How do I get my Brazilian Visa?

September 2, 2016

August 15, 2016

Written by Alessandro Orefice and Nina Britto. Translated by Caroline Davidson.

Brazil is a land of opportunity: We are the largest country in Latin America and the 5th largest in the world in terms of population and land area [1], as well as the 7th largest economy in the world [2].

As we are a developing country, we have many problems.  At the same time, these problems are opportunities for those who want to provide solutions to them.  Beyond tourism, Brazil receives a large volume of investors and people who believe in the country’s potential.  Foreign students are one such group of people who believe that in some way Brazil will be an asset.

If you are also someone who sees an opportunity in Brazil, the first step is to decide to learn our language: Portuguese.  Our institute is specialized in the teaching of Portuguese for foreigners.  Teaching just the language is not enough.  For this reason, our course tackles cultural aspects as well to facilitate the foreign student’s adaptation to our country, reducing potential problems arising from culture shock. The second step is: get your visa, in order to entry in the country and have a good stay.


All Brazilian Visa Types

It’s important to be aware of the fact that the granting of a visa does not necessarily guarantee a person’s entrance in the country, nor their stay.  The visa is simply an indicator that the foreigner may enter and stay in Brazil for the time determined by the visa – or permanently – and may be revoked upon evaluation by the responsible authorities.

According to the consular website [3], visas are classified by the nature of the foreigner’s trip and stay in Brazil, and not by the passport presented.  The types are:

a)  Tourist Visa – VITUR
b) Transit Visa – VITRA
c)  Temporary Visas – VITEM 
d) Courtesy Visa – VICOR
e) Permanent Visas – VIPER 
f) Official Visa – VISOF
g) Diplomatic Visa – VIDIP
h) Temporary Residence Visa – VRT

Here’s a short explanation of the main visa types:

TOURIST (VITUR): If the purpose of your trip is leisure or visits to friends or family members but you do not wish to work or permanently live in the country, you should apply for this visa.  With it, you can stay here for up to 3 months (90 days) with the right to a single extension for an additional 3 months, if you solicit the extension by the deadline.  The visa may be valid for up to 5 years, depending on the nationality of the person applying, and it can be used for multiple entries in the country.  The visa holder may stay in Brazil for up to 180 days per year, but it’s important to know that this visa cannot be transformed into another type once the person is already in Brazil and that it prohibits paid work.  

TRANSIT (VITRA): If your final destination is another country but you need to enter Brazil in order to reach that country, this is the visa for you.  It allows you to leave the airport and stay in the country for up to 10 days, with no option of extending that period.  It allows for one entrance only in Brazil.

TEMPORARY (VITEM): There are many types.  They are:

(I) Cultural trip or study mission: This is for researchers and conference participators of specific topics.  It’s valid for up to 2 years and can be extended for another 2, if the original reasons for the granting of the visa are still valid.

(II) Business trip: If you are a professional and the purpose of your trip is to do business, without the intention of immigrating, you can apply for this type of visa that is valid for up to 5 years.  Your authorized period of stay in Brazil will be up to 90 days, with the possibility to extend the stay for another 90 days if solicited at the Federal Police before the initial 90 days expire.

(III) Artists and athletes: If this is your case, know that you cannot have any employment link in Brazil, but you will be allowed to participate in events related to your area.  Your stay may be up to 90 days per year, with the possibility to extend for an additional 90 days if solicited at the Federal Police before the initial 90 days expire.  The institution responsible for the foreigner’s stay in Brazil should apply for the visa instead of the individual, who will also need authorization for Brazil’s Work Ministry.

(IV) Student: There are three ways of applying for a student visa.

  • OPTION 1: If you’re an elementary, middle or high school student or a student at the college or graduate school level.  The visa will be valid for up to 1 year and can be extended annually during your course of study.  This extension must be solicited at the Federal Police or the Justice Ministry at least 30 days before the visa’s expiration.  You can change your course or even institution of study, but you must inform the Justice Ministry of all changes when you apply for the extension. 
  • OPTION 2: In case of university exchange programs between partner educational institutions, which can last between 6 and 18 months, or direct enrollment at a Brazilian university for courses with the same duration.
  • ⭐OPTION 3: You can also apply for a student visa if you have enrolled in a Portuguese for Foreigners course,  of at least 15 hours a week.  The maximum visa duration is 1 year.
    To enroll, access There are separate fees for the documentation provided by the school so that you can apply for your visa at the Brazilian consulate in your country.

For more information, contact one of our locations:

card2-pt-brSão Paulo: | +55 11 3280 7077

Rio de Janeiro: | +55 21 3942 3339

Observation: With a student visa, you are prohibited from paid work.  If you’re caught working, you’ll have to pay a fine, you may receive a judicial warning or you may even be deported.  

(V) Work: This visa is for people coming to Brazil to work with a company, with or without an employment relationship.  The company responsible for your trip to Brazil must apply for your work authorization at the Work Ministry before applying for your visa.  The work visa will be valid for up to 2 years, with the ability to be extended for another 2 years or even transformed into a permanent visa (if you’ve already worked for the same company for over 2 years and your work contract has been renewed).

It’s possible to get this type of visa through employment by a Brazilian company, but in this case the company must have at least ⅔ Brazilian employees.  This is the obligatory minimum requirement for this visa type.  Beyond this, the Brazilian company must justify its choice to hire a foreigner over a Brazilian.

(VI) Trainees and internships: If this is the purpose of your travel, know that you’ll have the right to a specific visa valid for up to 1 year, without any extension possibilities.  Two organizations that facilitate the entrance of foreign interns in Brazil are AIESEC and ABIPE.  They are non-profits and you must pass through their internal selection processes.  If you’re interested, contact them directly.  There are some facilitations for certain countries, like France, for example.  We advise you to contact the Brazilian consulate in your country for more details.

(VII) Medical Treatment: It’s possible to obtain a visa in situations of medical treatment, which must be proven.

(VIII) Journalist: If you’re a correspondent for newspaper, magazine, radio, television or a foreign news agency and you receive your salary from this foreign company, you can obtain this visa with a duration of up to 4 years, with the possibility of extension.

(IX) Religious Mission: If you’re a missionary from a religious congregation or order, you’ll have a different kind of visa.  It’ll be for up to 1 year and can be extended or even transformed into a permanent visa, via application to the Justice Ministry.

PERMANENT (VIPER): If your purpose is to immigrate definitively, living and working here, you must apply for this type of visa at the Brazilian consulate or embassy in your home country.  Your application will be reviewed according to the Foreigner Statute (Brazilian law number 6.815/80) and the Resolutions of the National Council on Immigration (CNIg), which is the legislation used in cases of immigration.  As the legislation is detailed and intricate, many foreigners end up hiring specialized services of lawyers and other consultants at this stage.  In order to obtain this visa, you’ll have to prove that you have strong and stable ties to Brazil.  This could be proven by marriage or officialized common-law marriage with a Brazilian (união estável, or “stable union” in Portuguese), children born in Brazil, capital investments in Brazil, obtaining political amnesty, and other reasons.

COURTESY (VICOR): This is a specific visa type for diplomatic staff and the household workers for heads of diplomatic missions.

OFFICIAL (VISOF): This is just for those who work for international bodies, embassies and consulates who come on official missions but do not possess diplomatic status.

DIPLOMATIC (VIDIP): For diplomats and their families, with children under 18.

To apply for your visa, seek out the Brazilian consulate closest to your city, pay the corresponding fees and fill out the forms specific to your visa type.  You’ll need a passport still valid for a minimum of 1 year, your proof of payment of the consular fees, your International Certificate of Immunizations (when necessary) and the specific documents that your visa type requires.

If you’re under 18 years of age, your application must also contain a written travel authorization signed by both parents or legal guardians.

For more information and a link to the forms, visit:

– Consular Website – MRE

– System for Control and Emission of Travel Documents – MRE

SOURCE: Justice Ministry

Special Case: Companion Visa

Accompany your foreign partner who is in Brazil for work

Situation 1: Your partner has a temporary visa and your visa is a temporary companion visa.  You can apply for a work visa with a company that offers you a CLT-contract position without the normal prerequisites.  It can be any position, in any area, even if it’s not related to your diplomas.  In this case, it’s advisable to hire a lawyer.

Situation 2: Permanent companion – In this case, the foreigner who holds a permanent companion visa is authorized to work.  You should seek out the Work Ministry to obtain your work card.

Student Visa with Instituto aprenda²

Beyond this, our ALEGRIA SOCIAL INTENSIVE and ALEGRIA VIP courses qualify students for a 3 to 12 month student visa. For this, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You can apply for a visa at any Brazilian consulate (outside Brazil).  Alternatively, if you are already in Brazil, you can apply for a Residence Permit (Autorização de Residência para Fins de Estudo) at the Polícia Federal.
  • Brazil practices reciprocity. This means that foreign students wishing to study in Brazil will be subject to the same diplomatic rules as Brazilian students wishing to study in that student’s home country.  In most countries, Brazilian students aren’t allowed to work.  So, under reciprocity, foreign students (from those countries) aren’t allowed to work in Brazil.  As the reciprocity rules vary from country to country, it’s important to consult the Brazilian consulate in your country to be certain if you will be allowed to work or not.  In almost all cases, a student visa (VITEM IV) does not allow you to work.
  • It’s important to mention that what characterizes a student visa is the act of studying.  If you abandon your studies, you visa loses its validity.  Therefore, the duration granted for your visa is based on the duration of your studies at our institute, which is directly linked to the quantity of ALEGRIA modules you will take at the school.
    The image below illustrates the sequence of our modules:

Alegria Program

– For example, if your proficiency level is B2.1 (advanced intermediate), you’ll have fewer teste-onlinemodules to take at our
school and, consequently, you’ll have a visa with a shorter duration.  On the other hand, if you’re a beginner (A1.1) but you only wish to take one or two modules, the duration of your visa will also be proportional to the length of these modules, which in this case would be 2 to 3 months.  If you’re a beginner (A1.1) and you wish to reach the advanced intermediate level (B2.2), you’ll have to take 8 modules of approximately one month each, for a total of a 10 to 12 month student visa.  – To find out your proficiency level, please access our online test using this link:


We hope that this article has helped clear up some of the various doubts surrounding this topic.  But, if you want to leave a comment, maybe someone from our online community will respond.
Best of luck and um grande abraço (a big hug)!

About the Instituto aprenda²

Brazilian Portuguese courses for foreigners

The ALEGRIA method was conceived from the marriage of our co-founder Audrey Conjat‘s experiences as a foreigner with the pedagogical expertise of our teaching staff. Talking about the teachers, they come from the main universities such as USPUFRJUNICAMPPUC

Also, our test prep for the official CELPE-BRAS exam prepares you for this exam.

Contact us for more information:
WhatsApp: +55 11 9 4939 0401

Do you need a sworn translation?

Sworn translations are made by people who are certified and accredited by the registry of commerce of each state. The applicants must pass highly demanding oral and written examinations for specific language pairs. They undergo background checks before receiving a registration number, which must be informed in the heading of every translation. If you need translate any of your official documents, please contact our translation services:

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