Brazil citizenship by investment offers a pathway to becoming a Brazilian national, adding a second citizenship to your current citizenship. This article will explore the details of the Brazil citizenship by investment program, Brazilian citizenship benefits, eligibility criteria, investment options, and the application process. We will guide potential investors in making an informed decision about obtaining Brazilian citizenship through investment in 2023.
Brazil Citizenship by Investment
Brazil does not currently offer a citizenship by investment program, allowing foreign nationals to acquire citizenship directly through financial investments.
Nonetheless, by investing in the Brazil Investor Visa through the VIPER Visa program, individuals can become eligible for a long-term residence permit and then citizenship after a relatively brief residency period of three to four years.
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 private or public sector 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 in companies without Brazilian employees.
An Investment in a Brazilian legal entity requires additional approval from the National Council of Immigration (Conselho Nacional de Imigração – CNI).
Before making a foreign direct investment, investors must submit a business plan to the CNI 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 CNI 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 Golden 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
A Brazilian real estate investment provides eligibility for a long-term residency card and then a permanent residence permit or citizenship after four years. The investment must be a real estate acquisition of commercial or residential property in an urban area with a minimum value of BRL 1 million. Popular cities for qualifying real estate purchases include:
- Rio de Janeiro
- São Paulo
- Belo Horizonte
Real estate investments in north/northeast Brazil
Purchasing real estate in Brazil’s north and northeast regions will reduce the investment amount from BRL 1 million to BRL 700,000. There are lucrative investment opportunities in real estate investments in northeastern cities such as:
Do note that the BRL 1 million in real estate purchase qualifies investors for citizenship within three years instead of four.
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 National Council of Immigration.
- Declaratory registration of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the Brazilian Central Bank
- Payment receipt of corporate income tax paid from a national bank account 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:
- 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 one day in Brazil every two years to maintain official legal residency status. If you are seeking permanent residency or citizenship, the minimum residency requirement every two years is 14 days.
Brazil Investment Visa Processing Time
Investor visa applications in Brazil typically take around two months to be processed from submission to the issuance of a Brazilian residence permit. Foreign applicants of Brazil’s investor visa program must allow one and a half months to receive confirmation of receipt.
Following a positive outcome, applicants are instructed to visit a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in their home country, where they will be provided with a passport stamp as evidence of the approval of their investor visa. Successful applicants can then visit Brazil to obtain their residence permit from the Department of Federal Police (Polícia Federal) after they arrive in Brazil.
Requirements to Become a Brazilian Citizen
Foreigners who invest in Brazil and obtain an investor visa can apply for permanent residency in Brazil or obtain citizenship through naturalization after three or four years, depending on the investment. 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 14 days outside Brazil every two years during the four-year residency
- Have the ability to communicate in Portuguese
- Have a clean criminal background 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 12 months of residency in Brazil.
Birthright citizenship in Brazil
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.
The Benefits of Brazilian Citizenship
The Brazilian passport ranked relatively well on the latest Global Passport Index, providing visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access 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.
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 world-famous cities like Rio de Janeiro.
Lenient minimum residency requirements
While the path to citizenship in most countries necessitates a significant number of days of residence in the country per year, Brazil’s investment visa requires just one day of residency every two years to maintain the visa and 14 days of residency every two years to qualify for permanent residency or citizenship.
Brazil citizenship for family members
A permanent investor visa holder’s family members can apply for Brazilian citizenship once the main applicant qualifies for citizenship in Brazil. This includes a spouse, children under 24, and financially dependent children.
Dual Citizenship in Brazil
Brazilian authorities apply some limitations to dual citizenship for a natural-born Brazilian citizen. Unlike countries such as the United Kingdom and New Zealand, where dual citizenship is explicitly permitted for all citizens by nationality laws, Brazil allows its citizens to acquire a second citizenship only if the foreign country mandates it for legal residence or access to civil rights.
However, foreigners who acquired permanent residency status through Brazil’s permanent visa by investment 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 Brazil 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 history, and adhere to the minimum stay period.
How to get citizenship in Brazil by 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 more than 14 days outside Brazil every two years during the four-year residency
- Have the ability to communicate in the Portuguese language
- Have a clean criminal history or proof of rehabilitation
If you hold an investor visa and permanent resident status, and meet the above eligibility criteria, you may apply for citizenship in Brazil. The time period can be reduced from four years to three years by investing at least BRL 1 million in real estate.
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 the Portuguese language
- 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, have a valid CRNM, and adhere to the residency requirements, you can qualify for Brazil citizenship by investment and dual citizenship after four years of permanent residency in Brazil. The four years can be reduced to three by investing at least BRL 1 million in real estate.
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.