So I now have a CPF in my hands… Here is the story of my day! Throughout all of this we had a Brazilian helping us and doing the talking, without a Portuguese speaker some of this may have been very tricky! Only one person spoke English and that was at the Banco do Brasil. Pointing, gesturing and saying Inscricao CPF would probably have done it!
10am – go to the post office at Barra Shopping. After a bit of waiting, get told that their system is down, go to the Banco do Brazil.
About 1045am – get a number from the entrance clerk, go through the weird circular metal detector doors, queue for 10mins. Pay R$6 or so for the CPF and get a receipt. Go back to the front desk, through the weird meal detector door (more on this in the footnote perhaps) and queue back up at the front desk. Fill in form, get another receipt to take to the Receita Federal. Here I needed my passport and proof of my parents names – I used my visa application form.
About 1230pm – arrive at the Receita Federal office in Barra. Here you have to queue to get in the queue as we don’t have an appointment, you can’t in fact as you need a CPF to get an appointment…
After about 1 hour we get a queuing ticket number. These are a combination of 2 or 3 letters and a number. The letters are the queue you are in, 3 letters means an advanced appointment, 2 means you are just queuing up waiting. The number is then which you are in that particular queue. Then around 315pm we get called up! Sit at a desk, had him leaf through some paperwork, hit print, presto! I have a CPF number.
Overall, around 6 hours from start to finish.
Now RNE on Monday then nearly there… Just a CPTF after that… Or something like that anyway!
The bank door thing… Basically all banks have a revolving door for one person at a time. It locks when it starts to turn, effectively trapping you. There’s a metal detector. Unless it is green you don’t go forwards. There’s normally some sort of window or box to put stuff in until they are satisfied and let you through, or turn you away. Tip is, don’t worry, just make sure you empty anything metallic in to the box, and stay calm, show him inside your bag etc.
It was pointed out to me that I’m using all these acronyms without explaining what they are…
So here goes!
An RNE is an identity card. You must get one within 30 days of entering the country of a temporary work visa. You need to go to a federal police station – the one at the airport is the main one in Rio for RNEs for foreigners it seems. You need four things – your passport, your visa, your visa application form and two passport photos. To book an appointment you do it in the federal police website, helpfully all in Portuguese.
A CPF is like a tax ID. It is necessary to have one to do just about anything here! You don’t need a visa for this. You do need ID (passport) and prove of your parents names. For me, that is my visa application form from the British consulate. If it’s a birth certificate it needs to be legalised and translated.
With those two things, and prove of address, you can open a bank account. Proof of address is tricky, and not quite got that 100% figured out yet!
After arriving, with a bit of delay at immigration (no idea why, the border agent just disappeared for a while then came back saying something about it being my first time in the country with the visa), I was hoping to get my RNE as soon as possible.
Turns out the first appointment isn’t until the 28th, a couple of weeks after I arrived. And for the CPF I need proof of my parents names. This would be a legalised and translated copy of my birth certificate, which I don’t have (that went in for my visa application…), so may have to wait until I have the RNE before I can apply for the CPF. I’m going to try tomorrow with the visa application form itself (it has a stamp from the consulate) and see if that is sufficient.
Bottom line is it’ll be Feb before I have enough paperwork to open a bank account… And Feb before I’ll be in a position to look at renting somewhere. Which is a shame as I’ve found a nice place. I just hope it is still available when I’m in a position to sign!