Permanent visa

My wife who is from Brazil has move back I have plans to join her in 2 years. What steps should I start and when to make the move to Brazil .

Hi ddsm1,

If you were married in the USA then you need to register the marriage with the Consulado-Geral do Brasil that has jurisdiction over Tennessee. You will need to provide them with a certified copy of the Marriage Certificate, your ID documents, your wife's ID documents and pay a fee (don't know how much). The Consulado then issues an Certidão de Casamento on the Consular Cartório which is legal in Brazil.

At that point you have two options:

1. Apply for your VIPER Permanent Visa in the USA, submit all the required documents and translations to the Consulado there, pay your fee and wait for the visa to be issued. The processing time in most countries is anywhere from 3 to 6 months. So if you plan on remaining in the US for two years there's no hurry to apply. You'd be best off doing that about 6 months before you actually intend to come to Brazil since you'd have to enter Brazil within a specified time once the visa is issued. The drawback with this option is that you cannot enter Brazil until you actually have the VIPER Permanent Visa in hand.

2.  Your other option is to hang onto the Certidão de Casamento that you'll get from the Consulado and then when you're ready to come to Brazil apply for a VITUR Tourist Visa and apply for your VIPER Permanent Visa within 90 days of your arrival. This option has advantages and disadvantages so I'll spell them out to you now.

The advantage of this option is that once you've applied for your VIPER, based on marriage, with the Policia Federal here you automatically have the legal right to remain in Brazil and to obtain your work permit (Carteira de Trabalho) so you can work while the visa is being processed.

The disadvantages are that here in Brazil the process takes 2 years or more in most cases, but you would be working and that should not be a big problem, just a long frustrating wait. The main disadvantage is that until you actually have been issued the visa you cannot leave Brazil for periods longer than 90 days at a time or the process is voided and you have to start all over from square 1 (not fun). Once you've received the visa you can then be out of Brazil for up to 2 years without losing your permanent resident status.

In either case the documents and requirements are exactly the same whether you apply there or here for the VIPER. See the following topic posting, the second half lists the documents you'll require for the VIPER application.

William James Woodward, Expat-blog Experts Team