Brazil Foreign Investor Visa Program Review
High net worth investors seeking second citizenship and investor visas tend to focus on the tried and tested markets of the EU and the Caribbean for their programs. However, they may have been missing a trick: the Brazilian Foreign Investor Visa Program offers investors the chance of permanent residency in Brazil at an extremely affordable price, with a view toward full citizenship of the world’s fifth biggest country, fourth largest democracy and ninth largest economy, and access to a powerful 153-country passport.
The most popular locations for the procurement of investor visas and citizenship by investment programs are the European Union followed by the Caribbean. Those foreign high net worth investors who target the EU do so because they are hoping for a better lifestyle, a higher standard of living, and as good a standard of health care and education as can be found anywhere in the world. Investors that target citizenship by investment (CBI) in the Caribbean mainly do so to gain an improved passport, because Caribbean citizenship gives them increased banking and tax-shelter options, plus access to the CARICOM (Caribbean Community) market.
However, the investor visa/CBI market is getting bigger all of the time, and a multitude of countries from all corners of the globe are offering programs including the USA, Canada, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand. By far the cheapest investor residency program is that of Central American country Guatemala, and its excellent value (just $50,000) has made it extremely popular.
An investor visa program that thus far has gone somewhat under the radar, but appears to offer great value plus a powerful passport is that of Brazil. Passport Reviewer decided to check it out. Oi!
Brazil In A Nutshell:
Brazil – officially the Federative Republic of Brazil – is the largest country in South America, and third in the combined Americas, behind Canada and the United States. Brazil ranks fifth in the world both in terms of landmass and of population. It is the second most populous country in the Americas behind the USA with a population of more than 200 million people. Brazil is the only country in Latin America that has Portuguese as its first language. It is the world’s fourth largest democracy, behind India, the US and Indonesia, and the second largest predominantly Christian country behind America, and ahead of Russia and Mexico.
Brazil is so vast it borders more countries in South America than any other; Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, French Guiana, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela. The only countries in South America that are not bordered by Brazil are Ecuador and Chile. Brazil’s coastline is to the Atlantic Ocean and is 7,491 km long. Brazil is home to the vast Amazon River and rainforest , an abundance of diverse wildlife and a wide variety of ecosystems and extensive natural resources.
Since gaining its independence from Portugal in 1825, Brazil has faced many trials and tribulations and several bloody wars against South American neighbors in its attempts to make the most of its huge population and vast natural resources. In the 1960s, a combination of Brazil becoming a popular tourist destination, the home of the most exciting football players and teams the world had ever seen, the unique musical sound of Samba and Bossa Nova powering the spectacular Carnivals of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and other large cities, forged an image of a vibrant, energetic, exciting young country full of beautiful smiling people and endless possibilities, and it is an image that largely remains to this day.
In the ensuing decades, Brazil has established itself as consistently by far the biggest and most successful economy in Latin America. It is currently the ninth largest in the world, behind the US, China, Japan, Germany, the UK, France, India and Italy, a drop of three places from its 2012 peak of 6th. Brazil is the fifth largest nation in the world in terms of purchasing power with $0.5 trillion annually in imports, while its export figure is $0.8 trillion. Brazil’s main trading partners are China, the US, Argentina and Mexico.
Touristically – despite all the country has to offer including its vibrant cities, Carnivals, fabulous beaches and the incredible Amazon rainforest – Brazil remains something of the sleeping giant. It currently ranks only third in terms of international tourist arrivals in Latin America, behind Mexico and Argentina, with just over 5 million visitors per year.
Brazil has a vast work force of 109 million, and an unemployment rate of just 5%. Brazil’s service industries account for 71% of its economy, followed by agriculture and heavy industry. According to Forbes, in 2012 when the country was at its economic peak, Brazil had the fifth most billionaires in the world, more than the UK and Japan.
Brazil’s economy has dipped a little since then, despite the country staging both the soccer World Cup in 2014 and the Olympics in Rio in 2016. However, a highly industrialized nation like Brazil with its vast workforce, abundance of natural resources and enormous consumer market is only ever a political decision or two away from another economic upswing.
- Official Language: Portuguese
- Capital City: Brasilia
- Largest City: São Paulo (Pop: 12 million)
- Surface Area: 8,515,767 km
- Religion: Christianity
- Population: 206.5 million
- Government: Federal presidential constitutional republic
- Legal system: Roman/Germanic civil law
- Currency: Brazilian real
- GDP per capita: $15,048
- Climate: Temperatures all year round rarely dip below 20°C (68°F), and the climate remains hot and dry
Brazilian Investor Visa Program
The Brazilian Investor Visa Program grants foreign investors the opportunity to gain permanent residence in the country in return for a financial investment that can range from a partnership in a business, investment in an internet based business, a real estate or business purchase or a government bond investment.
Once granted, the visa is for permanent residency and grants the holder access to travel to the rest of South America. After four years of residency, full Brazilian citizenship can be acquired.
Applicant Requirements of the Brazilian Investor Visa Program
The Brazilian investor visa is relatively simple compared to some of the programs of other countries. There are three main investment options, plus several personal requirements the investor must meet:
- The investor must be at least 18 years of age
- The investor must have proof on no prior criminal record
- The investor must be able to provide proof or origin of investment funds
- The investor must be able to invest a minimum of BRL 150,000 (approx. $48,000) as a partner into an approved business that will employ Brazilians (or)
- Invest BRL 150,000 (approx. $48,000) into an approved Brazilian based Tech Company (or)
- Invest BRL 500,000 (approx. $160,000) into an approved business in Brazil, an approved Brazilian real estate purchase or Brazilian Government Bonds
Benefits of the Brazilian Investor Visa
Here are the main benefits of obtaining the Brazilian investor visa:
- An investor’s family are included in the application at no additional cost
- If the applicant is approved, once they have made their investments they will receive the RNE, also known as the Yellow Card, which indicates Permanent Residency in Brazil
- RNE entitles the investor to be able to live and work in Brazil and receive the same rights and benefits as a Brazilian citizen
- If an investor does not wish to remain in Brazil, there is no minimum required period of residency
- A Yellow Card holder can travel without the need of a passport throughout South America
- After four years of residency, and investor can apply for full Brazilian citizenship and a passport
Attaining Brazilian Citizenship
The ultimate goal for an investor embarking on this program would be to receive Brazilian citizenship and a passport. This is certainly achievable as long as the investor covers the following criteria. The investor:
- Must be over 18 years of age
- Must have a Brazilian Yellow Card residency visa
- Must have lived in Brazil for at least four years
- Must be able to read and write in Portuguese
- Must be able to provide for themselves (and their family if applicable)
The Benefits of Brazilian Citizenship
The benefits of Brazilian citizenship are multiple – particularly for investors hailing from certain countries from Africa, Asia or the Middle East whose original citizenship does them few favors in terms of business and whose passport is severely restricted in the amount of countries it has visa-free access to. If that is the case, citizenship to one of the largest democracies in the world and ownership of an extremely powerful passport will be a complete game-changer, maybe even a life-changer.
- Brazil is the fourth biggest democracy, fifth largest country and ninth largest economy in the world
- Brazil ranks fifth on the UN’s Sustainable Growth Index
- Brazil is the third-largest food exporter in the world
- Brazil offers its citizens democracy, freedom and political stability
- Brazil has one of the lowest unemployment rates in Latin America, registered at 5.3%
- Brazilians have international mobility
- The Brazilian passport has visa free access to 153 countries, and includes such areas as South America, Central America and the Caribbean, parts of Africa and Southeast Asia, areas of Asia but most importantly, Western and Eastern Europe in its entirety
- Brazil was one of the very first multi-racial countries, and continues to respect immigrants, their religions and beliefs
- Brazil actively encourages foreign investment, allowing 100% foreign ownership of land and property
- Brazil allows dual citizenship
Pros and Cons of Living in Brazil:
Living in Brazil would be a dream come true for many foreign investors looking for a fresh start in an exciting, democratic country. Brazil is a vast nation on a scale similar to the United States, while its biggest cities like São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are larger than anything the USA has to offer. Property is extremely affordable, land is also cheap, as if the cost of living in general. Brazil is a great place to raise a family, and there are literally endless amounts of outdoor activities to pursue. While the public education and health system is somewhat overloaded, if one goes private, the standards are as good as anything in Western Europe.
Once an investor gets a handle on the Portuguese language – which in text form looks like Spanish but when spoken sounds more like an Eastern European dialect – there are few downsides to living in Brazil, especially for a wealthy foreign investor.
Passport Reviewer: A
The Brazilian investor visa program represents outstanding value for money, and is a genuine alternative to the more expensive programs available in the EU and Caribbean. The Brazilian passport with his visa free access to 153 countries actually outperform some EU passports (Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia) as well as everything the Caribbean has to offer.
It’s cheapest option costs less than $50,000, the only catch being the investor would need to be a partner in a project, either already established or by entering into a new business with another investor (or investors) contributing the same amount.
Passport Reviewer knows of at least one example where this program has proved to be a great success; American Sam flowers used this program to open his highly successful Gringo Café US style diner (pictured above) in Rio de Janeiro. Sam is living proof that if an American can master Portuguese and start a brand-new exciting life in Brazil, imagine what an industrious family from China could do!