January 07, 2013

Brazil’s National Immigration Council recently published Resolução Normativa No. 99 (Normative Resolution #99 or “RN99”) to replace Normative Resolution 80 (RN80) by: amending a foreign national’s ability to apply directly for a work contract visa; extending permission for dependents of existing NR 80 or new NR99 visa holders to undergo a streamlined process to apply for Brazilian work authorization and also permitting citizens of any South American country to continue submitting RN99 visa applications with reduced documentation.

Whats Changed?

NR80 has traditionally been the category reserved for foreign nationals applying to work in Brazil under the “local work contract” Vitem V.

On December 21, 2012, Brazil’s Official Legal Gazette (Diario Oficial) published the National Immigration Council’s guidelines whereby Vitem V-“RN99” will replace Vitem V-“RN80” as the category for localized, non-immigrant work authorization. RN99 also amends some of the basic conditions for applying for local work contract status and for dependents accompanying these workers.

Effective December 21, these changes are as follows:

  1. Foreign nationals seeking to apply as self-employed individuals must evidence to the Ministry of Labor (MOL) the same overseas and Brazilian corporate support documentation as would be required from a qualified Brazilian company sponsor.
  2. Adult dependents of existing RN80 and newRN99 visa holders are allowed to apply to the MOL for only localized employment (e.g., a temporary work contract, not being paid from outside Brazil) using a streamlined application process.

(Please note that dependents of other temporary workers, such as Technical Visa holders, will not be permitted to apply for Brazilian work authorization using this streamlined process.)

Brazilian companies extending an offer of employment to a dependent residence visa holder must file a new work permit application with the Brazilian MOL. The streamlined application does not require dependents to submit legalized proof of university education or employment reference letters.

Please note that dependents filing in this status do not have unrestricted work authorization in Brazil. Work authorization is tied to the Brazilian company sponsor and the dependent’s work authorization will be valid only for the remaining duration of the primary visa holder’s status.

The general definition of “dependent” should be noted as follows:

  1. Under Brazilian immigration law, “minor” dependents are age 17 and under;
  2. Adult” dependents age 18 and over are eligible for Brazilian work authorization;
  3. Adult dependent is generally considered as a legally-married spouse or life partner of the primary visa holder. Non-traditional adult dependents will be granted status on a case-by-case basis;
    • Please note that the dependent’s status is derivative of the primary work visa holder’s status and duration of stay. Therefore, the dependent’s ability to work will expire at the same time as the primary NR99 visa holder’s status.
  4. Please note that citizens of South American countries may also apply for RN99 status using a streamlined application process that does not require these applicants to submit legalized proof of university education or letters of reference from prior employers. (Please note that this is a separate application process from citizens of MERCOSUR countries applying for Brazilian work authorization.)

Please be advised that as this as these are new regulations announced immediately prior to the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season, finalizing guidelines and implementation of protocols may not occur until early 2013.

ACTION ITEMS FOR EMPLOYERS

The amending of category designation from Vitem V-RN80 to Vitem V-RN99 should be noted to ensure that companies understand the appropriate new category specific category for two-year, non-immigrant work authorization pursuant to a Brazilian work contract.

The ability of private individuals to file for localized work authorization the same as a Brazilian company on behalf of a foreign worker remains to be clarified. For self-employed individuals wishing to localize themselves in Brazil, it is best to consult with a Brazilian immigration provider for further details.

As of December 21st, qualified dependents of existing RN80 and new RN99 visa holders are welcome to solicit job opportunities as locally-paid workers of a Brazilian company. The streamlined application process is intended to shorten the time to file a work permit application with the MOL.

In general, once the MOL approves the work permit application, the dependent must relinquish his or her original passport to the local Federal Police office where the existing visa will be annotated for work authorization. Once annotated, the Federal Police should also update the dependent’s existing Brazilian residence permit file (RNE) with work authorized information. In addition, if the dependent has not yet obtained his or her own Brazilian Tax ID (CPF), this will be necessary to obtain prior to the dependent also applying for a Brazilian Labor Book (CTPS). The CTPS must be annotated by the Brazilian company sponsor.

At present, as the final requirements and protocols are not yet determined, dependents considering work authorization should bear in mind that the MOL is currently taking a minimum of 30-45 days to process work permit applications in addition to the time to obtain the necessary CPF, RNE amendments and CTPS.

For those companies considering assignments in Brazil, HR should keep in mind any qualified candidates who are citizens of a South American country since obtaining their work authorization may be a less time-consuming process.

Caveat Lector | Warning to Reader

This is provided as informational only and does not substitute for actual legal advice based on the specific circumstances of a matter. Readers are reminded that Immigration laws are fluid and can change a moment’s notice without any warning. Please reach out to your local Pro-Link GLOBAL specialist should you require any additional clarification. This alert was prepared by Glenn Faulk, Senior Manager, Knowledge Management.