1 - Do you speak Portuguese? No? That's not good... How do you want to come to a country where everybody speaks a language that you don't? And what's worse, how do you think you'll ever get a job in this place if you can't even communicate with its own people? It doesn't make any sense. So... Forget all the rest! First, you'll have to put a lot of effort into learning this language. Then, as soon as you're done with that, you can think about what comes next. Besides, what are you afraid of? Portuguese is not hard... Come on! If you don't know how to get started with it, why don't you try Duolingo? It's free! I'm actually using it for French right now. :)
2 - That is the most obvious thing on this earth! What is it that you need when you're going to a different country (most of the times)? A visa! Brazil is not different. If you want to work in this place, you'll need a work visa. And how do you get it? Mmmmmm... Good question! To the best of my knowledge, the employer must file a petition on your behalf (he/she will have to read up on this PDF). That means that you'll basically have to get the job first! So... I don't how you're going to do it but, if I were you, I'd try to get a tourist visa (which is really easy by the way), come here and look for something in my field during my stay. It's worth pointing out that people from certain countries do not need a visa if they're here for pleasure only. Check out this page to see whether or not you'll need one. If you can't or don't feel like doing it, there's always the internet! The following pages (in Portuguese) can be a good match for you and your skills:
- Empregos no Brasil para Estrangeiros (Jobs in Brazil for Foreigners)
- TEFL Job Placement (this one is in English)
- Jobs Abroad in Brazil (this one is in English)
This type of visa lasts for 2 years, and you can renew it once. If you need to renew it again for some reason, they'll grant you a permanent visa. If you want a detailed guide on how to get yours, check out this page (in Portuguese).
3 - Just like when you're coming here to study, once you get here you'll have 30 days to go to the Federal Police Department to create a temporary ID. If you don't, you'll receive a penalty charge for each day of delay. In order to avoid it, go to this site and download your GRU forms (click on services, on the left side of the screen, and use the codes 140082 and 140120). 140082 stands for the ID card fee (≈ $56.00 USD) and 140120 stands for the fee related to the registry of foreigners (≈ $30.00 USD). Print them out, go to any Brazilian bank and make the payment. Don't throw your receipt away! Take it with two pictures (3x4 - 3cm = 1,17 inches / 4cm = 1,56 inches - white background), your passport and a copy of all pages of it to the FPD and wait for their instructions.
4 - If you want to work on the books, you'll certainly need a Carteira de Trabalho (a sort of Work Card). Here is a step by step (in Portuguese) that will help you with that. If the employer wants you to open a Brazilian bank account, for instance, you'll also need a CPF (this one is like the American Social Security Card). On this page (in Portuguese) you can learn how to get a CPF. This one can come in handy too.
5 - Depending on your field, you'll need to check on the accreditation of foreign degrees. This subject is way too long! But if you're an engineer or a doctor, for instance, you'll definitely need to revalidate your diploma and take some examinations (you'll need to take a test given by a brazilian public university to regularize your diploma and another given by a public department - like OAB, for lawyers, CONFEA, for engineers, REVALIDA and CFM, for doctors and so on - that grants the license that you'll need to work in that specific field) in order to work legally. I can't give you all the details on this one, because there are too many careers out there. There's a different procedure for each one of them, so... Keep an eye out!
P.S.: Ministério da Educação (a public department that is responsible for the Brazilian education) and Estudar Fora (a useful website) can provide you with detailed information (in Portuguese) on how to revalidate your diploma.
6 - That may sound a little bit silly, but don't forget that you'll also need a place to stay. In my opinion, big cities are always the best option for foreigners - especially if you still want to see people from your home country every once in a while. Besides, chances are that you'll find more English speakers in these places. As I said, Portuguese is essential, but it doesn't really mean that you'll have to use it all the time. Maybe you'll miss speaking your own language... If you feel like hanging out, there'll always be someone like you out there! If you're in a small town, however, it's likely that you'll be sucked into a different language for a long time!
7 - Brazil is a huge country! We're literally a mixture of the whole world. We don't have a single race or a single culture. So, where do you want to go to? You can go wherever you want, I agree, but if you're Japanese, Chinese or Korean (Asian, generally speaking), for instance, I'd say that São Paulo is definitely a place for you. If you have an Afro or an Arab background, maybe you'll feel more comfortable in the Northeast. If you're Indian, maybe North is the place you're looking for. If you're European, maybe South will do just fine for you. If you're North American, Southeast can be a good choice. So... I'm not trying to promote racism or any of that. I'm just telling you that, since these places are a little bit more like yours (the culture, the people and other aspects in general), it's likely that you'll not feel like a total alien. As humans, we like to mix in (even if we're introverts). That's logical. But again: we're mixed! Totally mixed! You'll not find a certain type of race only - no matter where you go, there'll always be a huge variety. It's just that like in every other place, we have majorities and minorities. Pick the one that is best for you (if you do care about it at all).
8 - Do you have a health insurance? If not, start thinking about it. You do NOT want to depend on the public service provided by the hospitals (which is called SUS, by the way). Believe me... Go get a health insurance NOW!
9 - Depending on where you want to go to, you'll need to get some vaccines. After making up your mind, make sure to search the web and see if you need to get any shot before going there. Do NOT forget it!
10 - Is your family coming along? Do you have any kids? If yes, try to find a good school for them beforehand. I hate to say that, but public schools suck in this place. I'm not making that up. I definitely know what I'm talking about! I studied in a private school for almost my whole life. Then, when I went to High School, I moved to a public one and OMG! That was one of the worst mistakes I've ever made... I love the friends that I got, but the education itself was just a joke. During my freshman year, I felt like I was going through the previous year all over again! So... If you have enough money to afford a better education for your children, don't hesitate. Just do it!
As I said in the beginning of this post, this is just a rough outline. Make sure to contact the Brazilian embassy/consulate in your country for detailed information and/or consult the Company or Travel Agency that will be assisting you in this process.
Oh, I almost forgot! Don't forget to check out the pages below. They can be really useful!
- Portal Consular (Portuguese)
- Ministério da Justiça - Estrangeiros (Portuguese)
- Portal do Trabalho e Emprego (Portuguese)
- Manual Quase Prático (Portuguese)
- O Estrangeiro (Portuguese)
- Visto Para Estrangeiros (Portuguese)
- TARGET Jobs (English)
- Live in Brazil (English)
- Work in Brazil (English)
- Gringoes (English)
If you're Brazilian who understands about this topic or a foreigner who's already working here, feel free to chime in!
Have a nice week! :)