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SERIOUS IMMIGRATION DANGER


Doug69
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Be aware of the following serious danger when entering Brazil with a tourist visa:

 

Ordinarily, when you enter with a tourist visa, you have the right to stay in the country for 90 consecutive days and for 180 days total in any calender year.

 

But the tourist visa does NOT guarantee that you can stay for those periods - those are just the maximum amounts which immigration officials can authorize you to stay. When you arrive, immigration has the right to authorize you to stay for a period of time much less than that, and you may not even know it.

 

Here's what happened to me a few weeks ago. Fortunately, since I was in the process of obtaining and have now obtained a Permanent Visa, this did not fuck me hard - but it would have fucked me hard in the absence of my Permanent Visa and if I had to rely only on my tourist visa - and it will fuck you if it happens to you with a tourist visa:

 

When I arrived in Rio in April, the Immigration Official looked carefully at my passport and noticed that I had come to Brazil 20 or so times in the last 5 years and asked why that was. I vauely replied that I love to come to Brazil and he looked annoyed. He then asked how long I planned to stay and I replied that I intended to stay 2 weeks.

 

He then stamped my passport. If you look at the stamp you get from Immigration when arriving, you will notice three little small boxes at the bottom (under the arrival date) which read, in sequence: "Clas." - "Doc" - "Prazo".

 

In all the times that I've come to Brazil, nothing has ever been written in those spaces. This time, however, the mother fucker in Immigration wrote the number "20" in the little box which says "Prazo." The word "prazo" in Portguese means "period" or period of time." By doing that, he was authorizing me to stay in the country only for a period of 20 days - and NOT for 90 days.

 

He never said anything when he did it and I did not look at the stamp because there is never a need to. So, unbenownst to me, I was only allowed to stay in the country for 20 days. As it turned out, I stayed for 85 days and wanted to stay beyond the 90 day limit, so I went to the lovely Policia Federal Building to get my extension, as I've done many times before.

 

This time, the mean looking bitch at PF looked at my passport and noticed the "20" under PRAZO - which meant that I had to leave the country after 20 days after my last entry. That was 2 months earlier, which meant I had overstayed my visa by 2 months.

 

They then give me 8 days to leave the country (after which I could be arrested and deported) and had to pay a reasonable fine (something like R500). Once this happens, they mark your passport indicating that you had to pay a fine for an immigration violation and you can't return to Brazil on a tourist visa for a period of 6 months.

 

Forturnately for me, I was in the process of getting a different visa which allows you to come to Brazil while you are waiting for your permanent visa, so all I had to do is return to the U.S., pick up that visa at the Consulate, and then turn right around back to Brazil and wait for my Permanent Visa.

 

BUT - as I said - if it wasn't for the Permanent Visa I was in the process of applying for, I would have been barred from returning for 6 months.

 

Brazilian immigration officials seem to be scrutinizing passports - at least U.S. passports - more than ever before. If you come to Brazil a lot, they are likely to question you more (I noticed this even before this incident) about why you're coming so much, and they now will limit your stay well under the 90 days allowed by the US visa.

 

MORAL OF THE STORY: CHECK THE PRAZO CATEGORY ON YOUR PASSPORT STAMP WHEN YOU ARRIVE.

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I think I ran into that guy on my last trip. I had planned to stay about 45 days and he asked me too, why do you come to Brasil so much...I told him "I love your country".

 

He then said, "I give you 10 days!"...I was a little surprised and told him no, that was unacceptable. He said again, No, I give you 10 days. I pushed the passport back to him and said no I need more (I wasn't being rude, just politely stood my ground. I said I need at least 4 weeks as I will be going throughout the country.

 

He didnt look happy, but gave me 30 days anyway. I talked to my Braz friends and they said not to worry, If he had given me 10 days I could've went downtown to extend without any problem...before the end of whatever time they give, not after.

 

I looked at all the stamps in my passport (many) and some have 14 some have 30, none that I ever noticed before.'

 

Some of my American friends said I must fit a profile because all their stamps had no # of days under prazo.

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>Does that mean that you can only stay those 20 days of the

>visa and then have to get another one, or that you can

>re-enter on an unexpired visa and get a new prazo number?

 

The number of days written on the stamp doesn't affect the validity of your visa. It just means that you can only stay that number of days for that trip, and you have to leave before that number of days expire (or get an extension from Policia Federal BEFORE the expiration of that period). You can always return on the same tourist visa.

 

The interesting thing to realize is that the visa you get from the Consulate does NOT entitle you to enter the country. It just is a PRE-REQUISITE for doing so, but you also need the consent of the Immigration officials in the country once you arrive.

 

Theoretically, even if you have a visa, they can still refuse you entry. Or they can say that you can stay for 1 day. You basically have very little recourse to do anything, since - with a tourist visa - you're nothing more than a guest.

 

It's extremely unlikely that they will refuse you entry, but it is possible.

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<<I think I ran into that guy on my last trip. I had planned to stay about 45 days and he asked me too, why do you come to Brasil so much...I told him "I love your country".>>

 

Yeah, I don't get this. Don't they want people coming there and spending money in their country? The Visitors Bureau in Rio spends a huge amount of money promoting the city and encouraging people to come. Then, if you come and fall in love with the place and keep coming back, they act like you're doing something suspicious.

 

<<He then said, "I give you 10 days!"...I was a little surprised and told him no, that was unacceptable. He said again, No, I give you 10 days.>>

 

At least he told you this. The asshole who limited my stay said NOTHING, literally. He just stamped my passport and wrote on the stamp - which I didn't even notice- and gave it back to me. NOBODY ever looks at that stupid stamp - and, as I said, I was in Brazil 1,000 times before and never had that. And it's so vague - it doesn't even say "20 dias" - just "20". I doubt I would have realized even if I had looked at the stamp.

 

<<Some of my American friends said I must fit a profile because all their stamps had no # of days under prazo.>>

 

My immigration lawyer said that they were being deliberately more scrutinizing and hostile to Americans because of what I'm sure is the rather unpleasant treatment Brazilians receive from the U.S. Customs and Immigration officials, but with these things, who the fuck really ever knows - it could just be the guy's wife wouldn't give up the pussy the night before and he's in a bad mood and feeling impotent.

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Thanks, Doug for the alert! I just took out my passport and looked at the stamps. Thus far nothing has been written on them. I truly hope that this October when I plan to spend almost a month in Brasil after spending eight days in Buenos Aires that I will not encounter this man or anyone who desires to limit my time!

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>THe then asked how long I planned to stay and I replied that I intended to stay 2 weeks.

 

May be the problem is that you indicated an intention to stay only a short time and he "obliged" by giving you 3 weeks. Maybe another moral of this story is not to indicate a shorter time than you intend if asked what your plans are. HOwever, who knows what goes on in these guys heads - a little power can be a dangerous thing.

x( x(

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I forgot to say how I went to a manager at Continental airlines after to ask her who I could complain to about this guy. She really didnt care and just equated it to how the US Immigration does the same thing to them. So I agree, they just like to do tit for tat with the US.

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This would be a shitty thing to do, but if you run into this situation you'll have to accept it. Try to get the guy's name or a remember what he looks like. When you get to town immediately go to the DEAT (special tourism police) station and tell them that the PF officer at the airport asked for money to give you a longer stay and you want to file a complaint ("denuncia"). The DEAT is part of the Civil Police, a different organization entirely than the Federal Police (PF) who, among other duties, handle immigration. The guy at the immigration booth is a PF officer. By complaining at DEAT there's no conflict of interest, and there isn't a lot of love lost between the police forces, either. The address and phone numbers for the DEAT are Av. Afrânio de Mello Franco, s / nº - Leblon. (This is the first major cross street in Leblon coming from Copacabana/Ipanema. It's the street the Scala theater/nightclub is on.) Tel: (21) 2511-5112 /3399-7170

 

Depending on the reaction you get, you also may want to go to the federal Ministério Público (Public Prosecutor for official corruption) and make the same complaint ("denuncia")!

 

If this happened in Rio, call Riotur's Ombudsman at 2217-7548 and Globo at 2534-5000 (ask for the Serviço de Antendimento do Leitor) and tell them the same things, adding that it's this kind of thing that hurts tourism to Rio! If it's in another city, call the local official tourist bureau or agency, and the main local daily. Wanna bet this stops?

 

This, BTW, is one example of the "jeito brasileiro" for dealing with bureaucracy. They don't expect gringos to play the same game!

 

And wouldn't you know, I just looked and for the first time ever there's a "prazo" of 60 days in my entry! That's 2 days less than I need, so I guess I'll have to go downtown to the PF, too!

 

Thanks for the alert!

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>Try to get the guy's

>name or a remember what he looks like. When you get to town

>immediately go to the DEAT (special tourism police) station

>and tell them that the PF officer at the airport asked for

>money to give you a longer stay and you want to file a

>complaint ("denuncia"). The DEAT is part of the Civil Police,

>a different organization entirely than the Federal Police (PF)

>who, among other duties, handle immigration. The guy at the

>immigration booth is a PF officer. By complaining at DEAT

>there's no conflict of interest, and there isn't a lot of love

>lost between the police forces, either. The address and phone

>numbers for the DEAT are Av. Afrânio de Mello Franco, s / nº -

>Leblon. (This is the first major cross street in Leblon

>coming from Copacabana/Ipanema. It's the street the Scala

>theater/nightclub is on.) Tel: (21) 2511-5112 /3399-7170

>

>Depending on the reaction you get, you also may want to go to

>the federal Ministério Público (Public Prosecutor for official

>corruption) and make the same complaint ("denuncia")!

>

>If this happened in Rio, call Riotur's Ombudsman at 2217-7548

>and Globo at 2534-5000 (ask for the Serviço de Antendimento do

>Leitor) and tell them the same things, adding that it's this

>kind of thing that hurts tourism to Rio! If it's in another

>city, call the local official tourist bureau or agency, and

>the main local daily. Wanna bet this stops?

>

__________________________________________________________________

 

Tri,

 

 

I must have missed something in this thread and in all the postings within this thread. No where can I find where a poster stated that the Brazilian immigration officer asked for money in exchange for a longer stay in Brazil.

 

You should correct your posting because it appears that you are encouraging readers to retaliate by filing a false report against a Brazilian immigration officer if a reader is given less than 90 days upon entry into Brazil.

 

If anyone were to file a false report (as your posting suggests), I believe that the accused agent would vigorously protest and defend himself against that serious allegation.

 

At the very least, Brazil immigration (perhaps the very agent falsely accused) would be watching for your re-entry into Brazil. If and when you re-enter, you can expect to "catch hell" (or even go to jail) if Brazilian authorities could prove the report was intentionally false and was made solely out of retaliation for being given less than 90 days permission to stay in Brazil.

 

Just a word to the wise.

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>You should correct your posting because it appears that you

>are encouraging readers to retaliate by filing a false report

>against a Brazilian immigration officer if a reader is given

>less than 90 days upon entry into Brazil.

 

You are correct on all counts. In my case, the immigration asshole who limited my stay to 20 days did it without even telling me or doing anything to indicate he was doing it. He clearly was not looking for a bribe or anything else. The other posters here who indicated that they had their stays similarly restricted also mentioned nothing about the immigration officers requesting a bribe.

 

Clearly, Trilingual was recommending that anyone who has their stay limited by an immigration officer falsely claim that the officer solicited a bribe as a means of getting what you want.

 

Aside from the grotesque immorality of that behavior - wouldn't you be destroying someone's career and livlihood by making such false accusations, simply because you want to hang out in Brazil a while longer? - it also strikes me as extremely imprudent advice from a practical perspective.

 

It seems to me that the last thing you want to do is start drawing all sorts of attention to yourself while passing through immigration. If you create that sort of drama, it seems that you'd be forever marking yourself as some sort of trouble-maker (even if you ended up being believed about the false claims of bribery). Also, if you travel to Brazil a lot, would Trilingual recommend that you scream BRIBERY every time an immigration officer limits your stay at the airport? That advice is both offensive and misguided.

 

The plainly superior alternative is simply to be aware of the PRAZO limitation and check to see if you've been limited. If you have been, there's nothing wrong with some gentle attempts to persaude them to let you stay longer, but failing that, simply go to the Policia Federal building and ask for and obtain an extension BEFORE the expiration of the time period.

 

The PF will almost always give an extension as long as you haven't overstayed the visa. But if you have overstayed by accident - even if it's by one day - DO NOT GO TO THE PF. They will NOT give you an extension if you've overstayed. They may informally tell you to leave the country within 8 days, but more likely, what they WILL do is fingerprint you, register you as an immigration violator, stamp your passport, and make you pay a fine.

 

If you find yourself having overstayed, just quietly leave the country and return when you want. But the best thing to do is just to check and if you want more time, ask at PF.

 

Please do not follow Trilingual's hideous advice of falsely accusing immigration officials of bribery if they did not attempt to solicit a bribe. If it doesn't work, you're likely fucked. If it does work, it's even worse, since you've probably destroyed someone's life who did nothing wrong.

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>

>Clearly, Trilingual was recommending that anyone who has their

>stay limited by an immigration officer falsely claim that the

>officer solicited a bribe as a means of getting what you

>want.

 

>It seems to me that the last thing you want to do is start

>drawing all sorts of attention to yourself while passing

>through immigration. If you create that sort of drama, it

>seems that you'd be forever marking yourself as some sort of

>trouble-maker (even if you ended up being believed about the

>false claims of bribery). Also, if you travel to Brazil a

>lot, would Trilingual recommend that you scream BRIBERY every

>time an immigration officer limits your stay at the airport?

>That advice is both offensive and misguided.

 

>Please do not follow Trilingual's hideous advice of falsely

>accusing immigration officials of bribery if they did not

>attempt to solicit a bribe. If it doesn't work, you're likely

>fucked. If it does work, it's even worse, since you've

>probably destroyed someone's life who did nothing wrong.

 

x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x

 

You did not mention that the employees of PF have loyalty to each other throughout Brazil as would be the case with any federal agency in that country.

 

If someone Trilingual angered in the past furnished Brazil's PF agency with access to his written advice, posted on a public bulletin board, suggesting visitors make up false accusations against Brazilian immigration officials, Trilingual's real name most likely would be entered into the immigration computer system in Brazil.

 

To say the least, Trilingual could face legal charges and be deported or prevented from entering Brazil for his encouragement of other visitors to Brazil to intentionally file false reports against immigration officials. His plans for a permanent visa could be adversely affected.

 

Trilingual is respected on this board as an authority with a great amount of knowledge concerning Brazil. I am troubled by his encouragement and advice for visitors to Brazil to intentionally break Brazilian laws by filing knowingly false police reports.

 

Trilingual should withdraw his suggestion and make it clear that he was wrong in giving that outlandish advice.

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You only read part of my posting correctly, I began it explicitly saying it would be a shitty thing to do, but what the PF at the airport are doing is shitty, too. Especially if they limit your stay without telling you, so you get caught in a trap because you didn't notice the limited stay marked on your entry card. And somehow I suspect that if there were R$100 reais clipped in your passport along with the folded up entry form that you'd get your 90 day stay.

 

Given the layout of the immigration area, it would be the complainant's word against the PF officer. Note that I did NOT say you should make a scene in immigration. And I quite understand that the PF will defend each other, which is why my post suggests making your complaint through agencies that are NOT part of the PF.

 

I'm not arguing morality here. I'm just pointing out a way to deal with an obnoxious problem, given that what the PF are doing is completely arbitrary and actually HURTS Brazil by keeping foreigners willing to spend dollars or euros from staying in the country as long as they want (up to the 90 day limit, of course).

 

The sneaky limitation problem to trap people makes me angry, and suggests an equally sneaky solution. Sometimes you have to fight fire with fire. That is obviously not to everyone's taste. A less drastic solution, besides seeking an extension downtown at the PF, is to "lose" your entry card (as long as the PF officer didn't write an entry limit both on the entry card AND on the stamp in your passport). Although you run the risk of a fine or other inconvenience, from testimony by other travelers the actual consequences seem to be limited. Just tell the counter agent when you check in that you've somehow managed to lose the entry card, and what can you do? Apparently they've got a stock and can give you one, and can perhaps facilitate your exit. As long as there's also not a limitation in the stamp on your passport, and you're not over 90 days from the date you entered, chances are the PF will just scowl and stamp your substitute form. It's probably just easier to get an extension at PF headquarters (if you do, bring with you or print out at a cybercafé a copy of your airline itinerary showing the details of your flight leaving Brazil, including the date). However, if you don't discover the limitation until late in the day, the "lost" entry card is a viable alternative. But this won't make the ultimate problem go away and get us back to the previous practice of not limiting visitor's stays to less than 90 days.

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BTW, what the PF is doing is most likely undeclared reprisal for what the U.S. is doing to Brazilian visitors, which also includes arbitrarily limiting their stays in the U.S. to less than the allowable 90-day limits. It's regrettable that Brazil slavishly reciprocates everything nasty thing the U.S. does, which only makes Brazil sink to the level of the U.S., rather than be true to its own normally generous and hospitable nature. x( However, to the best of my knowledge the U.S. immigration people TELL arriving passengers how much time they're being allowed in the U.S. when they limit the stay, rather than trap them by just jotting down a limitation without advising the visitor. And that IS a difference.

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OMFG...this thing aka granny hyprocrite and trilingual not only sexually exploits the poor kids of brazil....now it wants visitors to that country to commit a crime .....by filing false reports against representatives of the brazilain government..... has this thing no shame. but wait it could be .....if the poor government official was to be fired....more cheap dick for the sex tourist....ahhh i see,good thinking granny.

 

surely a gentleman of the highest order and without a doubt one to be emulated

 

of course the good gentlemen of this board will see nothing wrong with his lack of integrity.

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>However, to the best of my knowledge

>the U.S. immigration people TELL arriving passengers how much

>time they're being allowed in the U.S. when they limit the

>stay, rather than trap them by just jotting down a limitation

>without advising the visitor. And that IS a difference.

 

As horrendous as I found Trilingual's "advice" to be, the one thing that I will say in his defense is that it is truly outrageous and indefensible what the Brazilian PF is doing with these entry stamps.

 

It can really ruin people's lives - no hyperbole. I have a lot invested in being in Brazil - my bf is Brazilian and we live in Brazil 6 months out of the year (soon to increase) and I have substantial, active business interests in Brazil and, most importantly, even my dogs are in Brazil now. If I had not been in the process of obtaining my permanent visa at the time this mother fucker tricked me into overstaying my visa, I would have been forced to leave the country with 8 days notice (which I was) and then be barred from re-entering the country for a period of 6 months. If I was forced to stay out of Brazil for 6 months, that would seriously fuck with my life in a significant way. So it is not a game to a lot of people - what Brazilian Immigration is doing with these secret stampings is disgusting.

 

Worse, there was NO SYMPATHY or effort to cooperate at all from the PF when I went there. The ONLY reason they even knew I had overstayed my visa was because I voluntarily went to PF to obtain the extension beyond the 90-day limit; clearly, I was attempting to adhere to the laws of the country regarding my visa by seeking the extension. I obviously thought I had 90 days, like I always do. That is when they looked at my passport and saw the 20-day limit and immediately accused me of being in the country illegally, which, technically, I was.

 

But it was so obvious it was unintentional and no reasonable person would know about this limit, which is so vaguely expressed on the entry stamp it's hard to believe. But they were totally uninterested in that - even my immigration lawyer, who knows lots of people at PF, could make no headway at all. Everyone said I had to leave, pay the fine, be fingerprinted, have my passport stamped with the fine amount, and not return on that visa for 6 months. Period. That's a stupid, shitty way to treat people who are in the country spending lots of money.

 

So I do understand Trilingual's impulse to fight against this outrage by any means necessary. But like all impulses, this one needs to be restrained, becasue nothing can justify making that kind of a false accusation against someone who has done nothing other than what he's being told to do - especially in the current Brazilian climate where bribery scandals are destroying one person after the next. And I really doubt that false bribery accusations against Immigration officals, even if you were morally comfortable with doing it, would help the situation at all. Quite likely, it would have the opposite effect.

 

There is a much less extreme solution - just check your fucking Prazo box after you enter, and if you need more time, ask for it at PF BEFORE you overstay the time. Although that's not fun, it strikes me as way more prudent and much less time-consuming and energy-draining than screaming BRIBERY when you know you're lying.

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>Doug: Can we focus on the positive side of yr message here

>by asking you to share with us what type of permanent visa you

>opted for and the experience of obtaining it.

 

The visa I've obtained is an Investor's visa for those who seek to invest at least US$50,000 in a Brazilian company. I found the process extremely and shockingly easy and quick - "shockingly" because, as anyone who has dealt with any form of Brazilian bureaucracy knows, the two things it NEVER is are quick and efficient. But for me, it was.

 

I think that Brasilia really processes and approves these types of visas the fastest because they are truly motivated to attract foreign capital. My application may have been easier because there was nothing sham-like about it - I really was investing capital in a newly formed Brazilian company. When your application gets approved, you simply transfer the funds from outside the country through the Central Bank (the funds have to come from outside the country - and can't have been trasferred there from Brazil first in the recent past) and you get your visa pretty much immediately. Also, you are able to enter the country on a business visa while this is all pending.

 

I don't know what it's like to do this process without a lawyer, becasue I used one - and a very efficient one at that. That may be why it seemed to easy and trouble-free for me. My guess is that it is not absolutely imperative to have one - someone could probably manage to figure out the process on their own - but it's definitely easier and less risky to have a lawyer do it for you.

 

It would seem to me that anyone who goes to the trouble of obtaining a permanent visa considers doing so pretty important. In light of that, why risk problems you don't have to risk just to avoid the (relatively reasonable) expense of retaining someone to help you who does that for a living? Who you know in Brazil is extremely important, and you definitely want someone on your side pushing things through in Brasilia.

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You guys are right and I'm wrong. It's bad advice. It just made me so angry what the PF are doing that I got a little too hot under the collar!

 

I'm not at all sure that this isn't a shakedown scheme, though. Americans aren't as accustomed to dealing with bribes as are people in countries like Brazil. With US$50 or R$100 folded up in your tourist card when it's handed to the PF I'm sure you'd find yourself with a 90-day entry. . .

 

It makes me angry that the PF is doing this not only because of the personal inconvenience but because it hurts Brazil. The country's official policy is to attract foreign tourists and promote exports because they bring "hard" currency into the country and they're the two sectors that have been growing and propelling the economy out of the doldrums. Brazil's got enough troubles at the moment with its multi-billions corruption scandals to also have the PF sabotaging its economic recovery.

 

On another note, while I understand the attractions of permanent residence in Brazil I strongly urge anyone contemplating it to read the postings about Brazilian taxation here and in the http://www.gaytravelbrazil.com forums. Brazil taxes residents on their world-wide income, not just their income in Brazil, and Brazilian taxes are high. (It takes a lot of money to line the pockets of so many crooked politicians -- in my own case, for example, I'd end up paying double what I'd be paying in the U.S but Brazilian taxpayers certainly don't get double the services!) Remember,too, that you will also have tax liabilities in your home country. For some readers tax treaties ameliorate the situation, but there are no tax treaties between Brazil and either the U.S. or the U.K., so before becoming a permanent resident be sure you're fully informed about your potential Brazilian tax liability. You don't want a very expensive surprise from the Receita Federal! Of course, I assume that all the people preaching about morality here intend to pay every last centavo of their Brazilian taxes, and aren't planning any illegal tax evasion schemes!

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Doug: I think it is GREAT how you turned such a nasty, negative situation into such a positive one for you. So I view this thread as net positive. I grew up here studied in the States and know many foreigners particularly Americans who would give ANYTHING to be in your shoes right now, some may be a little jealous. I would like to help some of them including who I know do NOT go to this Board, and so if you don't mind sharing a a little more on your positive experience I have a few doubts. I'm sure it could help others here too.

 

About the Investor Visa, is it what we here call 'definitiva,' or without expiry, or one that someone would have to renew from time to time, even if it is definitiva, would someone have to meet period objectives, like employment of a certain number of locals here? Some of my American friends straight and otherwise are considering a Retiree Visa, but they are preoccupied that they may not officially transfer US$2,000 every month, and of there fore losing the visa. I know others seriously considering a Companheiro Visa (same-sex or not), but are worried about having to maybe share one half of their assets with this partner even if things don't work out. I personally would only advise Companheiro Visa for someone who has truly found their life partner here. I'm interested in your thoughts as a permanent resident.

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