My name is Katia Castro, I’m from São Paulo, Brazil and here is why I have decided to start this blog.
In 1999, I met a foreigner while studying in the USA and after some months of dating and living together we decided to get married. My future husband came to Brazil on Tourist Visa, we had translated and notarized all the necessary legal documentation and got married legally both in church and civil office.
We were extremely happy, life was in front of us, but before making any concrete plans on buying property, starting a business or even finding temporary job, first my husband needed Permanent Residence Visa. The Tourist Visa was to expire soon, so we gathered all the necessary documents as instructed by the Federal Police Department of Immigration and were ready to proceed.
Our research on the Internet showed that since we are legally married my husband has the right to obtain Permanent Residence as part of the Brazilian so called Family Reunion Law. Similar laws are popular in other countries in America and Europe so we were convinced that the process would be fast and easy.
We couldn’t be more WRONG!!
The BIG difference between the laws in Brazil and most of the other countries we researched was that in Brazil you had the RIGHT TO APPLY FOR A VISA, but not the RIGHT TO RECEIVE A VISA!!
Our life turned to HELL! A small typing mistake in my husband’s name made all documents invalid and we had to redo everything! Then, The Federal Police officer in charge of our case reported that he went to our apartment for an interview (required by the law), but he couldn’t find us. Absolute LIE since my husband could not work on Tourist Visa and was at home all day long! More and more obstacles were laid on our road to the dreamed visa and at one point it was rejected by the Ministry of Justice with no explanation at all!
We were DEVASTATED! We didn’t know what to do and it seemed like our life together has come to an end – at least in Brazil, my country of birth! Something that was so obvious to us – getting married, having the visa issued and going ahead with our lives was denied and we had no solution!
At that point we decided that we still have another option – hiring an immigration lawyer, paying whatever fees they were going to ask us and having them to deal with the impossible bureaucracy in Brazil at that time.
So we did. It was not easy neither cheap but finally 2 years after getting married my husband finally received his Permanent Residence Visa.
According to our immigration lawyers we could avoid most of the problems and even get the visa ourselves if we knew WHAT EXACTLY to do and HOW EXACTLY to do it. We did not.
That’s the reason I decided to start this web site – to help YOU avoid all the hassle and save your time and money when applying for visa to Brazil, and to give YOU the KNOWLEDGE of what to expect and how exactly to deal with it!