Gard informed that seafarers are allowed to stay in Brazil without having a visa for up to 90 days in each migratory year, if they have a valid seaman’s book in line with the ILO Convention.
A new Migration Law entered into force in Brazil in November 2017, changed the country’s immigration policy and regulations. Namely, seafarers entering Brazil on ocean-going vessels can stay up to 90 days in each migratory year without a visa provided they carry valid seaman’s books issued by a country signatory to the ILO Identity Documents Convention (C185).
Those staying longer than 90 days will need to have a temporary work visa. The period of stay is counted from the date of the first entry into Brazil to the date when the vessel leaves the last national port or the date when the seafarer is repatriated.
Furthermore, Brazil has issued new resolutionsregarding the obligation on foreign ships and offshore platforms to hire more Brazilian seafarers when operating in Brazilian waters. The percentage of the crew required to be Brazilian nationals depends on the ship type and operation as well as the period of continuous operation in Brazilian waters.
In addition, Gard informs that fines for overstays have been the most common type of immigration penalties for on seafarers visiting Brazil and the new Migration Law has increased the value of such fines, which can reach USD 3,000 for individuals and USD 300,000 for companies that violate the regulations.
Operators are suggester to monitor the amount of time each crewmember has stayed in Brazil and report to the local agent in advance of the limit being reached in order to make sure there is enough time for any visa applications to be submitted.