Brazil Meets America and Canada.
Suppose you are Brazilian but you want to move to the United States or Canada. What are the options? As a law firm doing both US and Canadian immigration law, we have set out some of the answers for you below.
There are two ways of migrating to North America. One way is temporarily on a so-called non-immigrant work or student visa. The other is an immigrant visa that allows permanent residence.
Let’s look at each in turn.
Non Immigrant Visas
The most common visa is a visitor’s visa. This is something that can be obtained without the help of a lawyer unless the applicant encounters complications. We can help those who have difficulties in this regard by obtaining a copy of the applicant’s electronic file if the applicant has been turned away. But there are limits on what can be done if the application was turned away for good reason, such as previous deportations or travel on false documents.
Temporary Work Permits
If you are a professional such as a doctor, nurse, teacher etc. or a skilled worker and you have a job offer from North America, then we can help you obtain a work permit. In the United States, such individuals usually can qualify for an H1B work visa for up to six years provided they have an American employer sponsor who will support their application and provided they have the equivalent of an American bachelor’s degree through education or work experience. In Canada, such individuals may qualify for a work permit based on sponsorship by an employer who obtains a Labor Market Opinion indicating there are no Canadian workers ready, willing and able to do the job.
Inter-Corporate Transferee Work Visa
If you work for a company in Brazil that employs say a dozen or more people and that company proposes to transfer you to the United States or Canada, either to start up a new subsidiary of the Brazilian firm or to go to work for an affiliated company in North America such as for example Microsoft in Brazil transferring you to Microsoft in the United States, you are eligible to obtain an inter-company transferee work permit. In the United States the L-1 work permit can be valid for up to seven years if you are a manager or executive or up to five years if you are coming to the USA because you are an employee with specialized knowledge. In Canada the similar rules apply.
Investment Nonimmigrant visa
If you do not have a business or company in Brazil but do wish to start up a company in the United States and you have some business experience you can obtain an E-2 work visa to run your company there. The key elements are: a physical office, the incorporation of a company, the opening of a bank account, registration with the Internal Revenue Service, depositing a significant sum into the company bank account, say $ 200,000 U.S. , and finally, presenting a business plan. In Canada you can obtain a work permit if you can show your new company will bring Canada significant social, economic or cultural benefits or opportunities for Canadian citizens or permanent residents. A simple business plan usually should also be provided.
Other Non-immigrant Work Visas
There are other ways you may possibly qualify to work in the USA or Canada, such as work permits granted to extraordinary aliens due to their unique abilities or religious workers. These are matters that need to be discussed and worked out.
If your intention is permanent immigration to the United States or Canada, then there are a number of options for you to consider.
The United States offers conditional permanent residence to foreign investors who invest a sum as low as $ 500,000 in a specially approved regional development center that enables the investor to immigrate as part of the process. The funds are invested in commercial enterprises for a minimum period of two years before the investor can apply to have his condition removed. The condition is that the funds were invested for two years and that the investment created not less than 10 new jobs for that period. Once removed, the investor can then remove his money. When attorney and administrative fees are factored into the calculation the total cost can run up to, say $ 600,000.
Canada offers investment programs leading to permanent residence where the investor can pay as little as $ 220,000 to effectively buy permanent resident status. The program involves the help of a Canadian bank that facilitates the transaction and takes that fee for doing so. The investor must have a net worth of at least $ 1,600,000.
Inter-Corporate Multinational Transferees
If you are an executive or manager and have been transferred from your company to an affiliate in North America, then you can qualify to apply for permanent residence. In the United States you are eligible after one year. In Canada it is two.
Family Based Applications
If you are married to an American or a Canadian your spouse can sponsor you to immigrate to North America along with any children. If you are engaged to an American, you can come to the USA to get married as a fiancé. If you are a family member, such as a child or a parent, you may be eligible to immigrate permanently as well. Marriage-based applications can sometimes help long-time illegal or undocumented Brazilians who are in North America and seek to normalize their status.
Apart from these options for immigration, we help people with applications for waivers where they are blocked from coming to North America due to a criminal conviction. Also, an applicant may be eligible to obtain citizenship in the United States or Canada due to previous family immigration history.
All these are ways that someone from Brazil may be eligible to move to North America. If any of these options look possible to you, give us a call and we can see if there is an opportunity for you.