According to data from the General Coordination of Immigration of the Ministry of Labour and Employment of Brazil, in the first quarter of 2011, 13,034 work permits were granted for foreigners. The number is 13% higher than the same period last year, when 11,530 permits were granted in the period. Americans top the list of foreign workers who migrated to Brazil between January and March, 1857 authorizations.
According to the general coordinator of immigration and president of the National Immigration Council, Paulo Sergio de Almeida, this data is a result of national economic growth. “In general, it reflects the strength of responsible investment by the Brazilian economy, that Brazilian companies are acquiring machinery, equipment and technology abroad, and thus necessitating the arrival of foreign technicians for its implementation, and also new businesses of foreign capital that are being established in the country, enjoying Brazilian growth. In general, these companies need foreign professionals for the beginning of their operations.
The foreign investment as individuals seeking to reside in Brazil increased by 13% to R$ 35.76 million in the first quarter of 2011 compared to R$ 31.66 in the same period of 2010. “It is foreign direct investment, via the Central Bank, and applied in the capital of the Brazilian company, generating more jobs to Brazilians.
The Italians were the ones who made more investments in Brazil between January and March this year, with a total of $ 7,290,000. Spain comes in second place with $ 5.31 million, and Portugal in third, with $ 4.36 million. Among the states, which have received more investments are São Paulo, R$ 10.80 million, Ceará, with $ 4.7 million, and Rio de Janeiro, with $ 4.39 million.
Shortage of skilled labor
The shortage of engineers here is spreading across industries. The lack of civil and construction engineers threatens infrastructure projects; areas like banking, aircraft manufacture, petrochemicals and metals are all competing for the same top graduates. In the booming oil and gas industries, companies are turning to foreign labor because there are not enough qualified Brazilians to go around.
Many companies and economists, including some inside the government, say the dearth of highly skilled labor, particularly engineers and tradesmen, will jeopardize Brazil’s economic and political rise.
Brazil Oil Boom Boosts Job Market
With Petrobras, the Brazilian oil company investments of US$224 billion over the next four years as well as almost all major multinational companies in the exploration of new oil and gas fields, qualified workers are a hot commodity. An estimate from the federal government estimates that the new Brazilian oil fields will require 250,000 new professionals through 2016. Among the professionals most in demand are operations managers, logistics managers, project managers, contract managers and engineers.
But not only managers are in high demand, skilled workers to build, maintain, repair and perform technical installations on the drill rigs, platforms, ships and other offshore and onshore structures are essential.
Some companies opt to search beyond Brazil’s borders to find professionals. Many of the multinational companies that previously had only a single representative in Brazil are looking to extend their presence and have to import talent. Work visas can be a challenge to obtain though, and permanent visas also involve significant immigration procedures.
While many companies tend to import professionals from their home base, it is common practice to try to replace them with Brazilians within two to three years, due to the high costs. For foreigners considering a relocation to try their luck in Brazil’s heated job market, it is important to do the research and evaluate carefully.
Sources: Rio Times Online and NY Times