We got up at six thirty on Monday morning so we could catch an early bus to Caxias and get the residency bureaucracy out of the way – or so we hoped – but unfortunately the process there is just absolute insanity!
The room is filled with stressed shouting and crying people, only five people per day are processed, and they need to have obtained (in person) a password to get service, and due to the massive demand for these passwords, you need to be there as early as 2am! Even if you do arrive at that time, you’re still quite likely to miss out, so if you’re from another city you’re out of luck, you need to find accommodation close to the federal police and keep trying until you get a password. When you do finally get a password you need to wait most of the day in the crowded room for your number to show – because if you’re not there when your password is called, you have to go through it all over again! If you do manage to finally get processed then you’re effectively under house arrest until they come to check on you and your partner because if they show up and either of you are not there (perhaps at work, shopping or going for a short walk) then you’ll fail and have to go through the whole process again!!!
The process is worst in the small cities (and I suspect in the large crowded cities too), so my advice is that if you’re planning to go through this process, settle down for at least six months in a medium sized, well organised city such as Brasília or Curitiba as the federal police in those cities are more organised and helpful – although they’ll still fail you if you’re not there when they arrive. We’ve decided to put our process on hold because we’ll be going to Brasília reasonably soon to visit Beth’s parents, so our plan is to stay a little longer than originally intended and get this process sorted out there instead.