In this text, we explain the requirements for you to live in Brazil legally so that you can move to the country with peace of mind!
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Who can live in Brazil?
Those who have a residence permit can live in Brazil. In other words, a document that authorizes foreigners to establish residency in the country. Generally, the initial grant is temporary, with a duration of 2 years (with exceptions). Afterward, you can convert it into a permanent permit.
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How to live in Brazil legally?
To live in Brazil legally, you need to have a residence permit. In most cases, it is requested while already in Brazil. In other words, you must check if your country is on the list of visa requirements to enter Brazil or not. Then, come to Brazil and upon arrival, apply for a residence permit. Initially, it will be temporary, but after 2 years, it can be converted into a permanent permit.
Additionally, you need to check if your justification for staying in the country allows for work if you wish to work.
How to obtain a visa to live in Brazil?
The first step is to determine which visa is suitable for your case, as Brazil has various types of visas. Afterward, apply for the visa and submit the required documentation. However, keep in mind that the visa alone does not always grant the right to live in Brazil.
Additionally, it is advisable to start thinking about the entire process 6 months to 1 year before coming to Brazil. Consulates or embassies are responsible for granting visas, and there is no specific timeframe for the process to be completed.
We have created a guide for foreigners who want to live in the country, explaining the steps and rules from the visa process to naturalization. Please provide your email below to receive it!
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What is a permanent visa?
The permanent visa in Brazil is actually called a residence permit. The initial permit you receive is a temporary authorization. This means you will have a temporary permit for up to 2 years, and then you can convert it into a permanent residence permit. However, this transformation is not automatic, and its granting is considered living in Brazil legally.
In all cases, you need to provide a justification for your stay in Brazil.
What is a residence visa?
The residence visa is permission granted by the Brazilian Government to foreigners to establish residency in Brazil. However, the initial residence permit is determined, meaning it has a set period, usually 2 years. However, it can be converted into a permanent permit.
Therefore, if your goal is to live in Brazil legally, it’s advisable to obtain an indefinite permit by applying 90 days before the expiration of the temporary (determined) permit, as this is not an automatic change.
What is required to obtain a permanent visa in Brazil?
To obtain a permanent visa in Brazil, you need to apply for an indefinite residence permit. However, before reaching this stage, you need to obtain a visa, come to Brazil, obtain the determined authorization (which is temporary), and 90 days before its expiration, apply for the permanent permit.
Additionally, it is ideal to organize the documentation for the application 6 months before the expiration of the determined permit, so that you have enough time to complete the procedure and regularize your status in Brazil.
It’s important to have the documents required by the Brazilian Government, payment of fees, as well as completed forms. This way, it will be possible to live in Brazil legally.
How can a foreigner legalize their status in Brazil?
A foreigner who wants to legalize their status in Brazil, meaning they are in an irregular situation, can:
- Apply for a residence permit, which allows them to stay in the country (with restrictions and only in certain cases) while the application is being processed.
- Hire a lawyer to analyze the best, fastest, and most efficient strategy for their situation.
- Leave the country, apply for a new visa, and return after regularization is completed abroad.
- Additionally, they will have to pay fines in all options, which are calculated based on the number of days they remained irregular.
Furthermore, if the accumulation of fine amounts is interrupted by any of the actions above, the foreigner still needs to pay the outstanding amount and their CRNM (Foreigner’s ID) will be blocked until full payment is made. Therefore, regularization is an important step to legally reside in Brazil.
What is the maximum period a foreigner can stay and live in Brazil?
The maximum period a foreigner can stay in Brazil varies depending on the type of residence permit they have. For example, with a visa for:
- Tourism: generally up to 90 days (may vary).
- Digital Nomad: up to 2 years.
- Retiree or pensioner: up to 2 years, renewable.
- Investor: up to 2 years with a temporary permit, or without a set period with a permanent permit.
Additionally, many cases may apply for a residence permit, which initially has a duration of 2 years. Afterward, it can be converted into a permanent permit.
What is the difference between a visa and citizenship?
A visa is a document that authorizes entry into a country, while citizenship is a status of being a citizen. For a foreigner, obtaining citizenship in a country different from their birth country means acquiring the same rights as native-born citizens. Additionally, for accurate information regarding Brazilian citizenship, it is important to note that the official term is naturalization.
Therefore, the difference between a visa and naturalization is how the foreigner wants to be recognized in Brazil, in addition to the duration each allows for staying in the country.
For example, a visitor visa does not grant the foreigner permission to establish residence in the country. On the other hand, naturalization is a process in which the foreigner expresses their intention to remain indefinitely in Brazil.
What is the difference between a passport and a visa?
The difference between a passport and a visa is that a passport is a document issued in your country of origin to signify your desire to travel and visit other countries.
A visa, on the other hand, is a document required by Brazil and other countries to enter their territory, if required. Generally, to obtain a visa, you need to have a passport.
What is the difference between citizenship and residence?
Citizenship is associated with the specific rights of citizens of a country, whether they are native-born or naturalized. Residence authorization, on the other hand, is permission for a foreigner – someone who does not have citizenship of that place – to establish residence in the country.
Furthermore, to obtain Brazilian naturalization (citizenship), a foreigner needs to reside in the country for a certain period of time with a residence permit. In summary, residence authorization serves as a prerequisite for citizenship as well.
Advogada, inscrita na OAB/MG sob o número 210.924 e graduada em Direito pela Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais. Atua na Koetz Advocacia recepcionando novos casos no setor de Direito Migratório.Saiba mais