The UK Club has received the following update from correspondents, Proinde, regarding immigration controls on seafarers in Brazil.
"In November 2017, the new Brazilian Migration Law (Law 13,445 of May 2017) was implemented to replace the obsolete Alien’s Statute – a law enacted when Brazil was still under the yoke of the military ruling – and embrace the fundamental principles and guarantees that are already enshrined in the Federal Constitution, including the promotion of human rights, repudiation of racism and discrimination, equal rights and free access to public services and social benefits to Brazilians and foreigners, along with reduction of bureaucracy.
"While the Law eliminated criminal sanctions for immigration offences, it substantially increased the value of the fines that now range from about USD 30 to USD 3,030 for individuals, and from about USD 303 to USD 303,030 for corporations that violate the immigration regulations.
"New categories of visas have been created, each with multiple types to serve specific purposes. The permanent visa has been discontinued and long-term visitors who wish to live in or work in Brazil can now apply for residency in the country, regardless of their immigration status or visa type.
"Visitors and immigrants in the maritime and offshore sectors will be issued with a visit visa for business (non-remunerated, short-term visitors) or a temporary work visa (with or without a contract of employment in Brazil) if they remain in the country for more than 90 days. Citizens of some countries will continue to be exempted from a visa if the stay does not exceed 90 days.
"Seafarers entering the country on a deep-sea going ships or a cruise ship sailing along the Brazilian coast for up to 90 days shall be exempt from visa provided they carry a valid seaman’s book in accordance with the ILO Convention. Those who intend to work on a Brazilian ship or platform, irrespective of the length of the employment contract, or work on board a foreign vessel without a contract of employment in Brazil for more than 90 days, must obtain a temporary visa at a Brazilian consulates abroad. Particularly interesting to the industry were the normative resolutions issued by the National Immigration Council (CNIg) in December 2017 to regulate the new legal framework. These administrative acts reiterate the obligation of foreign ships and platforms to hire rising proportions of Brazilian seafarers to compose the crew at all levels of qualifications and departments when operating in Brazilian waters for specific periods."