How does a residence permit for family reunion work in Brazil?

There are several types of residence permit in Brazil, all with very specific rules. One of them is the family reunion, often used for the benefit of immigrants. It allows families to remain together in the face of the need for migration of one of the loved ones.

The entire reception system for international residents in Brazil is governed by humanitarian principles. Thus, the legislation grants equal treatment to immigrants. They have the right to a humanitarian welcome and to live with their family.

So, want to know more? Keep reading and check out the main information about the Brazilian residence permit based on family reunion!

In which situations is it possible to apply for a residence permit in Brazil by family reunion?

The conditions for authorization are regulated by several ordinances of different ministries of the Federal Government. Currently, family reunion is provided for by law and regulated by decree and interministerial ordinance and can be requested in the following situations:

Spouse or partner

To be entitled to this request, it is necessary to prove the existence of a marriage or stable union with a Brazilian citizen – and these may have been celebrated both in Brazil and abroad. If they occurred outside the national territory, they must be transcribed in Brazil.

There is also the possibility of carrying out the request, if the caller has a residence in Brazil. In addition to one of the aforementioned certificates, other documents will be required for this process. It is also worth mentioning that the law clearly protects people from any discrimination, granting them equality regardless of race and sexual orientation.


Children of a Brazilian or an immigrant beneficiary of a residence permit

The legislation makes no distinction between biological and adopted children. For this modality, all immigration documentation from the parents must comply with the law. In the case of illegality, the law provides a series of incentives for regularization, which will help in the process of permitting the children’s residence.


The Brazilian legal system highly values ​​affective and social relationships. Therefore, stepchildren have the same rights as children. Here, however, one of these additional requirements must be met:

  • be under eighteen years of age;
  • if between eighteen and twenty-four years of age, proof of student status in Brazil;
  • be of any age, if economic dependence on the beneficiary of the residence permit or the Brazilian calling party is proven.

Parents of Brazilian children

People of another nationality with children with Brazilian nationality can apply for a residence permit without having to fulfill any other requirement. For this, it is only necessary to prove that the name of the parents appears on the child’s birth certificate.

Ascendants and Descendants up to Second Degree of Brazilian

The same rights given to parents are extended to grandparents, grandparents and grandchildren of other nationalities who are related to Brazilians. In short, Brazilians can gather all their closest family without any type of restriction or discrimination.

Regarding the ancestors and descendants of immigrants who are beneficiaries of residence permits, once again, the law does not differentiate between the holder of Brazilian nationality and the legalized immigrant. Both are entitled to bring their family members.

Sibling of a Brazilian or an immigrant with a residence permit

In this case, there is a restriction regarding the age of the authorization applicant: at the time of application, he must not be over 18 years of age. This age limit is more flexible if student status (up to 24 years old) or financial dependence (any age) is proven.

Curators, guardians and tutors of Brazilians

Civil guardians of any Brazilian citizen can also request authorization, regardless of proof of kinship.

How can the condition of stable union be proven?

This type of civil union does not have a counterpart in many laws in other countries, so many immigrants may be in doubt about how to prove it. To solve this problem, several document options are presented in the ministerial ordinances:

  • certificate of stable union issued by the competent authority of the immigrant’s country of origin;
  • proof of stable union that has been issued by a competent court in Brazil or by another corresponding authority abroad;
  • any official certificate in addition to another similar document, which must have been issued by both the civil registration authority of Brazil and its international equivalents.

How can this type of residence permit be requested?

All potential beneficiaries of this type of authorization can apply for it together. In other words, it is not necessary to wait for a residence permit to be approved for other members of the family unit to apply for their rights. This process can be done abroad, via the Brazilian Consulate, or directly in Brazil, at a Federal Police unit.

Thus, an employee who comes to work in a Brazilian company, for example, may extend the right to authorization to her children, spouse, parents, grandparents and stepchildren.

Are there limitations to the residence permit per family reunion?

As a rule, when the family reunion is requested based on the beneficiary of a residence permit, the period granted to the applicant will be the same as the holder. However, when requested in a meeting with a Brazilian citizen, the period of stay may be valid indefinitely.

Therefore, in the first case, the authorization expiration dates of all applicants must coincide. Therefore, going back to the previous example, if the authorization limit of the international employee is 01/01/2020, the authorization of the others cannot exceed that day. Likewise, if, for some reason, she loses the right to authorization, the others will be affected by the decision. In these cases, however, an administrative procedure or legal action can be filed so that each situation is analyzed.

Fortunately, as we can see, the chances of a residence permit in Brazil by family reunion are very wide, thus preventing bonds of affection and care from being broken because of immigration restrictions. We have quite advanced legislation in this regard. Still, whenever you need it, don’t hesitate to seek expert help.

So, did you enjoy reading? This information is really essential for immigrants who live or want to reside in Brazil. So be sure to share them on social media!

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Especialista em Global Mobility