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União Estável – First Step to Get a Permanent Visa in Brazil

Last updated on January 10, 2019

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Hi guys 🙂 Due to the recent carnaval and some travelling I have not been writing as much as I wanted so I will try to catch up a bit. So let’s talk about União Estável!

I was waiting for a long time to write this post as I did not want to give you misleading information. Basically I was waiting for my visa process to be over… and yes, finally today I have received my permanent visa for Brazil !!!!! You cannot believe my happiness when I got out from the Policia Federal with this little piece of paper! And the way how I applied for the visa is exactly on the basis of the União Estável which I will tell you about in this post.

Probably some of you are wondering now what is exactly this União Estável I am talking about. It is an official act that you sign together with your brazilian partner stating that you are in a stable relationship. Worth mentioning: IT IS NOT A CIVIL MARRIAGE! This can lead to a civil marriage as it happened in our case but for the visa process you actually only need the União Estável. It is also much easier to cancel it so in case something goes wrong between you and your partner in the future and you decide not to be together you just go to the same institution where you signed the paper (it is called Cartório) and that´s it. But on the other hand, it’s not recognized in Europe, so if you and your partner ever want to go back you might rather consider getting a civil marriage, which I will write about in one of the next posts. It’s also worth mentioning that applying for the visa on the basis of a civil marriage requires less documents.

Now maybe a few words about what you actually need to have in order to sign it 🙂


We hired a lawyer here in Salvador as we thought that she could facilitate the process but actually we only spent unnecessary money and she did not tell us anything we did not already know! Actually, she even complicated the process for us sometimes by giving misleading information via e-mail. So please listen to me and do not make this mistake!

The Cartório which I can definitely recommend here in Salvador is located under the following address:

Address: Av. Antônio Carlos Magalhães, 34 – Itaigara, Salvador – BA, 41800-700

You do not need to book an appointment, you just need to arrive to the Cartório with all the documents and at the entrance you will say to the lady that you need a password (senha) to sign the União Estável. Then you actually just wait for your number to be called on the electronic screen! One piece of advice: better arrive early to avoid long waiting times 🙂

Documents you will need to bring with you:

    1. Identity document for both parties – simply take the copy of the relevant page with the photo and authenticate it in the Cartório. There is a special place where you can do it in the Cartório and costs 3.60 reais for one page!
    1. CPF – in the previous post I already wrote how you can get it for the foreigners 🙂 easy and quick process!
    1. Birth Certificate of both parties – a little bit complicated here as you need to get this certificate in your home country, certify it firstly in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then in the Brazilian Embassy and then you need to find an authorized translator here in Brazil to translate it onto portuguese! If anyone needs any contacts for the polish translators simply get in touch 🙂 There is unfortunately none in Salvador …
    1. Certificate of being single in your home country – exactly the same process as the one above.
  1. Sometimes they also want a proof of address like a apartment contract, electricity bill or even a brazilian relative officially writing that you live with them 🙂

My recommendation though – as the requirements can vary across different Cartórios, please check before going there, give them a call, drop them an email or simply go there to ask them about it, whatever you can just to see whether you have all of the necessary documents to avoid surprises 🙂

Once your password has been called you just go to the room where you will sign the document. Firstly, they will prepare a draft document for you to check whether everything is correct, like passport number, address etc and if yes you will get a payment slip 🙂 It is unfortunately not for free 🙂 Again I guess it depends on the Cartório but in our case we paid slightly over 300 reais. You go to either a place called Loteria or to a bank (they will tell you the names of the bank). If you go to the same Cartório as I did it will be very easy as you simply need to cross the road and go to the Shopping mall and Loteria is there!

Then you simply come back with the proof of payment, you get a senha again at the entrance but now you mention that you have already written the União Estável and you just need to finalize it and that is pretty much it 🙂 You will probably need a couple of hours and some patience so just bear this in mind !

União Estável is the key document for you to get the permanent visa in Brazil. Of course there are other ways, you can get straight away a civil and religious marriage or you can try to get an investor visa (if you are planning on investing in the country more than 250,000 reais) etc. But if you are here with your Brazilian partner I would definitely recommend considering this step. In my next post I will tell you exactly what you need to do next and what documents you will need in order to get a final DOT in the process and end up with a permanent visa for Brazil and a work permit as I did 🙂


  1. Katarzyna Katarzyna October 21, 2016

    Hey! I got a question and hope you could help me. I guess you first came to Brasil with tourist visa, right? If so, did you extend your visa for extra 90 days?
    I am going there soon and wish to stay a bit more than 3 months so that I am looking for some answers… 😉

  2. Sabrina Sabrina April 3, 2017

    I am in a relationship with a Brazilian for now over 4 years. We’ve lived together in Europe for 2,5 years and I am looking for a possibility to go to Brazil as I please…without the 90 days in, 90 days out rule for tourists from the EU. I have a business in Europe though and want to keep all my tax, insurances and so on there for now. Is the stable union visa still a good option, when I don’t actually want to live and work in Brazil permanently, but just want to be able to visit the country as often as I want for however long as I want?
    You mentioned that you need the birth certificate and a certificate that you are single in your home country and that both have to be certified in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and then in the Brazilian Embassy and then you need to find an authorized translator in Brazil to translate it into portuguese…are you talking about the Ministry of Foreign affairs and the Brazilian Embassy of your home country in the EU or in Brazil?
    I would be really grateful for any advice you can give me.
    Thanks a lot in advance

  3. Hanna Hanna April 19, 2017

    Hej! potrzebuje bardzo Twojej pomocy! czy mozemy sie jakos skontaktowac? mam pare waznych pytan!Pozdrawiam Hania

  4. mikarlopez mikarlopez May 12, 2017

    I am currently living in Salvador on a Tourist visa and I’m planning to do this with my boyfriend of almost 2 years. I have all of my documents except a Certificate of being Single. Is there something I can do to attain it here in Salvador?

      • Kasia Kasia May 20, 2017

        One thing I consider important: on the Policia Federal website there are lists of documents you need for visa in all cases, also for uniao estavel. Guess it’s the one Alessandra put above, however as I got it in portuguese version it said about document from cartorio+confirmations of two people that you are really in relationship+ ONE document from the list ( we got the first one, it’s the easiest).
        But they do not put there any information that you need also birth certificate or “inscrição consular” to complete request for your RNE – they need a document from your country to confirm full names of your parents. I almost got stuck in this point… At least it happened to me. But as we know, it all depends….

    • Kasia Kasia May 13, 2017

      I didn’t need one. For uniao estável I needed only my passport and CPF (in Brasilia). I got this document about being single from Poland, translated and confirmed, but in cartorio they told us it’s not needed. And later for visa I needed only to write myself a document that I am single in Poland.
      But if in cartorio they say you need it, consulate or embassy should be able to make a document for you. Depends on country, Polish consulate here can make a document proper for civil marriage so I guess it couild work also for uniao estavel.

  5. Alessandra Alessandra May 20, 2017

    Hi, on the internet i found a list with all the requirements for the união estável. There they say you need a proof of stable union issued by a competent court or authority in Brazil or a corresponding foreign authority OR in the absence of this document

    I.    Certificate or similar document issued by the national civil registration authority (Cartorio), or foreign equivalent.
    II.    Statement, under penalty of law, by two people who can prove the existence of the stable union, and
    III.    At least two of the following documents:
    a.    Evidence of dependence issued by the tax authority or agency corresponding to the Receita Federal;
    b.    Religious marriage certificate;
    c.    A will that proves the relationship;
    d.    A life insurance policy that has one of the parties as the insured and the other as beneficiary.
    e.    The deed of purchase and sale, registered with the Registro de Propriedade de Imóveis, in which the interested parties appear as owners or renters of the property.
    f.    Join bank account

    (which I don’t have…)

    But if I understood it, you didn’t need all these documents to get your visa or did you?
    How can a court or authority in Brazil give me a proof of união estavel?

    • Hi, as I mentioned in my post the requirements really depend on cartório. In salvador where I did sign união estável they only required a few documents which I mentioned in my post 🙂 they asked me on the day about the day when we got to know each other and we told them a date and they simply put it on the document without any further questions. Simply go to the cartório where you are planning on getting união estável and ask them the question about requirements.

    • Alessandra Alessandra May 20, 2017

      Can my Brazilian partner do this alone? Without me being in Brazil?

  6. Maarten Maarten July 28, 2017

    Me and my girlfriend are thinking about doing this as well. But I don’t understand the process very well. Is it at polícia federal that you need to give all those documents or to the cartório (the requirements stated on the website of polícia federal). The birth certificate and marital status?

    Also you mentioned that you went to the embassy or consulate and ministry of foreign affairs (is this in Brazil?) without translating the documents and after that then you went with them to Brazil translated and legalized them?

    So if I’m thinking right this is the process you’ve had:
    – Ask your birth certificate and marital status in your home country.
    – Go to the Ministry of Foreign affairs (in Brazil).
    – Go to the Brazilian embassy (Back in your home country)
    – Go to a cartório (Back in Brazil)
    – Go to polícia federal with your documents of the cartório together with the proof they stated on there website or is that proof needed in the cartório?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi there,

      In general pretty much everything you wrote above was correct except of the ministry of foreign affairs. I had to do it in my home country. Basicly the process was that the my original documents had to be certified by this ministry before taking them to the Brazilian embassy in my home country. Only then you go with the documents to Brazil and you translate them in Brazil (they do not accept translation onto Portuguese from your home country)

  7. survival skills survival skills October 16, 2017

    This site was… how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I’ve found something that helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

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