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How to immigrate to Brazil: tips and explanations

Brazil’s migration policy and the new migration law n.13.445 of May 24, 2017

On May 24, 2017, Brazil’s new migration policy law was enacted. This law is called migration law, not immigration law in Brazil, because it includes provisions on the protection of Brazilians living abroad.

This new legislation replaces the old law 8.815 of 1980, on the status of foreigners.

The status of foreigner had been adopted in 1980 under a military government. The provisions of the status of the foreigner were a function of national security, the foreigner being perceived as a threat.

The new law started from another premise, that of human rights and the need to protect the rights of foreigners.

This change in philosophy is due to several factors.

First, under the Lula presidency, Brazil became more actively involved in foreign humanitarian issues. Thus, for 14 years, the Brazilian military was tasked by the UN with maintaining peace in Haiti, following the violence and political unrest in 2004.

Currently, political issues in Venezuela lead many Venezuelans to emigrate to Brazil, crossing the border along the bordering Brazilian state of Roraima.

There is also a large immigration from Bolivia and Africa.

In addition, Brazil seeks to attract skilled labor from developed countries, labor that often arrives after investors and large foreign industrial groups.


The new law deals more specifically with (i) the protection of stateless persons (the law organizes legal cooperation between countries); (ii) temporary visa for humanitarian reasons for people who have to flee their country of origin but who do not correspond to refugee law, or for health reasons or for unaccompanied minors

The law also offers the possibility of regularizing one’s situation while being in Brazil. It is no longer necessary, as before, to be outside Brazil, in your country of origin, to obtain a visa to stay in Brazil.

The law allows all those who have immigrated to Brazil to have political and trade union meetings (which was prohibited before with the status of foreigner);

The law grants amnesty to irregular immigrants, who entered without documents on or before July 6, 2016.


There are many cases of granting a residence visa in Brazil, we will briefly present the cases relating to the condition of investment and work below.

Investor Visa

To obtain a permanent residence visa allowing a foreign natural person to run a Brazilian commercial enterprise, it is necessary that the foreign legal person investor invests in foreign currency a minimum of, that is R$ 150,000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand reais) with a plan to hire 10 (ten) Brazilians in 02 (two) years; i.e. R$ 600,000.00 (six hundred thousand reais). If the foreign investor is a natural person, he must make a minimum investment of R$ 500,000.00 (one hundred and fifty thousand reais) in foreign currency, plus present a detailed business plan.

Work visa to take up employment in Brazil

The visa is granted for a maximum period of 2 years, after verification that the job in question is compatible with the qualification and experience of the candidate.

To obtain this visa, you must already present to the Brazilian authorities the employment contract signed between the parties.

Brazil Unemployed Work Visa

The new law provides for the possibility of obtaining a work visa in Brazil, without even having found work, as long as one holds a “higher diploma or equivalent”. The implementing decree of the law (Decree n.9.199 of 20.11.2017) specifies that it is possible to obtain a residence permit in Brazil, without even having a prior job offer, as long as the candidate has “strategic professional capacities for the Country”.

Beyond the visa types mentioned above, there are several other visa granting cases, such as the visa to study and do internships in Brazil; visa for athletes; visas for journalists; among others.

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