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Full Guide for Expats in Brazil



Expats in Brazil come attracted by its exoticism, its fine sandy beaches, and its music. The 8th world economic power is a dream destination.

But moving to this country can be a bit more complicated than it might seem. It’s important to prepare everything with enough anticipation, to avoid unpleasant surprises.

Obtaining a working visa for Brazil is mandatory to get a job in this country. There are several types, depending on the profile and the position held.

Leaving without a promise of employment or a residence permit is a recipe for failure. And obtaining these documents can take a long time.

Here is the classic path most expats follow to relocate to Brazil:

  • Find a job
  • Have your CV, diplomas, and references translated into Portuguese
  • Your employer needs to apply for authorization to hire a foreigner
  • Apply for a visa if the authorization has been granted
  • Once there, register with the Federal Police
  • Obtain the RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros)
  • Register with your consulate in the list of citizens living abroad (optional, but highly recommended).

How Is Living in Brazil as an Expat?

To have a comfortable expat life in Brazil it is essential to have a minimum command of Portuguese. It is a prerequisite for finding a job in any sector of activity.

It is therefore recommended to take courses before leaving, but also once there. It’s also a good idea to try to integrate quickly into the expatriate community to benefit from good advice.

Most foreigners who move to Brazil do so in the big cities. These are the places with the most job offers and the best salaries:

  • Rio de Janeiro
  • Brasilia
  • Sao Paulo.

On the other hand, life there is generally more expensive than in the rest of the country.

On the other hand, housing is generally not a problem. The offer is quite diversified and accessible. It is also possible to move into guarded residences if you fear for your safety or if you are looking for a particular comfort.

Opening a bank account is another essential step in Brazil for expats. Each Brazilian bank has its own conditions, rates, and criteria for opening and managing an account.

This step is often tedious, as many supporting documents are required. And some banks refuse to open an account for expatriates whose visa is not valid for more than one year.

Important Elements for a Successful Expat Life in Brazil

Taking good care of your health is a key element for living in Brazil as an expat. These are the most important elements you need to be aware of:


Depending on where you live, it is strongly recommended to get certain vaccines before moving to Brazil. This is the case for:

  • Typhoid
  • Yellow fever
  • Hepatitis A and B.

Protection Against Mosquitoes

Expats in Brazil should be careful with mosquitoes. They can transmit diseases like malaria and dengue fever, which are real risks for human health.


Not all medicines are available in Brazil, so it is important to bring them with you, with a translated prescription.

Repatriation Assistance in Brazil for Expats

No one is safe from an accident or unforeseen illness during an expatriation to Brazil.

Despite real progress and investment in “luxury” medicine, Brazilian establishments are often far from international standards. It can be preferable to return to your country to get treatment.

Such an operation has a high cost and requires numerous administrative procedures. A good repatriation insurance policy taken out before moving to Brazil will take care of them

Is Necessary to Get Expat Health Insurance in Brazil?

There is a universal and free health insurance system in Brazil (SUS). But, in reality, it is not enough to be properly taken care of and reimbursed.

Expat health insurance in Brazil is highly recommended. The two most common options are a 1st euro policy or a Social Security supplementary contract. Any of them should be taken with an international insurer and include repatriation assistance.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.


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