National Council of Immigration (Known by the acronym CNIg in Portuguese)
The National Immigration Council (CNIg) is the entity responsible for coordinating the Brazilian Migration Policy, in particular the Labour Migration Policy, through ongoing dialogue with Brazilian society. It is a quadripartite collegiate body composed of Federal Government, Workers, Employers and Civil Society representatives. It is linked to the Ministry of Labour and has the administrative support of the General Immigration Coordination Office (CGIg). CNIg is responsible for formulating the Brazilian migration policy, based on the regulation of migration issues and the issuance of Normative Resolutions (NRs). CNIg is also in charge of deciding on special and omitted cases. The council meets ten times a year on a monthly basis.
The National Immigration Council is comprised of:
9 ministries: Ministry of Labour and Social Security (MTPS); Ministry of Justice (MJ); Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MRE); Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Food Supply (MAPA); Ministry of Health (MS); Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC); Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI); Ministry of Education (MEC); and Ministry of Tourism (Mtur).
Workers’ representations: Workers’ Union of Brazil (CTB); Unified Workers’ Union (CUT); Union Force (FS); General Workers’ Union (UGT); New Workers’ Union (NCST).
Employers representations: National Confederation of Industry (CNI); National Confederation of Trade in Goods, Services and Tourism (CNC); Confederation of Agriculture and Livestock of Brazil (CAN); National Confederation of Transport (CNT); National Confederation of Financial Institutions (CNF).
Civil Society: Brazilian Society for the Progress of Science (SBPC).
Observers: National Commission for Population and Development (CNPD); Special Secretariat for Women’s Policies (SPM/PR); Special Secretariat For Human Rights (SDH/PR); Secretariat for the Promotion of Racial Equality (SEPPIR/PR); Migration and Human Rights Institute (IMDH); International Labour Organization (OIT); International Organization for Migration (IOM); Secretariat for Social Security Policies (SPPS/MPS); Federal Public Defender's Office (DPU); Federal Attorney’s Office (AGU); Federal Police Department (DPF); Brazilian Intelligence Agency (ABIN); Public Labour Prosecution Office (MPT); and Public Prosecution Office (MPF).
Implementation periodSince 1980
Context of the interventionArticle 128 of Law 6815 of 1980 (Foreigner Statute) provides for the creation of the National Immigration Council under the Ministry of Labour, which is responsible, in addition to the duties set out in the Law, for guiding, coordinating and inspecting all immigration activities. Until 1990 it was formed exclusively by government representatives. As a result of the country's re-democratization process, the composition of the Council changed, in order to include representatives of workers and employers and one representative of the scientific and technological community. The category of observers was established in 2014. CNIg is responsible for guiding immigration activities; establishing immigrant selection rules; clarifying doubts and solving special cases related to immigration; defending immigrants at social risk; promoting or providing studies related to immigration; and preparing immigration plans.
Results/Impacts achievedOne of the most important duties of CNIG is to examine applications for permanent residence in Brazil on a case by case basis. This is because for those who are not in a regular situation, residence permits have been granted based on the Council’s Normative Resolutions that establish the criteria for granting permanent residence to those who are already in the country, in the following cases:
- Refugee or asylum seekers (NR 06/97 and No 91/2010- CNIg);
- Spouse of a Brazilian citizen or parent of a Brazilian child (Article 75, II of Law No. 6.815/80 c/c NR 36/99 - CNIg);
- Legal dependent of a Brazilian citizen or of a foreigner who is a permanent or temporary resident in the country over 21 years of age (NR 36/99 - CNIg);
- Partner of a Brazilian citizen or of a foreigner who is a permanent resident in Brazil, regardless of sex (NR 77/08 - CNIg);
- Victims of trafficking in persons (CNIg’s NR No. 93);
- Nationals of Haiti (NR No. 97/12).
Other noteworthy CNIg initiatives include: improving the management processes and tools of the General Immigration Coordination Office (computerization of work permit procedures: MIGRANTEweb); developing studies to support the debate and the construction of new policies through the creation of the Migration Observatory, in partnership with the University of Brasilia and other specific initiatives; South-South cooperation project for the protection of the rights of migrant workers in Latin America and the Caribbean, in partnership with the ILO; and organizing workshops in the municipalities with the highest numbers of migrant workers to encourage joint actions between local actors and the federal government; and also the Social Participation Forum as a consultative space that receives suggestions and proposals for the formulation of migration policies within the CNIg.
Innovation or CreativityIt allows different actors to be heard and decide together on different economic and social issues of interest to Brazilian society. Faced with an outdated and inefficient law on foreigners, the CNIg has adjusted rules and managed crises. The Council’s importance to the social dialogue and its flexibility in adapting and responding to the questions posed by reality can be seen in the creation of working groups, the commissioning of research and studies, the organization of national and international seminars, and the implementation of actions to approach municipalities and civil society and other initiatives within the Ministry of Labour to streamline and optimize procedures.
References for ContactPaulo Sergio de Almeida