Thursday, June 5, 2008

Getting legal in Brazil

I have some business to settle regarding the ability to stay in Brazil legally and obtaining permission to work. My tourist visa allowed for an initial 3 months time in the country. That was my window in which to line up a plan to qualify for a Permanent Resident Visa.

Actually – I did my research before we left San Francisco and started getting the necessary paperwork together back then. This article at gringos.com helped show the way for how Luiz can sponsor me for a permanent visa based on our relationship. This is not a federal recognition by Brazil that we are domestic partners and thus Luiz can bring his partner into the country to stay. Rather, it is a law that simply states that if you are part of a “stable union” regardless of gender (aka: gay or straight) the Brazilian can sponsor their partner for a permanent resident visa. So I used this law to help get the necessary documents in order.

Once here, during our initial 3 month window, we got a GREAT referral from our friend Sonia Peyroton (who designed and built Luiz’s Flor de Luiz website) to a lawyer Mariangela Moreira who specializes in Brazilian immigration law. In fact, she is THE lawyer in Niterói for these matters.

During one of our visits to her offices, while we were discussing the use of the Stabel Union law, Mariangela had a question about a change to the law she remembered had happened recently -- she called the top federal police immigration guy in Niterói on his cell phone to get a clarification. Friendly chit chat -- got the answer. We are definitely in good hands.

So at this point we have extended my tourist visa for another three months, we have obtained for me a CPF number (like a Social Security number) so I can open a bank account, etc., we have pulled together most of our case presenting Luiz and I in a “stable union” and how I will be an asset to Brazil and even if I'm not Luiz will take responsibility. Now we are about to send it all off to Brazilia for processing.

Once my case is in the system I will get a process number and then all time limits for my temporary tourist visa are suspended. That is, the bureaucrats in Brazilia are free to take as long as they like (I’m told it could be 9 – 16 months!) to process our request and I will remain legally in the country. With the process number I will be able to follow my case on the government website. Like watching paint dry, I'm sure.

Then – once I get a permanent resident visa it comes with the right to legally work in Brazil.

Fingers crossed.

1 comment:

Mathieu said...

Hi there,
I am doing exactly the same thing as you. I joined my partner in Brazil on the 5th of November and I had pretty much all the documents required. We are going to the federal police next week to hand everything in.
You say it can take up to 16 months before obtaining the visa! I can see you wrote this in June 2008. Are you still waiting?
Cheers Mathieu