Sunday, 19 February 2012

We are Brazilian!

OK not quite Brazilian yet but we have the protocolo (stamps) in our passports to say that we can stay here for the next 5 years* until we need to renew. As I mentioned before, we used a fantastic agent called Renata Laterza who helped us with Olivia's brazilian passport. We met her at 8am and took us straight to the front of the queue (note that EVERYONE has to go: Olivia and Sophie included - a rule that the unfortunate couple infront of us didn't know as they hadn't bought their older child with them who had just started back at school). It turns out that we needed Olivia's RG which we hadn't picked up yet so he asked us to come back the following week - aahh! Renata should've known but she managed to book the next earliest appointment at a Poupatempo for us to get Olivia's RG. She picked me up from our house as only I needed to go with Olivia and took me through the process (a friend even tagged along to do the same).

To pick up your RG you need
- 3x4 photo
- original birth certificate plus a simple photocopy (by simple I mean there is no need to take it to the cartorio)
- Original RNE and simple photocopy of each parent's

Poupatempo's are great places to go and get everything done at one time - there is a post office there, banks, wedding registrations etc. My friend had bought the wrong sized photo (note that the brazilian passport photo is much larger - 5x7 i think) but there was a counter where we could take a baby's photo really quickly. Then we had to go to the post office to pay the fee (R10), and then back to another line to pick up a queue ticket. We waited 10 minutes before our number came up and it was just to check all details and take fingerprints which just looked like little dots! The lady said it would be ready the following morning at 10am. We arranged for Renata to pick up the RG's the following day, to then take Olivia's to the cartorio and met us at the Policia Federal straight after.

Lunchtime is not a great time to go to the Policia Federal - it is open but much slower, if that is really possible. Again, we all had to be there but we jumped to the front of the queue with Olivia in hand - though I did watch one mother struggling under the weight of her 10 year old daughter so she could be in the priority line. It was comical but no one else seemed to be laughing.

So we submitted our documents again and almost had a heart attack when the guy came to question another document! You have to submit these declarations from both the mother and father which are signed by each of us, and then taken to the cartorio to authenticate the signature... anyhow, they were confused and thought there was no form for the mother (Jaime is only a man's name here!). He then asked us to sit and wait for our names, it took 20 minutes and we finally got the protocolo stamps in our passport!

It will take 6-8 months for our new RNE cards to be ready but they will have the same number as our temporary ones now. In the meantime we will have an unannounced visit at our house so they can see where we live, what we do etc. This is more of a formality when the visas are based on a Brazilian child, rather than on a marriage to a Brazilian (think Gerard Depardieu and Andie Macdowell in the movie Green card).

Next step: a Brazilian driver's license which we have to do within 6 months of our new visa. The paperwork doesn't stop...

*permanent visas are not necessarily permanent, they need to be renewed every 5 years and if the visa is based on your child that was born in Brazil, it expires when they turn 18 as they are not a child anymore. You can then apply for your visa under their sponsorship. Nice to know that we have to through some sort of Brazilian paperwork process potentially for the rest of our lives! Also, if you move to another country and want to maintain your PR, you need to enter Brazil every 2 years. If you don't you just need to pay a small-ish fine which was either R120 or R350 - though I guess irrelevant as would've changed by the time we need to do this in 5 years..

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