Permanencia through União Estável

Just a quick follow-up as I have now had my meeting to apply for the união estável. Everything was dealt with on the day and I now have that stamp in my passport, and just await the issue of the card 
To start the meeting the PF guy asked several unnecessary questions of myself and my wife. Where did we meet, had she been to England, and had she met my family ?  After that, he stuck with what was on the list.   The Cartorio document for the uniao estavel was quite sufficient, so I did not need any other proofs of our union existing for more than one year, as that was certified in the document, so I could in fact have done the process over a year ago, although I would then have come under the old procedures, and would still be waiting a home visit, etc.
One interesting thing Was that after the guy had run through his list of the required documents I told him that there was one more thing on the list on the PF's website which he had not asked for. This was the proof of my wife's financial means to support me if necessary. I had brought this along and he took it, but did not think it was necessary, which kind of confirms James' view that this is still on the list because they have forgotten to change the site. Anyway, it is apparently not on their own internal list.
The only other potential hitch was that as soon as he saw my police certificate, which was
100 days old since it's issue, he said that it had to be within 90 days old. This pissed me off rather as I had gone there 2 weeks before and confirmed with 3 people senior to him that the stamp of the Consulate in January effectively stopped the time period. Anyway, he accepted it and didn't expect it to be a problem.
So, once again, thank you James, and to everyone else who passed on their knowledge and experience.

Hi Leslie,

Congratulations, glad to hear that all went smoothly with your application.

You're quite correct, once a document is legalized by the Consulado-Geral do Brasil the clock stops, it remains valid. I used my Certified Criminal Record Check 4 years after it had been legalized and it didn't raise an eyebrow. The only thing they asked for was an additional check from Brazil since I had been here all that time.

The declaration of financial support is a vestige of the OLD PROCEDURES that didn't get changed, simply overlooked is my guess. It was required under the old process since, unlike applying for permanency through marriage or Brazilian child which carried the automatic right to obtain one's work permit and work for a living, the "união estável" application did not. Applicants were forced to wait until they were actually granted permanency, which in some cases took 2 years or more. This is why the Federal Police Agent wasn't worried about it since it's redundant now.

James   Expat-blog Experts Team

Thanks for sharing Leslie and for the knowledge James.


Quick question, how does one make an appointment with the FP to put in your application?

thanks in advance,

Hi mickwoc,

The whole process is done online at the Policia Federal website.

Fill out all the online information, making absolutely certain not to make any spelling mistakes in names. Then generate, print off and pay the necessary GRUs (3 of them). Part of the process is to make an appointment. Some smaller cities actually will not show appointment availablility, in which case you complete all the steps and then after paying the GRUs just go to the Regional Superintendency of the Federal Police in that city (or jurisdiction).

For more information regarding documents etc.: … ao-estavel

James      Expat-blog Experts Team

Thats a great help thank James. One other thing, if the date for my appointment is set for after my (already extended) tourist visa expires, can you see that being an issue with the FP, would i pay the over days or could it be a more serious problem?

In that case the Federal Police allow you to come in well before the appointment and the expiry of your visa and they'll just fit you in somewhere. 

Just remember that the relationship must be at least ONE YEAR in duration, that must be proven by the documents they require (all of which must be at least one year old).

If my partner and I got a civil union in the USA, would that document need to be at least one year old or could we get a the stable union there, then fly to Brazil the next week and apply without having to produce any of the other documents?

Yes, all documents must be one year old to prove the relationship has been in existence for the minimum one year period.

James      Expat-blog Experts Team

"The Civil Union issued in the USA would be enough and it is not necessary to have one year old.

In other words, we would not need any other documents to prove, at least one year (as would happen if you issue a Declaration of Stable Union, here in Brazil). 

We cannot specify the charges because in both cases, we cannot help you issue this document.

Our services is to help you to request your permanency here in Brazil, once you have the declaration of Civil Union issued here in Brazil or United States of America.

Should you have any question, please let me know."

I received this from an immigration law firm specializing in Permanent Visas in SP this morning.  Thoughts?

If they say the US Civil Union certificate is sufficient then I guess it is, of course this presumes that your partner is a Brazilian citizen or permanent resident. You will need to have it translated into Portuguese by a sworn translator (tradutor juramentado) here in Brazil. You can actually apply for permanency yourself it's really not necessary to use a visa agency. The process it not all that complicated if you have all the documents.

James   Expat-blog Experts Team

Hi all,

Because I read this post some time ago and others on this topic, I feel obliged to post our experience in hope of helping other people who want to go down this route of Uniao Estavel instead of marriage, in order to get a partner visa.

To clear up some things, we are both EU nationals, she had a temp work visa in Brazil, I entered as a tourist and we registered our uniao estavel at a local cartorio (notary). Costed about 100 reais to do this and took a couple of hours including waiting in line. You need two witnesses, we had two brazilian friends present.

After reading some contradictory information, we based our application on the idea that the Uniao estavel we registered at the notary in Brazil, would be sufficient for us to get the visa as it would qualify for this point:
Comprovação de união estável emitida por juízo competente no Brasil ou autoridade correspondente no exterior;

We got to the Policia Federal where we found out that our certificate was not in the above category but only in this one: Apresentação de certidão ou documento similar emitido por autoridade de registro civil nacional, ou equivalente estrangeiro; This meant we also needed other documents as proof from the list which we did not have at that time.

After analysing our options and consulting two lawyers with our chances we paid for one of them 2500 reais, for us to go to court in front of a judge to proove our civil union, thus obtaining the needed document, mentioned first.

The judge decided to judge us based on the civil code in our EU country and as civil unions do not exist yet in our home country laws, she decided that she could not pass any judgement. We also lost the appeal.

So I had to leave after the 90 days and that was it, money lost on greedy lawyers that will tell you there is hope when in fact they know there is none, just so they get paid. Of course, our lawyer did not speak a word of English either.

This was our experience with a local register civil union, which was useless in our case for my visa. We are no longer in Brazil, which we felt has more negatives (especially personal safety) than positives (weather, food and fruits, beaches) but this is off topic. Any questions welcomed.

We are trying to get our money out of Brazil which is difficult, I could only find Moneycorp that can take reales out of Brazil. If you know other options please post or message. If anyone needs to transfer money into Brazil, I can recommend TransferWise which has recently opened this option. gives you your first transfer for free up to 3 grand. (it is a ref link but I am recommending them based on my experience and that I found they have best rates.)

Having not long ago successfully gone through the process, with a lot of help from James, I do remember him saying at one stage that as the Cartorios are owned by Judges, the stable Union certificate has effectively been issued by a "juiz competente".  I may be wrong, but I think most of your problem stems from the fact that the stable Union process can only be used to validate a visa for the partner of a Brasilian citizen or permanent resident. (See James's second post above of May 27).
I don't think a stable Union between 2 foreigners who otherwise have no right to stay here would help. If that was the case, any couple married outside Brasil could just come here and get visas.

She had a temporary (2 years) work visa at that moment. And the police was clear, that Uniao estavel we had registered in Brazil was this category  Apresentação de certidão ou documento similar emitido por autoridade de registro civil nacional, ou equivalente estrangeiro;  I had the law bill printed with me and that's what happened.

Initially, I also thought a cartorio would qualify as juiz competente, like you are saying but it did not and we lost our case, because we did not have the other documents requested as proof. There was no point for the lawyer either, to try to go to a judge, in our case as described above.

We also had a rent contract in our names in Brazil but only one month old so not too helpful in our case.


Does anyone have any recent experience with the Queing/Delays in Policia Federal in Lapa Sao Paulo, are the delays long if going without an appointment? Do they have a ticket system so I might leave get some more documents notorized and return?

Thanks in advance

At Lapa they won't even look at you if you haven't made the online appointment first. Don't waste your time trying. They have hundreds of people crammed into the space all of the time and the staff are always irritable.

Also, you're much better off if you make absolutely certain all of your documents are exactly right and all notarized beforehand or you wind up back at the end of the que if you have to go out to a Cartório. It is without a doubt the absolutely worst place to deal with the Federal Police in all of Brazil.

One thing about Lapa, and I can tell you this from personal experience, are not Federal Police Agents. They are contracted civilian employees who don't know their arse from their elbow, so you'll never get straight answers and they're likely to screw things up. If you do ask them a question they go running off to find the answer (usually wrong anyway) and take forever to return to the window.

Good luck!!!

James     Expat-blog Experts Team

I attempted to make an appointment last time but when i arrived for it they said the appointment system was not in use for Uniao Estavel process.

So i've no choice by looks of things.

Once you have all your documents in order and you go to the PF, how long does it take? Do they take your passport off of you?

I may have to make an emergency trip back to the UK, and I'm wondering if it's better to wait and just reenter on a tourist visa or apply and use the protocol

Mine was all dealt with on the day and I left the PF with the visa stamp in the passport and just waited a few weeks for the RNE card.
(See my post on this thread of 15 March 2015).

You won't lose your passport and you should travel using your protocol .

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