August 13, 2015

Tips for Effective Relocation to Brazil

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Tips for Effective Relocation to Brazil

Famous for its vibrant Carnival festivities, passion for soccer, and joyful people, Brazil can also be a challenging location to move to. Understanding how culture, market practices, and bureaucracy play a major part as one adapts to Brazil is the essential role of global mobility managers who support transfers to the fifth largest country in the world.

Having worked on global mobility for more than seven years in Brazil, and seeing the relocation process from both the HR and service provider points of view, I have seen first hand what a rollercoaster ride a move to Brazil can be! Many times, I have seen employees and their families arrive in Brazil with concerns about living in a developing country, and then have a hard time leaving Brazil at the end of the assignment. It’s all about one’s predisposition to face, and beat, the minor challenges to be found along the way. Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:

Be sociable; business is about personal relationships

In Brazil, business is about taking an interest in your colleagues’ lives outside of work. Be sure to engage in conversation at the office and at meetings rather than rushing straight to the point. It is also generally better to communicate indirectly to help a colleague “save face” in a compromising position.

Be prepared to move quickly in the housing market

Housing is one of the most challenging issues for assignees in Brazil. There is no MLS in Brazil; properties can be listed under multiple agents, so a lease could be in the works and the property will remain on the market until the lease is finalized. Additionally, payments are always made in the Brazilian Real due to currency restrictions, and the first prospective tenant to have the money ready is often the one who gets the apartment. Be ready to make quick decisions on rentals; examine any schooling and commuting needs to narrow down your search, and have the rent, deposits, and fees ready when you start your home search.

Be patient with visa and immigration processes

Work visas can take approximately three to four months to process. There are multiple agencies involved, including the Ministry of Labor, Consulates, and Federal Police. Frequent changes in processes and requirements and strikes by various agencies can cause unforeseen delays, so be sure to factor this into your planning for a visa.

For more information on relocating to Brazil and practical guidance and tips for success, request a copy of our Best Practices for Effective Relocation to Brazil: A Guide for Global Mobility Managers.

Cartus is excited to be exhibiting at the upcoming Worldwide ERC® Global Summit from September 7-9 in São Paulo. I hope to see you there!

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Caio Leal

About Caio

Caio Leal is Client Services Director for Cartus’ office in Brazil. Based in São Paulo, Caio is a lawyer and has more than seven years’ experience in global mobility for the Latin America region.

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