How to get fingerprinted for a Criminal Record Check in Brazil?

My husband and I went to the Federal Police today and we were told that they can't process my application for permanent residency without a Criminal Record Check. We got married here in Brazil back in October. We had a signed and certified declaration saying that I've never been convicted of a crime and that I'm not wanted for anything in the United States, but since my husband is not a Brazilian (he has been a Permanent Resident of Brazil for 30 years), I'm not eligible to obtain a permanent visa based on marriage. The process in my situation is "Pedido de Permanencia por Reuniao Familiar," (application for permanent residency based on family reunion) and in my case, they do require a Criminal Record Check. All the other required documents remain the same with the exception of:

- my Criminal Record Check
- a document from my husband's employer confirming that he is indeed employed
- a declaration from my husband claiming responsibility for me

Even the fees/taxes and application form are the same!

Now, since I have no plans to fly back to the United States just to obtain my Criminal Record Check, how do I go about getting fingerprinted here in Brazil so that I can submit my fingerprints to the California Department of Justice and obtain my record? Has anyone been through this process before? Can anyone recommend a point of contact in Sao Paulo or Campinas? Muito obrigada!


p.s.  Does the U.S. Embassy in Sao Paulo provide such services? I checked their website, and I didn't see anything relating to this matter.

Hi again Victoria,

Read my reply on your other posting regarding the Criminal Record Check, they really are supposed to accept a Declaração sob Pena de Lei, if they still refuse you can either fight it with the Mandado de Segurança approach, and you'll win.

If you don't want to do that, the Federal Police themselves will take your fingerprints on their standard form if you ask them to do so, they'll do all 10 fingers (rolled) all 10 together and they will stamp and sign the form and give it to you. You can then send that by mail to the agency in the USA that you will be requesting run the check.


Thank you, James. I saw your reply in the other thread. Will keep you posted!

As it turns out, the DOJ will only accept the FD-258 fingerprint card. I wonder if the Federal Police will have this specific card.  :/  We've emailed the Federal Police and the US Consulate in SP and hope to hear back from them, but in the meantime, has anyone here been in my shoes before? That is, you had to get fingerprinted here in Brazil in order to obtain your Criminal Record Check...and your government agency back home requested a specific fingerprint card.  :|

See your other topic thread for the FD-258 card download


Here's a detailed update on my situation (in case this information can be of use to others in the future):

I had my sister in the U.S. procure some FD-258 fingerprint cards and had her FedEx them to me here in Brazil. The Federal Police here in Campinas did not have the cards and when I emailed the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo, I received a reply saying that they don't have the cards and that they don't provide fingerprinting services for people in my predicament.

The FedEx from California to Brazil cost US $80.00, which with the current exchange rate, really sucks.  :sosad: The FedEx (sent International Priority) arrived within 5 days and I received it on Dec 23, two days before Christmas. After emailing the Federal Police twice (on Dec. 29 and again on Jan. 5) to set up an appointment and receiving no response (the entire country seemed to be on holiday until this past Monday), my husband and I woke up this morning and went and stood in line at the Federal Police at 7:15, 45 minutes before the doors opened. There were already two others in front of us.  :(

At 8:10, when we finally got to speak to someone, at first, the clerk told us that we needed to make an appointment via the website and told us to come back. But when my husband insisted (nicely), he said, "Wait a minute. Let me see if our papiloscopista (fingerprinter) is available today." About ten minutes later, he informed us that the papiloscopista would be there shortly and sure enough, within the hour, I was able to walk out with my fingerprints in hand - and it cost us nothing. The papiloscopista was even kind enough to fingerprint me twice - I brought two cards with me, one to keep as backup - with no objections.  :par:

We mailed off a FedEx to my sister in the States this morning which cost R $220,00 and now we have to wait for my sister to send the fingerprints off to the DOJ (along with US $32.00) and wait for their which point, she'll have to get my criminal background check legalized at the local Brazilian Consulate (for US $20.00) and then send me another FedEx costing US $80.00 with my legalized criminal background check enclosed!

Lesson learned:  If you plan on applying for your permanent visa here in Brazil, get on the plane with all your paperwork, including your criminal background check. The Federal Police may or may not ask you for it, but it certainly won't hurt to have it handy. Otherwise, it could cost you a lot of time and money trying to obtain it from abroad!  :sosad:

Further to my last post, here is another detailed update (again, maybe this information will prove helpful to others in the future):

My sister received my fingerprint card and mailed it off to the California Department of Justice. She received my criminal background report within 11 days. BUT for whatever reason, there was no apostille/certification/seal/embossing/official letterhead of any kind to indicate that the report was authentic. sister had to call the DOJ and ask them to send another report with an apostille which resulted in yet another one-week delay. (Please note: On the DOJ's website, it does state that if you need an apostille, you need to email them and request another report, but I don't know why they wouldn't just put the apostille on there to begin with! After all, if someone is requesting a background check for visa/immigration purposes, what foreign government is going to accept a piece of paper that looks like anyone typed it up! )

After my sister received the second report with the apostille, she got it legalized at the local Brazilian consulate and then sent me the document via UPS (US $87) and it arrived in two days (mailed Monday, arrived Wednesday).

We found a translator who was willing to work over Carnaval. We got him the document on Thursday and he got it back to us the following Wednesday, which was yesterday. Today, I had my visa appointment with the PF, and thank God, everything went smoothly!!! I now have my protocol in hand (valid for 5 months) and I was told that my CIE would be ready within 4 months and that I would be notified by email when it's ready.  I also received a printout of my SINCRE without having to ask for it. The agent who helped us was friendly and efficient.


Hi Victoria,

You know, as hard as I try I still can't figure out why the Policia Federal insisted on the Criminal Record check. Your husband is a Brazilian, isn't he? Or is he another expat with permanency??? The reason that I ask, if you tell them you have no record they have a standard "Declaração Sob Pena de Lei de Bons Antecedents" which you fill in, get your signature notarized and you then don't need the check from DOJ/FBI or whoever. This only applies for those marrying Brazilian citizens though.

Thank-you for your glowing vote of confidence. It means more to me than you could possibly know. It's members like you that keep me in this volunteer role.


Hi James, my husband is not Brazilian. He's an expat with permanency. On the checklist for obtaining a "Pedido de permanência definitiva com base em reunião familiar," it clearly states that we need to submit an original copy of a legalized criminal background check. It was a pain in the ass to get it done, but I'm now thankful that everything worked out!  ;)

That's what I figured. That's about the only circumstances that the record check is required anymore for marriage, stable union or family reunion - when the spouse is not a Brazilian.

Thank you for detailing your experience. I am in a similar predicament, as well as being based in Campinas, and this was extremely helpful!

De nada! :) I'm sorry to hear that you are in a similar predicament because as you can see, it was a royal pain in the butt to obtain a criminal record check from Brazil, but I am living proof that it can be done. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.

I am also in a similar situation needing the Criminal Record Check from the U.S while here in Brazil, and I found this information helpful. A few questions- What would be the fastest way  to get this done? Would I be able to ask my lawyer to write an alternative document or does it have to be a specific FBI form? Also if it has to be a specific FBI form, do you think I will have any problems trying to get my finger prints from the Federal Police while having an expired visa? Will they need to look at that?

Also, how do I go about getting the document that shows I haven't been previously married in the U.S?

Thanks so much for any help!!!

Hello Kay,

If you are applying for the FBI Criminal Record Check, they accept the FD-258 Fingerprint Card printed on regular copy paper. You can download it at the link below: … s/fd-258-1

You need to have your fingerprints taken by an ON DUTY police officer and have the card stamped and signed by him or her. You can have that done either by the Policia Civil at a delegacy near you or by the Policia Federal in Rio. Then send it to the FBI by courier with a pre-paid return envelope enclosed. NOTE: If you're marrying a Brazilian citizen (and not another expat with permanency) then you really won't need the Criminal Record Check at all. It has been replaced by a sworn "Declaração Sob Pena da Lei de Não Condenação", the Federal Police will provide it for you or you can contact me by private message and request a model of the document.

If you are applying for a state police Criminal Record Check you should note that there are some states that require the original (hard card) form and will not accept it on copy paper. Notable among them for this is the California Dept. of Justice.

Regarding the declaration that you are single and never married. The US Embassy/Consulate will issue a letter to that effect, which will satisfy the legal requirement. You will have to go to the US Embassy/Consulate in Rio anyway because the Cartórios in Rio are going to require you also to submit a document called an "Inscrição Consular", which is a letter from the Consulate that you've registered with them, it will give the full names and probably birthplaces of your parents, etc.

They're located at Av. Presidente Wilson, No. 147 - Castelo - Rio de Janeiro, RJ — 20030-020 … neiro.html

James    Expat-blog Experts Team

I've heard the federal police will do it. I had a not so good experience with that though. The federal police sent me to the Policia Civil and then the Policia Civil sent me to the Carteira de Trabalho. They did it there, but the lady that did it wasn't too happy about it. Then there was some police officer inside an office that signed off on it and stamped it.

Be aware that the FBI is way behind on the criminal record checks. It'll take AT LEAST 3 months from when they receive your application and fingerprints to get you the criminal record check.

I used an alternative method. It's an "FBI Channeling" company. They get the criminal record check within days of receiving your documents. I think it only took 4 days for me. You even have the option of them emailing you the criminal record check. Obviously it costs a bit more, but I think the price is still reasonable.

This is the company I used: … neling.htm

And here's a link from the fbi website saying that they are legit: … channelers

Thank you for all of your help, James and cupofjoe! I definitely think the "Declaração Sob Pena da Lei de Não Condenação" is the way to go because my partner is Brazilian. If it doesn't work out for whatever reason I'll go the FBI channeling route! Thanks again :):):)

In the end I did not try to get fingerprinted while in Brazil, but during a short trip to California to visit family I used an FBI channeling company and paid about $47. I had the results in my possession immediately after getting fingerprinted. (They were sent to my private account of the FBI channeling company for review and download.)

Also, I think it depends where in Brazil you go when interacting with the Policia Federal. I live in Campinas and the Policia Federal has been reorganized such that half of the unit is dedicated to dealing with issues related to foreigners. I was in and out in 30 minutes after having to extend my visa and everyone was very helpful and friendly. (I also speak Portuguese rather fluently, in addition to having all of my documents in order, so this might have helped.)

With the influx of people in Rio and SP, I can only imagine...

Hi again James and everyone, I was just reading this site in Portuguese where the author states the steps needed to apply for permanency. … no-brasil/

I was wondering if you James, or anyone else could use your expertise/experience to clarify a few things for me:

Number 1 states: "A certidão de nascimento serve para comprovar a filiação do gringo. Na ausência deste documento, a Polícia Federal pede uma cédula consular emitida pelo consulado do país de origem no Brasil. Mas ao fazer esta solicitação no consulado, eles pedirão a certidão de nascimento."

Question- Will I need to show my birth certificate to the US Consulate in Rio in order to get the document that states that I'm single/not married from them?

Number 5- Comprovação de renda
"Você precisa estar trabalhando formalmente para dar entrada no visto por união estável. O governo não quer saber se você acabou de voltar ao país e ainda não encontrou um trampo. Eles pedem cópia autenticada da carteira de trabalho, do registro do empregador e do contrato de trabalho. Se você for autônomo ou empresário, eles solicitam o registro da empresa e o decore assinado pelo seu contador (um documento contábil que comprova a renda mensal de um empresário autônomo). Eles não aceitarão nenhuma outra comprovação de renda (extrato bancário, poupança, investimentos, holerite dos pais, escritura de imóveis, etc). Eles aceitam apenas emprego formal ou negócio próprio com decore."

Question: Is my partner having a job with carteira assinada really the only way of completing this requirementl? I was told by a lawyer and others that there are other ways of showing this- like a bank extract for example. Because my partner doesn't have a job right now, my idea was to get the letter from the University I was accepted to in the US and translate it, and then get the letter showing financial aid loans to prove I will have money by January. Or maybe I should wait to do the process until I get the money from my loans and put it into my Brazilian bank account? I'm confused because this website said that this won't even be possible.

If anyone has experience with these questions or has any advice I'd greatly appreciate it!

Thanks again,

I've never heard of anybody needing their birth certificate for the single declaration at the US consulate. They just ask for a valid ID (passport is probably the best option). I'm not sure if the fee has changed, but when I did it a year and a half ago, the fee was $50

Thanks for the info, cupofjoe! I've made an appointment for next Thursday, I will try to go there and see what happens. I'll post updates here as I discover answers to these questions. Hopefully they can help others in the future in a similar situation.

You need an Inscrição Consular that will give your parents' complete names. They may or may not combine your single status with this document. If not, the US Consulate will issue a formal statement that you're single and have never married.

While they may want to see your Birth Certificate to verify your parents' names that will have no bearing at all on your marital status.

The write of the text you cite, obviously a Brazilian, is misinformed. You see, for women here in Brazil, their Marriage Certificates supercede Birth Certificates. Once married, a Brazilian woman must renew ALL her documents, and since the Marriage Certificate is superior all future documents will use the Marriage Certificate as the "Originating Document". So, don't worry, that does not apply to you, as you're not a Brazilian.


Thanks, James.

Last two questions for now! -

In order to declare the Uniao Estavel I just need to have my passport and entry card, and my partners documents? Should I do this now while I'm waiting for my other documents or should I wait until I have everything together?

And-- Are the prices mentioned here by the site fairly accurate?

Certificates that are stated as needed from the Tabeliões de Notas:

Stable Union certificate R$ 325.
Certidão de compromisso de manutenção: R$ 325. (Do I need this too?)

Thanks again everyone that has been answering me, you have really helped me ease this anxiety about the process by answering my questions. I am forever grateful!

I don't know how accurate the figures are, it may be an old article. I noticed that the fees that they mentioned for the permanency process are outdated. They've gone up. The new fees are:

140066 PEDIDO DE PERMANENCIA     R$168,13
140082 Registro de Estrangeiros/Restabelecimento de Registro R$106.45
140120 Carteira de Estrangeiro de Primeira Via R$204.77

So the other figures quoted may now be higher too.

I'd suggest you wait until you have all your other documents together before you do the other things. The Stable Union Certificate is done at the Cartório and as far as I know it is only for relationships that have existed for a period of one year.


Thanks, James! So the only thing I'll need then to get stamped at the Brazilian consulate in NY and sent to me in Brazil would be my birth certificate. Is that right? I'm having my family take care of this today so I just wanted to make sure. Also I have 2 copies of the certificate, should I get both stamped and sent or is just one needed?

If you actually need the Criminal Record Check, that would need to be legalized by the Consulado-Geral do Brasil in New York, but if you're marrying a Brazilian citizen you don't need the CCRC, you will be able to make a declaration that you have no criminal convictions.

James Experts Team

Thanks once again, James. I'll update the forum as the process moves along.

Does the "Declaração Sob Pena de Lei de Bons Antecedents" as a substitute for a criminal background check work only in the case of marriage or for Stable Union as well?

I just wanted to know if what James has said is correct about not needing FBI Clearance if your spouse is Brazilian and if someone has gone this route and has succeeded. Currently going through this process and it would save a lot of time if that were true. Thank you so much for your time.

I'm not going thru the same exact process, as we're getting our Permanent Residence Visa thru a Brazilian born child, but I can confirm that the Federal Police did require a background check for that. I was hoping they wouldn't, but every person I spoke with reaffirmed that it is now required.

I believe this has to do with the recent changes to the immigration law they did last year. Most people I've spoken to about this have all been surprised that it's now a requirement.

That being said, it is relatively easy to get a FBI background check now. Go to and you can request one. The process is almost completely done online, all you have to do is send in a physical fingerprint card which you can download from their website and print out.

The background check also has to be apostilled, so make sure to get that done as well. Monument Visa … D_BwEseems to be a good company for that. I haven't used them yet, but they seem legit.

Hope that helps


Thanks.  Please check that first link, though:  it appears to have a format problem.

Hi James, first time poster here in need of some advice. Me and my partner (she and I have a União Estável, though not a civil marriage) are applying for my temporary residency permit based on Reunião Familiar. She is Venezuelan national with temporary residency herself. The federal police here stated that we can apply for this at their office, but will need to meet a list of required documents on their website to which they directed us to. My question is regarding the section about my criminal background. I am having trouble obtaining this through the FBI (I'm a US citizen) due to them rejecting my finger print cards. I obtained another set of finger prints that the federal police helped me with, but his technique was worse than mine and I'm afraid the FBI may reject these too.

I read here that you said I can submit a declaração sob as penas da lei in lieu of this FBI background check? And if they refuse I can proceed with a mandado de segurança and win? Can you direct me to this law so that I can show this them? Not sure if it's due to lack of motivation or help us or mild incompetence, but I anticipate having to prove to them or show them that this is a legit avenue.

James died several years ago.  Brazilian immigration law has been completely reformed since his death, so it's important to confirm his advice with current information.
In the case of a "declaração sob as penas da lei" in lieu of a criminal background check, James's post only applies to marriages performed in a cartório, not to Federal Police immigration processes.  Those still require the FBI Background Check from a US citizen requesting permanent residency; if anything, the requirement is somewhat stricter since the reforms.
Others in your position have been fingerprinted by the Federal Police with no problem.   If it continues to be an issue, I believe that there's an FBI Authorized Channeler in Brasília; contact info should be linked to the FBI Criminal Background Check webpage.

abthree, ok, thanks very much for the reply. my condolences to the community here.
best regards,


FYI, I am american citizen trying to get my RNE in RIo and when I asked the PF Delegacia they gave me a list of five organizations that needed to run background checks on me to apply for the RNE! The first one cost 400 reals, the second one was free and I have 3 more to go including the FBI check. I had some hope that a "declaration of no criminal background" would be enough but it is far from enough. Just thought you should know

opps, I just read the post above and it appears you are aware of the changes so just ignore me hehe.

As said for fast service a FBI Approved Channeler, is best.
Just tried to go to FBI site for list, but blocked due to BR IP address, dang it.

Hello all,

So is it true now that if you marry a Brazilian, all that is necessary is a declaration of no criminal convictions?

My husband is brazilian and I'm hoping to just sign a declaration.

Anand412 wrote:

My husband is brazilian and I'm hoping to just sign a declaration.

To get married at a cartório, that will probably work; to get your CRNM, you're going to need the FBI background check.

abthree is correct.
Wife is Brazilian and I had to get FBI check. There some online Channelers that for a fee can expedite. 
PF office was very nice and took my prints and I submitted the card.
With the lifting of counting days in BR, I feel they are going to be very strict on all migration issues.