August 28, 2012

As a result of stalled negotiations on salary requirements for public employees of the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (ITAMARATY), the public employees union has reinstated a full strike both at the head Ministry in Brasília and at various Brazilian consular posts throughout the world.

Update on Strike

As an update to our earlier alert (http://www.pro-linkglobal.com/resources/immigration-alerts/2012/brazil-ministry-of-foreign-affairs-concludes-strike-possible-delays-in-filing-work-permit-visa-and-legalization-applications-a201.aspx), on August 22nd, the general assembly of ITAMARATY employees, which include diplomats, ministerial officers and assistants and Brazilian consular employees, decided to reinstate a full strike due to failure by the Brazilian Government to meet certain salary requirements.

As with the earlier strike, the Ministerial employees are expected to cease work on all visa application approvals and document legalization requests. With respect to the Brazilian consular posts, consular staff may join the strike on a voluntary basis. With the earlier strike, many consular posts chose to not join engage a complete work stoppage, where visa application and document legalization services remained available, albeit with reduced staff and longer processing times.

With this second round of failure to conclude mutually-agreeable salary negotiations, it is expected that more Brazilian consular posts will join this strike. At this time, 19 Brazilian consular or representative posts have joined the strike, including major consular posts such as London, New Delhi and Rome.

As of today, the cities where Brazilian consular posts have announced closings/stoppages of visa application and legalization services are as follows:

Abuja (Nigeria), Barcelona, Beirut (Embassy and Consulate), Buenos Aires, Brussels, Ciudad del Este (Paraguay), Damascus, Frankfurt, Lisbon, London, Madrid, Mendoza (Argentina), New Delhi, Rome (Consulate & the FAO Office), Sofia (Bulgaria), Sydney, Tel Aviv.

Please be advised that additional embassies, consular posts and representative offices may join this strike.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

At present, the Brazilian Government is observing two, separate public employee strikes by the Federal Police (FENAPEF) and the ITAMARATY.

Companies and assignees are advised that both strikes are affecting the processing of all immigration-related matters, save for processing of work permit applications by the Ministry of Labor.

For any Brazilian immigration matters that are pending before the consulates and Federal Police, or for assignees awaiting issuance of visa authorizations by the ITAMARATY to the Brazilian consular posts in order to request business or work visas, it is strongly recommended to the companies and assignees work closely with their Brazilian immigration suppliers to understand what affect these strikes will have on an individual’s immigration process.

Pro-Link GLOBAL will continue monitor the effect of these strikes as they unfold.

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