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Permanent Visa Civil Union from Abroad and not your country of origin

I'm an American but have been an expat in Switzerland for the last 6 years. I have been living with my Brazilian partner here since 2008. In 2012, we finally decided to enter in a Civil Union, which is official here.

My question to anyone is to whether you think it is an issue that I am an American outside of his country of origin and doing the process from Switzerland? I mention this because all my supporting documents will be from here because I have my life here, i.e.:

Registered civil union in the Swiss civil status registry
Background check/criminal record from Switzerland
Declared statement that I am single in the U.S. and thus able to be in a civil union (sworn at the U.S. Consulate) Is this the right statement to make because in my home state civil union's are not recognized and thus I am single??

Do you think they will raise an issue because the documents are not from my country of origin, the USA, but unfortunately I'm not there to do all these documents and my life is here in Switzerland?

Also, do you think in addition to normal documents I should submit a supporting document-- a certificate of residence showing how long I have been living in Switzerland?

Thanks much to anyone who can be of assistance in advance for your help.

All the best

No, the fact that the country where you apply for the visa is not your country of origin has no bearing whatsoever on the process. It just makes the logistics a bit more complex because you are now going to need documents legalized by Brazilian Consulates in two different countries (documents must be legalized by the Consulate in the country where they were issued).

As long as your civil/stable union is at least of one year in duration then you're all set. You use the Swiss documents that prove the relationship and get those legalized by the Consulate in Switzerland. Your birth certificate, long form which bears the names of your parents will have to be legalized by the Consulate in the USA since the document is issued there.

Note that while the documents proving the stable union MUST BE AT LEAST ONE YEAR OLD to prove the duration of the relationship; your birth certificate MUST HAVE BEEN ISSUED WITHIN THE SIX MONTHS PRIOR TO SUBMITTING TO THE CONSULATE FOR LEGALIZATION. Don't get mixed up because it will only complicate matters.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

William

Sincerely appreciate your response and clarification on the matter.

To answer your question, we have been in a civil union for more than a year so we meet the main requirement.

Additional questions for which I apologize if they have been asked on another forum. I've done due diligence to be informed, but I may have overlooked some forums.

1. Do we really need a copy of brith certificate as you mentioned? I've not read that requirement anywhere and does not appear in the RN 77/08.

2. Since I am applying from abroad, I need to send the documents directly to the MTE / CNIg in Brasilia and circumvent the Policia Federal?  My partner just moved back to Brazil so I would send the documents from my side ("chamado" to him and he will add the documents required by the "chamante", and send the complete application to Brasilia, if I understood correctly.

3. If I am applying from abroad, do I really need to fill out this form (I believe it is what everyone refers to as the Form 334 from the PF? As I am not in Brazil, I don't know how I could possibly able to fill out the part "Dados da entrada no país". http://portal.mj.gov.br/services/Docume … 83539E22%2

4. Do we have to translate a passport?

5. As asked in my original statement, do you think it would be necessary to have an official document that states I live in Switzerland since a certain date, or is it understood that my place of residence is Switzerland, since all my documents are coming from Switzerland (and not the USA), especially the Civil Union Certificate and that my designated place to retrieve the visa is the Brazil Consulate in Geneva?

Thanks again for your help.

A general comment--there are plenty of information/resources for people applying for the permanent visa through civil union within Brazil. I have only found one account for applying from abroad, which is my case, so I think this could be useful for those contemplating doing it from abroad.

All the best,

Hi,

I will try to answer your questions the best I can and in the order given:

1. While the legislation itself does not specifically require the Birth Certificate, it is required for civil marriages and also with all of the immigrations processes they add the caveat "and any other documents that may be deemed necessary" so it could be asked for at any time. Not having it will only delay matters, so I would recommend that you obtain your BC long form get it legalized by the Consulate in the US and have it translated here. Even if you don't need it for this, you will eventually need it for something here in Brazil for sure.

2.  That's correct your documents should be forwarded to the MTE by your partner once he has added all his documentation that is required. Make sure that any photocopies are certified and include the originals. If anything requires notarized signature (firma reconhecida) that must be "por autenticidade" and not "por semelhança" there are two types and PA is the only one acceptable.

3.  Formulário 334 actually applies to the RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro) and Cédula de Identidade Estrangeiro which you will need to apply for within 30 days of arrival in Brazil, so that part you're kind of putting the cart before the horse. You don't need it at all for the visa process. Once you've arrived you go to the Federal Police who maintain the registry of foreigners in Brazil and apply for your registration and ID card.

4. No need to translate the passport, just have certified copies made of all pages (including blank pages).

5.  Nothing "official" is required to state how long you have lived in Switzerland. You must produce "comprovante de endereço" proof of address which can be any utility bill issued in your name for your residential address. Also the documents that are one year old or more that will prove the joint relationship as mentioned clearly establish your residency is in Switzerland. Your origin make no difference.

Hope this has cleared up a lot of things for you.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Indeed it has become clearer and I thank you for your time and attention.

Narrowing the questions down as the details become clearer (I keep the same reference numbers for continuity from above for anyone reading):

3.  Clear on the Form 334. I see now that the link did not paste correctly. Upon arrival to Brazil, my partner went down to local PF to get assistance about the process and they told him that I "o chamado" should fill out this form.

And this is where I am confused as to how the chamado living abroad can fill in the Brazilian address and part about "Dados da entrada no país" if I am still abroad. I think this form is for those already in Brazil and need to extend their visa or legalize their situation. If applying from abroad and through the MTE, perhaps this form is obsolete and the relationship history serves also as a petition for the permanent visa, or is there another form to fill out?

5. Our civil union is recorded in the civil registries in Switzerland (Registro Civil) fulfilling article 2 of the law. Your mention of proof of address together falls under article 3, which is nullified by fulfilment of article 2. I understand that they do reserve the right to request additional supportive information/proof so your argument would be to be prepared for the unexpected.


New questions:

1. Today I made my declaration/affidavit of civil status at the U.S. Consulate. Here is the declaration I made:

Declare, under penalty of law, that I am single in my home state of the United States of America and therefore free to be in a civil union.
Declaro, sob as penas da lei, que sou solteiro no meu estado de origem nos Estados Unidos da America e que estou livre para estar em uma união estável.

It seems contradictory because here in Switzerland my marital status is partenariat enregistré or civil union and NOT single, but I understand that in Brazil it is not the case and the purpose of the declaration is to say that you are single and free to be this relationship, right?

2. When/where do I elect the Brazil Consulate in Geneva as place to retrieve visa?

Thanks again for your patience.

All the best,

First of all the ALWAYS have the right to ask for additional documents in anything they do here in Brazil (and often do so).

The Form 334 has nothing to do with the visa, you WILL however have to fill it out once you've arrived in Brazil when you apply for your RNE and Carteira de Identidade - this process is separate from the visa process, so no it is not obsolete if you apply from abroad. Apples and Oranges.

The proof of address is really for mailing purposes for the process essentially, but still necessary. It's NOT proof of your residency status in the country, just confirmation of where you actually reside.

New question 1.  Your declaration should not even be included as far as I know, what is important for the purpose of the immigration process is the Certificate of the Civil Union issued by the Swiss. Legally there is an ASSUMPTION that no impediments existed to forming that union so the declaration made in the USA should be redundant.

2.  Since I'm a layman and not involved in immigrations I'm not sure if there is an actual process of electing where to receive the visa. I would suggest that you include a letter from you (in Portuguese) with the application you send to MTE requesting that they forward the visa to you via the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Geneva. What you do really depends on the MTE's instructions regarding receipt of the document.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Agree they reserve the right to request additional supporting documents but difficult to foresee.

Agree with you that declaration/affidavit of Single and being in a Civil Union is redundant. I suppose this requirement was but into place because they expected majority of cases to fall under Art. 3, where applicants don’t have their civil union formally registered. In this case they must not only provide all types of documents to prove their status but also make a declaration that they are single and there are no impediments to be in a civil union.

Agree will make a letter as an introduction my application to the MTE / CNIg.

I apologize in advance to insist about a point but as you can imagine I’m disturbed about this Form 334 because if you go to the Ministério da Justiça webpage the first thing they mention under requirements is the the following with a link to Form 334 embedded in it:

Requerimento próprio, devidamente assinado pelo interessado, contendo o histórico da união estável

While it makes since what you say that you fill it out upon arrival because at this point you would have relevant information to respond to part about “dados da entrada no páis”.   My question still remains: Is there not a form for those who are applying from abroad and have not entered the country yet? It seems like there should be a formal application for such a serious process, a form that collects all pertinent information about all parties concerned in civil union.

Thanks again for your help.

Guess you still aren't understanding that the Formulário 334 (which can only be obtained at the Policia Federal headquarters) pertains not to the visa application process, but rather to the application for the RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro) and issuance of the Carteira de Identidade Estrangeiro two processes which can only take place once you've arrived in Brazil. The information in the information package about the 334 is in the event that the application is being made from within Brazil following arrival, by someone who has entered on a Tourist Visa and is seeking to transform visa types. Seeking to prove a stable relationship that exists within Brazil, not one that is officialized legally abroad.

While the VIPER visa process, the RNE and CIE are all related to the permanency process overall, they remain quite separate issues. The Forumlário 334 is not for the visa application from outside of Brazil, per se.

Regarding stable union application:

VIII – declaração, sob as penas da lei, do estado civil do estrangeiro no país de
origem.

Parágrafo único. A critério da autoridade competente, o chamante poderá ser solicitado a apresentar outros documentos.

You do not need any official documents from the USA stating that you were free of impediments to enter the civil union in Switzerland, this is a simple declaration which you do yourself following the model, it must be signed and notarizes. If you wish to clear up any possible misinterpretation it might give I would suggest including the phrase "at the time the civil union was entered into in Switzerland" or something to that effect, which will clearly indicate to the visa officer you are NOT talking about your civil status in Switzerland. I still don't think it is even necessary in your case, but if you feel more secure in including it, just make sure it isn't misunderstood.

Hope you're understanding it a bit more clearly now.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Hi William

It is all clear now about the Form 334 -- it's the regularization upon arrival.

Applying from abroad, there is no application form that assembles all information about both parties concerned. We are supposed to just present it in letter to the MTE / CNIg petitioning for VIPER based on Civil Union?

All the best,

Going back to the birth certificate: When you say long-form you mean it just have to have my parents name on there?

all the best,

Yes, most countries have two kinds of Birth Certificates. The usual one people have is the wallet sized card which show the individual's name, date and place of birth and registration number.

Then the long form, in some countries refered to as Registration of Birth, has all of the information regarding your birth, parents' names, nationality, place, date and time of birth, registration number, etc. In some countries it will also list grandparents' names as well. This is the kind needed for immigrations purposes in Brazil.

Don't forget this document must be legalized by the Brazilian Consulate-General in the country (and area if more than one Consulate) where it was issued. It also must be translated into Portuguese by a notarized translator (tradutor juramentado) here in Brazil.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Oh, NO! William, even though MY situation is different than lekkerbezig's (i.e., MY Civil Union will take place IN BRAZIL, albeit also to a Brazilian-born citizen, but one who is living there even now, and, also, I am a U.S. citizen and living in the U.S. and will until I move to Brazil, BUT I am CUBAN born), my question to you is if I don't ever find my Cuban birth certificate among my personal papers here at home (and I'm STILL LOOKING, trust me!) and I manage to have some family member still living in Cuba get and send me another copy, are you saying that I would need that Birth Certificate LEGALIZED by the Brazil consulate IN CUBA?? I hope not, because I don't even know if there IS a Brazilian Consulate in Cuba. That would be the FIRST pitfall. SO, please respond under BOTH scenarios:

What's your suggestion if I WOULD need it legalized by the Brazilian Consulate in Cuba and

1) there IS a Consulate there, and
2) there is NO Brazilian Consulate there.

Obviosly I hope your answer will be that I would NOT need my Birth Certificate legalized by the Brazilian Consulate in Cuba.
Here's hoping.

Hi lacret60,

Sorry for more bad news... Yes you will need to obtain an original (long form) Birth Certificate from Cuba. It will need to be issued within the previous six months before being submitted to the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Havana for legalization. Yes, there is a Consulate there. Going to be lots of work for you I know.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Thank you for the info AND for your sympathy, my friend. But don't worry, even though I sometimes think I'm a pessimist (and I admit my head is REELING with all I'm finding I need to know and do regarding moving to and getting married in Brazil), my Brazilian lady is very much worth the trouble and generally speaking I find I really tend to be an optimist and always see the bright side of things. For example, I kinda already had a feeling that that was going to be your answer and was not happy about it, BUT at the same time I breathed a sigh of relief when you let me know there IS a Brazilian Consulate in Cuba (because I think I would have been TOTALLY screwed if there WASN'T), and, better yet, in Havana where I already still have a lot of family.

My question to you now, then, is:

1) When you say, it needs to be "issued" within the previous 6 months before handing over to the Brazilian Consulate in Havana to be legalized, do you mean then that even if I were to find my ORIGINAL Cuban Birth Certificate here at home THAT ONE wouldn't be able to be submitted to the Brazilian Consulate because(obviously) THAT one wasn't "issued" within the prior 6 months??

Hi again lacret60,

That's correct. For some strange reason that I have never been able to figure out and nobody has ever given me any kind of logical explanation why it's this way; here in Brazil documents used for legal purposes such as immigration, marriage, etc., must have been issued within the period not exceeding six (6) months prior to being submitted for legalization at the Consulado-Geral do Brasil or given to the Cartório in the case of not requiring legalization or they are no longer considered valid. So that means even your partner's Birth Certificate must also be less than six months old too.

As far as I am aware the ONLY exception to this rule is the Certified Criminal Record Check, while it must have been issued no more than 6 months prior to being submitted to the Consulado-Geral for legalization, once legalized it retains its validity no matter how long you hold onto it before giving it to the Federal Police (provided of course you have been in Brazil during all that time). I know mine was six years old when I finally used it and it didn't raise any eyebrows.

If you're going to all of the trouble of getting the original and having it legalized, I would even suggest applying for TWO and getting them both legalized. Who knows what else you might need a Birth Certificate for once you're here. It sure will be a lot cheaper to do it that way if you can, rather than having to go through all the same trouble sometime in the future.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

I'm back.

My main doubt about all the documents required was the following:

- Declaração, sob as penas da lei, do estado civil do estrangeiro no país de origem.

-Civil Status Declaration – An oath from the foreign partner stating that, under penalty of the law, he/she declares, in his/her country of origin, to be single, divorced, widow(as applicable).The signature in this Declaration has to be duly certified by a Notary and legalized by this consulate, if issued in the UK. Fee applicable. (from Braz Consulate London website)

From all the resources I have consulted, most have mentioned that what the what as far as declaration is that you are single, widowed or divorce, because it would be understood that you are free to be in a civil union. Seems like civil unions are not official in Brazil as in most European countries and thus the reason for a declaration that you are free. This seems to be contradictory because you aren't free and you are in a civil union. However, I played along and made the following declaration:

Declare, under penalty of law, that I am single in my home state of the United States of America and therefore free to be in a civil union.

Declaro, sob as penas da lei, que sou solteiro no meu estado de origem nos Estados Unidos da America e que estou livre para estar em uma união estável.


Prior to this I tried to go directly to the source by sending an email to the CNIg to ask what kind of declaration to make. I finally got the response after I have finished all my documents and was going to submit them to the CNIg.

Here was my question to them:

A quem possa interessar:
Estou no processo de recolher os documentos para pedir um VIPER por união estável e tenho uma duvida relativo a exigência seguente:

VIII – declaração, sob as penas da lei, do estado civil do estrangeiro no país de origem.

Meu caso:

São americano morando na Suíça onde entrei em uma união estável com um brasileiro. A certidão da união estável foi emitido por Suiça. Mais eu sou americano e a sua exigência diz "no país de origem".

Então eu vou fazer uma declaração ao Consulado do EUA em Genebra, mais não entendo direto o que tenho que dizer nesse caso:

1. uma declaração de solteiro em EUA (o meu país de origem)

ou

2. uma declaração de união estável em Suiça mais que teria reconhecimento em EUA sim for necessário

Obrigado por qualquer esclarecimento.


and their response:

Prezado,

Se o seu país de origem reconhecer a declaração de União Estável feita na Suíça, este documento será válido. Caso contrário, não poderá ser aceito.

Atenciosamente


Mind you we are only talking about the declaration of civil status and not the certificate of civil union.

As I understand it, the appropriate declaration would be the following for the civil union to be valid:

Declare, under penalty of law, that I WAS single and now my civil union with (name of partner) is recognized in my home state of the United States of America.

Declaro, sob as penas da lei, que era solteiro e que a minha União Estável com (nome) e reconhicido no meu estado de origem nos Estados Unidos da America.

Does anyone see the same?

all the best

Hi lekkerbezig,

If you think that there's bureaucracy and redundancy in the US or in the European Union, just wait til you get here. Brazil didn't invent either, but have refined BOTH to a science.

I actually think that there are two possibilities which can explain the 'declaration'.

The first an most likely is that it is redundant in your case since it is included for individuals who are applying for the visa here in Brazil, as opposed to those already in a recognized union abroad.

The second is that they simply want a declaration that states you were single, divorced, widowed, etc., at the time you entered into the civil union you are now in, and this no impediment existed.

There is a lesser possibility that the second is what they want since you can't declare a "união estável" here in Brazil while married legally to someone else.

I'm pretty sure that the wording you used for your declaration will satisfy the requirements at any rate.

Cheers,
William James Woodward - Brazil Animator, Expat-blog Team

Thanks for the explanation. Bureaucracy like love is universal :)

Just to be clear we are in agreement that this statement would be the strongest:

Declare, under penalty of law, that I WAS single and now my civil union with (name of partner) is recognized in my home state of the United States of America.

Declaro, sob as penas da lei, que era solteiro e que a minha União Estável com (nome) e reconhicido no meu estado de origem nos Estados Unidos da America.


Thanks

Matt

Yes, that should do just fine.... however I would change it slightly

Declaro, sob as penas da lei, que era solteiro e que a minha União Estável com (nome) e reconhecido LEGALMENTE no meu estado de origem nos Estados Unidos da America.

Indeed, it is better as proposed.

Thanks for your help.

To all who find themselves in a similar situation as the one described above (i.e. applying for permanent visa based on stable union from outside your country of origin), my visa was approved at the last CNIg meeting.

Thus, would venture to say (at least in my case) that CNIg accepts supporting documents from countries other than your country of origin. This is very important as in this globalized world we often find ourselves in trinational relationships (two foreigners from different countries in a foreign country).

However, one important point is the affidavit. I submitted as follows:

Declare, under penalty of law, that I AM single and now my civil union with (name of partner) is recognized in my home state of the United States of America.

Declaro, sob as penas da lei, que SOU solteiro e que a minha União Estável com (nome) é reconhicida no meu estado de origem nos Estados Unidos da America.


Very important that you state that you ARE SINGLE even if in a civil union in another country because according to Brazilian Domestic law, the civil status of an individual in a stable union iremains unchanged. The person concerned remains single, divorce or widowed even if in a stable uion.

I hope this is clear and useful.

all the best,

lekkerbezig :

Agree with you that declaration/affidavit of Single and being in a Civil Union is redundant. I suppose this requirement was but into place because they expected majority of cases to fall under Art. 3, where applicants don’t have their civil union formally registered. In this case they must not only provide all types of documents to prove their status but also make a declaration that they are single and there are no impediments to be in a civil union.

It's not only redundant, but illegal:

Art. 1.723. É reconhecida como entidade familiar a união estável entre o homem e a mulher, configurada na convivência pública, contínua e duradoura e estabelecida com o objetivo de constituição de família.

§ 1o A união estável não se constituirá se ocorrerem os impedimentos do art. 1.521; não se aplicando a incidência do inciso VI no caso de a pessoa casada se achar separada de fato ou judicialmente.

and:

Art. 1.521. Não podem casar:
VI - as pessoas casadas;


However, you have 2 options, provide the document, or, pay a bundle to a lawyer to prove you're right and the rule made by the conselho is illegal.


I'd just get the document, unless you're married and can't provide it, in which case the lawyer is a valid option.

The following clarification was given to me by the Brazilian Consulate:

Certidão de União Estável

O que é?

É o documento que formaliza a união de um casal, que se une com o objetivo de constituir família. No caso da União Estável, a escritura é registrada em um cartório de notas e não altera o estado civil – ou seja, os dois continuam solteiros.


http://www.brasil.gov.br/para/servicos/ … ao-estavel

This is in Brazilian national law. In other countries, not the same obviously.

lekkerbezig :

The following clarification was given to me by the Brazilian Consulate:

Certidão de União Estável

O que é?

É o documento que formaliza a união de um casal, que se une com o objetivo de constituir família. No caso da União Estável, a escritura é registrada em um cartório de notas e não altera o estado civil – ou seja, os dois continuam solteiros.


http://www.brasil.gov.br/para/servicos/ … ao-estavel

This is in Brazilian national law. In other countries, not the same obviously.

No it isn't. An união estável is a factual union that generates rights and obligations. It is not the same as a "civil union" in most other countries.

The "certidão de união estável" is merely a way of proving that, at the moment it was signed, the two people actually lived in an união estável. They can in fact, when leaving the cartório, have a fight, go each their own way and the união estável no longer exists.

A civil union is usually something formal, which needs some formality to be separated, just like marriage.

Agree with you completely

Which is the reason why gays around the world are fighting for equal marriage rights because the definition of civil union is vague ambiguous and varies from each country. This makes it difficult to assess compatibility on a global level

Even with in the USA civil union can very from state to state.

How would you translate civil union in portuguese?

lekkerbezig :

Agree with you completely

Which is the reason why gays around the world are fighting for equal marriage rights because the definition of civil union is vague ambiguous and varies from each country. This makes it difficult to assess compatibility on a global level

Even with in the USA civil union can very from state to state.

How would you translate civil union in portuguese?

Why not just get married here in Brazil?

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