Frequently Asked Questions
I – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Careers
What is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs? What are its functions? When was it founded?
What does a diplomat do? How does one enter the diplomatic career?
What is the difference between the Foreign Ministry and Itamaraty?
Who was the Baron of Rio Branco? Why is he considered the patron of Brazilian diplomacy?
What is the administrative structure of the Foreign Ministry?
How many representations abroad does the Foreign Ministry have?
What is the importance of keeping this network of Embassies, Consulates and Missions abroad?
How can I get the contacts of a specific post?
How many employees does the Foreign Ministry have?
Has the internet changed the job of the diplomat?
How is the diplomatic career structured?
What is the difference between a diplomat, an ambassador, a consul general, an honorary consul and a foreign minister?
Who was the first woman to become a diplomat? And the first woman ambassador?
What does a Chancery Officer do? And a Chancery Assistant? How does one enter these careers?
What is the difference between a regular passport and a diplomatic passport? Which immunities are enjoyed by officials of the Brazilian Foreign Service?
How many countries does Brazil maintain diplomatic relations with?
How many representations of foreign countries are there in Brasilia?
How can I get the contacts of a foreign representation in Brasilia?
Is it possible to visit the Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia? And the one in Rio de Janeiro?
II – Assistance to Brazilians abroad
How many Brazilians live abroad?
How many Brazilians travel abroad each year?
How many appointments are given by the Brazilian consular network abroad?
Is it possible to obtain online information on the activities of the Brazilian consular network?
What are the limits to the Brazilian consular activities?
I will travel abroad on tourism. What procedures should I follow?
I intend to live abroad. What should I do?
In case of mistreatment abroad, what can the Foreign Ministry do?
I lost all my money, I'm unemployed, and I want to return to Brazil. Can the Consular Office pay my return ticket?
I lost all my documents, including my passport, and my return ticket to Brazil is scheduled for a few days. Can the Consulate help me get a passport quickly? What about the other documents?
I have received an offer to carry a package in exchange for a cash reward. What are the risks?
How can I find out which Consulate is responsible for the region to where I intend to travel?
In an emergency (for example, death or imprisonment of a Brazilian abroad), who should I talk to?
In case of the arrest of a Brazilian citizen abroad, can the Foreign Ministry help? What are the rights of the prisoner and his/her family in this case?
In case of death of a Brazilian citizen overseas, to what rights is his/her family entitled? Does the Foreign Ministry pay the transfer of the body to Brazil?
I have dual nationality and live abroad. If I need assistance, can the Foreign Ministry help me?
What is the legal status of a child born of Brazilian parents outside Brazil? Is he/she Brazilian? Can the Consular Office help with this?
Is the Brazilian who lives abroad still obliged to vote in Brazilian elections? And to make an annual declaration of income? And conscription? Can the Consulate help with this?
I have married abroad. Am I automatically married before the Brazilian judicial system? Can the divorce conducted abroad be recognized in Brazil?
I have married abroad to a person of Brazilian nationality. We have no incapable or underage children. Is it possible to have our divorce conducted in a Brazilian Consular Office?
How can I submit a question, critique, suggestion or compliment to the service provided by the consulates?
Do I always need to have my passport in order to travel abroad?
I have met a foreigner online and we want to get married. How should I proceed?
I was hired to play football / work at a Brazilian restaurant / work as a model / teach capoeira abroad. How should I prepare for this experience?
I will do "adventure tourism" or hiking / mountaineering abroad. Should I take any special precaution before the trip?
Is it necessary to hire international health insurance before traveling?
I have received electronic communication about job opportunity and / or inheritance abroad. Should I take extra precautions before traveling?
I live abroad, but I intend to return to Brazil soon. What should I do?
Are my documents issued in Brazil valid abroad?
And can the documents issued abroad be recognized in Brazil?
Can the Embassy or Consulate of Brazil perform notarial acts or authenticate copies of documents issued abroad? Is it possible to notarize or authenticate a document issued abroad in Brazil?
How do I get a diploma obtained abroad to be recognized in Brazil?
III - International Treaties
One of the functions of the diplomat is to negotiate international agreements. What are these agreements? What are they for?
Where can I find a copy of the international agreements signed by Brazil?
International agreements can be established only between countries and signed by their presidents?
What happens if a country fails to comply with an international agreement?
Are there secret international agreements?
Does an international agreement enter into force on the day of its signature?
Why does the National Congress need to approve some international agreements so that they take effect?
After the National Congress approves an international agreement, does this agreement enter into force immediately?
It is possible that international agreements approved by the National Congress never enter into force?
How do I know if an agreement is in force?
IV – Practical / Specific Themes
I am a researcher in the area of foreign relations of Brazil and I would like to have access to historical documentation of the Foreign Ministry. What should I do?
I am a journalist and I would like to get information from the Foreign Ministry for an article. What should I do?
I am an artist and I would like to take my work to the public abroad. How should I do it?
I am African descent and I want to be a diplomat. Do I have any kind of support?
I am a Brazilian entrepreneur and I would like to export my products or services. Can the Foreign Ministry help me with this?
I am a Brazilian academic and I would like to get a scholarship to study abroad. What should I do?
I am an international student and I would like to get a scholarship to study in Brazil. How do I do it?
How do I visit a Brazilian Embassy abroad? In tourist places, as a Brazilian citizen can I use the facilities of the Embassy (telephones and toilets, for example)?
I am a foreigner and want to legally live in Brazil. What should I do?
I would you like to have more information on the economic and political relations between Brazil and other countries, as well as on the Brazilian role in multilateral organizations (such as the United Nations, Mercosur, the WTO). How do I do it?
I – The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Service Careers
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is the organ of the federal government responsible for Brazil's relations with other countries and for the Brazilian participation in international organizations. It runs the foreign policy defined by the Presidency according to the principles laid down in article 4 of the Federal Constitution.
The origins of the Ministry date back to 1821, when of the separation of the Department of Foreign Affairs from the Secretariat of War. After the proclamation of the Republic, in 1889, the Department of Foreign Affairs was denominated Ministry of Foreign Affairs
2. What does a diplomat do? How does one enter the diplomatic career?
Basically, diplomats represent and promote Brazilian interests at the international level, strengthening cooperation bonds between Brazil and its foreign partners, and provide assistance to Brazilian citizens abroad.
Some of the activities undertaken by the Brazilian diplomats are:
• Represent Brazil before other countries and international organizations;
• Contribute to the formulation of Brazil's foreign policy;
• Participate in international meetings and, in them, negotiate on behalf of Brazil:
• Promote Brazilian foreign trade and attract tourism and investments;
• Promote the culture and values of the Brazilian people;
• Provide consular assistance to Brazilian citizens abroad;
Throughout their career, diplomats may be in charge of several tasks and address themes as diverse as human rights, social affairs, environment, education, energy, peace and security, trade promotion, financial issues, cooperation for development, promotion of the Brazilian culture, educational cooperation, ceremonial and protocol.
When carrying out consular activities, a diplomat will support and guide Brazilian citizens in need of assistance abroad. Performing notarial acts and organizing elections abroad are also among the several consular activities of a diplomat.
Admission to the diplomatic career occurs through public contest organized by the Rio Branco Institute - the body of Itamaraty responsible for the selection, training, and advanced training of diplomats. The Entrance Examination to the Diplomatic Carrier has been held annually since 1946.
None. Until 1970, the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was the Itamaraty Palace, in Rio de Janeiro – and, informally, the Ministry came to be known by the name of the building that housed it. The habit was preserved to the time of the move to Brasília as the Palace of Arches – the original name of the building designed by Oscar Niemeyer – was soon nicknamed "Itamaraty Palace".
José Maria da Silva Paranhos Junior (1846-1912), the Baron of Rio Branco, was a diplomat and historian. With a degree in law, he was congressman and journalist before joining the diplomatic service. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs between 1902 and 1912, under four presidents: Rodrigues Alves, Afonso Pena, Nilo Peçanha and Hermes da Fonseca. His greatest legacy was the peaceful settlement of border disputes between Brazil and its neighboring countries. Because of this – and for having consolidated the tradition of pragmatism of Brazilian diplomacy – he is considered the patron of Brazilian diplomats. In 2010, the name of José Maria da Silva Paranhos was inscribed in the book of Heroes of the Fatherland, which is in the Tancredo Neves Pantheon of the Fatherland and Freedom, in the Square of the Three Powers (Brasília).
The Foreign Ministry has offices in Brazil and abroad.
The State Secretariat of Foreign Affairs is located in Brasília, Brazil, and it houses the Office of the Minister of State, the General Secretariat and the nine Undersecretariats for specific themes (Undersecretariats Generals for Political Affairs I, II and III, Undersecretariat General for South and Central America and the Caribbean; Undersecretariat General for Economic and Financial Affairs; Undersecretariat General for Environment, Energy, Science and Technology; Undersecretariat General for Brazilian Communities Abroad; Undersecretariat General for Cooperation, Culture and Trade Promotion; and Undersecretariat General for the Foreign Service) which are divided in departments and divisions; the Rio Branco Institute, responsible for the training of the Brazilian diplomatic corps; the nine regional offices, which act as supporting departments for the activities of the Foreign Ministry in the cities where they are located; and the two Limits Demarcation Commissions, responsible for the keeping of the border demarcations of Brazil.
Abroad, the Foreign Ministry's offices are called "posts". There are three basic types of posts: the Embassy, responsible for the bilateral relations between Brazil and the country where it is established (the reason why its headquarters are always located in the capitals); the Consular Office, primarily responsible for the assistance to Brazilian citizens abroad; and the Mission or Delegation accredited to international organizations such as the UN and the WTO.
The Consular Office can be a Consulate General, a Consulate or a Vice-Consulate (without proper jurisdiction, the last undergoes a Consulate).
In countries where Brazil only keeps the Embassy, those have a consular section.
The network of posts comprises 139 Embassies, 52 Consulate Generals, 11 Consulates, 8 Vice-Consulates, 12 Missions or Delegations and 3 Representation Offices.
Keeping an extensive network of Brazilian diplomatic and consular representations abroad is essential to allow the proper execution of the foreign policy, ensuring the Brazilian participation in key issues of the international agenda. Moreover, the existence of this network allows the employees of the Brazilian Foreign Service to act and take measures locally, in a direct manner, which makes the promotion of foreign trade, the attraction of investments and the assistance to Brazilians living abroad more efficient
The contact details of all Brazilian diplomatic and consular representations abroad are available in the "Representations" section of this portal.
The Brazilian Foreign Service consists of three careers: diplomat, chancery officer and chancery assistant. In April 2014, the board of employees counted with 1,581 diplomats, 872 chancery officers and 603 chancery assistants.
The internet has become one of the many tools of the international agent. Informing the Minister of Foreign Affairs and analyzing the reality abroad are some of the main activities of the diplomat. The possibility of obtaining real-time information about events occurring virtually in any place of the world has brought changes to this function, but did not replace it. However, obtaining information directly from the source, as well as conducting successful negotiations can take place only from the personal contact of the diplomat with authorities, businessmen and representatives of the civil society of the country where he/she is working.
A diplomat enters the career as Third Secretary and may be promoted to Second Secretary, First Secretary, Counselor, Second Class Minister, and First Class Minister (Ambassador). Abroad, Second Class and First Class Ministers may exercise the function of Ambassador.
12. What is the difference between a diplomat, an ambassador, a consul general, an honorary consul and a foreign minister (or "chanceler")?
A diplomat is the civil servant approved in the examinations of the Rio Branco Institute.
Ambassador is the title conferred upon the head of a diplomatic mission – Embassies and Representations to International organizations -, being he/she in the diplomatic career or not. It is the prerogative of the President of the Republic to appoint Ambassadors, and any citizen may be designated.
Consul-General is the title given to the diplomat who heads a Consulate General.
Foreign Minister is the tittle conferred upon the Minister of State of Foreign Affairs.
In Latin America, the terms Canciller (Spanish) or Chanceler (Portuguese) are commonly used informally to refer to the post of foreign minister.
The Honorary Consul is not an employee of the Brazilian government. His/her appointment relies on honor and merit and is not legally binding. He / She is a Brazilian or foreign citizen, with good local or regional profile, willing and able to act in the host community in the interests of the Brazilian State and its nationals. He/she does not receive monetary compensation for their service as a consul and does not count on a consular office for the services rendered. They work on a voluntary basis to assist the resident Brazilian community and, in case of emergency, Brazilian travelers passing through.
The first place in the entrance examination of 1918 was Maria José de Castro. Her admission was contested by the authorities then, but thanks to the defense of her cause by Ruy Barbosa, she had her rights to enter the diplomatic career guaranteed. From 1919 to 1938, 19 other women joined the diplomatic corps. In 1938, a presidential decree established that only men could join the diplomat career. In 1953, after a lawsuit, candidate Maria Sandra Cordeiro de Mello obtained the right to serve Brazil as a diplomat. Since 1954, the examination is open to all Brazilians, regardless of gender. The first Woman Ambassador of the Foreign Ministry was Odete de Carvalho e Souza, who headed the then Political Department of the Ministry, from 1956 to 1959.
Chancery Officers are public servants with higher education responsible for the formulation, implementation, and execution of acts of technical analysis and administrative management, necessary for the development of the Brazilian foreign policy. Chancery Assistants are public servants with intermediate educational level responsible for providing technical and administrative support in Brazil and in the Brazilian representations abroad. Admission to both carriers occurs through public contest.
The diplomatic passport is a travel document granted free of charge to diplomats and to holders of other positions and functions listed in items I to XII of article 6 of the Travel Documents Regulation, annexed to Decree 5.978, of 2006.
Bearing a diplomatic passport does not imply any privilege or immunity in Brazil.
Abroad, diplomatic and consular immunities do not stem from bearing a diplomatic passport, but rather from being officially posted in a consular or diplomatic representation abroad and accredited before local authorities. If a holder of a diplomatic passport is travelling on vacation to another country, he/she is not entitled to such privileges and immunities.
More information on this topic can be found in the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and in the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations.
Brazil has relations with all other 192 UN Member States. There are only 11 other countries in the world which keep diplomatic relations with all other countries.
According to data from the first half of 2014, there are 133 foreign resident embassies in Brasilia – which places the city among the top 15 in the world with the largest number of resident diplomatic representations. In addition, there are 44 international organizations and 52 non-resident embassies. Since 2003, 37 resident embassies were opened in Brasilia.
The contacts details of all foreign diplomatic and consular representations in Brazil are available in the "Representations" section of this portal.
The Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia is open daily for free guided tours. The Historic and Diplomatic Museum, located at the Itamaraty Palace in Rio de Janeiro, can also be visited. For more information, go to the "Visit Itamaraty" section of this portal.
II – Assistance to Brazilians abroad
According to the most recent estimate of the Foreign Ministry (2014), around 3 million Brazilians live abroad. This number is obtained, among other sources, from reports of embassies and consulates submitted annually, and from consular registrations. Taking into account that in some countries a significant portion of Brazilians are in irregular migratory situation and avoid participating in surveys and censuses, it is difficult to estimate the number with greater precision. Estimates from other sources present different numbers. To see them, click here (in Portuguese).
It is estimated that about 8 million Brazilians travel abroad every year for various reasons, including tourism, business, seminars and academic events.
On average, 15 thousand daily consultations are answered by the Brazilian consular network abroad, to Brazilians and foreigners. The consultations can be presential, by email, phone or fax.
In addition to the 2.5 million Brazilians living abroad, the Brazilian consular network also gives assistance to tourists, businessmen, students and academics traveling abroad for short periods of time. Foreigners are assisted with visa concession and some consular services, besides consultations given in the trade promotion and other areas.
Yes. The Consular Portal is the webpage of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which contains relevant information on the consular assistance provided to Brazilian nationals outside the national territory. The Consular Portal provides guidance to Brazilians who live in other countries, contact information of all Brazilian Consular Offices, and warnings, alerts and recommendations to travelers and Brazilian citizens living abroad.
The Division of Consular Assistance of the Ministry also has a Facebook page to publish general information and promote direct dialogue with citizens.
5. What are the limits to the Brazilian consular activities?
In general terms, assistance provided to Brazilians by the Consular Offices and Consular sectors of Embassies abroad is established by the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, from 1963, the international treaty which governs the consular activities of almost all countries of the world. It is important to highlight that, abroad, Brazilians are subjected to the laws of the country where they are. A simplified list of what a consulate can or cannot do can be found here (in Portuguese).
Information about any required documentation to enter another country should be checked with the Embassy or consulate of the country in Brazil.
The Embassy or Consulate of the country concerned shall inform on visa requirements and procedures to get it, according to the reason for travel. A tourist trip may be exempt from visa; in general, a visit for work purposes implies a corresponding visa request. Proof of vaccination may also be required.
Additionally, prior consultation to the section Alert to the Traveler, of the Consular Portal, is recommended. The section is intended to provide an overview of information about each country to Brazilians aiming to travel abroad.
It is also recommended that the traveler take note, before going, of contact information such as phone numbers (including the emergency consular number), email and address of the Brazilian Consulate or Embassy responsible for the region which he/she will visit.
It is also important to make copies of documents (such as passports and ID cards), in case it is necessary to make a new passport abroad, due to loss or theft.
It is equally recommended that complete information on the itinerary, hotels and possible contact numbers be given to a family member or friend.
The citizen who intends to leave the country must go to the Embassy or Consulate of the country where he/she wants to live while still in Brazil. The Consulate will inform about visa requirements and procedures to get it, according to the reason for the trip.
In case of mistreatment abroad, it is recommended that the victim or a close person get in touch, as soon as possible, with the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate responsible for the region where the incident happened, so that appropriate action can be taken.
It is suggested that the Brazilian in this situation should seek the nearest Brazilian Consular representation to explain the circumstances. The Foreign Ministry will then contact the relatives and acquaintances and instruct them to send a return ticket. In extreme cases, the Government may, exceptionally, and provided there are budget resources available, pay the air or ground fare to the nearest point of entry into the national territory.
The issuance of travel documents in emergency situations is one of the functions of a Consular Office. In case it is not possible to issue a new passport (which requires possession of other documents, besides time to process the booklet), the Consulate will check the possibility of issuing an Authorization to Return to Brazil (ARB), which guarantees the direct return of the traveler to the country, but does not work as an identification document. Once in Brazil, the person can apply for a new passport, at any time.
It is important to highlight that the loss of a Brazilian travel document must be immediately reported to the Consular Representation, in order to allow its cancelation. It is also important to inform the local authorities, and get a police report.
Under no circumstances you should accept to carry packages, envelopes or objects to strangers, or to anyone who does not show the package content. You should not accept to carry drugs in any quantity or any way, either. Drug dealers are often the first to denounce their "mules", as small carriers are called, in order to mislead the police. Airports and seaports rely on increasingly sophisticated equipment to detect drugs, and any suspicion leads to intimate search or investigations with equipment capable of detecting even minute quantities of narcotics.
Drug trafficking, especially by "mules", is one of the major factors for the imprisonment of Brazilians abroad. Many countries have much stricter legislation than the Brazilian to deal with the problem of possession, use or trafficking of drugs. Some of them even impose death penalty as a punishment for this crime.
The Foreign Ministry recommends that each trip abroad be preceded by a consultation to the Consular Portal, in which the traveler will find this and other information. A complete and updated list of all Brazilian Consular Representations in the world is available here (in Portuguese).
If abroad, the case should be reported to the consular emergency number of the Embassy or Consulate responsible for the region where the emergency took place. The consular emergency number is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is important to highlight that the consular emergency number should be contacted only in serious situations and of proven emergency, such as accidents, deaths and imprisonment of Brazilian nationals. The loss of a passport, for example, should preferably be reported during business hours.
The consular emergency number of each Consulate or Embassy is available on the Consular Portal and on the webpage of each post. If you fail to contact with the consular emergency number, or if you are in Brazil, the emergency situation should be directly reported to the emergency number of the Undersecretariat General for Brazilian Communities Abroad of the Foreign Ministry, through the number +55(61) 8197 2284.
14. In case of the arrest of a Brazilian citizen abroad, can the Foreign Ministry help? What are the rights of the prisoner and his/her family in this case?
The detained Brazilian citizen is entitled to contact relatives and to the treatment determined by the legislation of the country where he/she is arrested. According to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, the foreign detainee has the right to request that the Consular Representation be informed of his/her arrest. Once aware of the existence of Brazilian inmate, consular officers can schedule visits, according to the rules of the detention center, to check on the treatment received by the detainee.
Many Embassies and Consulates have contacts with legal advisors who can accompany possible proceedings brought against Brazilian detainees, and instruct them. The Consular Representation cannot, however, hire a lawyer to defend a Brazilian citizen detained or prosecuted in a foreign country, be part of legal proceedings or interfere with local regulations.
15. In case of death of a Brazilian citizen overseas, to what rights is his/her family entitled? Does the Foreign Ministry pay the transfer of the body to Brazil?
In these cases, the role of the Consular Office is to inform the family about the incident, facilitate contact between the family and the local authorities, and monitor the bureaucratic procedure for the release of the body and of the corresponding documentation. If the family cannot afford to bury or relocate the body, the consulate will help finding solutions to the case.
There is no legal provision for defraying the relocation of the body with public resources.
Yes. However, Brazilian citizens with dual nationality should note that the consular assistance provided by the Brazilian government in the countries of which they are also nationals may be considerably limited by the natural resistance of local authorities to accept the intervention of a foreign state in subjects related to its nationals.
As provided in the Federal Constitution of 1988, a child born to Brazilian parents outside Brazil whose birth is duly registered with a Brazilian Consular Representation is a native Brazilian. It is strongly recommended that children born to Brazilian parents abroad be registered in a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate as soon as possible.
Brazilians who live abroad are not alienated from exercising their citizenship. They must vote for President of the Republic, register for conscription and submit the income tax declaration. Fail to comply with any of such obligations produces the same penalties imposed on a Brazilian citizen living in national territory.
Registration for conscription should be made before completing 18 years of age, in the Consular Representation responsible for the region where the Brazilian citizen resides.
To vote, it is necessary to go to the nearest Consular Office and request for a transfer of domicile for the country of residence. If the voter's certification is not transferred, the Brazilian citizen must justify the nonattendance according to procedure indicated on the webpage of the Superior Electoral Court.
As for the income tax, the declaration can be made online. The Consular Representation can provide information about deadlines. It is important to remember that consular officers are not trained to answer specific questions about income tax. Answers can be found on the webpage of the Federal Revenue of Brazil.
19. I have married abroad. Am I automatically married before the Brazilian judicial system? Can the divorce conducted abroad be recognized in Brazil?
Brazilian Law recognizes the validity of marriages and divorces performed abroad. However, for these acts to produce legal effects in Brazil, the marriage must be registered in a Brazilian Consular Office and transcribed into the books of a Brazilian First Civil Registry Notary Office, and the divorce sentence must be ratified by the Superior Court of Justice, Federal District, according to Constitutional Amendment no. 45. Marriages performed abroad, even when not transcribed to Brazil, constitute legal impediment to remarriage.
Consular Offices in certain countries (those which allow this practice) are authorized to issue a consensual divorce of Brazilian couples who do not have incapable or underage children, provided that the legislation of the country of residence recognizes the validity of the consular extrajudicial judgment of divorce.
It depends on the region where you are going. In some places of South America (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay and Venezuela), by virtue of an international treaty, the passport is waived for tourist trips; to enter these countries, it suffices to present a valid civil identity document, in good conditions, with a photography that allows the clear identification of the bearer and issued less than ten years.
To travel to any other country, any Brazilian citizen must carry a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining.
The Foreign Ministry receives numerous complaints from victims of theft, fraud and violence committed by foreign spouses met online, and with whom they had little or no interaction before marriage.
According to reports received, it is common for foreign spouses to change their behavior after the registration of formal marriage, and the consequent attainment of the Brazilian permanent resident visa, becoming aggressive or suddenly interrupting contact with the victims.
Therefore, caution is recommended with virtual relationships established with foreigners for the purpose of celebrating marriage. It is suggested, among other precautions, to look for referrals of the foreign citizen from third parties and avoid keeping the relationship restricted to online communication.
The Foreign Ministry has received, in recent years, increasing number of reports of Brazilians who faced problems abroad after accepting a job offer as a football player, model, barbecuer at a restaurant, capoeira instructor or sex worker. The problems are related to the immigration status (not having the proper visa), the irregular contractual clauses, the non-receipt of wages, the withholding of passports by organizers, the precarious living conditions. In some cases, even deprivation of food and physical aggression are registered. Some cases involve human trafficking.
The reading of the booklet "Guidelines to working abroad", before signing a contract of this nature, is recommended, in order to ensure that the work experience abroad will be the most promising and enriching as possible.
If you decide to work abroad, write down the contacts of the Brazilian Consulate and Embassy in the country or city before going. Upon arrival, inform the Consulate or Embassy of your presence in the country and of your contact details, in order to facilitate the consular assistance to be provided to you, if necessary.
The careful reading of the section "Alert to the Traveler" of the Consular Portal is recommended.
Brazilians going on "adventure tourism" or extreme sports in inhospitable regions must take several special precautions before traveling: making health exams; hiring adequate health insurance to avoid problems in the visited country and have the support needed; having the emergency consular numbers written down; informing relatives and friends of the contact number and address of the hotel or the place where you will be staying along the trip.
Brazilians traveling through risk areas should be aware that the Brazilian consular assistance may experience serious limitation in the event of problems occurring in these regions. In these cases, consular assistance will be largely conditioned by the willingness and availability of resources of the local authority, sovereign to act on its territory.
26. Is it necessary to hire international health insurance before traveling?
Some countries, like France, require that the visitor submit a health insurance certificate when entering their territory. Even in countries that do not require such measure, it is highly recommended, especially in cases of citizens who already have a health problem.
It is important that the health insurance is comprehensive and that values cover the entire period of the trip abroad. The Brazilian Government cannot afford medical expenses of Brazilians abroad.
Some Embassies and consulates of Brazil, particularly in West Africa, have often received reports of financial scams used by citizens of countries in that region. The scams begin with unsolicited information sent by electronic messages or on social networks and usually involve false promises of employment contract, business, romantic relationships or inheritances. During the exchange of messages, the victim is requested to provide complete information about him/her, and is driven to make small deposits in a bank account, allegedly to defray paperwork needed to release the promised funds.
In more serious cases, Brazilians are induced by scammers to travel abroad to complete the transaction. Such scams represent real dangers of financial or physical damage.
The Foreign Ministry advices extreme caution in these cases, recommending that no personal data should be provided through the internet and, above all, no financial transactions should be completed without previously contacting the Consular area of the Ministry, or, in case you are abroad, the Brazilian Embassy or Consular Representation of the jurisdiction.
28. I live abroad, but I intend to return to Brazil soon. What should I do?
In regard to the documentation, it is only necessary to have a valid travel document to return to Brazil. A comprehensive list of measures and services available to assist the returnees can be found in the "Brazilians returning home Portal" of the Foreign Ministry.
To be valid abroad, documents issued in Brazil must first be authenticated, in Brasilia, by the Sector of Authentication and Foreign Consular Network of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, or, at the Representation Offices of the Foreign Ministry in the States of the Federation.
Next, they must be authenticated by the Embassy or Consulate, in Brazil, of the country where the document will be presented. Information on how to proceed to request the authentication is available in the section Authentication of Documents of the Consular Portal.
No. Documents issued abroad must be, first of all, authenticated by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the region where they were issued abroad in order to be valid in Brazil. Once in the country, the documents must be translated into Portuguese, obligatorily by a sworn public translator. For information on how to proceed, refer to the Brazilian Consular Office of the region where the document was issued.
Yes, Brazilian Consular Representations perform notarial acts and authenticate copies of documents issued abroad. As a general rule, documents issued abroad must first be authenticated by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate with jurisdiction over the region where they were issued abroad in order to be valid in Brazil. The translation of documents into Portuguese must obligatory be done in Brazil, by a sworn public translator. To learn how to proceed, refer to the Brazilian Consular Office of the region where the document was issued.
The revalidation of diplomas obtained abroad must be made by a Brazilian public university which offers the same or similar course, recognized by the Government. For a description of the necessary procedures, refer to the Ministry of Education webpage. In the case of medical degree, applicants are submitted to a test (REVAL - National Examination Revalidation of medical degrees) performed by the Ministry of Education.
III - International Treaties
An International Agreement is a document whereby a State or an International organization assumes obligations and acquire rights before other States or International organizations under international law.
International agreements serve to establish concrete rules to partnerships in specific areas. They may, for example, establish criteria by which tourists from one country are exempt from visa to enter another country. Or they may establish the tax-free entry of products from one country into another. These agreements – often called "treaties", "conventions" or even "agreements" – are legally binding.
International agreements can also serve to identify possible ways for future cooperation. They may, for example, create regular meeting committees to deepen dialogue and mutual understanding between countries, and also to propose specific actions or projects of new agreements. These agreements – commonly called "memoranda of understanding" – are politically binding.
International agreements can be established between two or more States or between one or more States and an international organization.
In Brazil, only the President of the Republic, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Ambassadors heading Brazilian diplomatic missions abroad are authorized to sign international agreements. In addition, other authorities may sign treaties provided they have a Letter of Full Powers signed by the President of the Republic and countersigned by the Minister of Foreign Affairs.
If a country fails to comply with an international agreement, its partner will initiate consultations to examine, in detail, the reasons for the noncompliance.
If a country is facing difficulties, but is willing to fulfill the agreement, the two countries can negotiate strategies to enable compliance, which may include extending the deadlines, modifying the original agreement and even celebrating a new agreement.
If this country does not want to be part of the agreement anymore, it will notify its partner of its decision and the agreement will be terminated (denounced).
Some agreements have more elaborated rules for noncompliance. It is the case of agreements among members of the World Trade Organization (WTO): if one country understands it was harmed by another, it can request the WTO to judge the case.
The United Nations Organization (UN) prohibits secret agreements. Therefore, all member countries of the UN are required to make their international agreements public, according to article 102 of the UN Charter.
Some agreements, for dealing with more simple matters and for not creating financial costs to their signatories, enter into force on the date of their signature, with no need for subsequent confirmation from the signatory parties.
Other agreements, for dealing with more complex issues or for creating financial costs to their signatories, only come into force after these signatories confirm the commitment to fulfill them (ratification).
In Brazil, the agreement is ratified, in most cases, only after approval by the National Congress. Exceptions include, for example, loan agreements, which only require the approval of the Senate.
International agreements which result in charges or commitments that go against the national property must be approved by the Congress before entering into force, as provided in article 49.I of the Federal Constitution.
After an international agreement is approved by the Congress, some steps are still necessary for the agreement to come into force in Brazil:
i. The Country informs its partner(s) of the approval and, therefore, confirms its commitment in fulfilling the agreement (ratification);
ii. Its partner(s) also confirm this commitment, in case they haven't done it yet;
iii. The President of the Republic signs the Decree which determines the compliance of the agreement by Brazil (promulgation).
International agreements approved by the Congress may never enter into force if other parties never confirm the commitment to comply with the agreement. Another possibility is if the President decides not to confirm Brazil as part of the agreement, due to changes in the interests of the country and in the international scenario.
It is possible to search if an international agreement of Brazil is in force on the Foreign Ministry's Division of International Acts webpage.
IV – Practical / Specific Themes
Presential research only, subjected to scheduling, in accordance with the Access to information Law.
2. I am a journalist and I would like to get information from the Foreign Ministry for an article. What should I do?
Brazilian Embassies and Consulates propose, each year, to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a plan for the dissemination of the Brazilian art and culture abroad. It is suggested to contact the cultural sector of the Representation where you intend to present your work.
Yes. The Rio Branco Institute, in partnership with the National Counsel for Scientific and Technological Development (CNPq), and with the participation of the Secretary of Policies for Promotion of Racial Equality and of the Palmares Cultural Foundation, keeps, since 2002, the Affirmative Action Program - Vocational Scholarship Award for Diplomacy, with the purpose of providing equal opportunities of access to the diplomatic career to African descents. The program consists of the grant of scholarships, through a selection process, to fund the studies of aspiring diplomats. More information can be found in the Public Notice for the Program. Besides that, since the 2011 edition, the Diplomatic Career Entrance Exam provides for the reservation of 10% of vacancies in the first phase to self-declared African descent candidates.
The Trade Promotion Department publishes on the Brazil Global Net Portal guiding material to Brazilian entrepreneurs seeking to enter the international market. There are two publications available for download: the handbook "Exporting step by step", a guide on the several steps and procedures of the Brazilian Export Process which includes information on international trade, legislation, foreign exchange, taxes, financing, packaging and international shipping; and the "How to Export" series, which gathers information about specific countries or integrated markets.
The Foreign Ministry does not grant scholarships to Brazilians wishing to study abroad. For that, it is recommended to contact specialized agencies, such as CAPES (Coordination for the Improvement of Higher Education Personnel) or CNPq (National Counsel for Scientific and Technological Development), including in what concerns the "Science Without Borders" Program. It should be noted that some foreign governments regularly award scholarships (applicable to Brazilian students) to which Brazilian students can apply. Further information can be obtained on the webpage of the Division for Educational Themes of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Foreign Ministry supports undergraduate and postgraduate scholarship programs for foreigners, coordinated by the Ministry of Education and by the Ministry of Science and Technology. To find out if your country is contemplated by the scholarship program, contact the Brazilian Embassy in your country. Contact details are available on this Portal, in the section "Representations".
It is necessary to contact each Embassy or Consulate, for example, through their websites, in order to check on the possibility of visits. Since Embassies and Consulates are public offices, the use of their facilities by visitors is not allowed.
The legal status of foreigners in Brazil is regulated by Law no. 6.815, known as the Statute of the Foreigner.
The legal stay in Brazil depends on several circumstances. For more information, it is recommended to contact the nearest Brazilian Consular Representation.
10. I would you like to have more information on the economic and political relations between Brazil and other countries, as well as on the Brazilian role in multilateral organizations (such as the United Nations, Mercosur, the WTO). How do I do it?
The Foreign Ministry's Portal has specific sections on the bilateral relationships of Brazil as well as its participation in multilateral organizations.