Monday, May 9, 2011

Bureaucracy and getting an RNE (Registro Nacional de estrangeiros)

Sometimes the bureaucracy just feels like a big game. Last year we went to register as foreigners, and from what I remember it went like this:

Go to some obscure location and wait. Then wait some more. With 3 kids. Then show all your paperwork. And wait. Then explain to them some detail that doesn't seem quite right. And wait. Then get a picture taken (again) and your finger prints. And wait. Then, watch the clerk pull out a HUGE book, full of millions of signatures. And add your signature (does someone actually look at this? and verify the signatures? really?!?) And then you are told you will get your card in the mail. So we wait.

A few months later, a friend wanted to go to this location to get this (or something similar) taken care of. She looked and looked for the address or phone number online, emailed us for the info after not being able to find it, and finally just ended up going. Only to find out that that location had been shut down. It had been a pet project of some government official, and then shortly after opening, was closed down. And then a few months later it opened up again! It's almost like a form of entertainment. Like hide and seek. "Make the estrangeiros find the office to register!"

I won't even get into what is going on now with our Visa status.

But here is a little something that I would like to do when I do have to actually show up and sign that big stupid book again:


  1. Ha! Love it! Hilarious!
    By the way, that goes for US Immigration as well! ;)

  2. I've been waiting for mine for the last 4.5 years!

    The reason the office closed down was because the shopping center was adding on and dug too far into the hill side. This cause several near by apartment buildings to list towards the shopping center. They condemned the building until the problem could be fixed.

    I'll be going on Friday to ask about my "permanent visa" status.

    Don't even get me started on the legal system down here!

  3. Oi Shelley

    My english is rusty so pelase overlook my mistakes! I´m from Belo Horizonte but now I´m living in a diferent city in the south of Brasil, it´s called Curitiba and it´s freezing here today!

    I really miss my hometown but I always read your blog and somwhow it is really nice because i remeber some of the things I love about Belo Horizonte. Somenthing I really love about your posts is your generosity and that you are opem minded and don´t try to compare Brasil with your country. I find it very nice that you are open to like Brasil for what it is, with it´s chaos and it´s happines. I often laugh out loud readins what you write!

    I´ve been to the US and lived for a while in England and that was a lovely experience. Just the way you got used to the noises of the city I got used to the formal way and the estrict rules of Europe. And the more important is that we cannot judge and cannot say that what we are used to is what is right, for there are many ways to live and do things. Here in Curitiba there are no grafittis in the city and when I tell people that in Belo Horizonte there are lots of grafitti they usually don´t understand that grafitti is beautiful, that it is art... I this is very sad for me. We should all just be able to do what you are doing and learn to enjoy what´s good and to see things through the eyes of others. It would be much easier. So, I hope people are treating you nice there. If you still need recomendations for pediatras (don´t know how to write this in english)or any other type of doctors (ore just recomendations of any kind there) you can ask me. And I mean it!!!

    Kiss an hugs to you and your family

  4. Thanks so much for your comment! If you are ever back in Belo, let me know!