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Passport Fine (On Exit) for Losing Immigration Card

Passport Fine (On Exit) for Losing Immigration Card

Old Jun 8, 15, 3:18 pm
  #1  
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Passport Fine (On Exit) for Losing Immigration Card

Hi All,

I am hoping that FTers can help me with this question. The question (or related circumstances) has been (somewhat) tackled in another closed thread here. That was a disaster and people were flaming and got rude to each other. If you are gonna do that, please do not answer and just move on along. The FT community does not need that.

Okay, here it is. In 2004, I crossed the border from Argentina to Brazil at the Foz de Iguazu crossing. I was travelling on a visa free-eligible passport, stopped by immigration, got my stamp and immigration card, and went my merry way. At some point in the trip, I lost the immigration card and got fined some amount by the Brazilian immigration authorities when I stopped by immigration in the same border crossing on my way back into Argentina. As a poor college kid, I figured (I regret this now) that I would probably never go back to Brazil and if I do then I'll take care of it then. So I never paid the fine.

Now, fast forward 11 years. I wanna go back to Brazil and take advantage of the visa free access my passport is eligible for. But then, of course, the fine. What do I do with that fine?
* Can I pay it from here in the US?
* Can I pay it upon arrival in a Brazilian airport?
* Does the Brazilian Immigration Police really have a long memory or is that somehow expunged after a certain number of years? It's been 11 years - which may not matter if they don't expunge it.
* I have since renewed my passport and gotten a new passport number. Are they gonna be able to identify me based on my other information and know to still levy the fine?
* When I get my US passport (my old one is not from the US) and try to get a Brazilian visa, is this likely to become an issue?

Let me be clear, if I have to pay it then I will. I am not justifying my actions as a college kid. That was dumb and in hindsight I should have just taken cared of it while I was still there.

One other piece of potentially relevant information. I don't have the physical passport anymore and do not have copies of either the passport or the page with the fine since my passport (along with most of my valuables) was taken during a home invasion we had in Buenos Aires. This is also why I never really got around to taking care of it. I got a my passport reissued.


Thanks in advance!

Last edited by travellingpinoy; Jun 8, 15 at 3:51 pm
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Old Jun 8, 15, 4:19 pm
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Well, you can always be pro-active instead of waiting to see what will happen. I Am not sure that anyone except the Brazilian authorities or Brazilian attorney who handles such matters, can accurately and with some degree of authority, tell you what will or will not happen.

Or you can just go and see what happens, worst case ????

Good luck if you really, really, really want to go back.
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Old Jun 8, 15, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by bo1953 View Post
Well, you can always be pro-active instead of waiting to see what will happen. I Am not sure that anyone except the Brazilian authorities or Brazilian attorney who handles such matters, can accurately and with some degree of authority, tell you what will or will not happen.

Or you can just go and see what happens, worst case ????

Good luck if you really, really, really want to go back.
Hi Bo, I was gonna try to reach out to the consulate in LA to see if I can actually talk to anybody on the phone. If that doesn't work then I will try to email them. I was hoping other people here could chime in with any knowledge or experience they have.

As far as just going for it and flying there... that's also an option but at this point, I am not really planning a trip to Brazil... yet. Somehow, this is hanging over my head and once in a while I remember it then if I have any inkling to go to Brazil at that point it quickly disappears. I do just wanna settle it and get it over with.
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Old Jun 8, 15, 4:41 pm
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Generally when you pay the overstay fine, the passport control official does not accept cash or credit cards, even in reais. You are sent to a bank within the airport, pay there, and bring the receipt to passport control. Of course, this is on the way out, when you have access to a bank inside the airport.
Not sure what happens if you are entering and don't have access until after passport control, if they let you in. I've read reports of people who got a friend in Brazil to pay for them and send the receipt, so they could show it on arrival.
Max. Fine is about U$275 (equiv.R$864).
Better hope they don't keep records if you just show up.
You could email or talk in person to your local consulate I suppose. Most don't answer their published phone number.
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Old Jun 8, 15, 4:45 pm
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Apparently, there are 6 branch locations for Banco do Brasil all in Florida. I wonder if I can pay there. And if I do end up going that route, what do I do when I do not have my old (stolen) passport and the stamp indicating the fine?
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Old Jun 8, 15, 5:52 pm
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I think if they let you out of the country without paying, this means you can pay the fine on arrival (if it hasn't expired after 11 years).
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Old Jun 8, 15, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by travellingpinoy View Post
Apparently, there are 6 branch locations for Banco do Brasil all in Florida. I wonder if I can pay there. And if I do end up going that route, what do I do when I do not have my old (stolen) passport and the stamp indicating the fine?
Exactly. How would either you or a bank in a foreign country (as HSBC in one country has nothing to do with HSBC in another, for example, do you know BofB is different?) know how much to pay? And why would BofB in Miami be expected to know anything about an immigration process internal to Brazil?
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Old Jun 9, 15, 7:37 pm
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My (purely speculative) opinion is follows:

1- Most likely any record of the unpaid fine is lost. I doubt meticulous records were being kept in a centralized manner 11 years ago.
2- If not, assuming the official doesn't turn a blind eye for this trivial matter, which will create more work for them, they might escort you past immigration to the bank booth where you can exchange your USD and pay the fine.
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Old Jun 9, 15, 8:51 pm
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11 years ago? Your fine is long forgotten, if it has ever been recorded (11 years ago even the computer systems were different and not compatible with those used today)
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Old Jun 10, 15, 11:05 am
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@NPF, I am really hoping that's the case. What's your confidence level in this? I know RafKa mentioned that his opinion was purely speculative. I am especially interested in the second half of your comment "11 years ago even the computer systems were different and not compatible with those used today".

@ RafKa, you present a pretty interesting perspective - especially #2. That could just create more work for them if they could even locate it.
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Old Jun 10, 15, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by travellingpinoy View Post
@NPF, I am really hoping that's the case. What's your confidence level in this? I know RafKa mentioned that his opinion was purely speculative. I am especially interested in the second half of your comment "11 years ago even the computer systems were different and not compatible with those used today".

@ RafKa, you present a pretty interesting perspective - especially #2. That could just create more work for them if they could even locate it.
It's ALL pure speculation. Speculation you can have confidence in? Speculation you can't? Do you know these posters personally, enough to rely on their speculation to the price of a ticket? I would also speculate that there's nothing in the current computer system for them to find, that NPF is right in this case.
Again, why not approach the Brazilian Consulate, by email, even from a separate account without a real name, to see what one Brazilian governmental entity can speculate on?
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Old Jun 10, 15, 1:09 pm
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
It's ALL pure speculation. Speculation you can have confidence in? Speculation you can't? Do you know these posters personally, enough to rely on their speculation to the price of a ticket? I would also speculate that there's nothing in the current computer system for them to find, that NPF is right in this case.
Again, why not approach the Brazilian Consulate, by email, even from a separate account without a real name, to see what one Brazilian governmental entity can speculate on?
@ VidaNaPraia: Thanks for the comments and inputs. Let me speculate on your speculation of their speculation that you don't know either. So why not let them answer my question of what their current confidence level is? I would like to know from them whether they are just speculating or they have personal knowledge/experience that informs their comments. The FT community has a lot of people from all walks of life, professional backgrounds, etc. Who knows, somebody here might actually have something useful. Heck, maybe somebody even had the same thing happen to them.

As far as what you advocate (i.e., getting in touch with Brazilian authorities), yes, I am inclined to go that route myself but see this thread as a valuable way to potentially better inform me regarding scenarios, options, things to consider, or things to ask when I do reach out to them. But hey, this is my method and maybe it's not yours. If that's the case then that's cool too. I just ask that you respect that.

Finally, like I said in the first post, I do NOT want this thread to devolve into the flame war that became of the other thread discussing a related topic. I am not taking sides on whether you were right or the other guy was right in that thread. That's between you and those guys and I don't want anything to do with it. All I know is that I just want THIS thread to be helpful and civil.
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Old Jun 10, 15, 1:33 pm
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In Matthew 15:14, Jesus characterizes the Pharisees, the religious authorities of his day, saying 'they are blind leaders of the blind'.

Note: There was not, to my knowledge, a thread that discussed this topic: how to pay a long overdue fine, if indeed it is still on record.
There was a thread in which someone blamed a Brazilian official for not ignoring the letter of the law, a case in which the poster was liable for a fine he was trying not to pay on grounds that he was not aware of the law. Quite the opposite of this case.

Last edited by VidaNaPraia; Jun 10, 15 at 1:41 pm
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Old Jun 10, 15, 1:36 pm
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Originally Posted by VidaNaPraia View Post
In Matthew 15:14, Jesus characterizes the Pharisees, the religious authorities of his day, saying 'they are blind leaders of the blind'.
Again, I want this thread to be helpful and civil. If you can't contribute in that manner then please move on along. This is my last reply to you. Thanks for stopping by.

Last edited by travellingpinoy; Jun 10, 15 at 1:41 pm
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Old Jun 11, 15, 3:40 am
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Originally Posted by travellingpinoy View Post
@NPF, I am really hoping that's the case. What's your confidence level in this? I know RafKa mentioned that his opinion was purely speculative. I am especially interested in the second half of your comment "11 years ago even the computer systems were different and not compatible with those used today".

@ RafKa, you present a pretty interesting perspective - especially #2. That could just create more work for them if they could even locate it.
travellingpinoy, what I said is, I believe, an "educated guess" - more than pure speculation, less than fact.

I have no inside information in this area, but having been through the exit controls several times each year in the past 20 years, I have noticed three distinct phases:

i) long ago, an even less than perfunctory control, where a Policia Federal officer would have looked at your passport (no checks, no computers) and just gave it back to you.
ii) beginning around 9/11 (2001), a period in which clerks (not Policia Federal officers) would look at your passport and sometimes (but not always), look something at a now existing computer
iii) for the last five/six years (no clear boundary in my mind), clerks who would systematically input something into a computer system.

My "educated guess" is that nothing remains on file (if there was something ever put there) prior to these last five/six years.
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