What are the changes? The Brazilian Ministry of Justice has issued an order that simplifies Permanent Visa applications based on kinship (marriage, Brazilian child, “stable union”), as well as for citizens of Mercosur member countries applying for Permanent Residence.

What does the change mean? Foreign nationals applying for kinship-based Permanent Visas and Mercosur nationals applying for Permanent Visas will now be able to get their RNE number (the ID number for foreigners living in Brazil) when they submit their application, rather than having to wait for final approval from the Ministry, which can take more than one year.

  • Implementation timeframe:The order takes effect Sept. 1.
  • Visas/permits affected:Permanent Visa applications based on kinship or by citizens of Mercosur countries.
  • Who is affected: All foreign nationals applying for Permanent Visas based on kinship and Mercosur nationals applying for Permanent Residence.
  • Impact on processing times: The processing time for Permanent Visas remains the same, but applicants will be able to receive their RNE number upon submission.
  • Next steps: Foreigners applying for Permanent Visas on the basis of kinship will be able to get their RNE number when they submit their application to the local Federal Police.

Background: Currently, it can take more than a year to receive final approval of an application for Permanent Visas based on marriage to a Brazilian citizen, “stable union” (unmarried cohabiting relationship) with a Brazilian citizen or the birth of a Brazilian child. Under current procedures, applicants must wait for final approval before getting an RNE number.

The new order, No. 1371, modifies a recent order, No. 1351, and does not change processing times, but greatly expedites assignment of an RNE number.

BAL Analysis: The modifications will be extremely helpful to foreigners applying for Permanent Visas based on kinship and for Mercosur nationals changing from Temporary Residence to Permanent Residence. The RNE number, which will now be granted as soon as the application is filed, serves as the primary identification document in Brazil, as it is required to complete such basic business activities as opening bank accounts and signing leases.

Companies and foreign assignees should be aware that it may take some time for the local Federal Police offices to adapt to the new procedures and documentary requirements may vary depending on the jurisdiction where the application is filed. BAL will continue to monitor implementation of the new order by local authorities in Brazil and update clients accordingly.

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

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