Click here to understand the changes in the new Ordinance on humanitarian visas for Afghans
The Government of Brazil, since September 2021, grants a visa for humanitarian reception purposes to people affected by the situation of serious and widespread violation of human rights in Afghanistan. For more information on the Interministerial Ordinance that regulates the granting of visas for humanitarian reception purposes for Afghans, click here.
For information and help at the Guarulhos International Airport, you can look for the Humanized Attention to Migrants Advanced Post. The post offers free assistance to refugees and migrants, as well as orientation and referral to the social assistance network, including the public shelter, when available.
Location: Terminal 2 – Wing B – Mezzanine – Room 116
Hours: every day, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Telephone: +55 11 2445-4719
Email: [email protected]
Temporary and emergency shelter
When you arrive in Brazil, if you don’t have a place to stay, there are options to host the public network of government and civil society organizations. It is important to note that these options are temporary, often shared and/or divided by profiles (for example, women’s hostel, men’s hostel, family hostel). In general, there are few homestay options. There is also no guarantee of vacancies immediately, only when there is availability.
The referral to the public network of shelters is carried out by the services of the municipal and state public social assistance network. For more information, click here.
In the city of São Paulo, you can search for government institutions and civil society organizations that are UNHCR partners by clicking here.
Understanding the changes in the new Ordinance on humanitarian visa for Afghans
When does the new Ordinance come into force?
On 2 October , 2023.
There is still no guidance from the Government on how visa applications received until 1 October 2023 will be processed, that is, whether they will continue to be analyzed in accordance with the previous regulations or whether they will be covered by the new rules.
Who is eligible to benefit from a temporary visa?
People who left Afghanistan due to the events of 15 August 2021.
What are the new steps for the granting of a humanitarian visa?
- From 2 October 2023, Afghans will no longer be able to apply for humanitarian visas by presenting themselves at Brazilian Embassies in person.
- To apply for a humanitarian visa, a person must have her/his name submitted by the Ministry of Justice and Public Security to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Brazilian authorities are still defining the steps of this process.
- The granting of visas depends on the sheltering capacity of civil society organizations with whom the Federal Government will establish a specific agreement.
- After the Ministry of Foreign Affairs assesses the cases, the interested person will be informed about the granting (or not) of the humanitarian visa.
What does it mean that civil society organizations must have sheltering capacity?
To receive a humanitarian visa, it is essential that a civil society organization can sponsor you in Brazil. Brazilian authorities are still defining the criteria to select the organizations that will shelter and assist these people in Brazil. This information will be available over the course of the next weeks.
Can civil society organizations recommend names of people eligible for the visa to the Brazilian government?
At this time, there are still no civil society organizations registered with the Brazilian government authorized to receive people as established by the new Ordinance.
Where can the humanitarian visa be granted?
The visa will only be issued at the Brazilian Embassies in Islamabad and Tehran.
It is no longer possible to receive a visa at Brazilian embassies and consular posts in Türkiye, the United Arab Emirates, Russia or Qatar, as it was the case before.
What documents do I need to apply for a humanitarian visa?
I – Valid travel document;
II – Completed visa application form;
III – Proof of means of transport to enter Brazilian territory;
IV – Certificate of criminal record issued by Afghanistan or, if it is impossible to obtain that, a declaration of absence of criminal record in any country.
IMPORTANT: You must take these documents with you on the day of the consular interview at the Brazilian Embassy in Tehran and Islamabad.
REMEMBER: At this moment, this procedure is not yet in place, as it still depends on the regulations that the Brazilian government will establish for the registration of civil society organizations.
How long is the humanitarian visa valid for?
The humanitarian visa will be valid for 180 (one hundred and eighty) days, for a single entry in Brazil. Upon arrival to Brazil, the person will have a maximum of 90 (ninety) days to present himself/herself to the Federal Police and file an asylum claim or an application for a residence permit for humanitarian purposes.
I still have family members in Iran and Pakistan who I would like to come to Brazil to live with me. Are there other ways to obtain this authorization?
Yes. The request for a family reunification visa is still available at the Embassies in Islamabad and Tehran, based on the rules that already existed for these procedures.
Attention: There is no resettlement program for other countries from Brazil. UNHCR Brazil does not relocate refugees in Brazil to other countries. If you want to go to another country, you must find the appropriate consular authority yourself.
Documentation and Services in São Paulo
Once in Brazil, people who benefit from a humanitarian visa have the right to request recognition of refugee status or temporary residence for humanitarian reception purposes.
You can seek support from government institutions and civil society organizations that are partners of UNHCR for help with your documentation, as well as free legal services, psychosocial care and Portuguese classes, such as:
- Archdiocesan Caritas of São Paulo – Legal, social and psychosocial assistance, Portuguese classes and job placement.
- WhatsApp service: +55 11 97630-8023
- Direction: Av. Mal. Eurico Gaspar Dutra, 1853 – Parada Inglesa. São Paulo – SP, 02239-010. In-person service Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. Email: cari[email protected]. Phone: (11) 93904-5321 | (11) 97630-8023
- Missão Paz – Legal, social and psychosocial assistance, Portuguese classes and job placement.
- Scheduling by Whatsapp: +55 11 3340-6950
- Address: Rua Glicério, 225 – Liberdade
- Reference and Assistance Center for Immigrants (CRAI) – Legal, social and psychosocial assistance.
- Telephone and face-to-face appointments: +55 11 2361-3780 / +55 11 2361-5069
- Address: Rua Major Diogo, 834 – Bella Vista
- Immigrant Integration and Citizenship Center (CIC) – Legal assistance, access to rights and courses.
- Telephone and Whatsapp: +55 11 3115-2048
- Address: Rua Barra Funda, 1020 – Santa Cecília
For referrals to UNHCR partner organizations elsewhere, click here.