Supreme Court to decide on fee waivers for poor immigrants

immigrants Supreme Court to decide on fee waivers for poor migrants
Imigrants in Salvador. Photo: Joa Souza/Shutterstock

This week, the Supreme Court will decide whether low-income immigrants should be made exempt from government fees charged to rectify their migration status. Applicants for temporary and permanent visas have a number of charges to bear as part of the legalization process, with the money intended to pay for the production and issuance of ID cards and similar documents. 

A Venezuelan citizen represented by a public defender brought the case to the highest court after an appellate judge in Amazonas state revoked a decision that exempted him from migratory fees. The immigrant’s legal counsel argues that the Constitution provides for gratuity for low-income individuals relating to “acts necessary for the exercise of citizenship.” 

Brazil’s 2017 migration law states that vulnerable groups and individuals without conditions to pay should be exempt from consular fees in the visa and documentation process. Immigrants typically have to pay up to BRL 480 (USD 89) in fees to rectify their permanent resident status in Brazil.