Documents you need to bring or may need to apply for

Published on 15/06/2021 Updated on 11/08/2021

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The CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física – Individual Taxpayer Registration) is one of the main documents for those who reside in Brazil, are in transit, or for those who want to do business or invest in Brazil.

When enrolling in the Individual Taxpayer Registration, the taxpayer is included in the register of the Brazilian Revenue Service and will receive a unique and definitive number.

All taxpayers (Brazilian or foreign individuals living in Brazil) must have this registration. Although possession of the CPF is not mandatory, it is necessary for most financial operations, such as opening bank accounts, to make investments in Brazil, buy a house or lot, etc.

Foreigners who do not live but wish to invest in Brazil or purchase a property, for example, must also have a CPF in the country.

Click here to find out how to get your CPF

Visa and residency

The process to apply for a visa or residency in Brazil is quite bureaucratic. The applicant must have patience and attention to every detail during this procedure. This document, either a registration made in your passport (visa) or official ID card called RNE/CRNM (residency), is intended for foreigners who intend to reside temporarily or permanently in Brazil. As long as this foreigner meets all the necessary requirements.

There are several segments that the foreigner can fit into, as can be found in the visa section, so it is necessary to choose the one that most resembles your profile. It is important to choose exactly the segment that applies to your situation in order not to lose time and money in the application proces that might get rejected in the end.

The documents required to apply for visas and residency vary depending on the type of requested visa or residency, as well as the state in which you apply, the authority and whether you apply from within Brazil or your home country. Common documentation for all residency requests are:

– Application form, through an electronic form completed on the Federal Police website;

– Travel document or passport valid for at least six months prior to its expiration date;

– One 3x4 recent passport photo on white background, plain paper and front view;

Common documentation, but more case-specific:

– Birth certificate;

– Marriage or stable union certificate;

– Criminal record certificates or equivalent document issued by the competent judicial authority where you have resided for the past five years;

– Declaration of email address and other means of contact;

– Proof of address;

– Proof of income;

– Proof of payment of required fees.

Apart from the documents listed here, there may be other documents required depending on your specific situation. Notice that if you apply for residency from within Brazil, all of your documents need to be translated and all official documents, such as your birth certificate, criminal record check, degrees/certificates, etc. need to have an apostille certificate, which you can only receive from within your own country. So pay attention to this before you leave, as it can be difficult and very time consuming when you have to go back to your country or try to have the originals mailed to you.

Click here to apply for a residence permit

Investment and sending money from abroad

You don't have to be a resident in Brazil or have a certain type of visa to be able to invest in real estate, for example. You would only need a CPF and be able to send money from your country to the seller's bank account. This is where it gets complicated if you don't have a brazilian bank account and have to transfer a currency that is different from your home country's.

Most people would opt for a service such a Wise or WorldRemit to send money from one country to the other, as international money transfers handled by your own bank can get very expensive. These services are great to send and receive foreign currencies, however when you want to send large amounts keep in mind there's always a maximum you can send before the bureaucracy comes in. That doesn't mean you cannot send more than the maximum, let's say $10.000 in most cases, but the partner bank in Brazil will request documents before they release your money.

Depending on the money's origin and its destination, these documents may differ from case to case, but usually include some of the following:

– Bank statements;

– Sales or buy agreement;

– Payslips and employment contract;

– Investment statement;

– Loan statement;

– Tax declaration;

– Birth certificate

Another way of sending money to Brazil may happen through digital currencies, either through stable coins or crypto currencies such as Bitcoin. If you want to know how that works, you can read all about it in how to send money to Brazil.

Work permit

The Work and Social Security Card (CTPS) is the document that records the worker's professional life and guarantees access to the labor rights provided for by law. The work permit will be issued primarily in digital format and exceptionally in physical format.

Only workers hired by public agencies and international organizations must request the paper work permit. To obtain it, you must send a request to schedule attendance by e-mail according to the state where you live, and present the following documents:

– CPF;

– Official identification document with photo;

– Proof of residence with zip code;

– Proof of marital status: Birth certificate (if single) or marriage certificate (if married), with registration (if separated, divorced or widowed);

– Recent color passport 3x4 photo, with white background;

– National Migration Registry Card (CRNM) or Federal Police Protocol;

– Publication in the Diário Oficial da União (Official Journal of the Union) – in case of residence permit granted by the Ministry of Justice.

Click here to apply for a work permit

Renting a home

Foreigners who intend to rent a property in Brazil (long-term) must gather several documents and present them to the real estate agency, following the current legislation. It is important to be aware that the degree of requirements is usually higher with foreigners, since they may not have a credit history or income in the country.

To rent a property in Brazil, realtors usually request the following documents:

– CPF;

– Passport; it is necessary to have a passport with an entry permit visa, if you do not have the CRNM;


– Proof of income: either within Brazil or income from abroad by means of a contract and/or bank statements;

– Proof of residence: if the foreigner already resides in Brazil, it is necessary to present a document that proves the address, even if provisional, such as the one at the hotel where he is staying.

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