Monday, June 14, 2010

Married a Brazilian?

 Just a little tip for those of you who married a Brazilian in your home country and are now moving to Brazil.  I'm a little out of the loop because I did my entire process years ago but I doubt they've changed it much. If they have, they've only made it more complicated.

Anyway, my tip is to go to your closest Brazilian consulate with your marriage certificate, birth certificate, and any other important document you may need here.  I spent a lot of money and time having official translations done (and they have to be official and are expensive) and then getting those official translations plus my documents certified as legitimate. I was told at one point that I could have saved myself the hassle by just going to the Brazilian Consulate in LA (I'm from San Diego) and getting a stamp. A stamp!

My husband and I married in San Diego but marriages from the US are not considered legal here.  I had to get re-married to my husband in Brazil. Doesn't sound like a big deal but it is.  They wouldn't accept any of my American documents without them being translated and verified. At the time I had to go all the way to Ilha de Governador to get them verified.

Once you manage to get all the paperwork done, you have to go back and have your names put in an official paper for a month before you can marry.

This is only the beginning of the officials!  Everything has to be "official".   Hell, you can't even sign a document most of the time without having to go to a Cartório and getting an official stamp saying you signed it. How do you get that stamp? You register at the Cartório with ID. You sign a bunch of papers and each time you get your signature officiated they check it.  Apparently they are experts.

Anyway, call the Brazilian Consulate. That, in and of itself, may be a pain in the butt but it's a much smaller one than dealing with it here!

Putting it into perspective, I think I've killed about 25 trees getting copies and translations and dropping them off at all the different offices around the city. They know me at the Federal Police now.  We're brothers from another Mother.


  1. Good advice sending people to their local Consulate. Just prior to Luiz and I moving here we took every conceivable document we might need to the consulate to get the almighty stamp applied. No translation necessary because their lawyers (at the San Francisco, CA consulate) speoke/read/wrote English. They simply certified for the Brazilian officials here in Brazil that the document was official and met the qualifications of the needed documentation. I think we paid US$20 per stamp/document.

    Once here we got an imigration lawyer and there were just a few additional documents that we had to pay the rediculously expensive certified translation fee for.

    We used the "Stable Union" option for getting a permanent resident visa. 11 months later... I was legal. =8^)

  2. 11 months! You are my hero! It took me 3 years starting from our Brazilian marriage. I'm so old school I started going to the Federal Police downtown before the remodeling started. They saw me after marriage, after baby, and I believe I was pregnant with number 2 before I finally got my card in hand

  3. Card in hand? I did not say I had my card in hand... LOL! Still waiting on that. But I got my official Permenent Resident visa (stamped in my passport) in 11 months. Plus my workbook. (We lucked out with a 50% discount on the lawyer fees due to the LGBT family discount. The boss at the company is on the bus.)

  4. Stamped in your passport?? I had to carry around a little strip of paper with my photo glued on it with a date and a stamp. Oh the arguments I had to have whenever I tried to board a plane. Thankfully, the Brazilian government never canceled my tourist visa.

    It took 1 year for my card to travel down from Brazilia. I think they brought it down on the back of a seaturtle.

  5. My visa is stamped in my passport. The little piece of paper with my photo (which is all but unreadable at this point) is my stand-in federal ID while I wait for my over-sized plastic card. Or at least I thought that was the deal...

  6. Wow Rachel i'm so glad to hear that you had a difficult time getting married too :P and i wrote a story of it as a guest post on Adventures of a Gringa (the other Rachel that used to live in Rio, you probably have read her) anyways, a couple brazilians got very offended that i had such a "difficult time" and that THEIR husbands had no problems whatsoever and i made it all up. aiaiai. anyways, i got married in March and it was the first time getting marreid (wasn't married in the US) but i have never had to pay attention to such small details (like my mom's full middle name rather than her initial on my birth certificate) in my life. i think i cried about twice during the whole thing :P but less than a week afterwards i went to the police to become legal, and now all they do is put a stamp, that's all, in your passport with a date. nothing else and told me to wait for my surprise visits.

    nice to find your blog!

  7. Thanks! I'm glad to like the post! I can't believe some Brazilians got offended. My Brazilian friends were the first to talk shit about the burrocracia (spelling is on purpose).

    I messed up on some of my documents and spelled my father's middle name differently on my CPF paperwork and on something else. Oops. I was told I needed to fix it immediately if not sooner. I never did. Come on, if they notice that they have the right to just come and throw me out of the country

  8. I am italian, also married to a carioca. We goot married in Italy and registered our wedding in Rio without any problems whatsoever.

  9. Hey all, I am Australian Married to a Carioca, We got married in Australia, then took our paperwork (marriage Cert, Birth certificates, Passports) to the Brazilian embassy in Canberra - 7 hours away! Sadly there is no consulate in Melbourne where we live. No problem, marriage officiated in Brazil. We had the Big fat wedding in Rio with the 5,000 members of her family, and got the religious certificate as well, which is of little value. All this late last year, and we have been married ofr 11 months.
    In applying for permanent residency based on Marriage, is there a waiting time for work at all, and how long to get the CPF?