Visiting Brazil: Immigration

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The visa requirements for companies providing goods and services to Brazil are outlined for MEI readers by ASG Immigration's Cameron Stone and Emdoc's Daniela Lima.

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. Major sporting events are big business. For the World Cup and the Olympics, Brazil will invest far more on general infrastructure than on the stadiums themselves. There are various estimates of how much these two events might generate in terms of business opportunity. Estimates for World Cup related investment range from $30bn to $55bn, whilst planners for the Olympics speak of $14bn of event–related business and infrastructure spending, which does not include general private–sector investment. FIRJAN, the Rio State Industry Federation, has estimated that Rio state could receive total investment of $120bn up to 2016, including general private investment. General visa requirements for large–scale eventsEntry requirements for people providing goods and services at major events can vary significantly for different countries. Work permission is generally required if a person is to work in a foreign country, however short periods of work can sometimes be allowed on Visit (non–work) visas. It is also the case that special arrangements are sometimes made for large–scale events. 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. 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. All foreign workers who hold senior management positions in a limited liability company must be legal residents. There is a separate Visit visa category for journalists, film crew and photographers, and another separate category for news correspondents. Business Visit visas holders are allowed to attend business meetings, conferences and other activities related to new business opportunities in Brazil. 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. In terms of the General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS), Brazil is a signatory country and the streamlined arrangements for the entry of skilled technicians providing a service to a Brazilian entity, as described above, reflect this. In terms of other international agreements which facilitate movement of skilled persons, the 'Mercosur' Regional Trade Agreement (also known as the Southern Common Market) has provisions for the movement of people within member countries. As a result Brazil has simplified procedures in place for citizens of Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay relating to obtaining residence and work permission. Brazil's visa requirements for suppliers for large–scale events Whilst it is too early for Brazil to have developed any special visa arrangements for the 2014 FIFA World Cup or 2016 Olympics, there are 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 World Cup and the Olympics, it is likely that special arrangements will be made at least for athletes and those directly connected to the competition. 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 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. About the authorsCameron Stone works for ASG Immigration Limited in London and advises on global immigration as their International Specialist. He is a qualified Australian immigration adviser (MARN 0853023) and can be contacted on +44 20 7299 3330 or via e–mail at cameron@asgvisa. com. Daniela Lima is a lawyer and partner of Emdoc, a firm that provides immigration consulting services for more than 25 years. Having worked for nine years in the immigration field, she is a global mobility specialist (GMS) for Employee Relocation Council. Daniela has delivered several seminars in the immigration and global relocation, including Employee Relocation Council (ERC), American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA) and International Bar Association (IBA) conventions. She has been a panelist in these seminars both in Brazil and internationally. Daniela can be contacted on + 55 21 2252 2775 or via e–mail at daniela. lima@emdoc. comThis 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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