Brazil – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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Update: October 23th, 2020

Immigration deadlines resume after pandemic suspension

What is the change?

The Brazilian government has announced the resumption of migratory deadlines and updated dates on the validity of documents issued by the Brazilian Immigration Police.

Key Points:

  • The Federal Police will resume enforcement of migratory deadlines on Nov. 3, 2020. Registro Nacional Migratório cards and other documents issued by the Federal Police that expired from March 16, 2020, will be valid until March 16, 2021, for entry in the country or registration purposes.
  • Documents that expired after March 16, 2020, will be accepted for Migratory regularization if the immigrant have not left the country and is seeking establish their status until March 16, 2021.
  • For Visit Visa holders, the length of stay will be taken into account for all legal purposes, especially for counting the maximum stay period per migratory year. However, the visit visa overstay within the period between March 16, 2020, and November 3, 2020, will be disregarded.
  • For temporary visa holders, the registration date will not count towards determining the term of the residence. It will start from the immigrant’s first entry in Brazil.
  • The temporary visa can be used for entry into Brazil if it has not expired or if its expiration date has been extended by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • The temporary visa may be registered until March 16, 2021. If there is re-entry, the visa will be registered within 90 days of the entry. If the 90-day period for registration is before March 16, 2021, the latter will serve as the date of registration.
  • The maximum period of absence from Brazil will not be counted from March 15, 2020, through Nov. 3, 2020.

Immigration deadlines in Brazil have been suspended since March when the COVID-19 pandemic impacted worldwide travel.

Employers and foreign nationals should take note of the new deadlines and expiration dates to ensure they are complying with the requirements.

Update: September 30th, 2020

Foreign national land and water entry ban extended again

What is the change?

Brazil recently announced another 30-day extension of the entry ban on foreign nationals entering the country by land or water transportation. This ban does not apply to air travel.

Key Points:

  • The entry ban on foreign nationals entering Brazil by land or water transportation has been extended another 30 days from Sept. 24 to Oct. 23.
  • Foreign nationals are allowed to enter Brazil via air travel as long as they have valid immigration documents, including valid short stay visas.
  • Foreign nationals entering Brazil with a valid short stay visa which lasts for up to 90 days must still present the following before boarding their flights: health insurance which is valid in Brazil that covers the duration of their trip and provides a minimum of R$30,000 or about US$5,370 in coverage. It must also be signed in Portuguese, Spanish or English.
  • Previous arrival restrictions at all Brazilian airports have been lifted.
  • Regulatory authorities may issue further rules on health procedures, operations and vessels.

Brazil announced a previous 30-day extension of the entry ban on foreign nationals entering the country by land or water transportation the first week of September.

Previous exceptions to land and entry restrictions remain in place 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.

Extending the entry ban on foreign nationals entering from land and water transportation will temporarily halt their movement into the country by these means. Previous entry exceptions remain in place and the ban extension does not apply to air travel.

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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