Brazil – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update: September 02nd, 2020

Entry ban through land and water extended for foreign nationals

What is the change?

The Brazilian Government announced a 30-day extension on the entry ban on foreign nationals entering Brazil by land or water transportation on Wednesday. The ban does not affect air travel.

Key Points:

  • The temporary restriction on the entry of foreign nationals has been extended from August 26 for another 30 days until September 25. The extended restriction applies to foreign nationals entering Brazil by land or water.
  • Foreign nationals with valid immigration documents may enter Brazil by air, including those who have a valid short stay visa.
  • Foreign nationals traveling by air are not allowed to enter via international airports in these states: Goiás, Mato Grosso do Sul, Rio Grande do Sul, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins.
  • Foreign nationals entering with a short stay visa (Visit Visa) up to 90 days in duration are required before boarding, presenting a health insurance valid in Brazil that covers the entire period of stay, provides minimum coverage of R$30,000 or about US$5,370 and must be signed in Portuguese or English.
  • Further rules may be issued by regulatory authorities pertaining to health procedures, operations and vessels.
  • Travelers should expect possible delays in travel because of new airport health protocols. Besides the exceptions, a number of previously existing exception are available for land and water entry, including for: Brazilian nationals; immigrants with definitive residence authorization; close family of Brazilian nationals (except for Venezuela nationals); foreign professionals working for international organizations; foreign employees with Brazilian government accreditation; passengers transiting through Brazil who will not leave the international area of the airport and will be permitted entry to their destination country; humanitarian travel; technical landings for refueling, provided restricted nationals do not disembark from the aircraft; and cargo transportation in compliance with current laws.

The suspension also does not apply to foreign maritime crew members who: (1) possess a Seaman’s Book granted under International Labor Organization Convention terms; (2) are required to enter the country by the maritime agent to the Federal Police in order to perform certain duties while on a vessel or a platform operating in Brazilian jurisdictional waters; and (3) possess an entry visa if required.

Brazil opened air travel to foreign nationals from all countries in July.

Update: July 16th, 2020

Procedural deadlines resume for work-related immigration

What is the change?

Brazil has moved to re-impose deadlines for applications and petitions that are handled by the Ministry of Labor’s General Coordination of Immigration.

Key Points

In March, Brazil suspended deadlines for immigration filings because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Under a July 8 directive, procedural deadlines for work-related immigration will be enforced again.
  • Additional information is expected soon about what the re-imposition of deadlines will mean for specific applications and petitions under the review of the General Coordination of Immigration.
  • Employers are encouraged to work closely with Deloitte if they have employees with applications or petitions that are handled by the General Coordination of Immigration.

Update: July 6th, 2020

Foreign national entry restriction extended again

What is change?

Brazil recently extended its temporary restriction on the entry of foreign nationals, but have provided broader exceptions for many foreign travelers.

Key Points:

  • The temporary restriction on the entry of foreign nationals has been extended from June 30 for another 30 days. The extended restriction applies to foreign nationals entering Brazil by air, land or water.
  • There are new exceptions to the restriction extension for:
    • Foreign nationals traveling by air who have a visit visa for a short stay and no intention to establish residence.
    • Foreign nationals traveling by air whose visit visa has been waived and who will be engaging in business, sporting or artistic activities.
  • There is also a new exception for foreign nationals traveling by air who intend to establish residence for a specific period of time and who have a temporary visa granted for the following purposes:
    • Research, teaching or an academic extension.
    • Study.
    • Work.
    • Investing.
    • A family reunion.
    • Sports or artistic activities with a fixed-term contract.
  • Foreign nationals traveling to Brazil by air who meet the above conditions must enter using one of the following international airports:
    • Sao Paulo International Airport, in the city of Guarulhos, in the state of Sao Paulo.
    • Tom Jobim International Airport, in Rio de Janeiro.
    • Viracopos International Airport, in Campinas, in the state of Sao Paulo.
    • Brasilia International Airport, Brasilia, Federal District.
  • Foreign nationals must be prepared to show documentation regarding their reasons for traveling. Before boarding, they must also present a declaration from a health authority or doctor stating that they are not infected with COVID-19.
  • Travelers should expect possible delays in travel because of new airport health protocols.

Brazil suspended inbound travel from most of Europe and some Latin American and Asian countries in the third week of March. Air travel was then suspended for all foreign nationals at the end of March, and suspension has been extended a number of times since then.

Besides the new exceptions, a number of previously existing exception are available, including for: Brazilian nationals; immigrants with definitive residence authorization; close family of Brazilian nationals (except for Venezuela nationals); foreign professionals working for international organizations; foreign employees with Brazilian government accreditation; passengers transiting through Brazil who will not leave the international area of the airport and will be permitted entry to their destination country; humanitarian travel; technical landings for refueling, provided restricted nationals do not disembark from the aircraft; and cargo transportation in compliance with current laws.

The suspension also does not apply to foreign maritime crew members who: (1) possess a Seaman’s Book granted under International Labor Organization Convention terms; (2) are required to enter the country by the maritime agent to the Federal Police in order to perform certain duties while on a vessel or a platform operating in Brazilian jurisdictional waters; and (3) possess an entry visa if required.

Update: June 25th, 2020

COVID-19: Foreign nationals restricted from entering

What is change?

Brazil has again extended the suspension of inbound travel for foreign nationals to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key Points:

  • For the 15-day period that began June 20, foreign nationals will not be allowed to enter the country by air, land or water.
  • Exemptions are available for: Brazilian nationals; immigrants with definitive residence authorization; close family of Brazilian nationals (except for Venezuela nationals); foreign professionals working for international organizations; foreign employees with Brazilian government accreditation; passengers transiting through Brazil who will not leave the international area of the airport and will be permitted entry to their destination country; humanitarian travel; technical landings for refueling, provided restricted nationals do not disembark from the aircraft; and cargo transportation in compliance with current laws.
  • The suspension also does not apply to foreign maritime crew members who:
    • Possess a Seaman’s Book granted under International Labor Organization Convention terms;
    • Are required to enter the country by the maritime agent to the Federal Police in order to perform certain duties while on a vessel or a platform operating in Brazilian jurisdictional waters; and
    • Possess an entry visa if required.

Brazil suspended inbound travel from most of Europe and some Latin American and Asian countries in the third week of March. Air travel was then suspended for all foreign nationals at the end of March. The suspension has been extended a number of times since then.

Update: June 1st, 2020

Inbound travel suspended for all foreigners

What is change?

Brazil recently extended the suspension of inbound travel for all foreigners to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key points:

  • For the 30-day period that began May 22, foreigners are not allowed to enter the country by air, land or water.
  • Exemptions are available for: Brazilian nationals; immigrants with definitive residence authorization; close family of Brazilian nationals (except for Venezuela nationals); foreign professionals working for international organizations; foreign employees with Brazilian government accreditation; passengers transiting through Brazil who will not leave the international area of the airport and will be permitted entry to their destination country; humanitarian travel; technical landings for refueling, provided restricted nationals do not disembark from the aircraft; and cargo transportation in compliance with current laws.
  • The suspension also does not apply to foreign maritime crew members who:
    • Possess a Seaman’s Book granted under International Labor Organization Convention terms;
    • Are required to enter the country by the maritime agent to the Federal Police in order to perform certain duties while on a vessel or a platform operating in Brazilian jurisdictional waters; and
    • Possess an entry visa if required.

Brazil suspended inbound travel from most of Europe and some Latin American and Asian countries in the third week of March. Air travel was then suspended for all foreign nationals at the end of March.

Update: March 31st, 2020

Entry suspended for foreign nationals traveling by air

What is change?

Brazil has suspended entry to foreign nationals traveling by air for 30 days as the country looks to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The ban does not apply to Brazilian nationals.

Key points:

  • Foreign nationals will not be permitted to enter Brazil by air for the 30-day period beginning today unless they have an exception under the ban.
  • Exceptions may be available for (1) those who are landing in Brazil for medical assistance or for air return to their country of origin; (2) immigrants who have permanent residence in Brazil; (3) foreign nationals who are part of a duly authorized international organization; (4) foreign employees who are accredited by the Brazilian government; (5) close family of Brazilian citizens; (6) foreign nationals whose entry is deemed in the public interest by the Brazilian government; (7) foreign nationals who hold a National Migration Registry card; (8) cargo transportation; (9) those who are transiting through Brazil and do not leave the international area of the airport; (10) airplanes landing to refuel if restricted passengers do not disembark; (11) travelers who have permission from authorities to enter Brazil to cross a land border in order to return to their country of origin.

Brazilian authorities have taken a number of steps to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Earlier this month, authorities imposed an entry ban on travelers from most of Europe, and several countries in South America and Asia. Last week, authorities said they would ban entry to all foreign nationals by sea or land.

COVID-19 travel restrictions have dramatically slowed business travel to Brazil and dozens of other countries around the world. Employers should identify affected employees and alter travel and business schedules accordingly.

Update: March 30th, 2020

New measures affect residence authorizations, water entry ports 

What is the change ?

Brazilian authorities have issued additional COVID-19 measures that affect foreign nationals applying for residence authorization and all foreign nationals entering Brazil by water.

Prior residence authorizations will not be published in the Official Gazette until further notice. Although immigration authorities will continue to consider prior residence authorization applications, the suspension of publication also suspends visa issuance at Brazilian consulates until further notice.

The ban on entry by sea or river, which took effect March 26 and remains in effect for 30 days, applies to all nationals, except Brazilian citizens and immediate family members, immigrants with permanent residence in Brazil, and a limited number of other categories.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate and ongoing.
  • Visas/permits affected: Residence authorization.
  • Business impact: The suspension of residence authorization publication means that visa issuance at Brazilian consulates and registration procedures with the Federal Police are also suspended until further notice.

Normally, when prior residence authorizations are approved, they are published in the Official Gazette and the foreign national has 90 days to register with the Federal Police after collecting the visa and traveling to Brazil. The Federal Police is currently only taking emergency appointments.

The new measures follow Brazil’s travel ban on most of Europe, and several countries in South America and Asia to slow the spread of COVID-19. All nationals will be banned from entering Brazil via water. Employers should anticipate delays for residence authorizations.

Update: March 20th, 2020

Foreign travel from most of Europe, some countries in Latin America, Asia suspended

The Brazilian government has banned foreigners from a number of South American, European and Asian countries in effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Key points:

  • Foreign nationals traveling from Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, Guyana, French Guyana, Paraguay, Peru and Suriname will not be allowed to enter Brazil by highways or land for the 15-day period beginning March 19. This time frame may be extended at the recommendation of the National Health Surveillance Agency.
  • Foreign nationals traveling from Australia, China, European Union member states, Iceland, Japan, Malaysia, Norway, South Korea, Switzerland and the United Kingdom will not be allowed to enter Brazil through airlines for the 30-day period beginning March 23. This time frame may be extended at the recommendation of the National Health Surveillance Agency.
  • Exemptions are available for Brazilian nationals, immigrants with permanent residence authorization, foreign professionals working for international organizations, and foreign employees with Brazilian government accreditation.
  • Additionally, the suspensions do not apply to authorized cross-border humanitarian actions, and road cargo transportation in compliance with current laws.

The additional restrictions follow Brazil’s announcement Wednesday that travelers from Venezuela will not be allowed to enter Brazil by highways or land from March 18 until April 1 (15 days) extendable in case of authorities recommendation.

The new restrictions will significantly impact foreign travel to Brazil from eight Latin American countries, most of Europe and parts of Asia. It is possible further restrictions may be announced. Employers should account for affected travelers and rearrange travel schedules accordingly. Significant delays may occur for consular and in-country processing.

Update: March 19th, 2020

Foreign travelers from Venezuela suspended

What is the change?

The Brazilian government recently banned foreign travelers from Venezuela to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

Key points:

  • From March 18, for 15 days, foreign travelers from Venezuela will not be allowed to enter Brazil.
  • Entrance is restricted from both highways and land.
  • There are several exceptions to the suspension: Brazilian nationals, immigrants with permanent residence authorization, foreign professionals working for international organizations, and foreign employees with Brazilian government accreditation.
  • Additionally, the suspension does not apply to authorized cross-border humanitarian actions, and road cargo transportation in compliance with current laws.

The new restrictions will significantly impact foreign travel to Brazil from Venezuela. It is possible further restrictions may be announced. Employers should account for affected travelers and rearrange travel schedules accordingly. Significant delays may occur for consular and in-country processing.

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