If you plan on moving to Brazil for good keep something in mind: all your documents (certificates, etc) must be legalized to be valid in Brazil. It is also a good idea to get a criminal background check (not common in other countries, but much needed to get married or obtain a permanent visa in Brazil). This document is valid for three months.
Before you leave go to your nearest Brazilian consulate and legalize all and any certificates you can lay your hands on, this includes diplomas!
Once you are here and in need of a legalized document you have two options: ask a friendly soul back home to do it for you or go home and do it yourself.
Regardless, all documents subsequently used in Brazil need to be translated by a sworn translator. Be careful as not all are 100% reliable. I once had a sworn translator translate my marriage certificate. She left half of my father´s name out which resulted in a long and very expensive “retificação judiaria” (judicial rectification) to correct the certificate.
If on the other hand you have Brazilian document that you want to run through your consulate, such a birth certificate that you want to register in your country, you will have to first send the document to the Ministerio de Relações Exteriores. Go to the registry office and get a copy. Then send it to one of the following addresses:
Brasília – DF
Setor de Legalização de Documentos
Brasília – DF CEP: 70170-900
Anexo I – Térreo
Esplanada dos Ministérios – Bloco H
Ministério das Relações Exteriores
Divisão de Assistência Consular (DAC)
Telefones: (61) 3411-9713, 3411-8813, 3411-8806
São Paulo – SP
(EXCLUSIVELY via mail)
Escritório Regional do M.R.E. no Estado de São Paulo – ERESP
Avenida das Nações Unidas n° 11.857, 4° andar – Brooklin Paulista,
CEP 04578-908, São Paulo (SP).
Telefones: (11) 5102-2526, 5103-2149
Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Escritório Regional do M.R.E. no Estado do Rio de Janeiro – ERERIO
Av. Marechal Floriano, 196
CEP 20080-020, Rio de Janeiro – RJ
Telefones: (21) 2263-7074 e (21) 2253-8324
Fax: (21) 2263-1462
Belo Horizonte – MG
Escritório Regional do M.R.E. no Estado de Minas Gerais – EREMINAS
Rua Timbiras, 1200, 8o andar, sala 810
Edifício Minas Trade Center
CEP 30140-060, Belo Horizonte – MG
Telefones: (31) 3213-3008 e (31) 3213-9834
Fax: (31) 3213-9835
Florianópolis – SC
Escritório Regional do M.R.E. no Estado de Santa Catarina – ERESC
Avenida Rio Branco, 387, 5o andar
Edifício Rio Branco
CEP 88015-201, Florianópolis – SC
Telefones: (48) 3224-7808
Fax: (48) 3224-7808
If you decide to send the document, you MUST attach a TYPED or PRINTED letter with the following information:
1. Full name and address with CEP (Brazilian Postal Code).
2. Telephone number and email address.
3. Document destination country (where you will eventually register the document)
4. Type of document
5. Number of documents
This service is free and the ministry office will send the document back via registered post. Someone must be at the specified address to sign the receipt or the document will return to the Ministry. The entire process takes around 15 days and is free of charge.
You can also go personally from 9:30 to 12:30.
The Ministry does not legalize documents of other countries. Personal documents such as ID cards, driver´s licence, work permits, must go through the Cartorio (notary office) for signature authentication.
The MRE does not recommend hiring third party services. This should and can be done personally, via mail, and is free of charge.
After the entire process, get an authenticated copy of all your documents in case you lose the originals. This is done at the Notary Office.