There are only three ways for getting permanent residency in Brazil which are basically the love, sex and money ways! The first is to get married to a Brazilian citizen, the second is to get a Brazilian citizen pregnant and the third is to invest R$150,000 into a Brazilian company. Here I’m documenting the marriage process which applies to me.
Note that a Civil Union is a much easier process, but it is no good for the purpose of residency, you must do a proper marriage. Also, the process requires a great deal of bureaucracy which can take many months to complete, so if you limited to six months then it’s best to get the procedure start as soon as possible. If you delay, you may end up having an even more difficult procedure to go through as you’ll either have to leave and come back again, or authorise another person to marry on your behalf (a “proxy”) and pay an over-stayers fine of up to R$800.
Marriage in Brazil requires a Certificate of No Impediment to Marriage which for New Zealand citizens an application for this certificate can be downloaded as PDF from here. This costs $122.60 and could take up to two months to arrive.
A current birth certificate must also be supplied. The form for requesting a new Zealand birth certificate can be downloaded as PDF from here. This costs NZ$31.50 including courier to a New Zealand address, and will take around a week to arrive.
Note that there is a 90 day time limit starting from the date of the first certificate by which time the entire process must be completed. Since the birth certificate is much quicker than the No Impediment to Marriage certificate, it’s best to wait until the latter one has arrived before requesting the former.
Both certificates must then be authenticated in New Zealand for $65 and then notorised in the Brazilian consulate in Wellington for about $???. They must then be sent to Brazil and officially translated. We got out NZ documents officially translated by Versão Brasileira who were very well priced and got the job done really quickly. They charged R$140 for translating both the No Impediment to Marriage and the birth certificate.
The translations must then be notorised in an office called “Cartório de títulos e documentos” for about R$150. You don’t need the original documents to get the official translation done, you can use scans or even faxes for this. First take the notorised translations to Cartório de distribicão and for R$25 they will pass them to the correct office (you still don’t need the originals at this stage) where they’ll be sent to Cartório de títulos e documentos to be notorised for you. When they notify you that the translations are notorised and ready to pick up, that’s when you’ll need to show them the originals.
Once all these items are complete, you can then both file these documents with two witnesses present and book a date for the wedding in the same place a month later. You need to wait for a month because the processing of the filed forms can take up to that long. The marriage form processing, ceremony and witness authentication costs around R$250.
After the wedding you’ll then have the final form required to go to the Federal Police and apply for residency. You’ll probably need to go there and get some forms and then book an appointment to go back and actually file the forms for the residency application. Once filed, these can take another three to six months to process (and there’s still a slim chance you may be declined, depending in your country and other details such as criminal record). You’ll be given a temporary identification card that you can use to travel with during the time your application is being processed.
The Federal Police will come and visit at some time randomly between a week and two months after your application to check that you and your partner are indeed living together in a proper relationship.
Marriage by Proxy
If you are unable to do the marriage before your visa expires then you’ll need to authorise a “proxy” – someone you know and trust to marry your partner on your behalf. You can assign your proxy in a Brazilian consulate – the proxy person doesn’t need to be present for this. The marriage will require your passport or a notorised copy of you passport.
Note that even though you need a proxy to attend the wedding on your behalf, you may actually still be in the country as an over-stayer (but you must not attend the wedding unless you’re in disguise!). Being an over-stayer means you can’t travel by plane, and you’ll need to pay a fine of R$8 per day (or R$800 maximum) when you go to the Federal Police after the marriage to apply for your residency. If you have no entry-stamp in your passport to determine the amount of time you’ve over-stayed you’ll be charged the R$800 maximum. Although travelling by plane is a problem as an over-stayer, you can easily leave and enter the country by bus without stamping your passport, it’s not compulsory at all to get it stamped.
Unfortunately a problem’s occurred in my residency process 🙁 The Federal Police come to visit at some point after getting the temporary ID so they can assess the relationship to ensure it’s legitimate. The problem is that they’ve been going on strike a lot over pay issues or something which meant that they took over two months to come and visit instead of the two weeks they said they’d take, but when they finally came we weren’t there because we’d moved to Canela. We’d advised them that we were going to be moving, but it looks like that had got lost in the pipeline due to the strikes as well! so now the head office in Brasília has been notified that we’ve failed the assessment.
We talked to the Federal Police in Caxias do Sul and they advised us that we can get our status reassessed by waiting until my current failed assessment shows up in the official journal, Pesquisa Jornais do Dia, and then go back to Caxias with evidence that we’ve moved and go through the relationship assessment process again!
The rejection notice was published in the Diário Oficial da União on March 15, so we’ll be going to Caxias to find out what the next hoops to jump through are!
Trying again in Caxias 2013 – too difficult!
We tried to go to Caxias to begin the process of reaffirming our relationship status after we were rejected for not being there when they came to check us at home, but 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.
Trying again in Curitiba 2014
The process become a lot easier on September 1st 2014, where now you can just get it all completed in one day after filling in this form, and making an appointment with the federal police. So one good thing about getting shot on September 3rd was that it made us quickly decide to get the residency process under way again, and we were one of the first in line for the new process 🙂 They’re still very busy though so the appointment was set for October 16th, but at least this ridiculous procedure of effectively being under house arrest for a month has finally been done away with!
Success! Eu sou quase um verdadeiro brasileiro!
Oba! Today (16th October 2014) we went to my residency appointment with the Federal Police in Curitiba and everything went smoothly and I got my new ID on the spot! Unfortunately I had to pay the R$800 illegal over-stayers fine for the second time! The girl told us that if I had written in within three months of being declined last time and said I was going to try again then I wouldn’t have had to pay the fine again, but nobody told us that! This ID is much better than the last one because it’s a permanent one and I can leave the country any time and re-enter without any problems, and I can use this ID for travelling within Brazil instead of my passport 🙂
Unfortunately the photo on my ID is pretty bad! The guy who took my finger prints mentioned that I looked really different with short hair, and I said that I should have taken the photo after I got my hair cut – he said “yes you really should have” 😀
Another things that got easier when the residency process was simplified was the naturalisation process. Now you can apply for naturalisation just one year after becoming a permanent resident, which means you can become a proper Brazilian citizen and have a passport very quickly now.