June 28, 2016

2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games: Impact on Relocation

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2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games: Impact on Relocation

The Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games (being held from August 5-21) and Paralympic Games (being held from September 7-18) are right around the corner. With more than 10,000 athletes expected, from more than 200 countries, and hundreds of thousands of spectators, it promises to be an exciting time for the country. With this in mind, I would like to share a few tips and recommendations from our suppliers for relocation managers moving international assignees to, and within, Brazil at this time.

Household Goods Transportation

When moving household goods into, out of, or within Brazil during this timeframe, it is important to remember a few things. The Brazilian Government recently announced three citywide holidays for days with major events (August 5, 18, and 22). In addition, there will be a ban on trucks and cargo vehicles on certain roads at specific times throughout the city. This may result in household goods packing and delivery delays due to building and condo requirements, which can restrict moving during these specific holidays.

Delays will also be expected for customs clearance at the Rio de Janeiro ports (air and sea) because of closures from the designated local holidays. Cartus’ Supply Chain Management team will continue to monitor this situation and work with our network of freight forwarders to provide updates on the potential shipment impacts.

Housing in Rio and Surrounding Areas

Due to these special events, our suppliers are working with a challenging period of increased demand for housing from July 15-September 18. It is important that you try to anticipate your needs for this period of time. This also happens to be the peak of the busy season in relocation, when people plan to move their families so their children can complete the school year at their current school, and transition to the new school at the beginning of the school year. In addition to families relocating, many residences are used for vacation and leisure purposes in the peak months. Many companies are considering travel bans to Rio during this period as home searches are extremely difficult due to the road closures and overcrowding during peak event time. For business visitors, the recommendation is clear – if you have not yet booked your flight or your accommodation – changing the date of your trip sounds like the best idea. Prices for flights and hotels during this period have been inflated by almost 200%.

Housing suppliers also have some special terms during this busy time which are important to note.

  • When requesting quotes for stays in Rio de Janeiro during this time period, anticipate that the proposal may take longer than usual, and that availability is limited. Previously agreed upon rates cannot be guaranteed for this period.
  • Deposits may be required and will be used only as a guarantee in case of damages or extra expenses incurred by the guest. Deposits will be returned 30 days after check out, barring any damages or additional expenses.
  • Prepayment of rent and applicable taxes and fees for the duration of the stay will be required within three days from time of booking.
  • Full payment is required for the time period, with no refunds or credit for cancellations once prepayment is received.
  • Reservation extensions are subject to availability, and must be a minimum stay of 30 nights.

Important Visa and Immigration Considerations for International Assignees

Below are some general rules for traveling during the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games from Fragomen Worldwide.

Work visas

Foreign citizens travelling to Brazil under a work contract exclusively to organize, plan, or work in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games must be in possession of a temporary work visa (VITEM V). Note: for work visas, the cases need to be evaluated on a case by case basis and the documents will vary depending on the circumstances of the case.

  • With an employment contract: this visa is filed before the Ministry of Labor in Brazil. Processing time once filed is five business days. Once approved, the approval is sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and submitted to the Brazilian consulate with jurisdiction over the applicant´s place of residence. The applicant must apply for and collect the visa at the appropriate Brazilian Consulate before traveling to Brazil.
  • Without an employment contract: this option allows Brazilian consulates to process work visas directly (without prior authorization from the Ministry of Labor in Brazil), even though the applicant does not have a Brazilian sponsoring company. As long as the applicant is traveling to organize, plan, or work in the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Summer Games, he or she can provide a presentation letter from the Committee for the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games (amongst other requirements).

Given that United States, Australia, Canada, and Japan citizens, planning on traveling to Brazil to attend the Summer Olympic Games 2016 have been granted a visa waiver for the period from June 1 to September 18, 2016, we do not expect the Olympics Games (other visas) to impact or backlog other applications and general processes at Brazilian Consulates.

Regarding the Brazilian Ministry of Labor, as there is only one visa type linked to the Olympic Games to be analyzed by this entity, and due to the fact that this visa will have a processing time of five business days, we do not foresee considerable delays on the analysis of other work visa processes.

It is worth mentioning that assignees going to Brazil might experience delays on registration appointments at Federal Police in Rio during the month of August due to the local holidays related to the Games (August 5, 18, and 22) and considering Rio is the official host of the Summer Olympic Games.

Help With Navigating Brazil During the 2016 Rio Olympic Games

Cartus is ready to help its clients and their relocating employees get around Brazil during this busy time, so please contact your Cartus representative if you have questions. Cartus’ Supply Chain Management team will continue to work with our supplier network to provide updates on any potential impacts for delays.


Special thanks for the information and recommendations featured in this blog post to:

  • Fragomen Worldwide
  • Oakwood WorldwideSM
  • Cartus’ network of freight forwarders
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Cartus Communications

About Cartus

Cartus is the trusted industry leader, offering guidance on a wide range of topics related to global relocation using expertise gained through more than four million moves and a diverse client base.

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