By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – On Tuesday, August 19th the Brazilian Ministry of Justice announced in the Official Gazette that the procedure for foreign residency in Brazil will become easier for those that apply. Many foreigners previously expressed dissatisfaction about the time consuming process that applying for a permanent residency in Brazil had became for them.

CIE card issued in Brazil that contains a Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros (RNE)
Once granted permant residency, foreigners must apply for a foreign identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiros or CIE), which will have their RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros) number, photo by The Rio Times.

Complaints included drawn out confusion over missing documents and incorrect paperwork. The new rules amend Ordinance No. 1351, issued earlier this month on August 8th and will go into effect on September 1st.

“Most of the requests we receive are simple,” director of the Department of Foreign Affairs for the Ministry of Justice, João Guilherme Granja explained on the Portal Brasil website.

“The intention is to preapprove the procedures that have the correct documentation and meet the requirements. If any document is missing, the applicant will be informed while in the Federal Police station. Thus, the whole procedure will be faster than before.”

Foreigners can apply for residency in cases of family reunion, if they are a foreign parent to a Brazilian child, or are married to or in a união estável (stable union/civil union) with a Brazilian citizen. There are also long-term visas available for retirees and investors who meet the mandated requirements.

Once granted permanent residency, foreigners can remain in the country and there is no need to renew residency. Permanent residents do need to apply for a foreign identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiros or CIE), which is issued by the Department of Federal Police (DPF) and will need to be renewed every nine years.

Foreign residents can not leave the country for longer than two years or their permanent residency status will be lost. If they wish to become permanent residents again after that absence, they must reapply.

Read more (in Portuguese).

* The Rio Times Daily Updates feature is offered to help keep you up-to-date with important news as it happens.


  1. That the CIE must be renewed every 9 years seems to be a mystery to the Federal Policemens I asked. I got
    the answer that if I wanted a new CIE I had to start the whole process to get a new permanent residency and they told me to keep my old CIE – expires in dec 2014 – to avoid the problem.

  2. “If they wish to become permanent residents again after that absence, they must reapply.” Permanent AGAIN? Seems like someone doesn’t know what “permanent” means.

  3. If you believe that,you will believe anything.These are all cosmetic procedural changes and will not actually make it eaiser for anyone to get a permanet visa.The substance of the rules and laws has not been changed.
    I remember they made a similar announcement about work visas a couple of years back.

  4. I don’t think these steps will help – esepcially since there is often a complete lack of coordination between the Federal Police and Ministry of Justic. There is also a lack of consistency in the knowledge base of the people who work for these branches of government. And if 1 person screws ANYTHING up, they often need to start the paperwork all over again from step one. Add to that fact that, for many people, it takes a year+ for the PF to visit their homes. The problem hasn’t really been lack of paperwork at the PF. It has been overall incompetence from the people who work in these places.

  5. so after spending the last couple of months getting my documents together for my marriage visa, yesterday they changed the rules Wacko

    I went to the Policia Federal at the Rio De Janeiro airport today with my wife and was told that now I need to book an appointment through the website to be seen. Only problem is I can’t find how to do this?

    if anyone can help it would be very appreciated! I assume the site is


  6. Re Bob’s comment on “permanency”, if you get an investor visa your visa is “permanent” but it’s conditioned upon the company you invested in complying with the visa prerequisites, usually employing people. The ID card for one of those is only valid for 3 years, so you have to go back to the federal police and prove your company did what it said it would do. Then your new ID card will be valid for 9 years, and can be renewed. If your permanent visa was granted because you became a director of a Brazilian company, your ID card is valid for only 5 years, after that you renew for a 9-year card.
    So the visa is permanent, but the ID card is not.

  7. the site does have a LOT of rules if you’re going to get a visa based on a “união estável”, including the presentation of a clean police blotter from your home country. In the US, that’s from the FBI, which can take months to issue it. But if you marry a Brazilian, it’s much simpler, no police record is required.

  8. Hello, We are about 4 partners trying to put together a Company in Brazil. Each of as already have our CPF. is licensed (in Brazil) and it has a CPNJ. I was in Brazil recently to sign the Digital Certificate for the company. I got my Passport translated (into Portuguese) by a Certified Translator and got the Digital Certificate for the Company. Then all these Application paper work was sent to the Ministry of Labor. An accountant that we have there sent all this to the Ministry of Labor. The only thing that I do not understand here is, will my translated Passport Document be equivalent to RNE ? Where does the RNE come to play in this process that we underwent ? If this application was made to provide the 4 of us partners the necessary Visa(?) then how do we go about getting the RNE for each of us ? Can any on please advise me more about this ?


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