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How to hire foreign workers: benefits, legislation, guidelines and tips

Atualizado: 7 de abr. de 2020

Hiring a foreign worker is a topic, which is getting more and more attention, and is already a reality for many companies. Including foreigners in the staff is an option, either due to the lack of qualified national labor; or due to the openness and facility produced by the market itself; or by affirmative policies that promote diversity. As in any other country, Brazilian law has formalities for hiring foreigners and we wrote in this article to answer these questions.

Are you thinking in hire foreign workers? Know the benefits for your company.

As mentioned in the introduction of this article, more and more companies are getting interested in hiring foreign workers. Why? The first reason is the culture enrichment. According to a report released in 2019 from McKinsey, companies with foreign workers among their staff are 35% more likely to have financial returns above their respective competitors in the domestic industry. Moreover, all participating companies see diversity in their staff as positive, as long as the company is prepared to receive the immigrant.

The presence of an immigrant encourages the creation and maturation of a culture of respect, minimizing the chances of conflicts and occurrences of cases of racism among employees. Cultural difference is a fertile field for new ideas and solutions to problems. The second reason is about turning the team more dynamic. Hiring a person from another country always provokes interest on the part of the team about their origin and history and, depending on the country, can be a great way to break stereotypes. In addition, depending on the segment, the presence of foreigners can be an excellent card up your sleeve if a client from that country or speaker of the same language appears.

"The level of commitment of these workers is much higher because they really need an opportunity. Therefore, they demonstrate a very high-level of commitment, which is contagious with other employees. It is a very positive experience."

HR Coordinator - participating company

The research also points out that the market reacts positively to the company which hires immigrants, since it reinforces a different posture of positive example and aligns with the current global context of migrations and refuge.

To work in Brazil is necessary to have authorization.

Brazilian law has its requirements for hiring foreign workers. The Foreigner Statute, Law No. 6,815 of 1980, defines the legal situation of foreign workers in Brazil and creates the National Immigration Council (CNIg), an organ of the Ministry of Labor and Employment (TEM) whose main task is to formulate the Brazilian Migration Labor Policy, by issuing normative resolutions. CNIg is responsible for the rules and guidelines for granting work permit to foreigners who intend to stay in the country, whether temporary or permanent. Check all regulations and information at

How to get a work visa in Brazil?

The issuance of the Work Visa works on demand, meaning that it is necessary that the Brazilian company shows interest in hiring the foreign worker to file the application. Work visas can be temporary or permanent. Temporary work visas can be up to 90 days, up to 1 year, up to 2 years with an employment contract in Brazil or up to 2 years without a contract. Foreign workers, as well as all Brazilians, need to obtain a Work and Social Security Card (CTPS) and to enroll in PIS / PASEP.

Pay attention: wage equity is a foreigner's right

The Consolidation of Labor Laws (CLT) prohibits the Brazilian company from establishing wage differences between Brazilian and foreign workers who perform similar functions.

Keep an eye on HR!

Remember that we said that cultural difference is a positive factor for your company? Yes, but in the beginning, it may take a while to align work styles. Therefore, in order to increase the chance of success of this new hiring, it is essential that your company's HR is sensitized with the hiring and is receptive to the immigrant’s arrival. Inclusion must be developed through positive experiences and not only through hierarchical imposition. One idea is to promote a situation that works as an “icebreaker”, especially if the employee does not speak Portuguese.

Below is the booklet designed by IOM - UN agency for Migration.

So, were you interested in hiring foreign workers? Visit our page on the topic Mawon / “hire an immigrant” or Mawon / “documentation to find out what types of visas are possible in Brazil?”.

Any questions? Be sure to write to us! It can be right here in the comments, in Contact Us or by Whatsapp.

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