What is the change? Brazil has joined the Hague Apostille Convention, allowing government ministries and other local authorities to accept foreign documents that are apostilled instead of requiring document legalization procedures. The notice of Decree #8660 was published in the Official Gazette Feb. 1.

What does the change mean? Brazil will accept apostilled documents issued in other Hague Convention countries, instead of requiring the usual legalization procedure which in some countries is a complicated and time-consuming process.

  • Implementation time frame: Starting Aug. 14, 2016.
  • Visas/permits affected: All work visas, residence permits and any immigration process that requires foreign documents.
  • Who is affected: All applicants submitting foreign documents to Brazilian authorities.
  • Impact on processing times: The changes will simplify work permit visas and all other immigration processes, such as permanent residency and naturalization, for foreign nationals from Hague Convention countries.
  • Next steps: Applicants submitting foreign documents can benefit from the new policy starting Aug. 14.

Background: Under current rules, foreigners applying for a Brazilian Work Visa or applying for any immigration benefit, including permanent residency based on marriage to a Brazilian citizen or having a Brazilian baby, face complicated procedures for legalizing personal documents, such as marriage and birth certificates, educational degrees and other documents issued in the home country. For certain countries, the legalization process can be so complicated and lengthy that it deters Brazilian companies from hiring foreign employees.

BAL Analysis: These changes are a positive development for foreign applicants, as Brazil continues to review and reform its laws and regulations to make processes smoother and more efficient for businesses transferring international employees to Brazil.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Brazil. For additional information, please contact

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