Refugees and Asylum Seekers Rights


Non-refoulement

Refugees and asylum seekers cannot be returned or expelled to a country where their lives or physical integrity are at risk of being violated and in no circumstances shall be returned to their country of origin. The recognition of refugee status also interrupts any process of extradition and prevents the expulsion of the refugee, except for reasons of national security or public order. If you are prosecuted and face an extradition or expulsion procedure, you have the right to free legal assistance, provided by a Federal Public Defender (DPU).


Non-penalization

While their asylum claim is under analysis, asylum seekers have the right not to be investigated or fined for their irregular entry into the Brazilian territory.


Non-discrimination

No one can have their rights restricted due to their skin colour, gender, age, sexual orientation, social situation, economic conditions or religion. Racism is a crime in Brazil.

For more information, see Section Racism and Xenophobia.


Legal Assistance

Refugees and asylum seekers have the right to free legal assistance on certain conditions.

For more information on legal assistance, please click here.


Work

Refugees have the right to have a work permit, which allows them to formally work in the country. They are entitled to the same labour rights as any other worker in Brazil. It is important to note that Brazil forbids children under 14 years of age to work and also prohibits sexual exploitation and work in slavery-like conditions.

For more information on this topic, please click here.


Protection against sexual or gender-based violence

In Brazil, men and women have the same rights. Thus, any form of violence against women, based on gender identity or sexual orientation, is crime. Women who are victims of violence have the right to medical assistance and to report the criminal act through the hotline 180, or by going to police stations specialized in combating violence against women.

For more information on protection against sexual or gender-based violence, please click here.


Health

Refugees, like any other foreigner, can and should be assisted in any public hospitals or health centres in national territory.

For more information on access to health services, please click here.


Education

Refugees have the right to attend public schools – Basic, Middle or High schools – as well as to take part in professional and technical capacity building public programs. Refugees can also attend higher education institutions accessing the same procedures as Brazilian citizens or through admission programs specifically designed for the refugee population in Brazil.

For more information on education, please click here.


Flexibility regarding country of origin required documents

According to article 43 of the Brazilian Refuge Law, Brazilian institutions should consider the difficulty of refugees in obtaining and presenting documents issued in their countries of origin and/or consular and diplomatic representations.


Freedom of Movement

Refugees and asylum seekers have the right to move freely throughout the Brazilian territory.


Documentation

Refugees recognized in Brazil have the right to obtain the  National Migration Registration Card (Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório, former RNE); a definitive work permit (CTPS); a Brazilian Individual Taxpayer Number (CPF) and a travel document.

Asylum seekers have the right to obtain the Provisional Protocol (Protocolo Provisório) valid for a year and renewable for the same period; a temporary work permit (CTPS) which expiration date is the same of the protocol’s, as well as a Brazilian tax number (CPF).

For more information on documentation, please click here.


Permanent Residence

Recognized refugees in Brazil may apply for permanent residence after 4 (four) years in the country, counting from the date of the recognition of their refugee status. You can also apply for residence under other conditions.

For more information on permanent residence, please click here.


Family Reunification

A recognized refugee in Brazil has the right to family reunification. This means that, if you have family members living in Brazil, they can apply for family reunification and receive refugee status in Brazil without going through the interviews.

If your relatives are not in Brazil, it is possible to request assistance from CONARE to inform the Brazilian Consulate in the country where your relatives are, that you are a refugee recognized by the Brazilian government. This will facilitate the issuing of an appropriate visa for your family. However, the Brazilian government does not have any programs to finance the relocation of refugees’ relatives to Brazil.

According to the Brazilian Law, family members who are entitled to family reunification are:

  • Spouse or Partner
  • Ascendants
  • Descendants
  • Other member of the family group who are economically dependent on the refugee

For more information on family reunification, you can contact CONARE through the following e-mail: rfamiliar.conare@mj.gov.br. Do not forget to include your full name, Migrantion ID/RNE number, nationality and address in your e-mail. Explain the situation and list which family members are willing to travel to Brazil. CONARE will then reply to you in a couple of days with further instructions.

To receive more information on how to bring your relatives to Brazil or in case you need further assistance for family reunification procedures, please refer to UNHCR or to one of our civil society partners.

It is important to keep in mind that all travel costs, such air tickets, are your responsibility. The Brazilian Government will not assist you with financial costs related to the family reunification.


Travelling Abroad

  • As an asylum seeker: If you are an asylum seeker and need to travel abroad, you must communicate CONARE about your travel plans by submitting a specific form to viagem.conare@mj.gov.br. An asylum seeker can stay up to 90 days out of the country within a year. If you do not proceed accordingly, your asylum claim will be filed. Also, prior to the return to Brazil, you should request a new Brazilian visa
  • As a recognized refugee: All recognized refugees are allowed to travel abroad without an official authorization from CONARE with the exception of three cases:
    – when travelling to their country of origin
    – when staying abroad for a period longer than 12 (twelve) months
    – when using the passport of his country of nationality

In the cases above, an express authorization from CONARE is required. To request a travel authorization you should fill this form and send it to CONARE via their electronic protocol.

If you bought your ticket without knowing you needed a travel authorization, please contact CONARE as soon as possible.

To receive more information on travel authorization procedures, please refer to UNHCR or to one of our civil society partners.


Passport for Foreigners

According to Brazilian Law, every recognized refugee in Brazil may request a passport (Brazilian passport for foreigners). While valid, this document serves as a travel authorization for the refugee to leave the country.

Double check if you need a visa to travel for any country.  Note that, although you will travel with a Brazilian document, the visa requirements will still depend on your nationality of origin.

For more information, click here.

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