January 20, 2012

Effective January 4, 2012, the Brazilian National Immigration Council (NIC) has announced its intention to renew employment agreement visas (“Normative Resolution #80” or “NR#80”) visas.  Beginning January 2012, NR#80 visas are now eligible for a single, two-year extension for a maximum period of stay of up to four years.

What’s Changed?

As a follow up to our previous alert (http://www.pro-linkglobal.com/uploads/immigration_alert/GLOBAL%20BRIEF_Brazil_16%20NOV%202011.pdf), the NIC has issued a reversal of its own interpretation of Normative Resolution 96 to again allow NR#80 visas to be renewed for a further two-year period.

For NR#80 visa renewal applications pending approval by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ), or for NR#80 visa holders preparing to file a renewal application, applicants should no longer be required to transform from a non-immigrant status to a “conditional permanent residence” that is tied to their existing employment in Brazil.

The main difference between earlier renewals of NR#80 visas and now is that the underlying employment agreement filed with the extension application must be valid for an indeterminate period versus two years.   While the employment agreement will be valid indefinitely, the MOJ will only issue a two-year extension of the visa.

In addition, once a foreign national remains in valid NR#80 status for four consecutive years, he or she will again be eligible to apply to the MOJ for unconditional permanent residence status (i.e., permanent residence status not tied to a specific Brazilian employer).

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

As this is a very recent “re-interpretation” of Normative Resolution # 96, Brazilian companies with pending NR#80 visa applications may have already received a letter from the MOJ requesting  further documents and/or requesting revision of employment agreements to facilitate amending NR#80 visas to conditional permanent residence status (also known as “exigency” letters).

At present, the MOJ has not yet issued official guidance as to when pending NR#80 extension applications will be adjudicated and visas issued for an additional two years.   However, Pro-Link GLOBAL’s Brazilian KGNM are in negotiations with the MOJ to confirm when these pending applications will be adjudicated and when renewal applicants may proceed with updating their immigration status with local Federal Police.

For those clients with extension applications in “exigency” or awaiting final adjudication, please be advised that Pro-Link GLOBAL will be working closely with these clients to confirm any updates and expectations for approval of extension applications.

This news alert was provided in coordination with our Brazilian KGNM–EMDOC.

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.