10/21/2012 15:22 EST
I am a Canadian but I did recently go through the process (I married a Brasilian) so I can provide you with a little of my experience. First we married in Canada and now we live in SP.
1). I applied for the perm visa in Canada. I went to the Brasilian Embassy and they walked me through it. I already had the visitors visa. It was very easy because my request was due to marriage (much more difficult if you are coming without a purpose or business sponsor). We had to have a lot of documents translated but it only took 30 days one all the paperwork was filed. My husband needed to provide proof of having a job, bank statements and a signed - notorized - letter stating he could support me in the event I could not work.
2) If you're committed to moving to Brasil, I'm pretty sure you have to have the perm visa and you cannot apply to be a citizen until after living here for one year (so I have been told). The cost was about $300 (CDN) but I would budget for closer to $500 for translations and notories, As stated, it took about 30 days but if you're married to a Brasilian, you should have no problems.
3) Perm visa and work permit are entirely different things. You need a CPF and an RNE to be able to apply for a carteira de trabalho. All of which are not hard to get, just time consuming and make sure you read everything about what you need to have to avoid frustration. Also, very important, bring your wife or another Brasilian with you when you go for these processes, you want someone who can speak Portuguese very well and also someone who is familiar with the system. Finally, depends on what you're doing but you can apply for a PIS# (I teach English freelance right now) which is great for consultants, otherwise, to be able to legally work you need the carteiro. I have all and really it was not a huge deal.
Good luck to you Ashco. Quite honestly, I love it here and while there is a bit administration to go though (same as anywhere), it is well worth it.
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