Another question for those with permanence

I'm visiting my family in the US right now. I want to bring my cordless tools and my sewing machine home with me when I return. I read on one of the I think PF pages that I can bring more stuff home with me when returning from my first trip out of the country after being granted permanence. Does anyone have any experience with this? What's the dollar amount limit of stuff I can bring back with me?

I don't believe there is a dollar amount. Some things are prohibited  You have up to a year to bring them free.  I brought stuff a bit at a time on several visits.


As long as it´s your personal belongings it´s labeled as your "mudanças" in Brazil as technically you´re moving to Brazil permanently. Therefore, you can bring all of them if you want except gasoline fueled items or parts.

Go to Walmart, buy the biggest linear inch box by airline regulation and pack your things in there. You should not exceed 70lbs by weight per box, limit 2 boxes. Please check which airline you´re flying with, to make sure with their regulations! You should bring some plates, spoons, forks etc, together with your sewing machine and power tool to make it appear as an authentic "mudança" to Brazil... Just make sure that the box is strong enough and not dismantle as baggage carriers handle it. Make also sure to support the box with a duct tape especially where your support cord (it should have) has the biggest attrition with (along the edges of the box). Your box will be opened by airport
security for inspection of explosives so make it easy for them to open. If you make a knot on the cord, they usually return it as it is and not cut it.

Speak Portuguese that it´s your "mudança" if you find yourself at the baggage inspection for contraband. In my experience, if you bring only one large box and 2
suitcases, you can declare it as "NOTHING TO DECLARE" and follow the corresponding corridor with the rest of the passengers (in Guarulhos).

I brought at various occasions 2 or 3 big boxes aside from 2 suitcases and I always ended up at the contraband inspection area at Guarulhos International Airport in São Paulo. Just say "minhas mudanças" in Portuguese and they should let you go as long as it doesn´t appear suspicious like many new items or car parts. Many times as my boxes were with kitchen utensils, they did not bother to open them as they saw by x-ray the spoon and forks and confirmed with me if those were mudanças which I said YES right away!

If you buy new pans you can cook once with oil burned outside just to show them it´s used and qualify as your mudança if you anticipate being inspected by them.

I´ve learned my lesson once, as they taxed my iMac, my MacBook Pro and my Bose
Sound System! They were my personal belongings but they looked new as they were a year old. Since I didn´t have a receipt, the customs guy went on-line, found the latest models on the items and based their taxes on them! I paid more than R$4,000 for the taxes! This was at Rio de Janeiro International Airport.


Thanks guys!  This is awesome!


I fly all the time with United Airlines and the box size limit is 65 linear inches (lenth + width + heigth). The biggest I found at Walmart was 60 linear inches, so that was big and close enough...

They allow 2 boxes plus 2 suitcases plus 2 handcarry items.

If you think that that power tool or sewing machine will puncture the box due to a heavy weight you should just stick them inside a suit case or hand carry them whatever is more convenient...


Thanks robal. I will be returning via United, so that helps. I'm going to find a thermal bag at Walmart so I can bring my cheese back with me.


Sorry for Addendum 2:

United allows 2 checked baggage - 2 suitcases or 1 suitcase and a box. Tha last time, I brought to Brazil 2 suitcases and 2 - 70lb boxes and I got charged $500 for the extra 2 - 70lb boxes.

So maybe you should limit yourself to just 2 checked baggages.



If you have had your Permanency more than a year you are not exempt from duty so be careful about new items. I don't think you can bring power tool in a carryon.


robal: I was already planning on one extra suitcase. My United tickets say my max weight per bag is 50 pounds, so I'm  going to try and keep it under that.

Jim: I got my residency in May of this year, so I should be good to go. The only things I'm carrying aboard will be the sewing machine and my laptop.


Check again. I just flew United in June. International flights to Brazil are allowed 70 pounds. Unless it changed.


The 50lbs is the standard for US domestic
flights. I was also quoted that so I checked UA's site and it was 70 lbs for people flying to
and from Brazil. Just to make sure I called
United's local office in San Diego and they
stated 70lbs. I was also in US last
June like Jim...

It has been 70lbs like forever!

I'm here in the US now. I'll double-check, but I checked right before I left on the 3rd and I could swear it said 50. Just in case they change it again, I'm going to call a day or two before my flight. I don't want any nasty surprises at the gate or check-in.

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