Moving to Brasil

Hi everyone,
Any info and suggestions are welcomed!
American with dual citizenship (Greek-American) married in USA with a Brazilian with a green card (through our marriage) moving to Sao Paulo and hopefully close to coastline around Fortaleza where we intent to buy a property and live.

Both of us are retired, me from teaching in US and the wife from working in Brasil.

My main concern is completing paperwork for getting long term visa on the grounds of our marriage. (Marriage declared in Brasil)
Last time a year ago it looked like a nightmare (visiting police federal) in Sao Paulo to begin the process. Gave up, stayed for 3 months and returned to US.
Any ideas on how to proceed this time? Should i get a lawyer to push the papers (would it be faster), cost of such decision?
Recommending any trustful/competent lawyers in Sao Paulo?
Thank you!
Dimitrios and Cecilia

Dimitrios,

You shouldn't need a lawyer, if your papers are in order, and up to date.  You'll probably need a current FBI background check, at the very least, if you were last here a year ago.  All of the paperwork required on the Federal Police website should be in hand (except for your Sworn Translations, which can and should be completed quickly in Brazil) before you leave the US.

It sounds like last time, you were here on a tourist visa.  It's best to have a VITEM XI visa, a temporary visa for family reunion; it gives you up to a year to get your status settled, and it's what the Federal Police expect to see; having the documents that they expect always puts you a step ahead.  You CAN do it on a tourist visa, though, as long as you don't overstay.  If you're applying for residency in Brazil on a tourist visa, you need to make every day count.

And technically, what you'll be doing IS applying to the Federal Police for residency, based on being married to a Brazilian.  Your wife's right to have her spouse in-country with her is the basis of your residency, so it's important that she be with you every time you go the Federal Police.

When you say that your "marriage is declared in Brazil", what does that mean, exactly? That it's been registered in a cartório, and you have a Brazilian marriage certificate?  That you have an American marriage certificate that's been registered in a Brazilian Consulate in the United States?  If you register a marriage performed in a US state at a Brazilian Consulate, they give you a "Certidão", which you can then register in a cartório to receive a "Traslado de Casamento", showing that your marriage is properly recorded in Brazil.  The Federal Police will be looking either for a Brazilian marriage certificate, or this "Traslado".

The Federal Police Foreigners office in São Paulo has a bad reputation, probably because of high volume, but with patience and good papers, you should be able to get through it.  If you plan on settling in Fortaleza shortly after your arrival, you may want to do everything there, if your timing works.

If you let us know the state of your paperwork, and the nature of the problems you ran into last time, we may be able to give more specific advice.

The process is basically same and lines are still long.
Do not give up. Once you get the important paper completed with PF you will receive a protocol # and PF will work with you if you show you are working on any paper work requested.
abthree has outlined it well.
Does wife have a residence in BR? That is where I would begin the process. She could rent a short term near or in a smaller town which has less lines at the PF and then find your retirement home.

Hi and thank you for replying to my post so quickly.

Last time we did translate my passport and authenticated the translation. Our marriage is registered with the Consulate in Los Angeles USA. Yes we have the Certidão doc.

Our experience in the Federal Police office is Sao Paulo was horrible last time. We walked into an area that was full of immigrants around 400 people, men women and children and no priority for elder folks like us, as the Constitution of Brasil demands, any way, just to find out what is the procedure of completing the online form.
We had tried to finish it the online form but it would not allow us because we did not have a permanent address in Sao Paulo.

Currently I have 10 year tourist visa that received in Sept 2011, so I have  one more year on it.

My wife is my life link in Brasil, I do not speak Portuguese but I understand a lot in a conversation.
I agree with you on beginning immediately after we arrive. Last time we had more things in our plate to deal with at the same time.

We have the same idea with you to try to rent something close to the area we would like to live and push for the permission to stay.

How sure are you about this FBI background check? I had my share of those while I was applying for teaching in two states in USA. I know they can take time.

Hi thanks for replying to my posting!

My wife sold her apartment before came over to USA. We will stay once more on an airbnb for one month maybe two.
We need to move as soon as we arrive. My fear is that with the coronovirus  we might have problem with running out of time (for me). I guess I can ask for an extension to my tourist visa if that is possible.

We need to get a rental as soon as possible too and closer to where we want to live instead in Sao Paulo.
Again thank you and if you think of anything else to help us please feel free to post it!

Positive as to FBI background checks and cannot be over 90 days old. There are companies in US that can help (for a fee).
Does not matter as to time left on visa, still only have 90 days in BR.
Also need an address with a utility bill you pay proving residence. Airbnb will not work for such.

A fresh FBI Background Check is a must.  At this point, you're much better off working with a FBI Approved Channeler:  not only can you get much faster turnaround -- a couple of days -- but you can also get both an electronic and a hardcopy version.  You can use the electronic version to get a State Department Apostille, which you will also need.  Don't forget that Federal documents need to be apostilled by the US Department of State; state documents need to be apostilled by the appropriate authority (usually, but not always, the state's Secretary of State) of the particular state where the document was issued.  So be sure to make your requests to the correct office.  Do a search on "Apostilles State of (Name)" to confirm where to get a state apostille.

Any Sworn Translations you already have should still be good:  they don't expire.

Good news that you have the Certidão Consular for your marriage.  You don't mention a Traslado de Casamento; if you don't have one, you and your wife should go to the Cartório do Primeiro Ofício in São Paulo, Certidão in hand, to record your marriage in the Brazilian records, first thing.  You'll receive the Traslado in about ten business days, and this will be the only proof of your marriage, and of your parents' names, that the Federal Police should need.  If you didn't obtain a "2a Via" (second original) when you got it, you should obtain Authenticated Copies of the Certidão for your records, since the Cartório will probably keep the original.

The visa fee for a VITEM XI at the Consulate General in LA is $290.  I think that's a good investment, and you'll find that it's money well spent.  You can use the same FBI Background Check for the visa that you'll use with the Polícia Federal:  just request duplicate originals from the Channeler.  You can, however, proceed on your current visa, and skip the VITEM XI.  As Texanbrazil says, though, you only have 90 days at a time to work with, so count your days, and, if it looks like you won't complete the process before your first 90 days are up, go back to the Polícia Federal and request an extension before you commit an overstay.  An overstay fine while you're trying to get your residency request approved is the last thing you need.

Yes, the Polícia Federal process is painful:  Brazil is currently welcoming a large number of refugees who are non-Portuguese speakers and difficult to process.  Facilities are crowded, and tempers are short.  The worst thing you can do is to become impatient, and try to stand on what you view as your rights, like elder preference.  The irritable, arrogant foreigner who makes demands is soon put in his or her place, in ways that are usually too subtle to be subject to appeal.  The friendly, cooperative person whose papers are in such good order that they don't raise any questions finds himself or herself suddenly at the front of every line.  Let your wife do the talking:  the law exists for her benefit, so she can come home and bring you, and Brazilian talking to Brazilian gets things done.  Your job is to smile and nod, and answer questions pleasantly if asked. 

According to the Polícia Federal website, it MAY be sufficient proof of residence for your wife to make a declaration to the effect that she, and by extension, you, will be living in Brazil.  (http://www.pf.gov.br/servicos-pf/imigra … o-familiar)  As in so many cases, the Polícia Federal has a great deal of discretion, so it's important to stay on their good side through the process.

Once your application is accepted, you'll receive a Protocolo to that effect, a printout that serves as your CRNM, your identity card, until that arrives from Brasília.  The card will probably take several months to arrive, and you'll need to go back to the Polícia Federal to pick it up, but once you have the Protocolo in hand, you're in!

dzgreek :

Hi everyone,
Any info and suggestions are welcomed!
American with dual citizenship (Greek-American) married in USA with a Brazilian with a green card (through our marriage) moving to Sao Paulo and hopefully close to coastline around Fortaleza where we intent to buy a property and live.

Thank you!
Dimitrios and Cecilia

My understanding of US immigration law is that Cecilia will lose her Green Card if she is out of the United States for more than 180 days in any calendar year.  Unless part of your plan is her relinquishing her Green Card, you'll want to factor this situation into your plans, as well.

Yes I know and she does too that she will loose her Green card status. This is one way trip for her at this point.

I never knew that I would need an FBI clearance for applying for a family reunification type of visa.
Police Federal does not have a request for this procedure in their Brasilian site or I am confused?

We have tickets to leave on the 7th of April and at the same time I have to finish the docs for travelling with two cats and close on selling the house. I do not think that I can manage all with not giving myself a heart attack.

Would I be able to do the FBI clearance if I am out of the country?  (stupid question)
All these will happen if first of all Brasil do not close the borders for foreigners due to the fun that this planet is having at this point in time!!

See abthree's #7 post. Use a FBI Approved Channeler and have electronic receipt.
Faster and can receive via email.
I believe you can request outside US, but faster if you do it now.
As to closing border, who knows? BR is simular to US and has taken awhile to begin to get up to speed.
Not sure as GRU processing at the moment. GIG has new process,
Check GRU's website

Thank you!
I have been checking for the FBI background check and it looks quick but my concern now is the Apostile (process time) in Florida!

I hope they can process it quickly!!

Apostille is not a problem, as long as you have an electronic version of the FBI Background Check to send them.  I'll send you  PM with the contact info for the service I used.

Agree was no issue with me. Received and sent to apostille elect copy and they handled all Sect of State and returned to me. (Hard copy was FedEx)

Great abthree!
Thank you.
zoitopoulos[at]hotmail.com

dzgreek :

I never knew that I would need an FBI clearance for applying for a family reunification type of visa.
Police Federal does not have a request for this procedure in their Brasilian site or I am confused?

We have tickets to leave on the 7th of April and at the same time I have to finish the docs for travelling with two cats and close on selling the house. I do not think that I can manage all with not giving myself a heart attack.

Would I be able to do the FBI clearance if I am out of the country?  (stupid question)
All these will happen if first of all Brasil do not close the borders for foreigners due to the fun that this planet is having at this point in time!!

Info I promised is in a PM to you here on the site.  :)

The VITEM XI visa replaced the old Permanent Visa, the VIPER, under the immigration law that went into effect in November 2017; the requirements are similar.  Now, it serves as a pre-check for the Federal Police process.  You do need an original Background Check to apply for a VITEM XI, but you don't need an apostille, since the Consulate will recognize the signature.  Ordinarily, English language documents presented to the Consulate do not need to be translated or apostilled, either.    The apostille IS required for the Federal Police, as are Sworn Translations.  You need multiple originals because apostilles cannot be removed from documents without destroying both the apostille and the document.

This language in the regulation on the PF site:
"CERTIDÕES DE ANTECEDENTES CRIMINAIS ou documentos equivalentes emitidos pelas autoridades judiciais competentes de onde o requerente tenha residido (no Brasil e no exterior) nos últimos 05 (cinco) anos, legalizadas e traduzidas. Originais e cópias simples. Saiba mais: ↓"
includes the requirement for the FBI Background Check.  The "saiba mais" part makes it clear.


Your home sale should not be much of a problem, if you have a good real estate agent.  I put my home on the market a week before I left, and closed the sale 10 weeks later.  My agent expressed the closing docs to me, I got them notarized at the US Consular Agency in Manaus, and returned them by express.  There's a Consulate in São Paulo, and a Consular Agency in Fortaleza, so you'll have notary services available in either place.

Yes, you can request FBI Clearances from here, but as Tex says, it's a painful, time-consuming process that you don't need, and in this case, can avoid.

Hi abthree again,
we did sell the house and signing the docs on 6th of April so this saga is almost finished.

I will do an Apostile for the FBI background check because I will not go for the VITEX XI.
I will go to Police Federal for it as soon as we arrive on the 8th of April in Sao Paulo.

We do not know what the situation will look like in Brazil by then. Right now the Police Federal site does not accept any applications online for an appointment.
GRU does not scan anybody with thermal cameras because they have not received any directions from ANVISA or the Ministry of Health.
Either way it will be a crazy world in Brasil when we arrive as it is here too :(

Best of luck.
Interesting as the thermal cameras at GRU. They have been scanning at the PY and AR borders.

Good luck!  Sounds like you've got everything in hand.  Let us know how it goes.  :top:

I think after this if we manage to make it to Brasil, I will start a blog with all the great experiences !!  :)

Maybe because these areas are closer to external borders?  :/

Could be, but I recently went to local PF (at closing time) to ask about closure of the Iguacu Falls and noticed the equipment at the front desk and in the secondary area.
Great idea on the blog. Would enjoy reading.

Thank you, I will definitely try to blog.

I am reading (news from Europe) that France Germany Greece and other countries are using
Kaletra (name of med)
Aralen (name of med)
Plaquenil (name of Med)
all these are available in Europe and at this point they experiment with them on sick people
All are cheap to make and easily available
used for Lupus, malaria and also rheumatoid arthritis.
Lets hope one or a combination can help but no vaccine yet.

The info is taken from European news agencies, so,
as far I can see not fake news if you trust the news coming out of Europe.

Aralen and Plaquenil are malaria meds. It is available here without script. I will let you know in weeks or months if they work, because I take 1 pill a day due contracting during my military service. I have not seen any difference for my RA, so who knows.
Kalertra is an HIV developed drug and reading mention such as a possible treatment

Hi again, the saga continues!!!
All UPS sites that anybody can do a fingerprinting for FBI are closed (as I was told) until the end of April!
So I am screwed. I will have to do the fingerprinting in Brasil if this is possible.

Any ideas?

I already have paid for the process!!

You should be able to get fingerprinted at your local police station - give them a call to confirm.   If you wait until you get to Brazil, you'll end up in another line - at the Federal Police!

I see, you are right!

Well, the world is ending here in USA!!
The police has stopped fingerprinting due to coronavirus.

Call us next week to see if we will begin doing the fingerprinting! Great!
Anyway guys thank you for trying to help.
It is what it is I guess for now.
Life has to stop, new brave world.

This isn't what you want to hear, I imagine, but you might want to consider postponing your departure, at least until the extent of the current crisis is better defined and understood. 

The airlines aren't charging (I understand) for cancellations and reschedules; they may even take the decision out of your hands by cancelling on their end before your departure anyway.  You're both in a country you're familiar with and where you can stay indefinitely.  You've sold your house, but AirB&B operates where you are, too.   It might be less stressful to await events in familiar surroundings, where you can put your time to productive use, than to wait in a semi-paralyzed São Paulo as the deadline on your visa ticks down. 

For what it's worth.  :idontagree:

Especially with pets.

Yes you guys are right!!
Too many things happening at the same time. I cannot solve everything on time before the flight. It is too close to the trip day.
Our worries are about my wife's kid and his girlfriend in Sao Paulo. We can only send prayers and money.
Again I would like to thank you from my bottom of my heart for your advice!!

I will keep in touch if any miracles happen from here.
Thank you both a lot!!

One more thing to add. I just saw the following message on the US State Department Office of Authentications website: "Effective March 20, 2020, the Office of Authentications is closed to the public indefinitely due to public health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

This is the office that does the apostille for the FBI identity history summary (background check).

So even if you get the fingerprints and then the electronic FBI report, my guess is that there would be some delays in getting the apostille. This is just my guess, though.

We are with you. Wishing the best

You might be right.
I had completed 4 times before FBI background fingerprinting for jobs (teaching position) and for becoming certified to teach in two different states.

I will have these apostiles being mailed to my son and he can then mail them to me.
This is the only way I can see this be done.
If I will be able to travel this is the way to go. If not then there no problem.

Then you for your input. I though I needed to apostile them by the Secretary of my State.

Texanbrazil :

Aralen and Plaquenil are malaria meds. It is available here without script. I will let you know in weeks or months if they work, because I take 1 pill a day due contracting during my military service. I have not seen any difference for my RA, so who knows.
Kalertra is an HIV developed drug and reading mention such as a possible treatment

Aralen phosphate side effects (chloroquine):



Anxiety
, attempts at killing oneself
,  back, leg, or stomach pains
black, tarry stools, 
bleeding gums
blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
blood in the urine or stools
, blurred or decreased vision
, change in near or distance vision
, chest discomfort or pain
, chills
, cold sweats, 
confusion, 
continuing ringing or buzzing or other unexplained noise in the ears
, cough, 
dark urine, 
diarrhea,

difficulty in focusing the eyes, 
difficulty with speaking
, difficulty with swallowing
, disturbed color perception
, dizziness, faintness, or lightheadedness when getting up suddenly from a lying or sitting position
, double vision
,drooling
, fast, slow, irregular, or pounding heartbeat, 
feeling that others are watching you or controlling your behavior
, feeling that others can hear your thoughts, 
feeling, seeing, or hearing things that are not there, 
fever, 
general tiredness and weakness, 
halos around lights
, headache
, hearing loss, 
inability to move the eyes, 
increased blinking or spasms of the eyelid, 
joint or muscle pain, 
large, hive-like swelling on the face, eyelids, lips, tongue, throat, hands, legs, feet, or sex organs
, light-colored stools, 
loss of balance control
, lower back or side pain
muscle trembling, jerking, or stiffness, 
muscular pain, tenderness, wasting, or weakness
night blindness, 
nausea
, overbright appearance of lights
painful or difficult urination, 
pale skin
, pinpoint red spots on the skin
puffiness or swelling of the eyelids or around the eyes, face, lips, or tongue
red skin lesions, often with a purple center
red, irritated eyes, 
restlessness,  
shuffling walk
skin rash, hives, or itching
sore throat
sores, ulcers, or white spots on the lips or in the mouth
sticking out of the tongue
, stiffness of the limbs
, sweating
swollen or painful glands, 
tightness in the chest, trouble breathing, 
tunnel vision
, twitching, twisting, or uncontrolled repetitive movements of the tongue, lips, face, arms, or legs 
uncontrolled movements, especially of the face, neck, and back, 
unusual bleeding or bruising, 
unusual tiredness or weakness
upper right abdominal or stomach pain, 
vomiting, 
yellow eyes and skin.

Drooling, attempts at killing oneself? Are you really taking this Tex? :D  :lol:

Just kidding...

Here´s Kaletra´s side effects (HIV Med):

    .       Bloating
    •    blurred vision
    •    chills
    •    constipation
    •    darkened urine
    •    dry mouth
    •    fast heartbeat
    •    fever
    •    flushed, dry skin
    •    fruit-like breath odor
    •    increased hunger
    •    increased thirst
    •    increased urination
    •    indigestion
    •    loss of appetite
    •    loss of consciousness
    •    nausea
    •    pains in the stomach, side, or abdomen, possibly moving to the back
    •    sweating
    •    troubled breathing
    •    unexplained weight loss
    •    vomiting
    •    yellow eyes or skin

Incidence not known
    •    Blistering, peeling, or loosening of the skin
    •    chest pain or discomfort
    •    cough
    •    diarrhea
    •    itching
    •    joint or muscle pain
    •    lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting
    •    red skin lesions, often with a purple center
    •    red, irritated eyes
    •    slow or irregular heartbeat
    •    sore throat
    •    sores, ulcers, or white spots in the mouth or on the lips
    •    unusual tiredness or weakness

Doc  taking Sulfato de hydroxychloroquina, do tend to drool after 12 beers and every time I eat out with all the salt/sodium used, I guess I am trying to kill myself :dumbom:

I am glad you guys keeping your humor! It is becoming very rare here, expect stupid young adults in Florida beaches saying " I do not worry about the virus its like flu, i will party!" On national TV.
After that they gave permission to close Miami beaches and also the west side where I live.

Amazing preparation by our young adults! They are definitely ready to run the country. :)

New topic