Work permits for Brazil

Work permits for Brazil
Updated 2018-02-12 08:33

Finding legal work in Brazil can be difficult, but it is possible if you meet certain specific qualifications, and obtain a signed work contract from a company which will sponsor you. However, be sure to begin your job search from your home country. It would not be advisable to move to Brazil and assume that you will find a job after you have relocated.


Understand that work visas are not easy to obtain. Jobs here generally are awarded first to qualified Brazilians, and any company wishing to employ a foreigner may be required to prove that a skilled Brazilian citizen could not be found. In effect, this means that typically only individuals with certain skill sets, technical or managerial in nature, will obtain work visas.

Good to know: Many expats working in Brazil were transferred here by companies they already worked for. It's more difficult to find a company to hire you specifically to work in Brazil.

The types of positions for which work visas are most often issued include:

  • Professors, researchers and scientists

  • Professionals who offer technical assistance and/or technology services

  • Administrators, managers, directors or executives

  • Professionals representing a foreign financial institution

  • Artists or sports people

  • Crew of a cruise ship

  • Oil platform personnel

Expect to deal with a fair amount of bureaucracy during the application process. However, the company sponsoring you will likely handle the bulk of the application process and pay the associated fees.

Types of work visas

There are two main types of work visas:

VITEM V temporary visa

The VITEM V is a temporary work visa, valid for two years provided the worker remains in the same position. You'll need to have a contract of employment with a company in Brazil, which submits the contract along with any other forms required by Conselho Nacional de Imigração (National Council for Immigration) and the Ministry of Labor and Employment in Brazil.

Once the authorisation is approved, the Ministry of Labor and Employment informs the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, who will authorise the concession of the work visa via the Brazilian Consulate.

Good to know: This visa is renewable ' the renewal process is easier than the initial application process. In some cases, the VITEM V may be transformed into a permanent visa.

Permanent visa

The permanent visa is for international workers who have long-term contracts, such as scientists, researchers, and highly qualified engineers. The permanent visa allows you to work in Brazil for an indefinite period but few will qualify for this type of visa. If you wish to apply for one, you are encouraged to inquire at the Brazilian consulate serving your area for details.

Visa applications can be made online via Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs. There will be fees, which vary depending on the type of visa applied for and the applicant's country of origin. Typically the applicant's employer will pay these fees.

Important: The information presented above represents the standard procedures. Certain restrictions may apply for some professions, while others may require additional steps. You must consult the Brazilian government websites for more information before proceeding. Most Brazilian government websites have English versions.

Useful links:

Employment of foreign workers (PDF guide) - Brazilian Ministry of Labor
Ministry of Labor
Brazil Consulate-General
Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.