August 07, 2012

Today, the Brazilian Federal Police announced most of its offices throughout the country are expected to participate in an official strike. While the strike is presently on a voluntary basis, foreign nationals may be delayed at all immigration checkpoints in addition to processing their residence permit applications.

What’s Changed?

The Brazilian Government has only recently emerged from another public sector strike staged by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. As of August 7th, the Brazilian National Federal Police (or “FENAPEF”) announced the beginning of a voluntary public sector strike by all FENAPEF offices throughout Brazil to protest the Brazilian Government’s proposed pay reductions for Federal Police employees. It is also rumored that the the FENAPF may also extend an invitation to local police officers to join in protest.

For global immigration purposes, the FENAPEF is Brazil’s primary border enforcement agency and also charged with administering immigration benefits to foreign nationals physically present in Brazil.

At this time, the FENAPEF at major international airports are on reduced staff. In Rio de Janeiro, it is reported there is a 30% reduction in officers, while in São Paulo, the FENAPF has yet to significantly reduce its staff. FENAPEF offices across Brazil may have varying degrees of reduced staff processing immigration paperwork, primarily RNE (residence) registrations.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

Given this is the first day of  the strike, and FENAPEFoffices are under voluntary (not mandatory) national strike, it is hoped that the Brazilian Government and the worker’s union will reach a compromise within the next one to two weeks.

Companies and assignees are advised to expect possible lengthy delays at high-volume ports of entry (e.g., Rio and São Paulo airports) during at least the next week.

For assignees and families entering Brazil with long-stay work and residence visas, the FENAPEF in the assignee’s host city of residence has jurisdiction for all immigration-related matters. Of primary importance is ensuring an assignee’s and family are registered with the local FENAPEFfor a residence permit (RNE) within 30 days of arrival in Brazil.

Currently, foreign nationals can request RNE registration appointments (when applicable) with the local FENAPEF using the Ministry of Foreign Affair’s online appointment system (Sistema SCEDV). However, please note that as some FENAPEF’s may be on significantly reduced staff, RNE registration appointments may postponed until all officers return to work. In addition, there may be at least an additional one to two week processing delay for foreign nationals expecting issuance of their RNE cards.

It is recommended that companies and assignees work closely with their Brazilian immigration supplier to keep abreast of the current status of the FENAPEF strike and how this will affect an assignee’s entry and residence status in Brazil.

Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management, has written this alert in coordination with our Brazilian KGNM-MRS Global.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This content is provided for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or final guidance for any immigration matter. Readers are reminded that a country’s immigration laws and requirements may change with little to no advance public notice. Questions regarding specific immigration matters should be addressed to your Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist.