Thursday, February 25, 2010

Registration with the Policia Federal in Rio

Per the terms of my Visa, I was required to register with the Policia Federal within 30 days of my arrival in Brazil. Knowing how difficult it can be to get things done here, I started one week early with the expectation that this wouldn't be an easy process. And I was right.

On Wednesday, I went to the airport where the Policia Federal is located (about a R$40 ride one-way) with a friend of a friend, Alex. Alex was going for a different purpose, but he speaks Portuguese and was a really big help. Despite scouring the internet and attempting to call both the Police station and even the US embassy in Rio, I could not obtain a list of what exactly I needed to register. I threw together things I thought I'd need (based on blogs I found), and was actually pretty close. I probably could've gotten the things that I didn't have there at the airport, though it would've taken a long time and been very expensive. Regardless, they only give out 60 numbers each day and there were no numbers left. I had no choice but to leave and try again another day.

I returned this morning for what would be a very long day. I arrived just after 7 (when they allegedly begin passing out numbers) and I got number 45 (apparently to get a better number you need to que up around 6 a.m.). I then went to the bank to take care of 1 last thing, but none of the banks were open. The Bank that is a 24H bank, didn't open until 10 (natch). The bank that was supposed to open at 8 opened just after 8:30 (a Brazilian woman waiting with me said it was because "this is Brazil."). I was worried since I thought they started calling numbers at 8. It was OK, though, because when I arrived back at the station at 8:45, they had yet to call a single number.

They started calling numbers just before 9 a.m. My number was called 9 hours after I arrived at the airport, at just after 4:15p.m. It was miserable. At least I had a good book and a couple of Lost podcasts on my iPod.

So tonight I decided to go for a run around the lake to shake off the day's irritation (800m of running, 200m of walking - repeat 8 times). While it was actually a great run and I feel pretty good about it, when I was exactly halfway around the lake, it started pouring down rain. But aside from getting water in my eyes and my earphones constantly slipping out, I didn't mind the rain so much because it was a lot cooler.

Right as I was walking between by final 2 sets of running, a Brazilian man came by me (he had likely been able to see me running and then stop and start walking) and started snapping at me (you know, the way Brazilians) and motioning for me to run with him. I laughed for a second and thought, why not. So I finished a lot faster and stronger than I would have alone and he thanked me profusely (no clue why) in English when we parted ways.

You can stop reading now. Below is a list of things required for Registration at the Policia Federal in Rio de Janeiro for Foreigners.

Since I couldn't find what I needed for the life of me to register, I wanted to put it here in hopes that it pops up in a google search for someone who is trying to figure it could save them a trip, some money, and a headache!

  • Requerimento de Registro Atualizacao (this is a form to fill out, they have it there at the station -- you can fill it out while you are waiting. Make sure you have information necessary like addresses of where you are staying and working)
  • Your passport with the Visa in it
  • A Photocopy of every page of your passport
  • 2 3cmx4cm photos with a white background
  • Your original Visa Request form (your consulate where you got the Visa should have given this to you when you obtained your visa...)
  • Fees -- go online to and click to GRU-Funapol (emissao da guia para pessoas e entidades estrangeiras) -- you will need to fill it out and print it twice -- the first code is 140082 and the second code is 140120. The fines are R$ 64,58 and R$124,23.
  • Take these printouts to any banks and they will scan it and you pay them. They staple the receipt to the printout and you need both of these to give to the policia federal.
  • Arrive early, probably around 6 a.m. The station is located at the international airport in Rion (GIG) in terminal 1 all the way to the right (as you are walking in the door) on the top floor (to the left as you get off of the escalator). Go in the room and all the way over to the right where there will be a an area to que. Get your number and fill out your form.
  • Before your number is called, go to the back of that area and have the man there take your fingerprints and stamp your form.
  • And then you wait. Hopefully not for 9 hours.
  • This is legit as of today, but I am not saying this is absolutely correct, so don't yell at me if you need something other than what is on this list. Other than that, feel free to email me or comment with questions.


  1. sandra,
    what kind of visa did you have? i just got a 1 year cultural researcher visa from the embassy in new york, and they didnt tell me ANY of this information! from how they wrote, i could stroll into the PF after my flight and register...

  2. sandra how are you sure about those codes? other sites have written ( that i need to buy the GRU-Funapol papers in a bookstore, but you've had success printing them out? also some say you need to go to Lapa, others to the airport. thanks again for all your help.