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Health Insurance for Brazil Visas through Consulates

Health Insurance for Brazil Visa Applications

#1 Reason to Not Apply for a Visa through a Brazilian Consulate

When considering applying for a visa such as the Digital Nomad or the Retirement Visa through a Brazilian consulate, health insurance requirements pose a significant challenge. Here’s why this can be a major obstacle:

“Brazilian consulates want visa applicants to have valid health insurance valid in Brazil. Unfortunately, most health insurance policies from the US and Europe do not provide coverage for Brazil.”

Given the above, most applicants will ask “So can’t I just buy it since I will stay in Brazil anyhow?”

Why buying health insurance simply to meet the Brazilian consulate requirement is such a bad idea:

“The everyday health insurance that we – Brazilians – have in Brazil are not available for foreign citizens to purchase from abroad. Instead, foreign citizens will be limited to expensive second-grade health insurances that will be rarely accepted by Brazilian health service providers.”

In other words:

“You will be wasting your money just for the purpose of being able to apply via a consulate.”

So, if getting health insurance when applying is such a bad idea, what can I do?

“You can choose to apply for a residency instead of a visa when physically in Brazil. When you apply for a visa in Brazil (technically, it is called “residency”), you don’t need to present health insurance!”

Recommendation for those considering applying for the Digital Nomad Visa or the Retirement Visa via a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy:

“When a client considers applying for a visa through a consulate, we recommend the client to verify if their currently existing health insurance provides coverage for Brazil.

This may be verified by reviewing the health insurance terms of service or calling the customer service phone.

The Brazilian consulate will require a copy of the health insurance policy details and the service terms stating coverage in Brazil. Clearly mentioned worldwide coverage may also be acceptable.

Most Brazilian consulates will decline “travel insurance” even if the travel insurance has specific medical coverage items described. Travel insurance, no matter how good, is not the same thing as health insurance.

If the client’s current health insurance does not clearly cover Brazil, we recommend that the client consider applying while in Brazil. Digital Nomad and Retirement Residency applications in Brazil do not require health insurance of any type.

We do not recommend our clients purchase health insurance just to satisfy the consulate’s requirement. The plans willing to accept a foreign citizen applicant will be very expensive and, unfortunately, not commonly accepted by service providers in Brazil. In other words, applicants would be paying a lot of money just to satisfy an application requirement without actually being able to use this health insurance.

Finally, note that after you receive your resident card in Brazil later on, you should be able to buy some of the same health insurance plans we Brazilians can access. This means you would have access to “real health insurance” that health service providers would accept while paying much less than the plans targeting foreign citizens.

Main Points to Consider when Buying Health Insurance for Brazil Visa Applications

1. Verifying Health Insurance Coverage for In-Consulate Visa Applications

Before applying for a Brazil visa through a consulate, it is crucial to check if your existing health insurance covers Brazil. This involves:

  • Reviewing the health insurance terms of service.
  • Contacting the health insurance customer service to confirm international coverage.

2. Consulate Requirements for Health Insurance Documentation

The Brazilian consulate mandates the submission of specific health insurance documentation:

  • A copy of the health insurance policy details.
  • A copy of the service terms explicitly stating coverage in Brazil.
  • Policies with clearly mentioned worldwide coverage may also be acceptable.

3. Limitations of Travel Insurance

Despite having specific medical coverage, travel insurance is often not accepted by Brazilian consulates:

  • Travel insurance is not equivalent to comprehensive health insurance.
  • Most consulates reject travel insurance policies regardless of their coverage details.

4. Recommendations for Applicants with Insufficient Coverage

If your current health insurance does not provide clear coverage for Brazil, consider alternative options:

  • Applying from Within Brazil: Digital Nomad and Retirement residency applications made while in Brazil do not require any type of health insurance.
  • Avoid Purchasing New Health Insurance Solely for the Visa Requirement:
    • Plans available to foreign citizens are usually very expensive.
    • These plans are often not widely accepted by Brazilian healthcare providers.
    • This leads to paying high premiums without receiving adequate service.

5. Future Health Insurance Options Post-Residency

Once you receive your resident card in Brazil, you will have access to local health insurance plans:

  • Local plans are more cost-effective.
  • These plans are widely accepted by Brazilian healthcare providers.
  • You get “real health insurance” that is functional and economical compared to foreign-targeted plans.


Health insurance requirements are the #1 reason to reconsider applying for a Digital Nomad visa or a Retirement visa through a Brazilian consulate. Verifying and providing adequate health insurance coverage can be cumbersome and expensive. Applying for a Digital Nomad visa (technically a residency) while in Brazil can save you time, effort, and money, allowing you to focus on enjoying your stay and settling into your new environment.