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Brazil Golden Visa – Permanent Residency in Brazil

Living in Brazil

Brazil Golden Visa – Permanent Residency in Brazil through Real Estate Investment

Brazil has one of the top 12 largest economies, an unmatched level of happiness among its residents, and is simply the most beautiful country in the world. For those reasons and plenty of others, you might be interested in immigrating to Brazil. But you need to have a legal right to reside in the country for an extended period of time before you can do that.

One way to get that right is by investing in Brazilian real estate. The so-called “Golden Visa” gives you the right to reside in Brazil indefinitely as long as you meet all of the requirements, which are covered below.

Brazil’s Real Estate Golden Visa: An Overview

The goal of Brazil’s golden visa program is to attract foreign dollars into the economy. To that end, the country requires interested parties to use external resources to invest in a property that costs at least R$1,000,000.00 – which is just under $200,000 as of the time of writing.

Here are a few key things to know about this investor visa program:

  • The property must be located in an urban area
  • You can qualify by purchasing two or more properties that cost at least R $1,000,000.00 together
  • Co-ownership is allowed as long as each co-owner invests the minimum amount
  • You can spend up to 30% less on the property and still qualify if you purchase in certain areas of the country

What the Process Looks Like

Getting a Brazilian Golden Visa through real estate investment is a multi-step process.

#1 Find the Property

It begins by finding a property that you like in an urban location and ensuring that it meets the minimum investment amount.

#2 Due Diligence

Once you’ve done that, make sure to have your attorney conduct due diligence on the property before committing to it. This should include:

  • Title of property with registration
  • Negative certificate of real liens
  • IPTU negative certification
  • Clearance on sellers
  • And several other documents, which we describe in more detail here.

#3 Purchase

It can be tough and risky to handle all of this from another country – especially if you don’t speak Portuguese. The money remittance to Brazil alone may take multiple weeks and a ton of paperwork. So you may want to hire someone to help.

#4 Residency Application

After you’ve made the purchase, you’ll need to submit the proof of purchase and funds transferred into the seller’s bank account to be issued by a Brazilian bank, along with many other documents.

Your attorney will file this application through a system called MigrantWeb developed by the Brazilian authorities.

#5 Residency Visa Stamping

When the validation is complete, you will receive a temporary residence permit that’s good for two years.

#6 Upgrade to Permanent Residency

If you’re still the owner of the property after two years, then you may apply to become a permanent resident.

#7 Citizenship

And once you’ve lived in Brazil as a permanent resident for four years, you can apply for Brazilian naturalization.

Getting Started

Brazil is a great place to live if you love sandy beaches, tropical scenery, and a joyful and welcoming population. If you think that the country’s Golden Visa through real estate investment is right for your family, then there’s no time like the present to begin this process.

But it can be really overwhelming when you’re first diving into something like this, and you’ll likely have a million questions while you’re starting out.

That’s why Oliveira Lawyers offers easy-to-schedule live paid consultations with Brazilian attorneys by Skype, Zoom, or Whatsapp. You can pick whatever time works for you and sign up here. We’re happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction as you work to unlock the beauty of Brazil with a Golden Visa.

So why wait? Sign up for a consultation today to get started.

Brazil Golden Visa – Common Questions

Brazil Golden Visa FAQ

1. Can you finance your purchase?

Unfortunately, you can’t finance your entire purchase and qualify for a Golden Visa. The minimum foreign direct investment is R$ 1,000,000, meaning this money must come from abroad. But you can finance any amount over such minimum. For example, if you wanted a property that costs R $2,000,000.00, you could finance a maximum of R$1,000,000.00 of the purchase and still qualify.

Finance is also rarely extended to those who are not currently legal residents in Brazil. Thus, being a cash buyer is almost always a must for those securing the Brazil Golden Visa.

2. Can your family members come with you?

Yes! Brazil allows you to bring your family with you as long as you qualify for the Golden Visa individually. This includes your spouse and any dependents that you have (usually children, but maybe a senior as well).

3. Do you need to live in Brazil full-time?

You need to live in Brazil for at least 30 days before you can apply for residency. So when you first make the purchase, you’ll need to plan on being in Brazil for at least that amount of time, and probably longer since you will only be able to begin the application process after the 30 days have passed.

That being said, you are completely free to travel and spend time in other countries after you get your Golden Visa. But if you leave Brazil for more than two years, then the visa will lapse, and you may lose your rights.

4. How does Brazil’s Golden Visa compare to other countries?

One of the big benefits of Brazil’s Golden Visa program is that it’s much more cost-effective than similar programs in other countries. For example, Spain has a program that requires a €500,000 investment in real estate. And even Greece (which has the cheapest golden visa in Europe) will set you back €250,000.

This makes Brazil’s program one of the best to look into if you’re interested in getting a golden visa but would like to keep your costs to a minimum.

5. What about residency through business acquisition?

The residency through real estate property is much better than residency through business acquisition. The business acquisition route involves a ton of requirements regarding the type of business you buy, how you buy this business, and how you recruit and maintain employees, among other things. This is no fun, and you can certainly miss one or more requirements by mistake, even when counting on professional help. By purchasing real estate, on the other hand, you can easily and quickly secure your residency. 

6. What If I want to both live and run a business in Brazil?

Do you still want to run a business in Brazil? Our advice is that you first secure the residency through real estate acquisition and then start your business in Brazil like everyone else without a thousand strings attached. Developing a successful business in Brazil is already hard enough due to the tax and labor environments. You don’t want to endure a bunch of other challenges simply to secure your residency.

7. What are some of the issues why Golden Visa Applications in Brazil are denied?

Some of the examples of why Golden Visa Applications in Brazil are denied:

  • Foreign investment money is brought by non-official banks (e.g., the so-called money-transfer apps). The money must be transferred into Brazil by a bank registered with the Brazilian central bank
  • A property is purchased for R$1.000.000, but the deed is recorded with the property being purchased by a couple. Remember that R$1.000.000 will secure the residency of a single person.
  • A property is purchased for R$1.000.000, but the purchase contract says part of the selling price is being paid as real estate commission to the realtors.
  • The persons in charge of handling your application with the government do not reply timely or fail to provide the required documents.

8. Can I handle my Golden Visa Application myself?

You should not attempt to handle your application yourself. The Golden Visa Application website (the so-called “MigranteWeb”) is cumbersome and difficult to understand even by Brazilian attorneys. After spending R$1.000.000, you don’t want to risk your residency by trying to handle this process yourself. Attorneys who specialize in the Brazil Golden Visa know the issues that have precluded other applicants from securing the residency. By retaining such professionals, you take advantage of the failures of past applicants and increase your chances of success.

9. Can I Hire an attorney after I purchase my property?

Yes, you can. But, we strongly recommend that you retain an attorney even before selecting the desired property. Many issues that could impact your application will show up during the selection and acquisition of your target property. Examples include:

  1. A property without a legal title (“registro”) would not qualify for the Golden Visa
  2. A contract for a R$1.000.000 property that indicates part of the purchasing price as real estate commission will cause a Golden Visa application to be denied
  3. Sending the funds through secondary exchange channels (e.g.: Wise, Western union, MoneyGram, etc.) may result in the denial of your application. The financial entity handling the currency exchange must issue a formal letter confirming the funds came in USD from abroad, and such secondary exchange channels will rarely agree to issue such declarations.

10. Is the Brazil Golden Visa the same as the “Investor Visa” also known as VITEM IX? 

No. The VITEM IX investor Visa means “Temporary Visa” for those investing in a Brazilian company. Although the amount required to be invested in a business in Brazil is just R$ 500,000 at the time of this writing, the strings attached to this so-called ‘Brazilian Investor Visa’ make it cumbersome and complex enough to scare away most applicants.

Purchasing real estate is a more straightforward and certain way to secure the desired permanent residency status for foreign investors.

11. Is the Brazil Golden Visa the best way possible to immigrate to Brazil?

Different people will have different paths toward a legal resident status in Brazil. Some people will marry to secure residency in Brazil. Other people will qualify to work as sponsored employees until securing residency. One thing is for sure. As long as you have the funds to purchase a property in Brazil, a Golden Visa based on real estate acquisition is the fastest and easiest path to secure residency and, later on, citizenship. The beauty of the Golden Visa is that it doesn’t have the number of strings attached present in other paths to residency in Brazil.

12. How long do I need to hold the property I bought until I get the residency? How soon can I sell the acquired property after securing the visa?

You can apply and secure the residency visa as soon as you have the new deed issued in your name (“registro do imóvel”). A temporary residency for two years will be granted, which can then be converted into a permanent residency authorization. Once you have obtained permanent residency, you are free to sell the property if you want.

13. How do I convert my residency visa in Brazil into full-fledged Brazilian citizenship?

A foreign citizen should be able to apply for Brazilian citizenship after legally living four years as a resident in Brazil. The Brazilian citizenship application currently has four requirements: (1) civil capacity; (2) residence in Brazil for four years; (3) ability to communicate in Portuguese; and (4) no outstanding criminal prosecution or time to be served. 

14. Is there an English translation of the Brazil Golden Visa original rules?

The Brazil Golden Visa is based on the so-called “Resolution 36” issued by the National Immigration Council in Brazil on October 9, 2018. You can read the original resolution in Portuguese here and our English translation of Resolution no. 36 here.

15. How Much will a Law Firm Charge to Assist with the Brazil Golden Visa?

Professional fees for assistance with the Brazil Golden Visa range from a couple of thousand dollars to a percentage of your target property value. In the lower range are those who act more like a paralegal. They will mostly just fill out the forms after you have already bought the property. In the upper range are those truly specialized firms that will take you by the hand and handle not only the Golden Visa application but also the entire process of purchasing your dream property.

16. I have a question that was not answered above. Can you help?

We offer easy-to-schedule live consultations with our attorneys by Skype, Zoom, or Whatsapp. You can pick whatever time works for you and sign up here. We’re happy to answer your questions and point you in the right direction as you work to unlock the beauty of Brazil with a Golden Visa.

So why wait? Sign up for a consultation today to get started.