Expat Brazil

Brazil is one of the most exotic countries on earth. It is renowned for its exciting cities (such as Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro), and as the location of the world’s largest rain forest- the Amazon. Anyone looking for a different way of life, traditional cultures, and natural settings will be impressed with Brazil’s diversity.

Brazil is much different from Western Europe and Asia, and therefore offers expats a unique challenge and adventure. Rio de Janeiro, perhaps the best known Brazilian city, is one of the most densely populated cities on earth. Most expats come for carnival and stay for months thereafter.

Brazilians are full of energy and party for almost any reason. However, one must be cautious as heightened crime in recent years has tarnished the city’s image. Unfortunately, life is sometimes anything but a party for expats as there are criminals who specifically target them.

Although Brazil has many luxury resorts and villas, it also has some of the harshest poverty seen on the planet. Cities are perhaps the most convenient places to live in, but there are also many remote villages scattered about the country. Life in Brazil can be quite difficult, but anyone who enjoys adventures should experience Brazil.


Brazil is a large land mass so the climate depends on the region in which one is located. For instance, the tropical rainforest is extremely wet, humid, and hot, while the southern region away from the rainforest, has both a wet and dry season. There is no snow in Brazil because it does not border the Andes Mountains.

The major cities have very hot and humid weather during the summer months (November to March). However, there is also alot of rainfall at this time of year. Temperatures usually range from the high 80s to the 90s. During the winter time (June to September), the temperature dips to a low of about 68 degrees.


Brazil is the largest, most populous country in South America. There are approximately 188 million people in Brazil, making it the 5th most populated country in the world. The government is a democratic republic. That is to say, the President of Brazil is not only the head of state, but also the leader of the government. There are many political parties vying for influence. The country is divided into 26 states and one federal district.

Brazil’s main language is Portuguese. English and Spanish are also spoken mainly in the cities. American citizens are required to have a visa to enter the country. The visa lasts for 5 years, allows multiple entry, and the duration of stay is 90 days.

Starting a business in Brazil can be a very lengthy process, and may take at least 5 months. It is very difficult to close a business as well. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bureaucracy and corruption in the Brazilian government. Although there are multinational companies in Brazil, finding a job can be difficult. Therefore, anyone planning to stay in Brazil long term should start planning several months in advance.

Tax System

The tax rates in Brazil are moderate. The top rate for personal income tax is 27.5%, and 25% for corporations. Anyone who is interested in starting a corporation in Brazil is better off establishing a business in their home country and then conducting trade through it. Creating a corporation can be complex and lengthy, making it impractical for expats who want to become entrepreneurs.

Medical Care

Brazil has universal health care for its citizens, which is funded by public and private institutions. Hospitals and clinics are available throughout the major cities, but not in the rural areas. Visitors should ensure that they are healthy before going to Brazil. Visitors with serious illnesses are usually evacuated to their home country for treatment.

There are clinics that pay specific attention to expats’ needs. They usually accept cash payments, but also accept insurance from foreigners who have policies that cover treatment abroad.

Real Estate

It can take a long time to create a real estate investment business. Contracts are generally acknowledged, but if  a legal dispute arises, the property in question can be tied up in court for years. In addition, economic and political influence can sway the courts’ decisions.

Leasing/renting homes, villas, apartments, and condos is usually a very simple process. The duration of most leases is two to three years, and the total rent amount is usually requested before hand (this may include a security deposit). Most properties, including property near the most popular destinations, are relatively affordable. For instance, villas in top areas can cost as low as $1,000 per month. Apartments in the city are much more affordable. Apartments/condos built specifically to be rented to tourists/expats cost several hundred dollars per month.


Most of the main cities have many markets, supermarkets, and large western-style shopping malls. Even though Brazil has some of the poorest people in the world, many of its citizens, tourists, and expats have enough money to sustain a luxurious lifestyle.

Smaller towns and remote villages have far less shopping areas than the city. One can generally find necessities and one of a kind crafts there.

Cities such as Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo have enough night clubs, bars, and restaurants to satisfy any outgoing tourist or expat. Brazil’s delicious food, mix of culture, music, and people make it one of the top destinations on earth.

Cost of Living

Many expats are attracted to Brazil’s affordable cost of living. Expats can live quite comfortably in Brazil on far less than they could in the states. $1,000 per month can pay for a decent place to live, high quality food, entertainment, and pay for utilities such as water, electricity and satellite TV.

A car in Brazil usually costs about $6,000 and gas is about $3 per gallon. However, public transportation is extremely cheap. Taxis in certain areas are cheap as well. Expats who want to live on even less can venture out to the smaller towns and villages. While conveniences are few and far between, there is far more adventure and money lasts much longer outside the city.

Web Sites for Expats in Brazil


BrazilMax is a unique travel website. We focus on what we call roots tourism – eco, cultural, historical, rural, adventure, nature, and business. Our aim is to help travelers, both genuine and virtual, better understand Brazilian society and culture. We try to offer an eclectic and unpredictable mix of information that will both satisfy and stimulate curiosity. We try to offer practical advice that will enrich the independent travel experience of individuals who actually decide to travel.

Gringoes: On the Go, In the Know

Brazil’s first portal for the foreign community, Gringoes.com was set up to provide a one-stop source of information for the growing foreign community in Brazil.

Extradition from Brazil

The Extradition treaty between Brazil and the United States of America was signed on two separate occasions, January 13, 1961 and June 18, 1962

This treaty was entered into force on December 17, 1964

Map of Brazil