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Visas and tax in Brazil


There are two types of visa available to expats looking to work in Brazil. The first is a short-term visa (category V), which limits the holder’s length of stay and is only valid for one job. Dependants can stay with the visa holder, but they are not guaranteed permission to work.

The second is a long-term visa, which is more difficult to secure as the applicant has to demonstrate why their specialist skills would benefit the Brazilian economy. Nevertheless, they are an excellent option for those hoping to become expats, as the visa holder is permitted to stay in the country for an indefinite period and also to change jobs.

You can apply for a residency permit at the Brazilian Consulate in your home country. This process can be bureaucratic and slow and as such, many expats use a despachantes, an agency that specialises in expediting the application process.

Anyone planning on moving to Brazil for 90 days or more must register for a Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros number (RNE) by presenting immigration documents to the Federal Police. This mandatory process is how you will receive an identification card — a Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiros (CIE.) This should be kept on your person at all times.

Permanent residency will not expire unless you leave the country for more than two years.

Immediate family (spouse and unmarried children under 24) can often be included in the same residence visa, as long as they are named in the initial application. However, if dependants wish to work, they will need to apply for their own individual visa.

Changing visa categories is not possible. In cases where a tourist visa holder wants to apply for permanent residence, a new application would have to be made.


The tax year runs from 1st January to 31st December, with the end of April being the deadline for tax returns. The Brazilian tax authority is the Receita Federal do Brasil (RFB).

The Brazilian tax system is a pay-as-you-earn system, which is capped at a maximum of 27.5% of income. Residents will have their taxes deducted by their employer each month along with an 11% social security contribution.

Foreign nationals must pay tax if they stay in Brazil for more than 183 days in any 12-month period. This is known as being ‘tax-resident’ and this status is maintained for 12 months after leaving the country. Foreign nationals who do not fall within these criteria only have to pay tax on income from Brazilian sources at a rate of 25% for earned income. Holders of a permanent visa or temporary visa are considered residents of Brazil for tax purposes from the day they first enter the country.

Tax-residents will need to pay tax on income from both Brazilian and overseas sources, unless there is an active double taxation treaty in place. Double taxation treaties are in place with over 30 countries, but not the United States, United Kingdom or Germany. In these cases, the authorities of these countries have officially recognised the reciprocity of tax treatment, but there is not a tax treaty in place.

There is no local or state income tax for individuals in Brazil, only national.

Understanding the immigration and tax rules of your destination country is essential when you’re emigrating. But it’s also important to get to know the culture and lifestyle too. Click here to learn more about life in Brazil.

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