What is the change? New regulations have been issued that set the criteria and documentary requirements for dependent visas issued by a consulate or a dependent’s residence authorization issued in-country.

What does the change mean? Among the changes, the definition of dependents has been expanded to include family membe who are “second-degree” blood relations, which include grandparents and grandchildren if they are economic dependents. Additionally, unmarried partners (same-sex or opposite-sex) benefit from reduced documentary requirements and no longer need to prove that the relationship has continued for more than one year.

Qualifying relationships:

Dependent visas are available if the applicant has one of the following family relationships to a Brazilian citizen or foreign resident holding a valid residence authorization:

  • Opposite-sex and same-sex spouses.
  • Opposite-sex and same-sex domestic partners.
  • Children, grandchildren and stepchildren who are economically dependent on the sponsor.
  • Parents and grandparents.
  • Siblings who are economically dependent on the sponsor.
  • Children under legal guardianship.

Procedures: The dependent may apply at a Brazilian Consulate or, in cases where a sponsor and dependent have entered Brazil, at the Federal Police Department just after entry. Dependents who are not visa-waived nationals must apply for a visitor’s visa before traveling to Brazil. All supporting documents that were issued outside Brazil must be properly legalized or apostilled.

Restrictions: To prevent fraud, Brazilian authorities do not recognize marriage by power of attorney.

Dependents applying as domestic partners must provide certain specified documentary support, which may vary from case to case, but they no longer need to prove the duration of the relationship. Previously, they had to prove that the relationship lasted for longer than one year.

Foreign nationals already holding a dependent visa are not allowed to subsequently sponsor applicants.

Background: Following implementation of Brazil’s New Law on Immigration last November, the Ministry of Justice issued a Regulation on the Dependent’s Visa and Dependent’s Residence Authorization, but the rules did not cover all scenarios. The new regulations will standardize requirements among Brazilian overseas consulates and the domestic Federal Police Department.

BAL Analysis: The regulations provide clarity on various dependent visa categories. Although new requirements have been added, authorities have broadened the dependent visa category to cover more types of relationships. For domestic partnership cases, the number of requirements to prove the partnership has been considerably reduced, which will save applicants time in the document gathering stage.

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