New rule permits digital nomads to render services in Brazil

Friday 7 October 2022

Cleber Venditti da Silva
Mattos Filho, São Paulo

Domingos Fortunato
Mattos Filho, São Paulo

New regulation

On 24 January 2022, Brazil’s National Immigration Council (Conselho Nacional de Imigração or CNIg) entered Resolution 45 into effect, to regulate temporary visa and residence permits for digital nomads in Brazil. This regulation allows foreigners more flexibility to work for companies abroad, while providing their services from Brazil. Brazil is one of the first countries in Latin America to implement a regulation like this.

Digital nomad classification

Resolution 45 classifies a digital nomad as any foreigner who can perform their activities remotely for a foreign entity, while working from Brazil. The new resolution also establishes when the foreigner will not be considered as a digital nomad:

  • if the individual also provides services to a Brazilian company, with or without an employment relationship; or
  • if the individual's residence permit is covered by another CNIg regulation.

What are the requirements to be a digital nomad in Brazil?

There are three requirements to perform work as a digital nomad in Brazil:

  • foreigners must provide evidence that they are able to perform their professional activities remotely. Thus, they must prove they have all the necessary equipment for the provision of services;
  • foreigners must prove their work relationship concerns the foreign entity only, for example through an employment contract or services agreement. In this regard, they must have a formal agreement signed with the company abroad; and
  • foreigners must demonstrate they are paid money from a foreign paying source with a monthly amount equal to or higher than $1,500 or have available bank funds of a minimum of $18,000.

Resolution 45 also states that foreigners cannot receive compensation or fringe benefits through a Brazilian company, and they must have a valid healthcare insurance in Brazil. They cannot provide services to, nor work for/at a Brazilian company to carry out their work for the foreign entity. In case of a breach, companies and/or the digital nomads themselves are subject to certain risks, including:

  • an employment lawsuit against the company, to claim employment classification in Brazil and payment of applicable Brazilian employment rights and benefits, such as the 13th-month salary and severance pay;
  • cancellation of the Digital Nomad visa; and
  • assessment by immigration authorities, which may subject the company to penalties that can vary from BRL 100 ($20) to BRL 10,000 ($2,000) per foreigner in irregular conditions, and BRL 1,000 ($200) to BRL 1m ($200,000) against the company. Such fines may be increased in case of repeated violations.

Key takeaways for companies

We should expect that digital nomads will be a new global trend. Companies and employees should take advantage of this regulation for several reasons:

  • companies abroad might boost attraction and the retention of employees wanting more flexibility to render services from other countries;
  • Resolution 45 should mitigate labour and immigration risks if employees choose to render services from Brazil;
  • digital nomads might induce diversity of qualified employees globally; and
  • global mobility will create new opportunities in Brazil and abroad.

Resolution 45 is not applicable for the expatriation of Brazilian employees (transfer/secondment/assignment) who will work as digital nomads abroad.