segunda-feira, 19 de novembro de 2012

Visa issues in Brazil

A post from Techgirl blog, describing the struggles of foreigners when dealing with Brazilian Visas.
Sincerely, I was puzzled by her description of facts, especially by the twist in the end.

I believe the problem was caused by our tendency to confuse 90 days with 3 months. If you count the days, you will figure it out.

But your may check it for yourselves (I posted only some excerpts):

Visa issues in Brazil

Posted on February 24, 2012 | Leave a comment

I’ve been in Florianopolis, Brazil, for just over three months now and to make this milestone I had a little visa issue to deal with. Here in South America it seems a much simpler process of renewing a tourist visa, well if it is just another three months your after that is. There are two ways of doing this, the first is to cross the boarder into another country and re-enter, the other is to speak with the federal police and ask for an extension of your three months, this comes with a fee of under 80 Reals (under £30).

The latter option was new news for us, as we had planned a trip out of Brazil before our visa ended at some expense to us. However, an Argentinian friend who lives here with her Brazilian boyfriend told us about the paying option to get an extension.

Armed with this info we went to the city centre to visit the Federal Police with our passports and visa documentation. Unfortunately this was not the correct place to go and we needed to go to the airport (a good couple of hours away via two buses), but we were reassured that we could go there anytime before the visa runs out. If we were to go over our visa, we were told that we could pay a fee of around 8.60 Reals per day. After looking over our visa, which started 13th November, we were told we could go as late as the following Monday (13th February) to renew our visa.

We arrived at the Federal Police at Florianopolis Airport at around 11am on Monday 13th February with all the documents we needed and the cash to pay for both our extensions. We handed this over to a nice gentleman who passed it on to the relevant people before leaving to go on his break. 

It is worth noting that I hate airports, least of all immigration, over the last year and a half myself and my poor Argentinian boyfriend have faced the wrath of UK immigration, which is heartless at the best of times. So I was worried, even though we had been reassured by the Federal Police of Brazil that all would be well.

Alas I was right to be worried and a lady came out saying that my visa was over by one day and I would have to go back to the UK within the next 8 days or I would be deported – WHAT???? To top this off, they also decided that the same fate would be for my boyfriend too.

Of course we regaled the story of what we had been told in the city centre by their colleagues and they simply said that we had been misinformed. We were told that as we were one day over our visa and that their computer system could not renew the visa. Seeing as we could not get out of the situation we decided to bite our lips and go with the flow … seen as technically they could send us home right now if they wanted.

We still had to pay a 16-odd Real fee each for being over the visa on top of the return trip cost, oh and as a parting gift they also decided to ruin my passport with a big old deportation stamp, see below – fuckers!!

Thankfully they didn’t do the same to my boyfriends.

As we were paying up and sorting all the documentation, we were told that we could leave the country and re-enter if we wanted – as a goodwill gesture – but that we would have to do this within the eight days. Small graces.

Anyway, we left the airport and went straight to the bus station to book the cheapest return bus ride out of Brazil. The spot we chose was Dionísio Cerqueira, Misiones, Argentina, and it would take around 12 hours on the night bus to get there.

Arriving at the boarder we were not quite sure where to go as there was little signage, we passed through where the cars seemed to go and noticed a path for foot passengers and so went there. What we had actually done is passed the boarder with absolutely no intervention and you can do this quite easily – as we did a few times during the day.

After speaking with both Argentinian and Brazilian immigration we were stamped out of Brazil and into Argentina. We had a quick look around the very undeveloped Argentinian side, had a drink and then head back to Brazil.

Then something infuriated me, Brazilian immigration asked us why we had come all this way just to renew our visa. After explaining the situation we were told that they were using the exact computer system the airport uses and had no idea why we had been told to leave and indeed why my passport had been stamped – eughhhhhh!

After speaking with a few of our Brazilian friends here, they pointed out that here there is a slight stigma with Europeans, especially the English, as we pass freely here with little or no problems. However a huge number of Brazilians get sent back upon arrival to e.g. the UK if they have not fit into some small menial criteria. As we have experienced this, I can completely understand this.

The big learning from this experience has to be to stick to visa requirements no matter what anyone tells you, plus lets not be arrogant with our British passports and think we can come and go as we please.

Nenhum comentário:

Postar um comentário

Do you have any doubts or suggestions? Leave your message (the comments shall not be considered as legal advice)