Brazil – Covid-19 – Immigration update

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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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