Brazil – Immigration Controls for Seafarers

London Club has reminded Members calling at ports in Brazil that the new Migration Law (Law 13,445 of May 2017) that entered into force in Brazil in November 2017 was now being implemented strictly.

The new Law allows seafarers entering Brazil on ocean-going vessels to stay up to 90 days (non-extendable) in each migratory year without a visa, provided they carry a C185 Seafarer Identity Document (SID) that has been issued by the seafarers’ State of nationality or permanent residence where such country is signatory to the International Labour Organization (ILO) Identity Documents Convention 185 of 2003 (ILO C185).

The Club emphasized that a Seaman’s Book (Seafarer’s Service Book or Discharge Book) was not the same document as a C185 SID. The Seaman’s Book was a proof of qualification and experience, but was not acceptable as a proof of identity.

SIDs that had been issued under ILO Convention 108 were no longer accepted as valid identification documents for visa exemptions in Brazil.

Crewmembers whose country of nationality had not ratified the ILO C185 Convention would need a visitor visa to enter Brazil.

For example, as China has not ratified the ILO C185, visitor visas will be required for Chinese crewmembers on non-Chinese flagged vessels. For Chinese crewmembers on Chinese flagged vessels, a bilateral trade agreement applies allowing limited shore leave within the city limits.

The period of stay is counted from the date of the first entry into Brazil to the date when the vessel leaves the last national port or the date when the seafarer is repatriated.

For periods exceeding 90 days a temporary work visa needs to be obtained and registered with the Federal Police. Different rules apply for seafarers that enter Brazil to work onboard a Brazilian flagged ship or platform on a ship, as they must obtain a temporary work visa.