I finally finished registering with the Federal Police here in Rio today!
My appointment time was at 11:20am, at the Federal Police station in the International Tom Jobim Airport (a.k.a. “Galeão). Galeão is about an hour away from Copacabana by bus, so I got up bright and early at 8am to make breakfast. At 9am I went out to Avenida Atlântica and Rua Santa Clara to wait for the Premium Bus, which takes you from Copacabana straight to the airport. They come about every 30 minutes, and I missed the one that arrived at 9am, so it wasn’t until 9:30am that I was on the bus and on my way.
The bus came around 9:30am. What’s funny here is that people just kind of flag down buses as they go by, to get them to stop. There are bus stops sure, but buses will stop to pick you up almost anywhere along a street! Pretty convenient if you ask me.
Anyway, the bus ride was very cushy and only cost $6.00 USD (R$ 12) for the 1-hour ride to the airport.
I arrived at the airport at about 10:30am and was instructed to wait in the line for foreigners. After about 30 minutes, a man asked me why I was there (I said, to register with the federal police), he took out a paper list, saw my name, and told me to have a seat until my name was called at my appointment time of 11:20am. Easy enough.
Around 11:35am, my name was called. I was instructed to sit in front of an empty desk, next to an old man who was also there to register. After about 5 or 10 minutes, a woman came and sat down at the desk, barely looking at either one of us. She sorted through about 3 registration forms before she took his (he had placed it on the desk), without looking at him, and began to leaf through the pages. She instructed him to sign some blanks, he did so. His was done in about 5 minutes. Then she moved on to me, leafing through pages, giving me back pages she didn’t need, etc. The entire time she barely looked at me, even when she asked me to sign my name.
When we were done, she said to wait outside until my name was called again. Two other grantees just happened to be in the waiting room as well, so I wasn’t lonely..! : )
Around 1:30pm, she called my name: Was my father’s name Paul? Or was it Paul Yiaowen? I explained that Yiaowen is just his middle name. Apparently I had put his middle name on one form, but not on the other. She said she was going to cross his middle name out, so please could I go back and have a seat and wait again until my name was called.
Around 3:00pm my name was finally called again. I went up, they took my fingerprints, had a headshot taken, and then I sat back down with the same woman. She printed out a temporary ID card for me, glued the photo of me onto it (one of the 2 photos that we ha to bring), and handed it back to me. All done!
Took about 4 hours, start to finish (11am-3pm). The next step is for me to go online to check when my real ID card is ready, which will take about 3 months. Eesh.
For anyone else who might be registering with the Federal Police. Here is a list of the documents she did and did not require from me:
- Original Passport
- Notarized copies of my passport pages (just the ones with my personal info on it, including the Brazilian visa)
- My original visa application
- 2 recent standard 3 cm x 4 cm color photos of my head (she used these 2 photos to glue on to my application)
- My Federal Police Registration form
- Proof of payment of the 2 fees (Registro de Estrangeiro and Carteira de Estrangeiro 1º Via)
- NOT NEEDED: Grant Terms and Conditions of Appointment
- NOT NEEDED: Entrance card (the white paper that you fill out on the plane when you arrive in a foreign country the first time)
- NOT NEEDED: Birth certificate
Here is a link to someone else’s online instructions that I found most helpful.