Job search in Brazil demand more than the Brazil work permit and just the obvious Brazil cover letter and Brazil CV writing and translation – they require thorough preparation. You will be confronted with problems that in all probability did not even cross your mind when you become interested in jobs in Brazil.
Do not take too lightly the influence a Brazil work permit can have on the final result of your adventure! For example, you will experience the unfamiliar immigration rules and practices, strange job application procedures, bizarre job selection trends and weird management culture.
Most visits to Brazil are trouble-free but you should be aware of the risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by expatriates and foreign travellers like restaurants, hotels, clubs and shopping areas. In recent years, the Brazilian authorities have carried out a number of investigations and operations against terrorist networks.
You should exercise a high level of security awareness and monitor local news broadcasts and consular messages. Making local contacts quickly and seeking support from other expatriates will greatly increase your comfort and safety.
Passport and Brazil Work Permit
To enter Brazil, a valid passport is required by all nationals. The passport must be valid for at least six months beyond the date of departure from Brazil and must have no less than one free page for necessary stamps upon arrival and departure.
Brazil Work Permit/Visa
Brazil has high unemployment and visitors who enter the country as tourists are not legally allowed to take jobs and engage in business or academic activities. Working without an appropriate visa is illegal. If caught, you may be subject to imprisonment, a fine and/or deportation. You may also be barred from re-entry to Brazil.
If you intend to work in Brazil, you will have to apply for both a Brazil visa and a work permit. Submit your application well before you leave for Brazil to a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in your home country.
Who can apply for a temporary work visa?
- Foreign workers and service providers (with or without a contract of employment with a Brazilian company);
- Geologists, engineers, and other specialized professionals providing consulting services must apply for a temporary visa V and not for a business visa (see technical assistance below);
- Professors, technologists, highly qualified researchers or scientists intending to carry out activities in a teaching, technology or research institution (private or public);
- Provision of services to a Brazilian government agency/organization under a contract or an international agreement;
- Professional training (internship) without an employment contract immediately after completion of a university degree or professional schooling;
- Foreign teacher intending to come to Brazil for training in foreign language teaching provided that the remuneration is derived entirely from abroad;
- Work under a Brazilian-ruled employment contract;
- An employee of a foreign company allowed into the country as an intern at a subsidiary or Brazilian branch provided that the foreign company abroad pays them.
- A foreigner who comes to Brazil without employment bond with a national company to transfer technology and/or to provide technical assistance, arising from a contract, cooperation agreement or arrangement between a foreign legal entity and a Brazilian entity.
- Technical assistance: contact the Brazilian company and ask them to apply for a permit from the Ministry of Labor; once it is approved, you will be eligible to apply for a Temporary Visa V through our office;
- Professional athlete, as defined by law, with employment contract;
- A foreigner working for a transnational economic group, whose company’s headquarters is in Brazil, to perform technical-operational or administrative work without an employment contract;
- Crew members and other oil/gas specialists providing services within Brazilian waters;
- Crew members serving aboard a fishing vessel chartered by a Brazilian company;
- Crew members or other professionals performing paid activities aboard cruise vessels along the Brazilian coast or inland waters;
- Crew members for foreign vessels travelling to Brazil to operate in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction, as required by a charter, services or risk contract with a Brazilian company;
- Medical residence.
How to apply for a temporary work visa:
STEP 1 – At the ministry of labour in Brazil:
- Before you submit your application package to the Consulate General, the Brazilian company inviting or hiring you must request a permit directly in Brazil through the Ministry of Labor (Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego – MTE).
- Once you obtain the permit, you will be eligible to apply for a visa; please do not send any document before obtaining the permit from the Ministry of Labor.
STEP 2 – At the Consulate General of Brazil in your home country:
Once you have been granted a permit, you may submit your application package to our office. You must provide the following documents:
- The Consulate of Brazil requires a web-based visa application form online.
- Print out, complete and sign the one-page “visa form delivery receipt”,
- Gather the documents required for the visa that you are applying for,
- Your passport with remaining validity of a minimum of 6 months,
- Visa form delivery receipt,
- One recent 2×2″ size photo:
- Photo of the front face, taken against a plain off-white or white background,
- Only professionally taken photos are accepted. Scanned pictures are not accepted,
- It does not need to be signed on the back,
- Please glue the photo to the application form covering the box in between bar codes. Do not staple it and do not use tape.
- The photo was taken within the past 6 months,
- Police clearance certificate (non-fingerprint, name check only) from local police,
- Appropriate fee,
- Submit your application package to the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate nearest to your place of residence (by mail, third party or in-person).
Anybody who wants to work in Brazil needs a work permit (Autorização de Trabalho) and anyone applying for such a document must obtain the appropriate visa (Vista). Work visas are issued by the Consular office of the applicant’s home country under the authority of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministério das Relações Exteriores).
Your future employer will have to apply for the work permit and submit your CV, certificates, documents stating your education and work experience and a certified copy of your passport at the General Coordination for Immigration of the Ministry of Labor (Coordenação de Imigração do Ministério de Trabalho).
The prospective employer will inform you of the documents required according to the specific type of contract. Once the contract has been authorized, the Embassy will be notified and the visa can then be issued.
The Brazilian Consulate will notify foreign nationals of their acceptance. It takes roughly two months to process the permit and is valid for two years. Requirements for the work permit mandate that the expatriate must receive at least a portion of the salary in Brazil and must pay the appropriate taxes within Brazil.
Usually, foreign employees will obtain a temporary work visa, which will initially be issued for two years. An extension for another two years can be requested no later than 30 days before the visa’s expiration. After this four-year period, the company can apply for a permanent work visa. An expatriate holding a temporary visa is not allowed to change employers in Brazil without permission.
Work visas and work permits are usually only issued to foreigners whose future employer is a registered Brazilian company. However, there are various and quite confusing exclusions and separate treatments to this, e.g. for technical assistance or professional cases. To make sure you get the right visa for your individual situation, ask for assistance at a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate or download the “Procedure Guide”for work permits provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Labor and Employment.
When you are in Brazil – applying for a work visa can be a very tough and exhausting process.
It is not easy to obtain a work visa and a work permit in Brazil. There are numerous different visa types and they are all linked to certain conditions
If you decide to take the bumpy road and look for a job after arriving in Brazil, you will have to prepare for low-paid jobs.
Although you are not allowed to work in Brazil without a proper work visa, language schools usually do not ask for one. It is not unusual for foreigners to find English-teaching work in language schools. In fact, some language schools prefer foreigners not to have a visa, as this means they can pay you in cash and avoid taxes. The pay is not great, but you can still live on it. For this kind of work, it is always helpful to speak some Portuguese, although some schools insist that only English be spoken in class. Private language tutoring may pay a little more, but you will have to do some legwork to get students. There will be many jobs like this available, but be aware that working without a work visa is illegal and there are many risks involved.
Be cautious of frauds. Many agencies and recruiters take advantage of the problematic job situation for foreigners and provide very tempting job offers, which eventually turn out to be false. Do not pay money for any services, as this is always a sure sign of fraud!
Foreigner’s job applications in Brazil usually land at the bottom of the CV pile. This is due to the restrictions the companies have to follow or the fact that native workers are very qualified and they know the language and the country.
If, however, you are coming to Brazil to do some casual work and enjoy the beautiful country for the rest of the day, you will probably learn that this kind of work is not as easy in comparison to Europe or the USA. This is partly due to the high unemployment rate but also to the extremely low payment – in many cases so low that you probably would not accept this kind of work.
The most effective method of finding a job is to walk in and ask. However, most Brazilian employers, who are subject to heavy fines if they hire illegally, will not offer a job to a foreigner who does not possess a valid Brazil work permit.
Temporary jobs like a work “on black” will never qualify you for a work permit. Furthermore, such unofficial employment can quite often lead to exploitative working conditions. If caught, you may be subject to imprisonment, a fine and/or deportation or even banned from the country.
Contact the Consulate or Embassy of Brazil in your home country for further information about Brazil work permit