Rights in Exile Programme

Refugee Legal Aid Information for Lawyers Representing Refugees Globally

Resettlement to Brazil

The Brazilian Resettlement Programme relies on a tripartite structure that involves Government, civil society and UNHCR in specific roles in accordance with the Macro Agreement for the Resettlement of Refugees in Brazil, signed in 1999. Authorities are mainly responsible for the provision of documentation and public services for refugees, both at national and local levels.  With the exception of access to political rights. Refugees benefit from equal conditions to nationals, accessing the same public policies available to Brazilians through an extensive network of different government offices.

There is no formal procedure or timeframe to determine the annual quota. In practical terms, the annual target is decided in coordination among CONARE (National Committee for the Refugees- Comitê Nacional para os Refugiados), UNHCR, and NGOs based on the existing protection needs and availability of financial resources. 

Resettlement Eligibility 

To qualify for resettlement in Brazil, the refugee must be recognized pursuant to the 1951 Convention and its 1967 Protocol, as well as to the Brazilian Refugee Act; be submitted for resettlement by the UNHCR; and belong to one of the these categories as established by the Macro Agreement for the Resettlement of Refugees in Brazil:

  • Legal and Physical Protection Needs;
  • Suvivors of Violence and Torture, if specific medical attention is available in Brazil;
  • Women at Risk;
  • Refugees without Local Integration Prospects;
  • Refugees with strong links with other refugees already in Brazil, unaccompanied minors or medical cases.

Admissibility criteria

Each submission is subject to individual consideration and a refugee may be denied to resettle to Brazil because of past criminal activity.

Family Reunification

Brazilian refugee law allows the extension of refugee status to family members of recognized refugees, whether their recognition came through resettlement or RSD procedures.  

Family reunifications are not related to resettlement quotas. The law requires family members to be in Brazilian territory before any reunification procedures are launched. Subject to availability of funds, UNHCR may provide travel assistance.

Sources: this information has been taken from the Brazil country chapter in the UNHCR Resettlement Handbook.

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