Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Obtain a Brazilian Citizenship

Andréa Novais

Andréa Novais

The Brazil Business


Despite the several problems we see in Brazil, the number of foreigners who have chosen to live here is still increasing. Learn in this article how is it possible to apply for a Brazilian citizenship and what is the process involved.

Multiple nationality

There is no restriction regarding the multiplicity of nationalities for Brazilians who have foreign nationality by origin, due to birth (jus soli) or due to ascendancy (jus sanguinis). This means that, in Brazil, there is no need for foreigners to deny their primary citizenship in order to acquire the Brazilian one.

Multiple nationality may result in limitations when it comes to the claim of certain rights, such as requests for consular assistance when you are already considered a local. Also, multiple nationality implies rights and obligations in the country where the individual has applied for multiple nationality and it cannot be acquired through marriage.

Naturalization and nationality

The Brazilian Ministry of Justice recognizes five modalities for naturalization and one to obtain Brazilian nationality.

Naturalization modalities

  • Extraordinary naturalization - for foreigners who have been living in Brazil for more than 15 years and are interested in getting a Brazilian citizenship.

  • Special naturalization - for foreigners married to a Brazilian diplomat for more than five years or for the foreigner with than 10 years of uninterrupted services in diplomatic mission or in a Brazilian consular office.

  • Provisory naturalization - for foreigners who came to Brazil during their first five years of life and had decided to stay in the country.

  • Shift from provisory naturalization into the definite one - for those who have a provisory certificate and are from 18 to 20 years old and wish to confirm their desire to remain Brazilian.

  • Common naturalization - the most commonly requested, includes all other foreigners who do not fit in any of the categories previously mentioned.


The following procedures apply for children of Brazilian father or mother who were born abroad. According to the Federal Constitution from 1988, those considered to be Brazilian born are:

  • Those that were born in Brazil, even from foreign parents as long as their stay in Brazil is not a service to their country of origin.
  • Those that were born abroad but from Brazilian mother or father, as long as they were in service to the Brazilian government.
  • Those that were born abroad but from a Brazilian father or mother, as long as being registered in a Brazilian department or living in Brazil and after turning 18, choosing the Brazilian nationality.

Those who have already been registered in a consulate before 1994 are already considered Brazilian citizens, so there is no need to request a Brazilian nationality. All the parents have to do is to register the birth certificated issued abroad in the notary’s office of the Brazilian state in which the individual is living.

For those who are registered after 1994, it is required to settle in the Brazilian territory and to transcribe the birth certificate issued abroad at the Public Records. When the individual reaches 18, he/she will be able to opt for the Brazilian nationality.

Brazilian spouses

The marriage with a Brazilian does not automatically grant Brazilian citizenship to the foreigner, it only gives him the possibility to apply for this citizenship. What can be done, in this case, is to request a permanent visa.

After living in Brazil for one year, the foreigner married to a Brazilian can request naturalization. The reduction of the period to one year also applies to foreigners who have Brazilian parents or who have provided relevant services to the country.

What is required and how to get it

There are several documents that must be presented when applying for a Brazilian citizenship and they vary according to the situation of the foreigner, but the following requirements are mandatory in all cases:

  • To be over 18
  • To have a Brazilian visa
  • To be living in Brazil for at least four years (with the exception of spouses, who have this period reduced to one year)
  • To be able to read and write in Portuguese
  • To be able to provide for himself and his family (to have a stable job, for example)
  • To present a criminal records with no denunciation or condemnation in Brazil or abroad.

If you fit in the categories presented above, get in touch with the closest Polícia Federal office, explain your situation (the type of citizenship you want to apply for) and provide all the requested documents. Once you have all the requested documents and have filled in the form provided by the Ministry of Justice website, you must visit one of the Polícia Federal offices to request your Brazilian citizenship. No fee is charged for this service.