« Input for New Posts | Main | The Tourist Visa Question »

December 01, 2011


Adam Gonnerman

VERY GOOD post! Sometimes I forget just how infuriating it can be to live in Brazil and deal with the bureaucracy. Makes me second-guess my commitment to moving back there every time I'm reminded.

I'm a U.S. citizen and my wife is a Brazilian citizen (now naturalized in the U.S.). We married in Brazil and I did all of the documentation myself. It cost around $500 just to get the paperwork done, back in 2001. Among other things they required a criminal record verification from my local police station. At the time that was a rural sheriff's office, and the sheriff was an old family friend. He just signed a note saying I had no criminal record, since nothing like they were requesting exists. All of the many, many documents I had to pull together had to be:

-- Notarized,
-- Notarization verified by the Secretary of State of the state in which the document was notarized,
-- Authenticated by the consulate in my consular jurisdiction,
-- Translated by a "tradutor jurado" in Brazil,
-- Filed with the local registry office (cartorio) where we planned to marry.

Oh the things we'll do for love!

I lived there legally with permanent resident status in process for nearly three years. It was only at the end of my time there that permanency was finally officially granted. Until that time ALL legal transactions, including rental contracts, had to be done in my wife's name. I couldn't even open a bank account.


Holy crap. I'm Brazilian and out of curiosity, I was checking what would be necessary to get my french bf a visa by stable relationship. Maybe we should start with the paper work now so in two years we might finally be together for good.


Great post, loved the anecdotes. I was here as a student, I registered with the PF within 30 days like I was supposed to, and then got married. When I went to change my status, they informed me that my student registration had never been processed because in my passport there's an space in the middle of my last name (Mc Donnell for example) and I needed a document from the U.S. consulate to prove that that's the same as McDonnell. Oh, and this made me "irregular no pais" even though they'd never informed me that there was a problem during the past 9 months.

I recently read an editorial that compared Brazilian bureaucracy to the following situation:

In a military headquarters, a commander stations a soldier to patrol along a freshly-painted wall to make sure no one touches it as the paint dries. 10 years later, there's still a soldier patrolling the wall every day - the paint has long since dried, but the senseless practice continues because nobody remembers what the original reason for it was.

Rio Gringa

That's a really apt comparison. Do you have a link to the editorial by any chance?


Unfortunately I don't, I glanced at it in yesterday's "A Tarde" (the main Bahian newspaper) but I can't remember who wrote it!

John Zapata

The amount of red tape is ridiculous. Information about the simplest processes are available -hidden really- but not known by the 'funcionarios' who should. One may run into different versions of the absurd when dealing with simple applications. You did well and exercise wisdom by leaving this place. It is really a fantastic place to only visit as a tourist for a short time because of its beaches and casual attitude. Besides the beaches and a well-made caipirinha, this place of all about being pretencious, without merit. The fact that the economy is doing moderately well has given the media a lot of material to publish comparisons of Brazil to the 1st world which are indeed groundless. It only takes a basic, modest basket of goods to realize that the currency and the country as a whole is 'overvalued'.
Frustrated with this place

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)