married in US, didn't register at Consulado in Los Angeles

My wife is a Brazilian national. We married in Las Vegas in March 2014. We did not register the marriage with the consulado in Los Angeles. My wife is currently in Rio setting up house. I am traveling to Rio in March 2015. Can we skip the consulado and simply register the US marriage in Brazil ?
Thanks David

Hello David,

The short answer is NO, you can't skip the registering the marriage with the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Los Angeles. The legislation requires that it be registered in the Consulado, since it's the Consular Cartório that will issue a Certidão de Casamento which then must also be registered in the 1º Oficio do Registro Civil in Brasília or the city where you will reside (your choice).

To make matters even more complicated for you, it is ONLY the Brazilian spouse who can actually register at the Consulado, so your wife would need to return to the USA to do so. It really doesn't pay to try and second guess the system.... it's always much better to find out these details well in advance. The other way around always ends up being far more costly and time consuming.

Until such time as your marriage is registered with the Consulado and again here in Brazil you won't be able to apply for Permanência definitiva com base em cônjuge brasileira either.

James        Expat-blog Experts Team

Yes" proper prior planning prevents piss poor performance"

Correct me if I am wrong but I seem to have two options;

1. My wife presents herself at the Consular in Los Angeles with the US marriage certificate.


2. We get married in Brasil

Hi David,

The first option, will probably end up being less expensive and certainly much less time consuming.
The bureaucracy regarding marriage (for foreigners) in Brazil borders on the absurd, trust me!

See the following posting and you'll see exactly what I mean:

You'll have less headaches if you arrange for your wife to come back to the USA and register the marriage there.

James      Expat-blog Experts Team

I believe to register a US marriage the Brazilian Consulate requires it to be submitted within 180 days from date of marriage. Looks like we will be taking the long, hard, expensive road to my permanencia.

You may want  to check that out with the Consulado, I've never heard that they place a time limit on registering a foreign marriage at the Consulado. I do know that you must register it again at the 1º Oficio do Registro Civil within 180 days of arrival in Brazil. Perhaps you're getting mixed up with that rule. Check and make sure before you make any firm decision about which route you take.

I can't see how the Consulado could really place a time limit on registering a foreign marriage, since doing so would prevent all Brazilians who were long-term foreign residents and married abroad, without intentions of returning to Brazil when they married from changing their minds at some point in the future. If they couldn't register a marriage that had taken place years before, but was not registered. It also would tend to be a clear violation of the citizen's rights under Sec. 226 of the Consituição da República Federativa do Brasil de 1988, which guarantees special protection to the family unit.

More absurdity ! So I have to produce an affidavit of single to marry in Brasil the same woman I am already married to in the US ?

I would hope that if you explain to the staff at the Cartório that you are marrying the same woman that you're already married to in the USA they'll find some way around that requirement. But it is Brazil and nothing surprises.

We registed our marriage at the Brazilian Consulate in NYC 11 years after we were married. Unless the law changed there isn't a limit.

Randinho :

We registed our marriage at the Brazilian Consulate in NYC 11 years after we were married. Unless the law changed there isn't a limit.

Thanks very much for this important information! I couldn't see how there could possibly be a time limit set on registering a foreign marriage with the Consulado.

James             Expat-blog Experts Team

Bringing my wife back to the US for 10 days to visit the Los Angeles Consulado, registering the US marriage certificate, obtaining legalization and authentification of all documents take her shopping in LA for those things she wants for the apartment in Ipanema, fly back to Rio together and apply for my VIPER. I think there will be a happy ending to this story. By the way we are in our fifties, we first met as teenagers but that's a whole mother story

Thank you James, from all of us who you have helped over the years.

Hello ohanasurf,

Sounds like a great plan, it should make things much easier for you on this end for sure.

Wishing you and your wife all the best. One day I'd love to hear that story, sounds really interesting.


Just wanted to post a follow-up to my original post (married in US, didn't register at Consulado in Los Angeles)

My wife (Brasilian national) is still in Brasil.  I (US National) visited the Consulado General in Los Angeles yesterday, presented our US Marriage Certificate for legalization in person along with a US Postal Service Money Order in the amount of US $ 20.00. Marriage Certificate accepted by the Consulado. We just saved ourselves a lot of money and headache. The process was very painless.........

Thanks for coming back with the update, it will certainly help many other members in the same situation. Let's just hope that the Consular staff in all of the Brazilian Consulados are as easygoing.


I see posts on the forum from people in the same situation as my wife and I. We didn't register our US wedding at the consulate having jurisdiction over where the wedding was performed and Brazilian wife returned to Rio. This is what we did to resolve the situation.
I obtained a new long form birth certificate from the county registrar (took about 10 days to receive in the mail).
I went to the county sheriff's department and received a record of criminal history.
I took birth certificate, marriage certificate, and criminal history record to Brazilian consulate for "legalization". (another 10 days).
I purchased a round trip airfare and completed the process for a tourist visa for Brazil and received the standard 90 day visa.
Upon arrival in Brazil I took marriage certificate, birth certificate and criminal history record to an official translator and had all documents translated to Portuguese.
Brazilian wife then took legalized marriage certificate and translation her birth certificate, and proof of residence to notario then submitted documents to the 1 Oficio do Registro Centro in centro Rio. 15 days later we returned to the registro and picked up our Cerificao do Casamento.
At this point my tourist visa status no longer mattered, but we did not procrastinate like we had in the US.
I had copy of my passport certified,copy of my legalized birth certificate and translation, copy of wife's ID certified, copy of a cell phone bill in wife's name certified (proof of address), copy of certificate do casamento certified, legalized copy of criminal history and translation certified.
We went to the dpf website (use internet explorer) estrangeiro sector and completed the application for permanency based on marriage. An appointment for filing the application a the Policia Federal office at Galeo airport was made at the same website. We did not have the standard declaration that we are living together as married, strange its not available at the website.
While at the offices for the DPF after 2 hour wait the application for permanency was kicked back for two reasons. 1. The declaration that we are living together in a marriage . 2. Declaration of no criminal history form ( seems the work of going to a US law enforcement agency, the consulate, translator and notario was wasted, all they wanted was the fill in the blanks form).
We asked for, and received both forms at the DPF office, filled them out and signed them in the presence of a civil employee and resubmitted the application package. After about 2 more hours I was fingerprinted and my passport was stamped permanenci, I was issued an RNE and told to return in 40 days for the ID card. We went to a post office in Ipanema and completed an application for CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Fisicais) and half hour later we were at the Secretaria da Receita Federal where they issued me a CPF.
It was all quite painless thanks to all the assistance on this website, and some patience with the bureaucratic procedures. Hope this lessons learned helps anyone in the same situation.

Great news! Glad things went so well for you both and that now all the bureaucracy is behind you.

Really the Crimina Record Check (for anyone who has no previous convictions) is now redundant, the fill in the blanks "Declaração Sob Pena da Lei de Não Condenação" is all the Federal Police need now (conforming with the Constitutional right under Art. 226 - protection of the family unit) and the further declaration that you're still together as a couple.

I've always wondered why these forms are not downloadable as a PDF on the Policia Federal website, but that's Brazil for you!

Just a word for anyone who may have a previous criminal conviction, that should not eliminate you from applying for permanency, but you will require the Criminal Record Check (legalized by the Consulado) and your application for permanency WILL NOT be done under the new procedures by the Policia Federal. It will be accepted by them, but will be handled like the old procedures and be sent off to the Ministério da Justiça for a final decision. It will likely be in the same old 3 step process that each step must be completed before the next one is started, and may well take up to 2 years to obtain permanency like it did for all of us who applied under the old system.

That in itself could be a real deal breaker for applying for permanency, because you MAY NOT have the automatic right to work in Brazil until permanency is actually granted. That is something that you'd need to confirm with the Policia Federal should you find yourself in that situation.

James      Expat-blog Experts Team

Hello Guys I am in a similar situation as Ohanasurf,
After reading everything it has been A GREAT help.

I just have another question,  I am in Brazil now, plan to stay until September. HOWEVER, I would have used all but 2 days of my tourist visa upon my return to the US.

I married in the US and thought I could simply register it here, well now I realize its way easier to do this back home.

My question is if I do all these steps when I return to the US in September, bring my husband to the consulate to register my marriage---
would I be able to return to Brazil to apply for VIPER visa? :(

....I feel stuck now,
should I change my return date? Could I begin the process now?

any advice will help

New topic