Understanding how to get a Brazilian Investor Visa
Do you want to get a Brazilian investor visa but have fears of tackling the country’s famed bureaucracy? Fear not, the process of obtaining an investor visa, contrary to what many might think, is actually not an over-the-top stressful, pull your hair out type of procedure. It is a relatively straightforward, albeit more expensive alternative to getting permanent residency in the country.
To be eligible for an investor visa a foreigner must invest R$500,000 in either an already existing Brazilian company or in a new Brazilian company. It is possible to get the visa with amounts less than this but there is more subjectivity involved in the decision. The CNI (Conselho Nacional de Imigração or National Immigration Counsel in English) is the body which is responsible for making such a decision.
The CNI, which is part of the Labour Ministry, evaluates a few factors when deciding whether or not to grant the visa. Factors such as how many jobs the investment will create (based on the company’s business plan), where the company is located in the country, which sectors of the economy the company will be operating in and how exactly the company will be benefitting this sector, and if there will be a transfer of technology and/or resources which benefits the country in general.
All these factors should be taken into consideration with all investor visa applicants according to official government websites, however this is not what happens in practice. The team in Brasília that is responsible for approving visa applications are actually under legal obligation to approve all applications which have been submitted properly and have met the capital requirement. The subjectivity comes in when we are talking about investors investing less the R$500,000 minimum, as previously mentioned.
So what exactly do you need to do to get this visa? The important thing to note here is that the investor or investors themselves are not the ones responsible for applying for the visa. The Brazilian company which they are investing into is supposed to carry out the application process. From here you can probably deduce that if you’re planning on investing in your own company, then you have to set up the company first, wire in the capital, and then apply for the visa.
The trick here is that you will need a Brazilian resident to act as an interim administrator of your company until your receive the visa. The reason for this is because a non-resident can not legally sign on behalf of a Brazilian company. You will also need to open a company bank account in order to make the investment itself. Opening the account is a bit tougher than it sounds but that is another topic for another day.
You can apply for the visa once the money has been wired into the account. The documents which much be presented are the following:
- The company’s articles of association
- The company’s business plan
- The applicant’s passport
- A proof of foreign direct investment from SISBACEN
- Proof of payment of relevant fees
- A valid International Yellow Fever vaccination certificate
Once approved you can legally move to and work in the country. You are now eligible for a RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros) which is the national ID for foreigners in Brazil and you can also appoint yourself as the company’s administrator. The initial visa and RNE is valid for three years. Both can be renewed and the investor will be eligible for permanent residency.
There you have it. As said before, the process is not overly complex yet it can be lengthy. As with any other process in Brazil, you might have to go back and forth with process, making things a bit more frustrating. It is suggested that you get help from local professionals if you are seeking an investor visa in Brazil, in order to carry out the process correctly right from the start.