authorised entry into Brazil.

Transit and tourist visas are normally easy to obtain. However, the temporary and permanent residence visas require an extensive list of documents. It is always wise to have a professional specialised in such matters to accompany these processes, given the bureaucracy involved and the constant changes in the legislation.

Brazil issues seven principal types of visa

  • Transit
  • Tourist
  • Temporary
  • Permanent
  • Courtesy
  • Official
  • Diplomatic

Transit: This visa is granted to foreigners who, during their trip to a third country, need to pass through Brazilian territory. This situation typically occurs in flight connections where the passenger has to change planes at separate airports to proceed on his trip, or in journeys that involve different modes of transport. Obtaining this type of visa is usually very simple – basically a case of going to the nearest Brazilian Consulate and presenting your passport and connection flight ticket.

When a trip to a third country is interrupted in Brazil for reasons beyond the control of the traveler, the transport company must communicate this fact to the Federal Police. They will authorise the foreigner’s stay for the period strictly necessary to proceed with the trip. Expenses incurred during the stay are the responsibility of the transport company.

Tourism: Brazil practices a policy of reciprocity with respect to tourist visas. In other words, Brazil requires the prior issuance of a visa for citizens of countries which make the same requirement for Brazilian citizens. It is important to stress that it is not unknown for tourists to be barred at Brazilian airports if they arrive without a valid visa. While travelers arriving without the necessary visas may sometimes be able to arrange for emergency issue at the airport, this is not a right and it is within the discretionary powers of immigration officials to insist on compulsory departure on the next available flight, irrespective of destination. Therefore, travelers are strongly advised to take the proper precautions beforehand.

The tourist visa is granted to people who wish to enter Brazil for tourism or to visit friends or relatives. The trip can not be made for the purposes of immigration; neither may the holder of such a visa work in Brazil nor receives remuneration of any form. For example, someone coming to Brazil on a business visit or to attend a professional congress should apply for a visa for this express purpose.

Validity - Tourist visas may be issued for up to five years, with multiple re-entry, for citizens from countries offering similar or longer periods to Brazilian citizens. However, it is important to note that this refers to the validity of the visa stamp on the passport and not to the length of the permitted stay in Brazil. When the tourist arrives at the airport or other point of entry, he will normally receive permission to stay for 90 days, which can be extended once for an equal period of time. To extend the length of stay, a petition must be made to the Federal Police Department before the initial period expires. The tourist must demonstrate means of support for the subsequent 90 days and the ticket to return.

The traveler who overstays his permitted time in the country is liable to a daily fine, plus an order to leave within eight days, coupled with a threat of deportation should he disobey such an order. It is important to note that the initial and/or extension periods may be reduced at the discretion of Federal Police immigration officials. Also, an extension is permitted only once every 12 months, counting from the first entry. Therefore, providing all other conditions are complied with, it is theoretically possible to spend six months each 12 consecutive months in Brazil as a tourist.

Obtaining a tourist visa - Tourists visiting Brazil fall into two basic categories, depending on reciprocity agreements between Brazil and other countries:

  • Those who MUST obtain a visa stamp on their passport BEFORE traveling, and;
  • Those who may travel WITHOUT a visa, and be granted it at the airport, seaport or border point on arrival.

Those who must apply for a visa before traveling should present their passport at the Brazilian Consulate nearest to their normal place of residence, showing means of support in Brazil and a return ticket. Consular fees may range from very little to US$100 or more – the amount depends on reciprocity agreements and varies according to where the application is made.

For nationals of Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Colombia, Equator, Peru and Venezuela, due to reciprocity agreements, they can travel to Brazil only with their Identity Card or equivalent document.

Note that all tourists, regardless of whether they are required to seek a visa before traveling or may simply request one on arrival, must carry a passport valid for at least six months or for certain nationalities (Argentinean, Uruguayan, Paraguayan and Chilean) alternatively, they can carry only their identity card (or equivalent document). Additionally, immigration officials may ask any incoming tourist to show his return ticket and means of support (cash, credit card, traveler’s checks and/or other financial instruments). It is thus advisable to carry all such items and documents in hand luggage.

Obtaining a temporary residence visa – executive 

Where the temporary residence visa is for a business executive, scientist, teacher, technician or other professionally qualified person who will be under contract to a company in Brazil (including the Brazilian government), or will be rendering paid services without a formal employment relationship, the Brazilian employer initiates the visa application procedure by applying to the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Labor. If the application is approved the documents are forwarded via the Foreign Ministry to the Brazilian Consulate within the jurisdiction of the residence of the foreigner, where the potential employee will complete the remaining bureaucratic steps of the process.

For temporary work visas appropriate to the majority of businessmen, the following regulations apply:

  • Applicants who will be formally employed in Brazil will be required to demonstrate suitable educational qualifications and/or work experience. The Brazilian government practices a visa issuance policy based upon protecting Brazilian professionals and workers. Therefore, in order for a visa to be issued by the General Immigration Coordination section of the Brazilian Labor Ministry, the foreigner must demonstrate that his qualifications are different from or superior to those held by a Brazilian professional who would occupy the same position. Where the applicant holds a degree from a recognized university, he will be required to present his diploma and proof of one year relevant work experience. Where the applicant does not hold a degree, he must demonstrate at least nine years’ formal education and two years’ work experience. Where the applicant holds a masters degree, no work experience has to be demonstrated. Nationals of any South America Country do not need to present any proof of experience and diploma until October 17th, 2012.

Note that Article 352 of the Consolidation of Labor Laws provides that all industrial or commercial corporations with three or more employees must maintain a minimum of two-thirds of Brazilian employees in their work force. The same applies to the total payroll – the salary paid to foreigners may not exceed 1/3 of the total payroll. Exceptions are (a) foreigners who have lived in Brazil for more than 10 years and have a Brazilian spouse or offspring, and (b) Portuguese citizens.

  • Applicants who will not be formally employed - for example, those providing a contractual paid service – must provide suitable documentary evidence of the relationship. This category includes persons working under exchange agreements or similar arrangements.

Note that university degrees, other educational diplomas, letters from current or former employers and all other such documents must be notarised in their country of origin and then presented to the Brazilian Consulate in that country for re-notarisation by Brazilian authorities. Applicants are cautioned to allow plenty of time to complete the process. The exceptions due to international agreements between countries are Argentina and France

The permanent residence visa 

This visa will be granted only to applicants who satisfy the special requirements established by the National Immigration Council, Ministry of Justice or the Ministry of Labor.

In principle, there are six cases in which a foreigner can obtain a permanent visa:

  • The administrator, manager or director of a professional or business corporation;
  • A foreigner who intends to remain permanently in Brazil and will invest foreign funds in productive activities;
  • A researcher or high level specialist;
  • An officially retired foreigner, who will transfer to Brazil monthly the equivalent of at least R$ 6.000,00;
  • When the applicant is married to a Brazilian citizen;
  • When the foreigner has Brazilian offspring.

Business applicants will normally fall into the two first categories.

Obtaining a permanent residence visa requires the presentation of an extensive list of documents for each of these situations, besides the normal documents required from temporary visa applicants. Some of these documents are mentioned below. However, it is important that prospective applicants check with appropriate government departments. The process is handled by the Brazilian Federal Police, by the Ministry of Justice but it may also involve the Ministry of Labor, depending on the situation.

Applicants should be advised that the process is bureaucratically complex and lengthy – many of the declarations or documents must be presented in a specific, legally-approved manner and authenticated by specific agents or government departments. Most applicants find it worthwhile seeking the advice and help of a Brazilian specialist to prepare and accompany the application.

Immediate family can usually be included in the same visa application. See “Close family can normally be included” below.

Basic individual requirements, in addition to the normal documentation, are set out below.

Executive 

Executives seeking a permanent residence visa will normally fall into one of the following categories:

The administrator, manager or director of an established company.

This category is designed to cover inter-company transfers or hiring of high-qualified executives to administrate Brazilian companies.

Necessary documents for the first step will include:

  • Proof that the company outside of Brazil or its parent company has effected total foreign-capital investments of at least R$ 600,000 in the employing company in Brazil for each visa requested. Proof of such investment must be given by demonstration that the investment has been registered with the Brazilian Central Bank through the Electronic Declaration Register;
  • Where the employing company cannot demonstrate such an increase in investment, it must alternatively be able to show a minimum investment of R$ 150,000 and it will have to attest, within two years, that will hire at least 10 (ten) new Brazilian employees.

Investor 

Notes on process 

In the above cases, the application must be initiated in Brazil, via the Ministry of Labor, in much the same way as an application for a temporary residence business visa. Once approved by the Ministry of Labor, the applicant must finalize the bureaucratic process at a Brazilian consulate.

Note that all non-Brazilian documents must be notarised by the competent authorities in their country of origin, and by the respective Brazilian consulate and then translated by a sworn Brazilian translator in Brazil.

Note also that foreigners who receive a permanent visa on the ground that they will hold an executive or administrative function in a Brazilian company will be required to work at least five years for the applicant company, except that it is necessary to carry out at the same time the role of the Administrator in different companies of the same economic group. In this case, it is necessary a pre-authorisation request of the others entities nomination at the Ministry of Labor. Failure to comply with this minimum limit will result in cancellation of the visa.

Changing a visa category is normally impossible 

The general principal is that a visa category may not be changed. Therefore, the holder of, say, a tourist visa might choose apply for a temporary or permanent residence visa, but the application is a separate process and must follow the procedures detailed elsewhere in this material.

The following categories are an exception to the general rule:

  • Scientists, teachers, technicians or other qualified professionals under contract or rendering services to the Brazilian Government;
  • Members of religious institutions or orders, and;
  • Relatives joining a family member (see “Families”)

These groups may apply to convert a temporary residence visa into a permanent visa during their stay in Brazil. The change will be granted only if the applicant satisfies the conditions for the concession of a permanent visa (see above).

The application should be submitted to the Federal Police office nearest the foreigner’s place of residence in Brazil, at least 30 days before the expiration of the temporary visa. If the foreigner leaves Brazil and returns after the temporary visa has expired and before his permanent residence application is approved, he will enter the country as a tourist, but without prejudice to his ongoing application for permanent residence.

Close family can normally be included 

A permanent or temporary resident visa can normally be issued to include dependent relatives – specifically a spouse, aged parents and unmarried children under 24 – provided these are named at the time of the original application.

The normal procedure is for every dependant family member to receive the same class of visa valid for the same period of time of the head of household visa. Yet, the candidates must bear in mind that the dependants will not receive authorization to work in Brazil, applicable for temporary item V visas.

This restriction can cause problems for couples when one accepts a job offer to work in Brazil and the other faces the impossibility to work.

The dependant of a temporary item V visa holder who wishes to work in Brazil will have to follow the same steps taken by the head of household in order to obtain a work authorization. Therefore, candidates willing to obtain work authorisation for the spouse should seek professional consulting prior to requesting a visa.

Our business planning services include working with the client to prepare a bespoke business plan to suit the client's needs. Some clients like lots of details and some clients go for a higher level approach to start with, including just the core elements.

iCAABS specialises in preparing business plans. Maybe it will be an internal document, maybe it will be used to bring in a partner or raise financing. The business plan will be prepared in a professional manner to suit the intended uses.

Previously iCAABS has even taken clients business plans (that we prepared or assisted in preparing) to banks and financial institutions, on the clients behalf, to raise project funding.

Brazil is one of the most bureaucratic countries in the world when it comes to opening a legal entity. It is strongly advisable to use professional help in this regard.

iCAABS has established itself as one of the leaders in assisting foreign firms enter the Brazilian market and works with each individual company to establish the most economical and efficient approach to registering and opening a legal entity in Brazil.

There are several choices of different types of legal entity from Micro-companies, Sociedade Limitadas and full blow S/A (Sociedade Anônima) plus a few other lessor used types of entities. The Limitada is often the vehicle of choice for the majority of international companies opening up in Brazil. A Limitada is similar to an American LLC or a UK Limited company.

The main differences between the different types of company are at a high level, the Limitada usually gives you trading flexibility and ease of implementation. For more complex operations and registering on the stock market, the S/A is the only choice.

Micro-companies are usually adopted by individuals in respect of small business and offer some tax incentives and simplified tax operations at lower levels of revenue. There are several basic types, each one having a limit on the amount of revenue. The maximum amount of revenue that can be put through any micro-company is R$2.4m. There are also strict laws governing ownership. For example if you are projecting to do R$4.7m of business you can not open 2 micro companies and there are quota holding limits on a quota holder within a Limitada prohibiting participation within a micro-company etc.

The Sociedade Limitada (Limitada) is the most popular corporate structure since it is easier to set up than an S/A and has far fewer public-disclosure requirements than an S/A.

The capital of a Limitada is divided into quotas (the amount to which each partner limits his liability). The Limitada is formed through a similar but simpler procedure than the Sociedade Anônima and involves the same taxes. Operational costs are generally lower as the Limitada does not require external auditing.

For Limitadas, little disclosure is required; Limitadas rarely reveal basic financial information, such as operating expenses or year-end profits.

It is not necessary to register a Limitada on a stock exchange, and no minimum amount of capital must be deposited in a bank. A member may not sell a stake in the company (called quotas) without the consent of all other members.

There are different rules and regulations for an international company to consider like; the Brazilian company HAS to have a Brazilian address and one of the quota-holders HAS to have permanent residency within Brazil. He/She does not necessarily have to be Brazilian but has to have a permanent visa.

The rules for a foreigner to qualify for a permanent visa are quite straightforward and there needs to be an investment of at least R$150,000 in the Brazilian entity and this investment has to be registered with the Brazilian Central Bank.

The actual steps and timeframes involve vary from case to case and are dependent upon the type of business a company is going to conduct, the type of products or services it will sell and where it will be located.

There is also the potential for a large amount of translation of documents back and forth. International companies should choose their translation partners carefully and check out references. It is critical that translations are accurate and appropriate. If not appropriate this can add a lot of time into an already long process and also involve additional costs to have work re-translated and additional filing fees.

For foreign companies entering the Brazil market, to open a legal entity and conclude all the necessary legal registrations can involve a process that can easily get up to 20 or more different stages in even the most simple scenario.

At a minimum the following stages will need to be completed for the most basic situation:

  • Company name search, to check the name is not registered or has not been previously registered and ensure there are no problems or potential risky history associated with the company name.
  • If the company is funded by foreign capital, remit capital and register it with the central bank (Banco Central do Brasil) within 30 days.
  • Register the company with the state where the company’s principal office will be located. Pay registration fees and obtain an identification number.
  • Register with the Secretariat of Federal Revenue (Receita Federal do Brasil) for federal- and state tax purposes. Obtain a company number (known locally as the CNPJ), confirm taxpayer enrolment and obtain inspection of state taxes.
  • Obtain permission from the respective state-level Ministry of Economy (Secretaría da Fazenda Estadual) to print receipts and invoices.
  • Apply for an operations permit with respective municipality.
  • Register company’s employees in social integration programme (contribuição para o programa de integração social—PIS).
  • Open a bank account for the Length of Service Guarantee Fund (Fundo de Garantia por Tempo de Serviço—FGTS) unemployment account.
  • Request permission from the Ministry of Labour and Employment (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego) for the limited number of expatriate employees who need to be hired.
  • Register with the Employees Union and Patronal Union.

Again depending on the nature of the business some organisations may need to go through lengthy processes of registering products with Anvisa, Environmental agencies, Anatel for telecoms, RADAR to import goods which is controlled by the Central Bank via SISCOMEX.

All of these steps include their own unique documents, which again the international organisation needs to consider translation costs, legal expenses, tax and accountancy expenses and the cost of each individual registration or filing.

iCAABS is able to provide a comprehensive service to international firms wishing to open an entity in Brazil.

iCAABS offers a cost effective feasibility study that is bespoke to each client engagement and specific for their needs. The idea is that a study is a cheap and effective way to gather all of the key data in order to build strategic, business and financial plans.

A high level overview of our totally flexible operating model can be broken down into several areas. Of course it all depends on the client requirements and the stage the client is at in preparing their respective entry strategy.

For example some clients may not have started and some will be at varying points in the cycle. We can assist in all stages of the plan and our model is totally flexible and is always tailored to suit each unique client engagement.

The key areas we analyse can be broken down into the following headings:

  1. Governmental Approvals
  2. Import Options
  3. Supply Chain
  4. Administration Requirements
  5. Final report

The output of the above is a detailed report highlighting the potential risks and opportunities of entering the Brazilian market. It will give alternatives where appropriate and make recommendations based on actual information.

The first step is to understand the client requirements and agree a fixed price project delivering the desired output to the client’s required standards and timeline. Then we sign a non disclosure agreement.

The process will involve iCAABS familiarising itself with what the client does, what the products/services are it intends to offer and how it intends to deliver the products or services to market.

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