Getting married in Brazil - Visa expiring


I am currently in Brazil.
I came on a 90 day visa and just had it extended at the Federal Police for another 90 days.
I have 3 months left until my visa expires (until my total of 180 per year). I have to be out of Brazil by August 9th.

Does anyone have any experience with marriage here and how long the process takes?
My main concern is to get it completed before my visa expires.
I've heard the whole marriage process can take up to 2 months but I am having a hard time breaking it down.
I read from different sources, that it's broken down in 2 stages. First you need to register intent to marry and pay a fee. Then you have to register the marriage and pay a second fee. Then there is a waiting period until marriage license is approved and given. Reading this process confused me as I did not understand the waiting periods involved in each stage.

However, when we called the Cartorio (registry office) here in Vitoria, they knew nothing about this "register intent to marry". They just said bring your required ready documents and my fee. Then I will wait 30-40 days for them to decide, approve, and publish our permission to get married and issue our license to get married. Then I can call them and make sure they have a day available to marry. The lady told us they are usually available to do so as they have 3 days during the week which they perform the marriage. I just need to bring my witnesses. There is no second fee for this procedure. I will just actually have to pay a fee for a translator during the marriage.

Can anyone shed some light on this situation? Does anyone have any experience marrying here? Can it be slightly different from one state to another? Or did the process I described that I read on sites and what the lady told me is ultimately the same and I'm over-confusing myself?

I really need to know if I will have enough time to marry and get the proper papers I need before I leave back to Canada so that I can apply for my Brazilian Permanent Residency at the consulate of Toronto there. This way, I can see my parents for a bit, and apply from Toronto, as the process is more smooth and faster, or so I've read.

I really hope I have enough time. I'm also really hoping it gets approved as I have an obstacle with my documentation. I'm a Canadian citizen but I was born in USSR which is not a country anymore and the country Belarus now, is actually unable to renew my birth certificate. Apparently the birth certificate needs to be renewed in country of birth, but after discovering, Belarus is unable to renew my birth certificate since they don't perform such thing, especially now that I am not a citizen there anymore. According to the requirements, the Brazilian Consulate in Belarus is also suppose to legalize my renewed birth certificate. Another problem, the Brazilian Consulate in Belarus is non-existent. It's literally an empty non-operational building. In this case, I got my birth certificate re-stamped (renewed?) at the Belarus Consulate in Brasilia, and now I'm in the process of getting it translated from Russian to Portuguese (there is only 1 Russian translator here, so I'm really relying on her!!), and the Brazilian Foreign Affairs (also in Brasilia) told us they would be able to legalize the translated copy. 

Also note that It's actually weird because I've been here for about 2 weeks before within a year, so I was expecting to get a little less time on my visa extension but seems they gave me a full 90 days. I went 9 days  before the initial 90 days was due to expire.

OMG my brain!

After reading wjwoodward's post:
He mentions

The original Birth Certificate must then be submitted to the Consulado-Geral do Brasil (in the country of issue) for "legalization". This is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY so don't omit this step or you won't be able to marry in Brazil.

This has been a huge headache and disappointment in my case. As I mentioned in my post, there is literally no Consulate of Brazil in Belarus and I cannot even get a new Birth Certificate renewed in Belarus either. We tried to bring this fact up to the Cartorio but they just keep saying "too bad" and cannot consult us on any alternatives. After numerous visits and calls to the Cartorio, we were told to try anyways but there is no guarantee it will be accepted, as it depends on the discrepancy of the approver. Has anyone ever had luck with this?? Or does this eliminate any chance I have whatsoever to ever get married in Brazil? The consulate of Belarus in Brasilia did suggest us to try to get the birth certificate legalized in Brazilian Consulate in Poland, which would be the nearest other Jurisdiction from Belarus, but I don't even see how that would work since Belarus is not the same country as Poland, and Brazilian Consulate in Poland has their own jurisdiction rules, such as only accepted documents are from within the Polish jurisdiction. It's not even in the same language. I assume Brazilian Consulate in Poland would not accept my re-stamped birth certificate from Belarus Consulate in Brasilia or even from Belarus, which I can't manage to get from there anyways.

Hello sen5e,

Welcome to the bureaucratic nightmare we call BRAZIL.

As far as I am aware there is absolutely no exception to having a Birth Certificate (long form) that has been issued within the 6 months prior to submission for legalization by the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in the issuing country (in your case Belarus). There an Embassy in Minsk (see link): … sk-belarus

Your Birth Certificate will also need to be authenticated by either the Ministry of External/Foreign Affairs in Belarus; or by the Republic of Belarus Consulate here in Brazil.

You will also need a certified criminal record check from Belarus and that must also be legalized for the subsequent VIPER Permanent Visa application.

William James Woodward, EB Experts Team

Thank you for the reply and advice.

Your Birth Certificate will also need to be authenticated by either the Ministry of External/Foreign Affairs in Belarus; or by the Republic of Belarus Consulate here in Brazil.

I already got my original Birth Certificate authenticated by the Republic of Belarus Consulate here in Brasilia just recently.
What would you suggest be my next step? Should I send it to Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Minsk for legalization? Will Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Minsk be able to legalize a document that was authenticated by the Republic of Belarus Consulate here in Brasilia. As far as I am aware, consulates normally only legalize documents that were issued within the same jurisdiction, so in this case, only from Belarus itself. I will try to give them a call again when it's morning for them as I don't remember if it's the same number I tried before, but as far as I know, there is no working Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Minsk. Both folks from Republic of Belarus Consulate in Ottawa, Canada, AND Republic of Belarus Consulate in Brasilia, were aware of this and confirmed it. I will write a letter when I submit all my marriage documents to Cartorio explaining this point, that Brazil simply doesn't have a working consulate there.
We tried to speak to the highest level person at the Cartorio, and even he had no idea how to deal with this situation and could not confirm if our application/documents would get accepted or not.
Do you think if I legalize the translated Birth Certificate at Brazil Foreign Affairs in Brasilia, that was issued by Republic of Belarus Consulate in Brasilia, I might have a chance? I guess it's my only option and is the closest we were able to achieve in terms of the requirements.

Yes, you have to send the Birth Certificate to the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in Minsk to be legalized there. Having it authenticated at the CG in Brasília was fine and it will not effect the legalization process in any way, since the document was ISSUED in Belarus.

Is the link to the Emassy of Brazil in Minsk that I gave you no longer up-to-date? The Embassy offers all the same services as a Consulate if it is still in operation. If the Embassy no longer exists then you will need to contact Brazil's Ministy of External Relations (Ministério das Relações Exteriores and find out which Embassy/Consulate has jurisdiction over Belarus. Only if there is no Embassy/Consulate in a country will legalization of documents of that nation be done in another Embassy/Consulate that is designated as having jurisdiction. You'll need to find out from MER exactly which one it would be.

As far as I know the information on the Embassy in Minsk is still accurate:

Rua Engels 34-A, sala 225
Minsk - Belarus
Postal Code - 220030

+375 (29) 6024466
+375 (29) 6024477

Embassador:    Renato L. R. Marques

The Embassy in Minsk does have a building there, but apparently and unfortunately an empty and nonoperational one.
We have already called MER and tried pulling teeth with them (the one I referred to as Foreign Affairs) and they had no solution for us. However, I never did ask them specifically if there is an Embassy/Consulate that has jurisdiction over Belarus. Perhaps Poland might have after all. I will have to call them again and check. MER did accept to have our translated Portuguese Birth certificate legalized though. As my visa is expiring soon, I would have no time to mail anything to Eastern Europe. I will just try my luck and have MER legalize my translated Portuguese copy and submit as is. If it fails, I can only try again after a full year of waiting until I can come back to Brazil again for a 180 day stay. Then I will have to do the legalization through a Brazilian Consulate in Europe, if there is even a country that has jurisdiction over Belarus. A year without Brazil and my fiancé makes me sad. Do you have any other suggestions? If our marriage is not accepted based on the documents submitted, perhaps I can transfer to a student visa while I ship my birth certificate for legalization to Europe (to country with Embassy/Consulate that has jurisdiction over Belarus) to get the document legalized in the proper way. Do I have to be out of Brazil in order to switch to a student Visa, or can it be done within Brazil? Much appreciated for your responses!

Or, while you are still here and your visa is valid you could go back to the Cartório and arrange for a "Casamento por Procuração" (Proxy Marriage) since you'll be unable to be here. It's legal in Brazil, you appoint a proxy who stands in for you at the wedding and is authorized to sign all the documents. Then you apply for the VIPER as soon as the wedding has taken place.

William James Woodward, EB Experts Team

So I got a hold of the Brazilian embassy in Minsk. Unfortunately they don't have consular services, but advised that Moscow will be able to legalize our document. I guess I will have to do the proxy marriage as you suggested, after I get the proper legalization done, that is if our current documents are not good enough to be approved for marriage now.
I was also thinking of dealing with this legalization in Moscow from Brazil while I wait here, but I would need to switch my visa to a student one. Are they generally a headache to get? Can I switch the visa from within Brazil or would I need to leave back to Canada in order to switch it?

After doing some calculation and further consideration, I don't think it would make sense for me to extend my stay on a student visa, since I am planning to come back to Canada anyways to apply for my PR from the Brazilian Consulate there.
I also asked the consulate of Brazil in Toronto if I would be able to apply for PR through them while I'm still in Brazil (this is considering our marriage goes through without having to get my birth certificate legalized in Moscow.) They told me I cannot get someone to drop-off/pick-up the application on my behalf while I'm in Brazil. Does anyone know how this works and if it's completely true. Because for example, if I wanted to sponsor my wife to Canada for her PR there, Canada offers do it it either externally or internally. With internally, she would have to stay in Canada though, but externally allows flexibility for her to be either in Canada or Brazil and apply from wherever she is by mail. Brazil does not offer such option?

After further realization, applying for Brazilian PR from within Brazil grants me the ability to live here while it processes, and even work. If applied from Brazilian Consulate in Toronto, I guess it would not grant me the ability to extend my stay in Brazil while it processes. So I suppose this method does not work.

Exactly, if you apply for the VIPER abroad you cannot enter Brazil (using any other category of visa) until the VIPER is in your hot little hands..... bummer!

On the bright side, if you can get the Birth Certificate and police check legalized by the Consulate in Moscow and back here in time you can arrange the Proxy Marriage ok. If you contact me via PRIVATE MESSAGE I have some additional information for you that might make this a very attractive option for you to think about.

William James Woodward, EB Experts Team

I think you are mistaken about my criminal check.

You will also need a certified criminal record check from Belarus and that must also be legalized for the subsequent VIPER Permanent Visa application.

Note that I mentioned I'm a Canadian citizen. So there should be absolutely no reason for me to get a criminal record from a country I was born and moved out of when I was 3 years old.  :D

I'm also confused by a post I found of yours in another post regarding marriage.
You had mentioned

So for example if I chose to get married in Brazil now, I could not use a birth certificate issued more than six months ago, since that does not need to be 'legalized' by the Brazilian Consulate in my home country. It only needs to be authenticated by my country's consulate and translated by a notarized translator.

So you are saying my birth certificate does not need to be legalized? I'm pretty sure that's not the case but I'm wondering why you wrote that, as it's pretty confusing statement.

1. Didn't realize you had been in Canada since childhood, so yes you only need the RCMP Certified Criminal Record Check, which must be by fingerprint not name only so you need to get the Federal Police here to fingerprint you on their standard form, stamp and sign it and then you mail it off with a letter to the RCMP with a cover letter requesting the check.

see link:

2.Birth Certificate need EITHER the authentication of the issuing country's consulate in Brazil OR that of the External Affairs Dept. in country of issue. It DOES NOT need legalization by the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in the country of issue; it must be translated here in Brazil by a sworn tanslator AND IT CAN'T BE ANY OLDER THAN SIX MONTH when you submit it to the Cartório. Sorry you went on and on so much you just confused the hell out of me.

This makes your job that much easier...  BC authenticated by Belarus Consulate in Brazil and Crim. Record Check LEGALIZED by the Consulado-Geral do Brasil either in Toronto or Vancouver.


So don' have the RCMP send it back to me here? The criminal check needs to be leglaized at a consulate first?

I was also under the impression that the single statement needed to be legalized at a Consulate of Brazil, which I did after getting my notarized statement authenticated by (ODS) Official Documen​ts Services of Canada. (I'm now understanding in my case the legalization was not required? As I will be submitting my single statement within the 6 months it was authenticated by Canada)

And are you actually saying that IF I just had my birth certificate authenticated by Embassy of Belarus in Brasilia, I don't need to get it legalized by a Brazilian consulate In Belarus/other country with jurisdiction over Belarus?? I'm still thinking of getting it legalized at MER in Brasilia, just because "more is better" philosophy.

I really need to clarify this because we had a long conversation just about this issue and the importance I need to get it legalized on time before my visa expires. Were you not considering I had it authenticated by the Embassy of Belarus in Brasilia because of confusion?
I must quote you though from the other post:

WHATEVER country is your birth country you need to obtain your ORIGINAL birth certificate from the Department of Vital Statistics in that nation. It must be the long form (i.e. it shows the full name of BOTH of your parents). It must, by Brazilian requirements, have been issued in the six months prior to it being presented to the to the Brazilian Consulate in the issuing nation, to be legalized.

which kind of contradicts what you just told me. You stated in does need to be legalized.

Edit: Or are you merely stating that a birth certificate ONLY needs to be legalized if you plan to submit it to a Cartorio AFTER a 6 month period from the date it was issued/authenticated by either the country of birth's Vital Stats or the country of birth's Embassy in Brazil, since legalized documents don't become expired and no longer have a 6 month life spam validity.
So ultimately, I had my birth certificate authenticated within 6 months, I don't need it legalized, but will need to legalize it I plan to submit it to a Cartotio after 6 months since its date of issue/authentication. This also ultimately means that birth certificates that are over 6 months old or have not been authenticated are able to get legalized and don't need to have been authenticated within 6 months in order for them to get legalized? Am I correct? But then again, I'm still confused because the quote I quoted you contradicts this logic.

Thanks for your all help. I'm obviously still in need of clarification based on the edit of my last post message. Since you are the only one helping me here it seems, I shall go look for help elsewhere. Again, thanks for your time and input.

And sorry If I came across like I was blaming you for the confusion, as it was not my intention. I just pointed the confusion part merely for clarification purposes. If you ever ever in Vitoria and I'm still here if I manage to sort this hell of a business process out, beers on me.

Hello sen5e,
recently I have been through this all process and I know how painful it can be.
I suggest you to ask all your questions to your cartorio, because it's different not only between states but also between cartorios!! It's amazing, I'm currently in Recife, we had to apply to the cartorio responsible from our neighborhood and they required more documents than the others.
About the documents, I had some issues too. I brought all my documents from Turkey but since there is no official Turkish translator in Brazil, translating my documents would take more than one month and a lot of money for us. Then we learned that Turkish consulate in Sao Paulo can send the necessary documents in Portuguese to me. This took only one week. Maybe you have such a solution too, ask your consulate in Brazil. So, it's true that cartorio wants official documents from your own country and legalized by Brazilian consulate in your own country(which I had them but wasn't able to have them translated), they accepted my documents from Turkish consulate in Sao Paulo when I told them there is no official translator of Turkish in Brazil.
Finally last week we applied with our documents to cartorio, you will apply only one time, I dont't think it's the way you said, you don't need to pay and apply two times. And they gave us date of 17th and 18th June to be officially married. They gave this date the same day we applied. Later I will apply for visa too, Right now I don't know anything about it but I can write to you when I find out. I hope I can do it before my tourist visa expires.
I wish you find a way!

Hello cdagbagli,

Thankyou so very much for your valuable input. You have just confirmed what I've always been telling everyone on this forum all along...

You have to check with the Cartório where you will actually get married, because there are NO UNIVERSAL RULES regarding the documents they require. Every state, city and cartório seems to make up their own rules as they go along. By telling your own story here you've just proven that much more than my words could ever say.

William James Woodward, EB Experts Team

I was recently at a Cartorio in a small city.  I was provided a list of documents that need to be submitted for permission to marry.  In this small city (an exception, I know), in addition to other documents that need to be submitted, ONLY the first page of the passport is required (the page which identifies date of issuance, date of expiration, and other basic details).  This of course means that visa status is not even an issue.  In this instance, the person in charge made this list by referring to an official manual.  Every Cartorio has different rules, and this being Brasil, it's always possible that different workers will give you different rules on different days of the week.  Nevertheless, there are some Cartorios that are not as onerous with the list of documents, and visa status may not be an issue.

From a legal point of view, visa status is not an issue.

But I've heard they might ask for the passport during ceromony day.. Or that they're suppose to but usually never do.. BUT its a possibility. Is this true?

I just got married!!! Holy moly was it the hardest thing I've ever had to go though, but it's finally accomplished!! I ended up having to go my wife's parents state where we got married because Vitoria would not let me do it here without having re-newed my birth certificate. As a Canadian citizen for most my life, I was not born in Canada however. They actually wanted me to fly back to my country of birth, where I'm not a citizen anymore and expect me to get my birth certificate re-newed there, which I can't even enter the country without a visa. They didn't care, their answer: we don't care find a way or you can't get married. At least in Paraíba they were pretty flexible and not this anal and accepted my original birth certificate. They did struggle with my marriage certificate but it's all been corrected the day before I had to fly back to Vitoria. Phewf.. They had initially written I was a Belarus nationality even though I told them a million times I was Canadian. They fixed it without giving us any problems but their computer had a difficult time picking this certain "template". I guess they are not used to having people marry here who are born in one country, but citizens of another. It creates a whole universe of confusion for them. My marriage certificate also has my mom's birth name, which is not her Canadian name on her passport anymore. But they can't match the name on the passport and it has to be her "birth certificate name". What good is to have my mother's name on my marriage certificate that doesn't exist anymore. But they say this is their rule and what can I do about it other than laugh? lol. Oh god my Russian translator also misspelled my birth certificate Russian name and they wanted to print my marriage certificate based on the wrong name. I told them how can you print a marriage certificate with my name that is not even correct? Because when you translate Russian alphabet to English, the letters "y" or "i" can be interpreted the same way. But no, again, they need to go off the "translated birth certificate" and not my passport, even though the correct translation is in my passport. It's been quite the adventure...

Hey all! My scottish boyfriend and I want to get married, but his tourist visa will expire (28/11) before we can set the date. The cartório said we need too present the documents at least 60 days before the visa expires, wich will be impossible since his birth certificate went to the Brazil Consulate in London today. How difficult and what is necessary to get a 90 days extension? He hasn't been in Brazil for more than 90 days in the last 365 days.

I presume he holds a UK passport. In which case he should have no problems in getting an extension (Prorrogação de Prazo de Estada).

I never heard of a Cartório saying anything about somebody's visa in all my years here. All they care about is that they actually have one. Also the timeframe for getting married is just over 30 days, so I don't understand what their problem is. Somebody's jerking your chain! And will likely come up with some other excuse once you've gotten an extension. I'd ask to speak to the person's boss and find out just what the heck is going on at this Cartório.

James    Expat-blog Experts Team

Thank you James! The thing is I heard 60 days from one cartorio and 90 days (!!!!!!) from another one! I even said "well, so we should have been to the cartorio by his first day here in Brazil?" and the lady said yes.  :huh:
We'll try to extend first before I have to "rodar a baiana" at the cartorio.
Once again, thanks a lot!

I don't know why, but I've heard probably twenty times more complaints about the Cartórios in Rio than any other city in all of Brazil. It seems like they enjoy making life miserable for expats. Maybe you should think about taking a drive up here to Macaé and get married here. The people at the Cartório here are super and they bust their humps to get along with us gringos.


We'll definitely consider that! Thanks!

I went through the same thing a year back. What I did was grant power of  attorney to my now brother in law before expiration of my second visa.  Also my wife is a very helpful Cartório working in downtown Rio.

Just to update everyone, me and my woman had to travel to another state because it was impossible for us to get married in Vitoria. We ended up having to travel out of state and got married in João Pessoa where her family lives since rules there were simpler. And when I say simpler, I don't mean to say they were simple, but at least it made it possible for us to get married.
I've never been through anything like this before. It was insane.
While in JP, it took us a few trips to the Cartorio because they made 2 mistakes on our marriage certificate and they had to re-do it twice! There was a whole ordeal of how to write my parents family names on the marriage certificate since Brazil uses the names from people's birth certificates but my parents' existing names that are on their Canadian passport are different then back when they used to live in USSR.   :dumbom: Why would I want random names on my marriage certificate that my parents don't use anymore  :dumbom:  oh well it is what it is. But then they wrote my nationality wrong. Their computer system had a hard time inputting a different nationality than from the place of birth. I was born in Belarus but I'm a Canadian Citizen now but their software just couldn't handle that and they had to find a way around it and custom input it there somehow. 
We literally we on our last day of the trip on our way to the cartorio when we become part of a road accident! The cartorio was to close in 30 mins! Thankfully we weren't too far away and walked fast just to make it there before it closes and dealt with our things.

My Brazilian permanent residence process went wayyyyyyyyyyy smoother afterwards. So did her Canadian permanent residence process.

Simon can you DM me your wife's professional info. I'll need a cartorio in the near future and I stay in Flamengo. Thanks

Congratulations, Sen5e! Wish you guys the best!

Congratulations Sen5e, on making it through the convoluted marriage process. Much happiness to you both.

James     Expat-blog Experts Team

A foreigner wants to marry a Brazilian girl. The girl went to registro civil and showed them the documents of his intended husband (The protocol of refuge, his passport, birth certificate etc). The cartorio rejected her application as the passport of her intended husband had no valid/invalid visa. The foreigner enterd here into Brazil without visa and then he applied for refuge status. What should be done to mark his marriage in civil registry??

You could Try another Cartorio or contact the government about his refuge status for advice.