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BRAZIL: Immigration Reminder for FIFA 2014 World Cup
February 18, 2014
June-July 2014 marks the month that FIFA World Cup soccer championship will be hosted by Brazil. As one of the largest attended sports events in the world, it is important for not only tourists, spectators and workers connected to the World Cup to obtain their visas early, but also for companies and traditional business visitors and assignees to Brazil to plan their visas and/or their in-country immigration formalities now.
Special Visas for the World Cup
The Brazilian Government introduced priority processing and special waivers for persons applying for visas related to attending the World Cup or working in connection with the games. Tourists wishing to take advantage of expedited visa processing must show evidence of tickets issued by FIFA for qualified events (a “VITUR-TE” or “Spectator Visa”). For foreign correspondents (a “VITEM VI-TE”) or private workers (a “ VITEM V-TE”) associated with setting up for the games or working as part of the games, special invitations or pre-approved work permits will be required from various Brazilian authorities, such as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Ministry of Labor.
The Brazilian Consulate in Los Angeles offers a general summary of these special visas and their general requirements at the following: http://losangeles.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/temporary_special_visas.xml#general_req
As requirements and processing times may vary by consulate, readers are reminded that they should consult with the Brazilian consular post having jurisdiction over their legal place of residence.
Business Travelers and Assignees
As a general rule, application for visas during the traditional summer months in the Northern Hemisphere may take longer due to reduced staffing at consular posts and increase in holiday travel visas. In addition to World Cup visa applicants, certain Brazilian consular posts may become busier as the volume of normal holiday travel visa applications increase. For traditional business travelers, applying for a business visa (a “VITEM-II”) in advance of June 2014 may avoid unexpected delays.
Brazil is also noted as being one of the more lengthy immigration processes for work permits and to conclude in-country immigration formalities.
While Brazil has introduced e-filing of certain work permit applications, the Ministry of Labor may still take at least 30 calendar days to process a work permit application and at least another five to ten business days for visa approvals to be forwarded to consular posts. After a work visa is issued, assignees must undergo a rather lengthy process in Brazil with the local Federal police for a residence number (RNE) and the application for a residence card (CIE). In addition, a Brazilian tax number (CPF) and, for certain workers, a Labor Card (CTPS) may be required.
Given the lead-up to the World Cup in May and early June, and national holiday mood of the host country, regularizing status in Brazil for assignees and families may experience significant and unforeseen delays.
What to Do?
For those attending the games or working in connection with the World Cup, initiating work/visa applications and filing with Brazilian consular posts will be key to getting visas issued by June 2014.
For traditional business visitors, purchasing refundable, round-trip airline tickets and proceeding with filing business visitor visa applications would also be best to do no later than early May 2014.
For companies wishing to relocate assignees and families to Brazil this summer, now is the time to coordinate with Brazilian HR on initiating the necessary pre-approvals. In addition, it is recommended to coordinate with your global immigration supplier and mobility suppliers the necessary immigration formalities that will be required to secure such things as Brazilian bank accounts, accommodations and the clearing household goods into Brazil during this extraordinary sporting event.
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