Saturday, December 20, 2008

Permanet Resident Visa - signed, sealed, delivered

OK – now it is totally official and final. My passport has been stamped with a PERMANENT RESIDENT visa and I have a Carteira de Trabalho from the Ministéro do Trabalho (a workbook from the Work Ministry.)

(Rainbow strip to cover my ID numbers)

Pop open some Champaign. Pretty good process overall. I got my papers and right to work in less than a year. We worked with a friend of a friend -- who just happens to be the president of the most experienced and well connected legal firm assisting foreigners with visas in Niterói. Her multimillion dollar company’s stock and trade are the many oil companies that work out of Rio and Niterói. Plus she gave us a 50% discount for being queer friends of her queer friend (at least some times being gay works to our advantage!)

I’ve posted before about the paperwork involved, but I want to describe here our final trip to the Federal Police (FP) office where everything had to come together to the satisfaction of the agent there who would then issue the visa.

A representative of the law office took my file and myself to the Federal Police office. After a not-so-long wait our number was called. We were at the FP office in Niterói, so the wait is typically less than at the similar office in Rio.

The agent was very sharp and super meticulous. He quickly assessed my paperwork and began pushing back against the application at every point there seemed to be a problem: The publication date of my approved process was well past the 90 days tourist visa expiration date. We pointed out that I had gotten a 90 day extension to the tourist visa. He located that stamp in my passport and then noted that even with the additional 90 days my timing was still off. We then noted that we had submitted my application PRIOR to the expiration of my visa extension, so any delays thereafter were a result of Brazilian processing, not my overstaying my visa.

He understood that was OK but needed proof of the date we filed. This was a problem. We should have brought proof – and it should have been in the computer. The screen in front of him had all my entry and exit info, but did not include the date my process was received and initiated.

So we got bounced from the window to go get proof of this information. He was not willing to take our word for it (naturally). So Jefferson, my lawyer’s representative, got on the phone and tracked down the needed information from the law office. We stepped back to the window, provided the information and he was then able to look it up via another route.

With all p’s and q’s in the right place the stamps started flying, papers got embossed, they took my fingerprints, I provided two more photos of myself, and with a smile the Federal Police agent congratulated me and handed over my documents. (ID card will be ready in 90 days or so.)

I called Luiz and said I thought we should go out for sushi to celebrate!

Now with visa in hand we went to the local Ministéro do Trabalho office to get a workbook - you cannot get a (legal) job without one. We sat in another line. It was pretty fast overall, but VERY typical old school bureaucracy. No computers, just two workers sitting behind a table taking people one at a time to issue workbooks.

When I was up the worker pulled out a blank form and blank book, hand wrote a couple pages of information, glued more of my pictures to both the form and the book, then ceremoniously smacked the completed book onto the tabletop. Done. And surprisingly – no fee.

Just in time too – I had quit my job the day before! More on that in another post.

1 comment:

ppereira said...

Yoo- Hoo!!!!! Congratulations Jim!! That's a great X-Mas gift!! Enjoy the holidays!!! Hope you find another job soon too! ;)