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19 July 2013
Many foreigners planning to enter Brazil - as well as those already in the country on a 'tied' temporary or permanent visa (ie, one linked to work or family life) - wish to open their own business in order to enjoy fully the economic opportunities available in the country. However, under Normative Resolution 84/2009 (issued by the National Immigration Council), if a foreigner wishes to set up his or her own company in Brazil without being dependent on a Brazilian company, he or she must first obtain a permanent visa as an investor.
For a permanent visa to be granted, the foreign investor must first create a Brazilian company in which he or she is a partner. However, until the permanent visa has been granted, the foreigner cannot manage his or her Brazilian company himself or herself; instead, he or she must seek assistance from a Brazilian partner or a foreigner with an 'untied' permanent visa. Since this temporary manager will be responsible for the Brazilian company until the foreign investor has obtained his or her permanent visa, it is crucial that he or she be reliable.
The next step is to open a business bank account for the recently established Brazilian company. The foreigner must deposit his or her foreign investment in this account. The currency exchange contract should mention the foreigner as the sender and the Brazilian company as the beneficiary of the investment. The nature of the transaction should be specified as a long-term direct investment into the Brazilian company (capital increase). The required investment under the resolution is R150,000.
An application for a permanent visa as a private investor must be assessed and approved by the immigration coordinator of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. However, if the investment is less than R150,000, the application will be handled by the National Immigration Council.
The foreign investor must bear in mind that he or she is not 'buying' a permanent visa in Brazil. The resolution makes it clear that those who are interested in applying for this type of visa must consider this investment a "life project" - the foreigner must commit to investing in the Brazilian company, as well as to working in Brazil and bringing his or her technical and professional skills into the country with the aim of creating jobs and generating production activities.
The visa application must include a development plan that details a business plan for the first three years after the arrival of the foreigner in Brazil. For this three-year period, the foreigner's right of residence will remain bound to the Brazilian company.
If the investment is less than R150,000, in addition to the basic information in the development plan, the foreigner must provide proof that the opening of the company and the capital investment will provide social capital in Brazil. To increase the chance of success, the following factors will be of particular importance:
During the three years for which the permanent visa is valid, the foreigner cannot withdraw the invested capital from the Brazilian company and cannot leave the company. Furthermore, the foreigner is discouraged from providing services to other Brazilian companies as a freelancer or employee, since the investor visa is focused on the management of his or her business and the administration of the Brazilian company.
After three years, the foreigner's permanent foreign national registration (RNE) card, which is linked to the Brazilian company, must be exchanged for an 'untied' permanent RNE card.
At this time, the foreigner must visit the federal police and present company documents which prove that the foreign capital has not been withdrawn from the company, and that he or she has been a partner of the company over the past three years (and continues to be so). He or she must also show proof of compliance with the development plan.
The foreigner will then receive his or her registration protocol, which will later be replaced by a RNE card with a validity of nine years. This permanent RNE card is 'untied' (ie, no longer linked to investment in the company).
For further information on this topic please contact Rene Ramos or Guilherme Dias at EMDOC by telephone (+55 11 3405 7800), fax (+55 11 3405 7868) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com).
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