Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


Citizenship by Investment in Brazil

Rebeca Duran

Rebeca Duran

Staff Writer
The Brazil Business


In Brazil, by foreign investment, people cannot directly acquire a citizenship. But a process of acquiring other legals rights and visas allows foreign to become a Brazilian. Here you find what is this process and how you should proceed in order to obtain a Brazilian citizenship.

In many countries it is not possible to obtain a citizenship based on an investor visa. In Brazil, this is possible. Foreign investors can obtain it through the acquisition of a permanent resident visa, and this will allow the residence of the investor in the country. After a certain period, they can apply for the Brazilian naturalization, finally acquiring the Brazilian citizenship.

From Foreign Investor to a Permanent Visa

Permanent visas to Brazil can be designated to a few group of people, and among them are the foreign investors. This visa can only be granted to a foreigner who brings foreign funds into Brazil and manages his investment. The holder of this type of visa may remain in Brazil indefinitely. However, a permanent residence visa is not the same as a citizenship; the permanent resident has different rights in comparison to a Brazilian citizen, such as not being allowed to vote in elections in Brazil.

To apply for a permanent visa, the investor must therefore deliver his application to a Brazilian Consulate. The exact documents required may vary from consulate to consulate, but will always include passport and application form.

From Permanent Visa to Naturalization

Those who want to become a Brazilian citizen must know that citizenship is a path to a permanent residence in the nation. Individuals born in Brazil are automatically granted with citizenship; for foreigners, the government of Brazil stipulates the requirements for naturalization, including living in the country for more than four years, which means presenting a resident visa.

In the following situations, this period can be reduced to only one year:

•   marriage with a Brazilian spouse
•   having a Brazilian child
•   had been born in a country of Portuguese language.

From Naturalization to Citizenship

The process of applying for a Brazilian citizenship is run by the Ministry of Justice. There are four types of naturalization provided by them:

•   ordinary
•   extraordinary
•   temporary
•   special.

Each of them requires different procedures, but as most of people apply for the ordinary naturalization, which is the naturalização comum, this article will be focused on this type of naturalization.

After submitting all the documents mentioned below, it will be decided if the foreigner can have the naturalization. If the name of the foreigner is included in the naturalization decree published online in the Official Journal, the naturalization was conceded. The naturalization certificate is then delivered to the local court, where the foreigner can get it.

In cases where the person obtaining the citizenship resides abroad, the certificate of naturalization is delivered by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil, via its Embassies. A twelve month period, starting from the publication in the Official Journal, is given in order to get the citizenship certificate from the judge or from the Embassy. If you fail to receive the certificate within the period mentioned, it is necessary to start the whole process of obtaining it all over again.

Procedures to Apply for the Citizenship

To apply for the Citizenship is necessary to follow the procedures below:

•   Register as a permanent resident of Brazil. Permanent residency is a form of long-term legal status and is the first step to becoming a full-fledged citizen.
•   Reside in Brazil for at least four years before the application. The requirement is reduced to one year for those who have a Brazilian parent, spouse or child. Trips outside Brazil are not counted against the four-year term as long as the total time outside Brazil does not exceed 18 months.
•   Demonstrate ability to read and write in Portuguese, the official language of Brazil.
•   Prove that you are gainfully employed or have sufficient wealth to support yourself and your family.
•   Demonstrate that you are free of income tax debt in Brazil and that you have no criminal records or sentences for a crime punishable for more than one year.

Requested Documentation for the Application

Before approving the Citizenship application, the Ministry of Justice officials will first check a whole series of documents which you have to submit with your application. The following documentation is mandatory to apply for it and must be delivered to the Federal Police:

•   naturalization request form
•   declaration of name adaptation – only if the name of the person is too complicated to Brazilian language
•   notarized copy of the RNE
•   notarized copy of CPF
•   naturalization fee paid at Brazilian Bank – the payment slip
•   police clearance from Brazilian Federal Police
•   proof of submission of the previous year's income tax
•   several certificates issued by local civil registry office
•   certificate of positive credit history
•   police clearance from the foreigner's country
•   last water or electricity bills
•   notarized copy of rental agreement or property ownership documents
•   sworn declaration of not being under judicial investigation in any country
•   notarized copy of the entire passport
•   declaration of absences from Brazil during the residence period
•   document showing regular income
•   notarized copy of marriage certificate, if the spouse is Brazilian – only in case of marriage
•   notarized copy of child's birth certificate, if they are Brazilian – only in case of having children.