There are different visa categories for visitors and expats moving to Rio de Janeiro which serve different purposes. There are different short-term visas, which include business visas and visas for tourists and visitors, and permanent visas for those who intend on moving to Rio de Janeiro indefinitely. Tourists from Latin America and many European countries may enter the country without securing a visa beforehand, and have the right to stay in Rio for up to 90 days at a time.
All other visitors must apply for a visa beforehand (please refer to the nearest consulate or embassy of your home country to find out if this applies to you), including expats who travel to Rio for a business trips. Business visa are only valid for business meetings and negotiations, but do not permit you to work in Rio de Janeiro.
Have you signed a temporary employment contract with a company in Rio de Janeiro? Then you should apply for a V temporary visa (VITEM). Keep in mind that your work contract has to be examined and (hopefully) approved by the Ministry of Labor before your visa application can be approved. Thus, it may take quite a while before you receive your visa..
Temporary work visa are valid for a period of up to two years and can be extended once. Since November 2011, you may extend you temporary visa for an undetermined period of time. However, you are limited to the profession which is specified in your visa. You cannot change jobs while working in Rio de Janeiro or stay in the city to find a new job after your employment contract ends.
Many expats who want to work in Rio, and particularly those who think about working on a self-employed basis, apply for a permanent visa instead. With a permanent visa, you are permitted to change jobs and you avoid having to renew your visa. On the downside, you need to show proof of specific qualifications and a work contract in order to be eligible for receiving a permanent visa.
If you plan on starting your own business in Rio de Janeiro, you have to bring a minimum amount of financial capital. Retirees have to have a monthly pension of at least 6,000 BR (about 2,250 USD) to qualify for a permanent visa. Additionally, you need to have a clean police record with no criminal record whatsoever. If you are seeking employment in Rio, you need to prove that your skills and qualifications are a benefit to Brazil’s economy.
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