Supplying Brazilian Events: Immigration Focus

Recent changes to visa requirements for companies providing goods and services to Brazil for major events are outlined for MEI readers by Matthew Amoils, director, ASG Immigration.

In 2016, Brazil is set to host the biggest sporting event of them all, the Olympic Games. Brazil will also host another of the world’s biggest sporting events in 2014, the FIFA World Cup. Annually, Brazil hosts the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, and of course, the Rio Carnival. In addition to international visitors coming to watch these major events and experience Brazil’s vibrant culture, there are many visitors arriving for the purpose of temporarily supplying goods or services to the spectators, event participants, journalists and others.

Brazil’s Visa Requirements

The requirement to obtain a Visit visa before travelling to Brazil depends on a person’s nationality. This is basically a question of reciprocity. US citizens, for example, must apply in advance for a visa, while citizens of the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and many other European countries receive a 90 day visa at the airport on arrival. A significant development has recently been announced with regard to visitors from the EEA. As of 26 November 2012, a reciprocal arrangement now allows for citizens of the 26 Schengen agreement countries to only spend up to 90 days visa free in Brazil in any 180 day period. This is due to the uniform entry conditions imposed on Brazilian nationals entering the Schengen Agreement State areas. The UK and Republic of Ireland are not part of this agreement so British and Irish nationals may still in certain circumstances be allowed to visit Brazil for periods of up to six months at a time, in accordance the way Brazilian nationals are treated in these two countries.

Those planning to conduct business for example making sales visits or negotiating potential deals should declare their intentions and apply for a Business Visit visa. Foreign workers either on a short or long term contract who will be remunerated by a Brazilian entity must apply for a Temporary Work visa, which are normally issued for two years. Applications for this visa must be made in advance at Brazilian consular posts. There is a separate Visit visa category for journalists, film crew and photographers, and another separate category for news correspondents.

Where a service is provided to a Brazilian company on a contract basis and the work is of a technical nature, the Technical Assistance visa can be granted to allow work for a period of up to one year. A training plan for the technology transfer is required and the individual must have at least three years of experience. For short-term visits, a 90-day option is available with simplified criteria and streamlined processing requirements.

Brazil’s Visa Requirements for Suppliers for Large-Scale Events

Towards the end of November 2012 the government of Brazil finally announced some highly anticipated changes to its Immigration Regulations explaining how it will introduce special visa arrangements for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympics, in addition to its current visa categories relating to entry for major events. The main requirement of the Professional Artists and Sportsman visa is that, like the Temporary Work visa, the Ministry of Labour approves the athlete’s work contract. With events the scale of the FIFA World Cup and the Olympics, the following special arrangements will be made at least for athletes and those directly connected to the competition.

A newly published ‘Resolution’ will introduce streamlined work permit application requirements. A new facility for priority processing will also be introduced for certain eligible foreign nationals who will be filing applications for work visas in connection with the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. The Ministry of Labour is in charge of this process and it has stated that it plans on dispensing with two very onerous parts of the work permit application conditions, namely, the evidence that is required to demonstrate the relevance of an applicant’s prior education and work experience and how this is necccessary for the role to be performed on assignment in Brazil. All that the Ministry will require is genuine evidence of the employee’s role being directly related to work involving the planning, construction and delivery of the FIFA World Cup and Olympics Games. It is anticipated (and hoped!) that the usual work permit processing time of approximately six weeks will be reduced to as little as one week. An online portal for Brazilian employers who are sponsoring foreign workers to file these applications electronically, instead of by paper forms and in-person submission is expected to simplify the process significantly.

Other recently announced changes include the ability of Brazilian employers to file successive work permit applications without having to wait for a 90 day period to elapse.

For most businesses with an eye on having a presence at major events coming up in Brazil, entry arrangements will most likely remain essentially the same as that discussed above for short-term entry and standard work. Persons supplying goods or services to bodies closely related to the running of an event, for example directly supplying services to an event organising body, would most likely be facilitated. The Temporary Work visa discussed above also allows a visa to be granted to persons supplying a service to the Brazilian government - this application process is perhaps likely to be facilitated in the case of the FIFA World Cup and particularly the Olympics.

Needless to say, companies wishing to supply a service or goods at a major event in Brazil who are not closely associated with an organising or government body are advised to commence planning their immigration arrangements well in advance.

This article is not intended to be a complete statement of the law relating to the subject matter. Advice should always be taken on specific matters and no responsibility can be accepted by ASG Immigration Limited for action taken based on the content of this article.

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