Brazil, known for its vibrant culture, ethnically diverse population, and abundant natural resources, has emerged as an attractive destination for international investors seeking to gain a foothold in South America’s largest economy. Brazil citizenship by investment offers a pathway to becoming a Brazilian national and enjoying its advantages.

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This article will explore the details of the Brazil citizenship by investment program, Brazilian citizenship benefits, eligibility criteria, investment options, and the application process, to help potential investors make an informed decision about obtaining Brazilian citizenship through investment.

The Benefits of Brazilian Citizenship

Visa-free travel

The Brazilian passport ranked relatively well on the latest Global Passport Index, providing visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to 164 countries worldwide. Improved international relations have increased travel access for Brazilian citizens by increasing the number of visa-free countries from 146 to 164, indicating potential for economic growth.

Investment opportunities

Brazil is one of the most resource-rich countries in the world and is a primary supplier of vital minerals for manufacturing products that we all use, such as iron ore, copper, and bauxite. Brazil is also one of the largest agricultural exporters in the world and tops the list for products exports, such as sugar and coffee.

As the world’s fifth largest country, it has a vast landscape. Its roughly 2,700 miles of vertical coverage means there are varying climates throughout the country, making it an optimal location for cultivating various types of produce. Acquiring land in Brazil is a cost-effective option, as it is abundant and available at low prices. Obtaining a Brazilian investor visa through foreign investment can be highly profitable and opens up a world of opportunities throughout South America.

Life in a beautiful country

In addition to its vast natural resources, Brazil presents a multitude of fantastic travel options within the country. A two-week trip to Brazil isn’t enough to see what the largest country in South America has to offer.

You can visit unique geological features, such as the Meeting of Waters in the Amazon, the world’s largest waterfall system in Iguazu Falls, and the water-filled dunes of Lençóis Maranhenses National Park, not to mention the dynamic and energetic culture of  the world-famous Rio de Janeiro.

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Brazil citizenship for family members

A permanent investor visa holder’s family members are eligible to apply for Brazilian citizenship once the main applicant qualifies for citizenship in Brazil.

Brazil Citizenship by Investment

Investing in Brazil can provide eligibility for a long-term residence visa and a National Migratory Registration Card [Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM)]. After four years of Brazilian residency with a CRNM, foreign nationals can qualify for permanent residency or Brazilian citizenship.

Investment options

There are several accessible investment options to obtain an investment visa in Brazil:

  • A foreign direct investment of BRL 500,000 (about $100,000) in a Brazilian legal entity (new or existing business).
  • A real estate investment of BRL 1 million ($200,000) [BRL 700,000 (about $140,000) in the north/northeast regions].
  • An investment of BRL 150,000 ($30,000) in a Brazilian company related to innovation, basic or applied research, science, or technology.

Investing in a legal entity

For the investment of BRL 500,000, there are no business structure requirements regarding the type of business, industry, or ownership percentage. Foreign nationals can invest in any legal entity in Brazil, provided the investment meets or exceeds the minimum investment amount. Prospective company owners whose businesses will create jobs for Brazilian citizens will receive special consideration for their investor visa application.

In this circumstance, work permit authorization and Brazilian residency can be granted in less time than in normal cases of business investment that don’t create jobs.

brazilian consulate

An Investment in a Brazilian legal entity requires additional approval from the Ministry of Labor and Employment [Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego (MTE)].

Before making a direct investment, investors must submit a business plan to the MTE with the legal entity’s details. The business plan should include a business description, marketing strategy, competitor analysis, job creation, sales forecasts, and other relevant details to support the idea. The MTE will approve the business plan and the foreign funds by the Brazilian Central Bank, provided applicants pass the due diligence checks.

Investing in a specialized industry

The only option of obtaining citizenship in Brazil by investment for less than $50,000 is by investing in a specialized industry. Investing the minimum amount of BRL 150,000 in a specialized industry follows the same process as investing in any other Brazilian company. There are additional requirements to be eligible for a Brazilian investor visa under this investment option:

  • The business must have received funding or resources from a government institution.
  • The business premises must be located in a technology park.
  • The business must be an incubated enterprise.
  • The business must have been a finalist in a government-run startup program.
  • The business must have benefited from a startup accelerator in Brazil.

Investing in real estate property

A Brazilian real estate investment provides eligibility for a long-term residency card and then a permanent residence permit or citizenship. The investment must be a real estate purchase of commercial or residential property in an urban area with a minimum value of BRL 1 million. Purchasing real estate in Brazil’s north or northeast regions will reduce the investment amount to BRL 700,000.

Eligibility Requirements for a Brazil Investment Visa

Visa requirements for investing in a legal entity

Foreign entrepreneurs investing in a Brazilian company must fulfill the following eligibility criteria to qualify for a Brazilian investor visa and permanent residency card:

  • Have a solid business or investment plan
  • The plan must be approved by the Ministry of Labor and Employment.
  • Declaratory registration of the ­Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Brazilian Central Bank
  • Payment receipt of corporate income tax for the legal entity’s last year of business/fiscal operations (if applicable)
  • Documents of incorporation of the Brazilian legal entity that received the investment monies transferred (if applicable)
  • Documents to support eligibility for investing in a specialized industry (if applicable)
  • Payment confirmation of the individual immigration tax
  • A clean criminal record

Requirements for purchasing real estate

Foreign citizens purchasing real estate in Brazil must fulfill the following eligibility criteria to qualify for an investor visa and Brazil permanent residency:

brazilian investor visa valid
  • They must have a bank statement from a Brazilian financial institution registered with Brazil’s Central Bank attesting to the international transfer of the required investment amount.
  • The Ministry of Justice and Public Security (Ministério da Justiça e Segurança Pública) must approve documents for the proof of purchase.
  • They must have a clean criminal record.

All non-Brazilian documents must be notarized and apostilled (if applicable) by competent authorities and by the relevant Brazilian authorities in their home country. The documents must also be translated into Portuguese by a sworn Brazilian translator in Brazil. Certain legal documents used in Brazil may have a restriction on their validity period, depending on the date of their creation. Ensure to check the validity period and other legal requisites with your respective Brazilian Consulate for confirmation.

Foreign investors with an investor visa in Brazil must adhere to a minimum stay period of 14 days in Brazil every two years to maintain official legal residency status.

Requirements to Become a Brazilian Citizen

Foreigners who invest in Brazil and obtain an investor visa can apply for permanent residency in Brazil and obtain citizenship through naturalization. To be naturalized, Brazilian residents must:

  • Hold a National Migratory Registration Card [Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM)]
  • Maintain at least four years of uninterrupted residence while holding a CRNM, with no more than 12 months outside Brazil in the four-year residency period
  • Have the ability to communicate in Portuguese
  • Have a clean criminal record or proof of rehabilitation

The required documents to obtain Brazilian citizenship through an investor visa

For Brazilian naturalization, the Brazilian government requires the following documents from holders of a Brazilian investor visa or any other Brazil residency visa:

  • Certified criminal record certificate and sworn translation
  • Original and photocopy of a valid passport
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate and a sworn translation (if applicable)
  • Original or certified copy of marriage certificate and a sworn translation (if applicable)
  • Professional or academic qualifications
  • Proof of a registered Brazilian address
  • Bank statement from a Brazilian bank account
  • Certified copy of a business license or documents of incorporation (if applicable)
  • Business or investment plan (if applicable)
  • Two passport-size photographs

Other ways to obtain Brazilian citizenship

Besides an investor visa, the following individuals are eligible to apply for Brazilian citizenship by naturalization:

  • A foreign national with a Brazilian spouse is eligible for citizenship after one year with Brazil residency status.
  • The foreign parent of a child born in Brazil is eligible for citizenship after one year with Brazil residency status.
  • The Ministry of Justice may grant honorary citizenship after two years of residency to individuals who have been in service of Brazil or who have a valuable professional, scientific, or artistic ability.
  • Foreign citizens from Portuguese-speaking countries may acquire citizenship after one year of residency in Brazil.

Birthright citizenship in Brazil

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The Brazilian government grants citizenship by jus soli (right of soil) and jus sanguinis (right of blood); Any child born in Brazil is a Brazilian citizen by birthright.

A child born outside Brazil is also eligible for Brazilian citizenship through a Brazilian parent.

Dual citizenship in Brazil

Brazilian authorities apply some limitations to dual citizenship for a natural-born Brazilian citizen; however, foreigners who acquired permanent residency status through Brazil’s investor visa program or any other long-term residency visa can gain citizenship in Brazil as a second nationality and become dual citizens.

How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help

Expats and foreign investors can encounter many difficulties when applying for Brazilian citizenship and a second passport, which is why it is worthwhile to have an expert on hand to provide personalized Brazilian naturalization assistance throughout the application process.

Our specialists can help you with the following:

  • Minimize the visits you have to make to the designated country
  • Have someone who works solely on your behalf
  • Reduce the hassle associated with putting your application together
  • Acquire insider knowledge from someone with years of experience in the market

Let’s get you moving forward in your quest to obtain Brazilian citizenship and a Brazilian passport. Get in touch with us to book a free consultation.

Frequently Asked Questions about Brazil Citizenship by Investment

Can I buy Brazilian citizenship?

It isn’t possible to buy citizenship directly in Brazil. You can invest in the country through Brazil’s investor visa program and eventually obtain a permanent resident visa or citizenship with no limitations on trips abroad, provided you maintain your investment, have a clean criminal record, and adhere to the minimum stay period.

How to get citizenship in Brazil on investment?

A Brazilian investor visa doesn’t directly lead to citizenship. To gain citizenship, a long-term or permanent resident must:

  • Hold a National Migratory Registration Card [Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM)]
  • Maintain at least four years of uninterrupted residence while holding a CRNM, with no more than 12 months outside Brazil in the four years
  • Have the ability to communicate in Portuguese
  • Have a clean criminal record or proof of rehabilitation

If you hold an investor visa and meet the above eligibility criteria, you may apply for citizenship in Brazil.

Is Brazil easy to get citizenship?

The entire process of naturalization in Brazil is relatively straightforward, and Brazil citizenship requirements are less rigid than in many other countries in Latin America and around the world. You do not need permanent residency status to apply for citizenship in Brazil. A foreign national with a Brazilian long-term or permanent visa can be naturalized, provided they:

  • Have held a National Migratory Registration Card [Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM)]
  • and have lived in Brazil for four consecutive years
  • Have the ability to communicate in Portuguese
  • Have a clean criminal record or proof of rehabilitation

How much does it cost to buy citizenship in Brazil?

You cannot buy citizenship in Brazil, but the required investments to obtain a Brazilian investor visa and a National Migratory Registration Card [Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório (CRNM)] are:

  • A BRL 500,000 (about $100,000) investment in a new or existing Brazilian company
  • A BRL 1 million (about $200,000) real estate purchase [BRL 700,000 (about $140,000) in the north/northeast regions]
  • A BRL 150,000 ($30,000) investment in the areas of innovation, basic or applied research, science, or technology

Provided you maintain the investment and have a valid CRNM, you can qualify for Brazil citizenship by investment after four years of permanent residency in Brazil.

Does Brazil have a strong passport?

The Brazilian passport is one of the top global passports, ranking fourth on the Global Passport Index among countries in the Americas. Brazilian passport holders can travel to 164 countries visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival. Brazilians travelling abroad or residing in a foreign country can also seek consular assistance from a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy in 133 locations worldwide.