New immigration policies in Brazil might soon open the door to fast-track visas for skilled workers. My own experience indicates just how badly reform is needed.
Globo newspaper reported recently that new policies might soon open the door to fast-track visas for skilled workers. With recessions dimming prospects for professionals in both the US and Europe, it is not impossible that Brazil may be about to experience a second golden age of immigration.
Current visa and immigration restrictions reflect the sort of "Brazil for Brazilians" policies emblematic of the last dictatorship (1964-85), during which time authorities drafted the current Statute on Foreigners.
A team within the president’s office, the Secretary of Strategic Affairs, has been assigned to consider alternative visa and immigration policies. The coordinator of that team, Ricardo Paes de Barros, ventures: “now that Brazil is an island of prosperity in the world, there are a lot of good quality people who want to come here.” Paes admits that Canada and Australia are the models that Brazil seeks to emulate.
From January to September of 2011 – President Rousseff’s first year in office – the number of visas issued increased by a full third. There were 51,353 visas issued last year.