Internship, Training and Exchange Program Policy for foreigners in Brazil

  • Roberta Cirino Augusto¹ - 27 February, 2012 - Publications

The present paper aims at briefly presenting the relevant points for the granting of visa for foreigners that intend to enter into the Brazilian territory for Training, Exchange and/or Professional Internship. The guidelines herein are based on Law nº 6,815 of 19 August 1980 (Foreigner’s Statute) and on the Normative Resolutions issued by the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) numbers 87 of 15 September 2010, 88 of 15 September 2010 and 92 of 16 Mars 2011.

Key-words: Foreigner. Internship. Professional Training. Professional Exchange. Normative Resolutions. Ministry of Labor and Employment.

INTRODUCTION

According to Law nº 6.815 of 19 August 1980 (Foreigner’s Statute), the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE), by the General Coordination of Immigration (CGIg), is competent to grant work authorizations for foreigners.

In this sense, the General Coordination of Immigration (CGIg) elaborates Normative Resolutions with the purpose to regulate the various modalities of work authorization.

However, it must be noted that issues related to immigration imply a high level of leeway of the competent authorities and are strictly related to national sovereignty, besides reflecting in governmental policies of reciprocity of treatment.

In addition, it should be stressed that the request for the visa does not create a right to its granting, but only an expectation.

Among the work visas of competence of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE), we highlight three modalities; the visa regulated by the RN 87 of 15 September 2010, which enables the foreigner recently graduated to go to Brazil for professional training (Trainee); the internship visa, regulated by RN 88 of 15 September 2010, which enables the foreign student in university to stay in Brazil for supervised educational act in a Brazilian working environment and the visa regulated by RN 92 of 16 March 2011, which enables the foreign student to enter into the Brazilian territory for Professional Exchange program.

Such requests for visas are increasing in Brazil, insofar as the international community is seeing Brazil as a country of opportunities and interesting business.

In this sense, several universities and international organizations encourage foreign students to participate in a cultural experience in Brazil, with the purpose of personal learning and professional growth in their area of study and interest.

Therefore, aiming at acquiring those experiences, foreigners are applying for the visas mentioned above.

VISA MODALITIES

The visa for professional training (Trainee, RN 87/10) allows the foreigner who has finished academic or professional studies, to go to Brazil for professional training in the subsidiary, branch or Brazilian parent company of the same economic group of that of the foreign company, employer of the candidate. The visa is temporary, with one year term, non renewable.

For the granting of the mentioned authorization, the following documents and information shall be submitted to the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE):

  1. a) Proof of the link between the subsidiary, branch, Brazilian parent and the foreign company of the same economic group abroad;
  2. b) Proof of the maintenance of the employment relationship between the foreigner and the foreign company belonging, abroad, to the same economic group of the branch, subsidiary or Brazilian parent;
  3. c) Declaration of the Brazilian company that the foreigner’s remuneration will come from abroad.

Concerning the Professional Exchange visa, it allows foreign university students or students recently graduated in university (up to a year) to gain experience, seeking the improvement of the initial or continued academic background, with the objective to exchange knowledge and cultural and professional experiences.

Among the documents and information necessary for this modality, we emphasize that it shall be presented to the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) the following documents:

  1. a) Employment contract with a maximum term of one year, part-time or full-time;
  2. b) Term of commitment between the foreigner and the employer, with the intervention of the Brazilian entity of exchange, whereby it is mentioned the terms of the exchange program.

The Professional Exchange visa is also temporary, with a one year term and it is non renewable.

It is worth nothing that the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) may reject requests for visa in the modalities cited above, if; i) there is evidence that the Brazilian company wishes to replace national workforce by foreign professionals and, ii) there is no reciprocity for Brazilians in the foreigner’s country of origin.

Last, but not least, we mention the visa regulated by RN 88/10, which deals with the Internship visa.

Such modality is considered by Brazilian law a supervised educational act, granted to the foreign student with college degree, performed in the working environment of a Brazilian company with the intervention of a Brazilian college or university, aiming at preparing the student to the beginning of his professional career.

The visa has one year term, renewable once for the same period.

In this modality, the foreigner shall enroll with a Brazilian college or university and will have the possibility to perform an internship in a Brazilian company registered before the college or university.

The company that offers the internship is called grantor and the relationship between the foreigner and the company is regulated by the Brazilian Internship Law (Law n° 11.788 of 25 September 2008).

This is due to the fact that the Internship visa grants to the foreigners the possibility to stay in Brazil as a student and not a professional.

So, contrary to the modalities already mentioned, the Internship visa shall be requested before the diplomatic missions and Brazilian consular representations at the place of residence of the interested person.

Among the documents and information relevant for this modality, we emphasize:

  1. a) Elaboration and signature of a commitment term between the foreigner, the grantor (Brazilian company) and the Brazilian educational institution;
  2. b) The limit of 06 (six) hours per day of internship and 30 (thirty) hours per week in the grantor’s establishment;
  3. c) Impossibility to remunerate the foreigner, being however possible to allocate a scholarship, as well as other benefits foreseen in the Brazilian legislation of internship;
  4. d) Supervision of the internship by a school monitor and by a person designated by the grantor.

Any activity of the foreigner in violation of the Brazilian internship legislation may characterize an employment relationship between the student and the grantor, subject to penalties of labor and social nature, besides those sanctions foreseen in the migration legislation in Brazil.

THE ENTRY OF THE FOREIGNER IN THE BRAZILIAN TERRITORY

After the entry in the Brazilian territory, independently of the modalities mentioned above, the foreigner shall register before the Ministry of Justice (MJ) and obtain the foreigner’s identification card (Foreigner’s National Register – RNE) within 30 (thirty) days of his arrival in Brazil.

It must be noted that, in the Exchange and Professional Training visas the foreigner is linked with the Brazilian company responsible for his coming, in other words, the foreigner cannot change employer.

Also, it is important to note that, for fiscal purposes, any remuneration perceived by the foreigner, no matter the visa modality, is taxable according to the Brazilian legislation.

Therefore, due to the existence of an employment contract, the foreigner with Professional Exchange visa is subject to taxation in Brazil as from his entry into the territory. The same applies to the foreigner with an Internship visa considering that the term of commitment is regulated by the Brazilian Internship law. However, the foreigner with a visa of Trainee is considered as resident for the purposes of taxation as from the 183rd (one hundred and eightieth-third) day of permanence in the Brazilian territory, being subject to taxation only after that period.

At the expiry of the visa, with the consequent exit of the Brazilian territory by the foreigner, the latter shall file with the Federal Revenue a “Declaration of Definitive Exit” and request the annulment of his registry in order to avoid paying any taxes.

Finally, the Brazilian company shall inform the Ministry of Labor and Employment (MTE) of the end of the employment contract or the term of commitment with the foreigner, as well as his repatriation in order to cancel his visa and registration.

CONCLUSION

The Brazilian economy growth, especially in the industrial sectors of oil and gas, characterized by the acquisition of equipments abroad and the incorporation of new foreign capital companies, is the principal factor for the increase in the foreign manpower.

Brazil becomes attractive not only for confirmed professionals, but also for those who seek professional improvement and multidisciplinary experiences before starting their career.

In this sense, the visas presented in this paper confer to professionals under formation, an opportunity to academic and professional development in the Brazilian territory, which is a booming market on an economic, social and technologic point of view.

This paper does not intend to expose in details all the necessary conditions for obtaining the visas, but it aims at providing guidelines for those interested in experimenting a work and academic experience in Brazil.

In case of interest, the foreigner shall look for the assistance of a professional, avoiding unnecessary pains during the procedure for the granting of the visa.

Should you need further information or assistance in immigration issues, the Immigration team of Chenut Oliveira Santiago law firm (www.cosjuris.com) is at your entire disposal.

REFERENCES

Law nº 6.815 of 19 August 1980

Available at: http://www010.dataprev.gov.br/sislex/paginas/42/1980/6815.htm. Last access on 12 Jan. 2012.

Law n°11.788 of 25 September 2008. Available at: http://www.planalto.gov.br/ccivil_03/_ato2007-2010/2008/lei/l11788.htm. Last access on 12 Jan. 2012.

Normative Resolution 87 of 15 September 2010. Available at:http://portal.mte.gov.br/trab_estrang/resolucoes-normativas.htm. Last access on 12 Jan. 2012.

Normative Resolution 88 of 15 September 2010.  Available at:http://portal.mte.gov.br/trab_estrang/resolucoes-normativas.htm. Last access on 12 Jan. 2012.

Normative Resolution 94 of 16 March 2011. Available at:http://portal.mte.gov.br/trab_estrang/resolucoes-normativas.htm. Last access on 12 Jan. 2012.

ARTICLE: Brazilian Economy Growth. Available at: http://www.portalmaritimo.com.  Last access on 12 Jan. 2012.

[1] Brazilian lawyer, specialized on Business Law, enrolled with the Minas Gerais Section of the Brazilian Bar under n° 120.608. Consultant in Corporate Law and Obligations and member of the Immigration team of Chenut Oliveira Santiago law firm (www.cosjuris.com).