One of the most frequently asked questions from guests who fall in love with the city of Rio de Janeiro is “can I work in Rio”? Yes, you can work in Rio but it does require a number of bureaucratic steps as would any other country accepting a foreigner to work on it’s land.
Legally working in Rio will require a company based in Rio de Janeiro or Brazil to “sponsor” you. This is done by your hiring company submitting a form to the consulate stating that you will be employed for a certain length of time at a set rate of pay. From there you will need to be accepted by the consul as a candidate for a Brazilian work visa. The visa must be obtained, along with the statement from your sponsoring company before departing for Brazil. In addition to this, you should also be aware that a Brazilian citizen will have preference over immigrants if qualifications are equal. It is not impossible to work in Rio, but requires jumping through the right hoops. The most effective and least stressful way to obtain a work visa is through an experienced immigration lawyer, who can help you step by step through the process.
What about teaching English under the table or working illegally in the service or hospitality industry? Working illegally in Rio de Janeiro is not something recommended; low pay, no benefits and risk of being expelled by the government if you are caught. Take a look at this link on working illegally in Rio de Janeiro by Connection Rio Founder, Dennis Asche. Having gone through the experience of working illegally in Rio de Janeiro shortly after his arrival, see what he has to say about the experience. – WORKING ILLEGALLY IN RIO DE JANEIRO
In any case, whatever you decide it is important to plan out your trip or move so that there is a minimum amount of stressful situations that can inhibit or prevent your time here from happening. Good luck!