February 18, 2016
As part of a continued effort to become more attractive to foreign investors, Brazil has confirmed that they have joined the Hague Apostille Convention and will begin accepting apostilled documentation on August 14, 2016.
Hague Apostille Convention
Officially known as the “Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 Abolishing the Requirement of Legalisation for Foreign Public Documents,” this long-standing international treaty is more commonly referred to simply as the “Hague Apostille Convention.” The Convention allows the 110 signing member nations to accept public documents (e.g. birth, marriage, and death certificates) issued by another member nation for legal purposes, should the document in question be affixed with an apostille certification.
As they are able to bypass the lengthy and often complicated document legalization process, signing member nations enjoy significantly more streamlined procedures and faster processing times for document authentication. It is important to note, however, that both the country issuing the document and the country where the document will be used must be signatories to the Hague Apostille Convention.
Brazil will be the 111th signatory to the Convention once it fully comes into force in August.
Currently, all personal vital documents from foreign employees and their dependents must be legalized by the Brazilian Consulate with jurisdiction over the document’s issuing location. This multi-stage process can take several weeks to complete and often delays application filings while the applicant awaits the legalization procedures to be finalized. The apostille process, on the other hand, has fewer stages of authentication and is significantly faster than the full legalization process.
Thus, once the Hague Apostille Convention comes into force in Brazil, many foreign employees and their dependents should benefit from a shorter document gathering and finalization stage of their immigration procedures into Brazil.
How These Changes Affect You
Brazil has long struggled with the international perception that their complex corporate and immigration regulations and procedures are unwelcoming to foreign investors. That being said, the recent accession to the Hague Apostille Convention is one of several recent legislative changes aimed at streamlining their legal procedures in order to attract foreign business.
Sponsoring companies and many foreign employees currently in Brazil, or with plans to go on assignment there, will benefit from the simplified and faster document authentication procedures. These groups should note, however, that the current and longer document legalization process will continue to be required for all documentation until August 14, 2016, when the Convention comes into force. After August 14, documents issued by countries not party to the Convention will still need to undergo full legalization procedures.
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