How can I claim asylum? (Step by step)

In order to apply for asylum in Brazil, an individual needs to be in the Brazilian territory. At any moment after arrival in Brazil, a foreigner who considers him or herself a victim of persecution in his/her country of origin (if you have doubts, access here the Law 9.474, which defines the implementation of the Refugee Statute in the country) ought to look for a Federal Police Station (if you are in São Paulo, please go to the Police station located at Rua Hugo D’Antola, 95 – Lapa de Baixo, phone: 11 3538-5000) or migratory authority at the border and request refugee protection for the Brazilian government. A foreigner who seeks asylum cannot be deported to a territory where his/her life and freedom are or could be at risk. Besides that, every person has the right to be accompanied by a lawyer from the Federal Public Defender’s Office or from the UNHCR civil society partner’s organizations, for free, to follow all the procedures of your request for refugee (it is not necessary, but you can count on a lawyer if you want to).

ATTENTION: The asylum claim is totally free and can be done directly by the asylum seeker.

To claim asylum, you should follow these steps (more information below):
1. Complete the Asylum Claim form.
2. How to schedule the interview with CONARE.
3. Attend the interview on the date.
4. Keep your personal information updated.


1) Complete the Asylum Claim form

The asylum seeker must complete the asylum claim form with information about your personal data, family data, and a detailed description on why you were forced to leave your country. This is a very important step in your asylum process so you should be as detailed as possible, indicating dates, places, events, among other things. Moreover, attach all the documents you believe are important to support your asylum request.

It is essential to inform an e-mail, telephone and complete address (where you live or are staying and where you can be found), so the Brazilian authorities can contact you. Is it very important that you keep your contact information up to date at the Federal Police and CONARE, so that you can receive all the necessary notifications (check item 4 below for information on how to keep your information updated).

You can download and print the Asylum Claim Form (Termo de Solicitação de Refúgio) on the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Justice prior to your visit to the Federal Police through this link. The form is also available in portuguese, spanish and french. You should download the form in the language of your choice, fill in the fields and then print the document.

You can have guidance of how to fill up this form at any partner organization of UNHCR in Brazil. If you do not write in any of these languages you can receive help from a translator. If you do not know anyone who can assist you, please contact UNHCR or one of its partners.

You should contact the Federal Police in person (or through your attorney or legal representative) to deliver your Asylum Claim Form. Bring a photo (size 3cmx4cm). If you are with your family, everyone needs to appear in person (or their attorneys or legal representatives) to the Federal Police and take photographs to complete the request.

The norm that allows the request for refugee to be presented by an attorney or legal representative is the Resolution No. 18 of CONARE.


2) How to schedule the interview with CONARE

After receiving the refugee request form, the Federal Police will approve the process and send the form (with all documents) to the National Committee for Refugees – CONARE, who will call you for an interview and make a decision on your request. There is no deadline for CONARE to conduct the interview, but you will receive the notification by the contact information you provide, especially by your email. Therefore the importance in keeping this data always updated.

If you are still waiting for the interview to be scheduled and would like more information, you can go to one of CONARE’s offices in person:

  • Brasília
    Esplanada dos Ministérios, Ministério da Justiça, Anexo II, Térreo.
    Email: conare@mj.gov.br
  • Porto Alegre (Public attendance and registration update. There are no eligibility officers or face-to-face interviews)
    Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (IFRS) – Rua Coronel Vicente, 281, Centro (Trensurb station: Mercado)
    Email: conare.rs@mj.gov.br
  • São Paulo
    Centro Público de Direitos Humanos e Economia Solidária – Rua Otto Alencar, 270, Bairro do Cambuci.
    Email: conare.sp@mj.gov.br

3) Attend the interview with CONARE

The interview with CONARE is one of the most important steps of the process and therefore you must prepare yourself for it. It is very important that you comment in a comprehensive manner on all the facts that led you to leave your country.

Will have the right to be  personally interviewed by an officer from CONARE or the Federal Public Defender’s Office, who will ask you in details the reasons that led you to leave your country. If you don’t speak portuguese, it will be necessary that you bring a trasnlator to help you during the interview. This is very important because if you do not bring an interpreter and there is no official available to do the simultaneous translation, your interview can be canceled. Nowadays, CONARE only has Portuguese, English, Spanish and French speaking officers and they are not always available at the moment of the interview. So if you do not speak any of these languages, be sure to bring someone you trust to be your translator and if you do not know anyone who can help you, please contact UNHCR or one of its partners.

The audio of your interview will be recorded. However, all the information that you share during the interview will be handled confidentially. This means that CONARE will not share what you say in the interview with third parties, nor with authorities of your country of origin.

CONARE will inform you the day, time and place of your interview mainly through your email. You can also be informed through post.

The interview with CONARE is a mandatory step of your asylum process. If you miss it twice without justification, with interval of 30 (thirty) days between notifications, your process can be filed. If you have any doubt after receiving the notification to attend the interview, you may contact CONARE, the Federal Police or the closest civil society organization.

Note that you have to right to be interviewed by someone of the gender of your preference.

CONARE is already able to identify the following conditions that have priority in the scheduling of interviews: people under 18, over 60, with disability or serious illness, and unaccompanied minor. However, if you still want to clarify any specific situation, you can send an e-mail to entrevista.conare@mj.gov.br.


4) Keep your personal information updated

It is essential that your contact information be updated in the CONARE database so that you can receive all the necessary notifications.

The easiest and fastest way to do the cadastral update is through this form.

If you don’t have access to the online form, you can go directly to:

  1. Any Federal Police station. In this case, the police authority will record the new contacts directly in the database (SIAPRO). If you are in São Paulo, please go to the Police Station located at Rua Hugo D’Antola, 95 – Lapa de Baixo, phone: 11 3538-5000).
  2. One of the representations of CONARE in Brazil:
  • Brasília
    Esplanada dos Ministérios, Ministério da Justiça, Anexo II, Térreo.
    Email: conare@mj.gov.br
  • Porto Alegre (Public attendance and registration update. There are no eligibility officers or face-to-face interviews)
    Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Sul (IFRS) – Rua Coronel Vicente, 281, Centro (Trensurb station: Mercado)
    Email: conare.rs@mj.gov.br
  • São Paulo
    Centro Público de Direitos Humanos e Economia Solidária – Rua Otto Alencar, 270, Bairro do Cambuci.
    Email: conare.sp@mj.gov.br

Attention: If you used the online form, you do not need to go to a Federal Police station or CONARE unit to update your registration.

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