When seeking to engage in volunteer work in Brazil it is important to clarify the visa situation before you travel to Brazil. In this article we will be looking at the visa requirements for volunteer work in Brazil.
Many people are coming to Brazil with the intention to participate in volunteer activities, only to find out that their visa does not allow them to engage in any type of volunteer or social work.
Tourist Visa Limitations
The tourist visa has very clearly defined limitations and is only intended for the following activities:
- Visiting Brazil for tourism or visiting friends or relatives
- Participation in artistic events or athletic competitions for which there are no admission fees or financial compensation to participate, except monetary prizes
- Specialists taking part in congresses or meetings in the area of scientific-technological research, provided they are not paid by any Brazilian-based entity, except reimbursement of expenses
Volunteer work is not one of activities that is covered by the tourist visa and therefore you will need to apply for a temporary work visa.
How to obtain a Visa for Volunteer Work
Any individual that is coming to Brazil as a volunteer is required to obtain a temporary work visa, and this also applies for representatives of religious and non-governmental organisations.
To qualify for the volunteer work visa you need to have an invitation from a Brazilian organisation. Please note that no remuneration can be paid by any Brazilian organisation whatsoever.
In addition to the general visa requirements, this visa specifically requires the presentation of the following original documents:
- Letter of invitation from the organisation in Brazil signed by a duly authorised representative
- Record of constitution of the organisation in Brazil
- Proof of the registration of the Brazilian organisation in the corresponding council of social assistance
- Document characterising the place where services will be rendered and description of the activities that shall be performed
- Affidavit from the organisation in Brazil pledging responsibility for the financial support of the candidate and the return to their country of origin
- Proof of health insurance valid in Brazil
- Police report showing that the candidate has no criminal records
- Resume that demonstrates previous work experience or degree for the field in which the applicant is requiring the visa
- Proof that the Brazilian organisation is functioning regularly
- Passport valid for at least for six months after arrival in Brazil
- Birth certificate or equivalent official document stating the applicant’s parents’ names
- Itinerary printout
In addition to the documents mentioned above you are also expected to provide a 5cm x 5cm passport photo of the applicant.
Application and Processing
The visa application will have to be submitted to your nearest Brazilian embassy or consulate. The cost and time it takes to apply for a visa will vary dramatically from country to country.
No country has exception from the visa for volunteer work in Brazil however, visas are processed based on a reciprocity policy, and the same is the case when it comes to the fees charged for processing the visa application.
Paid Humanitarian Work
The process that is outlined in this article does only apply to volunteer work without any form of financial compensation. Paid humanitarian work and other activities that can be defined as work under a Brazilian-ruled employment contract need to apply for a temporary work visa known as VITEM V.