What is the change? Brazil’s Senate has passed the New Law on Migration (Nova Lei das Migrações). It passed the House in December and is expected to take effect upon signing by President Michel Temer.

What does the change mean? The new law revamps the primary legislation on the entry and immigration of foreign nationals dating back to 1980 and generally takes a more welcoming approach to attracting foreign talent.

  • Implementation time frame: The law awaits the president’s approval.
  • Visas/permits affected: All visas and permits.
  • Who is affected: Foreign nationals seeking to work and live in Brazil.
  • Business impact: The law may streamline some business and work visa categories.

Background: The new law is the result of a government review of the country’s immigration law, which has been in effect since the 1980 Alien Statute, when foreign presence in Brazil was viewed with greater skepticism. The law guarantees immigrants rights that are equal to those of Brazilian citizens, as well as equal access to public health and education.

Brazil hosts an estimated 1 million foreign nationals among its total population of 211 million, and a possible amnesty provision in the new law, if implemented, would benefit approximately 60,000 individuals.

BAL Analysis: Brazil is continuing to promote policies to better attract foreign high-skilled talent and ease processes for companies to recruit and retain these employees. While the new law focuses mainly on refugee issues and preventing human trafficking, it may also provide some benefits to businesses and expatriate employees.

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

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