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Working in Brasilia


Whatever your career prior to coming to BSB, there may be some options for you in Brasilia, especially once you have a certain command of Portuguese, the local language. Options for speakers of other languages are more limited, but you might want to check in with the embassy of your country of origin, for example, as they might know of opportunities. The international schools are also great employers. There are also many opportunities for community involvement with several charity organizations. Getting involved might help you to make friends and improve your Portuguese faster.


As UNBRALESA, we actively connect with the UN Agencies in Brasilia to share talent information about UN spouses and partners. See our information about the UNBRALESA Talent Pool and monthly Networking Meetings.

 Work permit  

It is possible for most spouses of UN International staff to obtain a work permit. The procedure will depend on your nationality and the relevant bilateral agreements. Your spouse’s employer will be able to guide you. At UNBRALESA, we are currently working to support this process; please contact us for more information and to share your experiences with us.

Do you need a work permit (Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social)? Here are possible scenarios:

1. A Brazilian company hires you and agrees to apply for a work permit: The company applies/supports your application for a work permit.


2. You apply for a work permit:

a) Is your country(ies) of nationality(ies) part of the agreement with Brazil? 

Check the Manual CGPI:

On page 28 of the document you can find the list of countries that have reciprocity:


The document is from 2010, but still valid. If ever updated, this document should appear here:


 If your country appears on the list and you want to apply for a work permit:

  • The local HR department of your spouse’s institution fills out the form “Pedido de autorização de trabalho para dependente”, which requires the signature of the Representative or someone authorized and sends it to the Itamaraty through their channels or directly to the CGPI – Coordenação Geral de Privilégios e Imunidades (Não precisa de nota verbal para encaminhamento). You can leave the field “dados do empregador” empty if you do not have a job offer yet (recommendable);

  • The CGPI will forward this note directly to the Ministry of Labour requesting their clearance and signature in the field foreseen to approve the request. This can take a few weeks but should not be a problem if your country is on the list. 

  • The Ministry of Labour sends the form back to the Itamaraty, who sends it back or requests the spouse’s institution to retrieve the document. 

  • As now the carteira de trabalho/work permit is being requested and issued only digitally since 2019/20, please find more information here: the contact email for DF is: by filling the form

        Alternatively, a direct contact that has been responsive is

  • Usually, the issuing of the digital work permit is via the APP of the CTPS DIGITAL or via internet and you have to creat an account on

  • However, as foreigner you most likely will need to appear in person at the Superintendência Regional do Trabalho e Emprego no DF, Asa Sul, Ed. Venâncio 2000 – Bloco B-50, 1º andar, behind Patio Brasil, open from 8:00 – 18:00. (Easy parking in Alfa parking under the building). 


You will need to bring the originals and a copy of each:

  • The signed and approved form by the Itamaraty/Ministry of Labour

  • Your CPF

  • Create clearance/Filled and signed form of the pedido de autorização

  • the red identity card issued by the Itamaraty; 

  • a proof of address in Brazil with postal code/CEP (e.g. Bank account registration (yes, you can open an own, independent bank account with your CPF and identity card and visa for example at Banco do Brasil, it only costs a maintenance fee – also useful later to receive your local salary);

  • some say that you should take a picture (3x4 cm), but in my case they took a picture on the spot;

  • bring your CPF if not mentioned on the red identity card - check the correct mentioning of the names of your parents at the Receita Federal. 


The information which is important for a potential employer is the PIS/PASEP number, however with the digital version, this number seems to have been replaced by the CPF, which is the only identification number needed. 


The Carteira de Trabalho can be issued immediately, or within 3 days if the demand is high.


Expiration date is unclear at this point, the permit is permanent, as informed by the Superintendencia upon request by e-mail. But, previously, the physical carteira had as expiration date, the same date on the official visa of your spouse.

b) If your country is not in the list

You might have the chance of still trying the same path set above. There might be exceptions if your spouse works for an international institution, which is based in a country that offers reciprocity – ask your spouse’s institution to try and let the Itamaraty get back with a reply. 

To see the step by step process please take a look at UNBRALESA presentation about Work Scenarios and Work Permit Process for UN Staff (2016)

3. You work as a consutant for one of the UN agencies: No work permit required if you work as an international consultant.

4. You start a local business: You become an "Independent" and start a MEI (Microemprendedor  Individual) with SEBRAE ( Only for invoices within the Distrito Federal and with billing limited to 60.000 Reais per year.

5. You work as a Volunteer: no work permit required.

 Talent Pool 

UNBRALESA supports its members to connect with local employment opportunities. We have a special place--a form that feeds into a database-- for you to inform us about your abilities and talents, the languages you speak and whether you wish to find full time, part-time or volunteer work. We also try to help students to find Summer jobs in Brasilia.

Please access the form here

The information you give us will be shared regularly within our network, the UN Agencies and the other organizations that are part of UNBRALESA.

 Job Opportunities 

If you are interested in working for one of the UN Agencies, you might not need a work permit. Each agency has its own hiring process. The following site lists many (though not all) work opportunities at UN organizations in Brasilia.


In addition, once you are on the UNBRALESA mailing list, you will be regularly updated on postings from several employers.

 Member projects 

Many of our members have their own enterprises in several areas. Click on these links to learn about them.


  • Restauro Weber: (Germany/FAORestauração de Obras de ArteTel. (61) 3367-6781, Cel. (61) 98166-1517,

  • Luca Bonacini: (Italy/UNICEF) Photographer, documental works (working for UN Agencies), portraits and photography instructor, speaks English, French, Portuguese and Spanish. Worked in Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil and Peru. Cel: 61-996498696

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