Brazil Guidelines for Visa Application and Federal Police Registration

Note: This document is based on Washington and Lee University’s experience, which is primarily with the Washington Consular office and the Federal Police in Manaus. It is intended to help your with the process, but it is not a final authority. It is important that you recognize that this is not an official document of the Brazilian government. You should also note that all regulations and practices are subject to change, so you should check with appropriate authorities about all requirements and regulations and not just rely on these guidelines. For visa application guidelines, contact the Brazilian Consular's office in your district. Embassy of Brazil


YOU MAY NOT STUDY IN BRAZIL WITH A TOURIST VISA. Study in Brazil requires a temporary visa IV (VITEM-IV) although sometimes a VITEM-I may be issued. It is important to obtain the correct student visa and not take the easy route of a tourist visa. Applying for a tourist visa for study in Brazil is not only dishonest, but you could be sent home and/or fined.

Obtaining a visa:

Obtain a letter of invitation from the director of the Brazilian program at which you will be studying. This letter should contain a formal invitation, a description of what you will be doing, and a statement that your study is part of the CAPES/FIPSE program.

  • Go to the Brazilian Embassy webpage and determine which consulate office has jurisdiction for your state of residence. Go to the webpage of the appropriate consulate and determine which visa is most correspondent to your program of study. It will usually be VITEM-IV.
  • Assemble all the information specified on the webpage for the visa application. You should prepare two signed copies of the application form, with pictures. Do not submit a photocopy of a signed form as your second copy. Prepare everything exactly as specified. For example, if a certain sized photo is requested, make sure the photo is the right size. If it specifies that the background of the photo be white, make sure it is white, etc.
  • If you are applying by mail, pay attention to restrictions against using FedEx and similar couriers. In general, you should use the US Postal Service priority mail, with a tracking number. Include a pre-stamped priority mail envelope for the return of your passport. Make sure to record the tracking number of both envelopes so that you can track the movement of your passport.
  • You must pay the fees by USPS money order. Don’t even think about trying another form of payment.
  • You may not apply for a visa earlier than 90 days before your arrival date. Assemble enclosures and application materials before this period begins and then initiate the process as soon as possible within the 90 day window. Remember that the consular offices are deluged with visa applications. Do not put pressure on them by applying close your travel date. This is especially important for international students studying in the US on a student visa. The Brazilian consular office may need to communicate with the consular office in the student’s home country, which adds additional time to the process.
  • Upon receipt of your visa, look underneath the visa stamp to see if there is a handwritten notation, "RN" followed by a number. This is the "resoluçao normativa" and refers to the legal category under which your visa is issued. If this number is not written on your visa, the federal police will not be able to process your temporary residence, and will lead to all kinds of problems in you trying to get the consulate to fax the RN number to the federal police. If you do not have this number, call the consulate and then send the passport back for them to include the RN number. The same restrictions apply on the method by which you send it back. Please send your visa application materials to the consulate early enough to allow for the resolution of this potential problem.
  • When you receive your passport and visa back from the Brazilian Embassy, you will receive the second copy of your visa application. This is not for your records, it is for registration with the Brazilian federal police. Safeguard the application before you go to Brazil, and bring it with you in your carry-on (not checked) luggage. If you lose the application, it will make your life much more complicated.

Registering with the federal police:

Note that you have only 21 days to register with the federal police upon arrival in Brazil. Make this a top priority.

  1. Just before you go to Brazil (one or two days before), go to the Brazilian federal police website (, and print out the forms for payment of your registration fees. Here are the steps to do this:
    1. Just a little below the box that is titled, Seja Bem Vindo, click on GRU -Funapol (emissão do guia para pessoas e entidades estrangeiras)
    2. Fill out the form, using complete names and no initials. You will need to know your address in Brazil
    3. In the box that says “Unidade Arrecadadora:”, click on the arrow to get the pulldown menu and click on the appropriate region for your university. In the case of the Universidade Federal do Amazonas, this is the “Superintendencia regional no estado do Amazonas”. Check with someone from your Brazilian university to make sure you get the region right.
    4. In the box that is titled “Código da Receita STN”: , type 140082 (this is for the Registro de Estrangeiros/Restabelecimento de Registro. The fee should be R$35.88, but is subject to change.
    5. print out the form
    6. repeat the process using the code 140120 (carteira de strangeiro de primeira via-fee R$69.02)
    7. take the forms to a branch of the Banco do Brazil when you arrive in Brazil and pay the forms. Note that the forms are valid only for a limited time. Also, keep the cash register receipts from the Banco do Brazil, and the halves of the forms that they give back to you. You will need to bring this to the federal police.
  2. In Brazil, go to a cartorio’s office and have copies of your passport pages authenticated as true copies. The pages should include the primary pages of your passport as well as the page with your visa and the page with the stamp from Brazilian immigration.
  3. Bring your authenticated copies, paid forms and bank receipts, two copies of 3 cm by 4 cm photos (white background) and your visa application to the federal police office. Do not wear t-shirts or shorts. Obtain a number for service and wait for your number to be called (make sure you take your number from the “estrangeiros” printer and not the one for Brazilian citizens applying for passports.
  4. Fill out the form, using upper case, block letters. Write out all names, no middle initials. You will need the following information:
    mother’s name
    father’s name
    residential address in Brazil
    phone number in Brazil
    name of university and department or program in Brazil, and the mailing address of the program
    You will be fingerprinted and given a temporary ID card, which may expire while you are in Brazil. If so, you need to go back to the federal police and extend it. With good luck, a plastic ID card may be ready for you at this time. Although this is a bureaucratic process, it is an easy process. Just take it one step at a time and make sure you are thorough in obtaining all the necessary information and material. Don’t be intimidated by the idea of reporting to the federal police. As with Brazilians in general, the federal police are extremely friendly and are interested in helping you complete the registration process.