Moving to Brazil From US - Earthrelo
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With exotic jungles, exceptional weather, vibrant cities, and heavenly beaches, Brazil is the largest country in South America. Being one of the well-known destinations for expats around the world globe, Brazil provides innumerable new and unique experiences with tons of job opportunities, a rich economy, excellent healthcare, and quality education.

The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Brasilia (also the capital city) is home to a huge expat community. With the increasing significance of Brazil at the global level, the number of expats increases as well.

However, if you are Emigrating To Brazil From US, you need to do thorough homework. Being a top company that provides a set of relocation services, here we present you with a comprehensive country profile with visa requirements and the job market of Brazil. Let’s dive into Brazil!

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Cost Of Moving To Brazil From US

First and foremost, there is no specific average cost or reasonable estimates while immigrating to Brazil from US. This is because the cost of moving depends on several factors.

Regardless of whether you are planning to move to Brazil permanently, or stay temporarily, you need to ship all your belongings to your new address. On that note, if you connect with a reliable moving company in US, the overall cost of relocating from US to Brazil can be entirely low. Click here to get in touch with an excellent team of professional US to Brazil movers.

American Expats Living In Brazil

Expats Destination

São Paulo

It is one of the largest Brazilian Cities. By far, São Paulo is the ultimate expat destination in the country. São Paulo is home to around 20 million people. Apart from being the financial and economic center of Brazil, São Paulo has a massive bunch of multinational headquarters.

Rio De Janeiro

This is Brazil’s other popular and notorious metropolitan city. Although it is slightly lagging as compared to São Paulo in popularity, Rio de Janeiro is known as the most visited and loved city in the South. However, it had a low employment facility and opportunity for foreigners. If you settle in this city, you can work in the petrochemical sector or other significant industries, or you can survive by teaching English.


Being a capital city, í is a political center. The community here involves journalists, diplomatic staff, and several foreign correspondents. í is quite small as compared to São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro with a mere 2.6 million residents.


It is the center of the petroleum industry of Brazil. It holds a huge demand for foreign experts in the industry. If you are English speaking candidate, this city is for you. It mainly consists of English-speaking expats. The infrastructure of expats is amazing as well. It has phenomenal international schools.

Some other excellent expat destinations are coastal cities like Porto Alegre, Fortaleza, and Recife.

Visa Requirement For Moving to Brazil from US

To be very clear, if you visit Brazil on a tourist visa, it is valid for 90 days. Although getting a tourist visa is easy, achieving a work visa includes complex processes. It includes a long process and lots of paperwork.

Brazil’s foreign visa differs in 2 categories: short-term visas and long-term/permanent visas. Short-term visas usually comprise business visas and tourist visas, while permanent visas are for expats who intend to move across country and settle in Brazil.

List Of The Types Of Visas To Brazil:

  • Short-term Visa: Business visas are ideal for short-term business trips only. These visas do not allow you to take up or join any work in Brazil.
  • Long-term Visa: Several types of temporary visas including artist visas, volunteers, exchange students, researchers, artists, and religious missionaries can be issued for an extended period.
  • Temporary Visa: If you are immigrating from US to Brazil for living and working, you can apply for a V category temporary visa (VITERM) or permanent visa (VIPER). These category V Temporary visas are allowed for those who have signed a temporary contract of employment with a Brazilian organization already. This visa is valid for 2 years. Although, it can be extended once. However, note that temporary work visas are entirely focused, limited, and specified to a particular position. During this phase, the holder cannot switch jobs while staying in the country. Once the employment contract expires, holders cannot remain in the country.
  • Permanent Visa: If you are immigrating to Brazil from US, try applying for a permanent visa. Although it can be difficult, a permanent visa allows you to switch jobs during your stay. Permanent visas are specifically for people who wish to start their business in Brazil. However, they need to have good financial capital.

To get verified for a permanent visa, you need to have a police certificate that shows zero criminal records. Another excellent point is expats who can speak Portuguese can get a permanent visa for 5 years if they invest BRL 150,000 in Brazil. After 5 years, the visa becomes valid for renewal if the holder creates employment for 10 Brazilian citizens.

If you are relocating To Brazil From US, the process will raise several questions. With our user-friendly moving services, you can rest assured that your moving experience will be worthwhile. Connect with our team of friendly packers Now!

Healthcare System In Brazil

Healthcare In Brazil Vs. US

One of the few countries that offer free universal access to all medical care in Brazil. It is one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Any resident of Brazil staying legally can completely enjoy exceptional hospital treatment, medical consultations, and surgeries by the Sistema Único de Saude – SUS (public health system) for absolutely zero cost. Although waiting at public hospitals is extremely time-consuming and tiring, it is said that this system is underfunded.

This is why most of the capable people residing in Brazil prefer a private healthcare system. Many organizations provide special private medical insurance to their employees as well. Due to the low-quality service in the public healthcare system, around 25% of people opt for the private healthcare system.

However, the private healthcare system in Brazil has gained a considerable reputation for securing the most expensive healthcare in Latin America. In case your company does not offer any private healthcare insurance, you need to at least pay a good BRL 8000 per year to get this service. Hence, before immigrating from US to Brazil, make sure you own enough private health insurance as the costs are quite high. Although, the best part is, Brazil is known for being home to the best and high-quality healthcare and doctors, especially in the surgical and dental field, at a global level.

Cars In Brazil For American's

Most expats purchase a car once they enter Brazil. However, because of high taxes in Brazil, cars are expensive. But, purchasing a new car can be easier as well as cheaper than importing one from your homeland.

This is because you need to pay a considerable import tax as well as shipping costs. Used vehicles are allowed to import on several conditions as well. Some include imports leading from donations, antique cars which have 30 years of age or older for collection purposes, cars imported by diplomats or staff members, or inherited vehicles. Having the largest-ever road network in the continent, cars are the easiest and most popular way to get around the country.

Driving In Brazil

As a foreigner, you can drive your vehicle in the country only with a proper driver’s license abroad for up to 6 months. Later, you are required to apply for a local license in Brazil. The exam will be conducted in Portuguese and it will involve psychological as well as a medical examination.

Generally, the speed limit in Brazil are

  • 110km/h on national roads,
  • 80km/h on open roads
  • 60km/h in built-in areas.

You need to be extremely careful if you drink. Brazil has a Dry Law, (Lei Seca). This indicates that the legal blood alcohol limit is quite low with 20mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood(0.02%). In case you get caught, you will be charged a high fine. Apart from this, your license will further be suspended and you will be put behind the bars as well.

Education In Brazil

The basic and primary level of education in Brazil starts with Educação Infantil. It is a preschool that involves kindergartens and daycare centers for children up to 3 years of age. The preschool belongs to children of 4-6 years age group. Mandatory schooling begins at this stage. Every child attends the elementary and middle school, Ensino Fundamental for the next 9 years.

Public pre-schools do not charge anything. However, they are overcrowded and poorly managed. Expats can only send their children to public preschool if they have enough knowledge of Portuguese. Initially, they are required to crack the adaptação exam conducted by the school. Several private schools are famous as well. They are run by Catholic churches.

After completing this stage of education, students shift to grab Ensino Médio(high school= education for the next 3 years. Maximum expats who can afford it, send their kids to private schools.

Notwithstanding the system, Brazilian students must have 200 days of school every year both in public as well as private. The academic year begins in February until July when it is a holiday month. Gradually, the second term starts in August and ends in December.


After completing secondary education, students can opt to continue with their studies at any private or public university. If a student wishes to join a public university, he/she needs to sit for an entrance exam, vestibular. In the case of private universities, the entrance exams are much easier. As a result, a public university degree holder gets more value than a private university degree holder.

Living Costs in Brazil Vs US

Well, the cost of living is extremely high in Brazil. But, it entirely depends on the location that you choose to live. If we speak about Curitiba, the cost of living is 20% less than the cost of living in São Paulo. Similarly, Rio has a higher cost of living than in Fortaleza or Florianopolis

Here is a list of food prices based on Rio de Janeiro.

Food Price
1 Liter of Milk BRL 4
1 KG Tomatoes BRL 6
A Dozen of Eggs BRL 6
Wine From Supermarket BRL 40
Beer From Supermarket BRL 4
Lunch At A Business District BRL 30

Transport: Despite poor traffic conditions, owning a car in Brazil is best. Brazil has over 1.7 million km of Roadways. In the entire Latin America, Brazil stands with the largest network of roads along with being 4th largest in the world.

Housing And Accommodation In Brazil

If you wish to rent an apartment in the heart of a Brazilian city, it can be highly expensive. An average breakup can be:

  • A 2 bathroom, 3-bed apartment in Rio de Janeiro can cost you up to BRL 5000.

There are huge things that you need to consider while taking or renting an apartment in Brazil. The first factor is heavy traffic congestion. Hence, choose a place that is not far from your job or your child’s school. Moreover, you need to have valid proof of your income to rent an apartment. In case you are not working currently, you need a few guarantors. This process will be highly bureaucratic and might consume several months.

  • Expat Housing: Usually, maximum expats prefer renting a home after moving to Brazil from US. In case you just arrived and the housing market is unfamiliar to you, you can ask for local help to get a suitable home. However, keep in mind, you need to speak Portuguese. Being an expat, you can buy a property as well. Although this can be avoided if you have just entered the country. Being a foreign national, you need certain permissions from higher authorities to buy any property specifically near agricultural land or beaches.
  • Renting Accommodation: The rental prices entirely depend on location. Generally, it is lower in São Paulo than in Rio de Janeiro. Rio has the most expensive real-estate market. The best part? Your accommodation will even provide security measures and amenities that most of the population still dream of.

Moreover, hiring an empregada (domestic helper) is generally quite common in Brazil. Hence, most apartments and houses have an extra room with a bathroom for empregada.

Additionally, Utility costs are severely high. In case they are not included in the rent, you need to pay around 100 dollars per month for an apartment having 2/3 bedrooms. Brazil charges a real estate tax as well. Hence, depending on the contract, you need to pay a certain tax.

Language Skills

The main language of Brazil is Portuguese. It is spoken by almost 97% of the population of the country. The twist here is, the written language is quite similar to the original Portuguese of Portugal, the speaking Portuguese in Brazil is a bit different. If you are planning to stay for a longer time in Brazil, you need to have excellent knowledge of Portuguese. Although English is known, it is a second language. Brazilians hardly speak it, and most do not even understand English.

Social Security System

Brazil has an exceptional social security system. Even expats can contribute. Social security is paid by both employer and employee. To be more precise, 8-11% of an employee’s salary is deducted by the Ministry of Social Affairs (Ministério da Previdência Social), as social security.

After Greece, Spain, Chile, Italy, Portugal, and Luxembourg, Brazil has adopted the social security agreement. The Brazilian Government has further signed these agreements with Japan, Belgium, and Germany, although they have not been approved yet. As the nationals from these countries need to contribute to Brazilian social security, all their contributions will be considered while calculating the advantages in their home nation after their return.

Quick Info for Brazil

Category Information
Official Language Portuguese. The Portuguese spoken in Brazil is a bit different from the actual language.
Capital City Brasilia
Currency Brazilian Real (BRL)
Timezone UTC – 5, UTC – 4, UTC – 3 & UTC – 2
International Dialing Code +55
Electricity 110 Volts
Emergency Numbers 192
Population 200,400,000+
Internet TLD .br
Drivers on the Right
Tipping Standard tipping for all restaurants and bars opt for a service fee of 10%. Most people pay for it.
Unusual Fact Rio Jo Janeiro was the captain of Portugal once upon a time. This made it the only European capital located outside Europe.

Job Market In Brazil

Most expats working in Brazil are transferees from the MNCs and foreign organizations in São Paulo. The entire job market in Brazil for self-made expats is quite challenging and competitive. It is quite difficult to achieve a stable job position after relocating to Brazil from US. Most expats return to their home countries. Hence, only expats having high skills in management, high tech, finance, or engineering choose to stay and stand a chance as well.

People who cannot find a job can teach English as a Second language (ESL) as their profession. But, teaching designations are not quite well paid. At one point, expats find it challenging to maintain the high cost of living in Brazil after emigrating to Brazil from US.

If you want a job in Brazil, knowing Portuguese is extremely important. The engineering, Finance, and IT sectors always look for well-qualified employees. Brazil even has an excellently developed mining sector, agricultural and manufacturing sector. Being the largest producer of Coffee and sugarcane, Brazil is an important exporter of soybeans, tobacco, cocoa, orange juice, etc. The automotive industry is exceptionally growing. The working hours in Brazil per week must not exceed 44. The usual work timing is 8 am to 6 pm.


Being a perfect destination for expats, relocating from US to has never been easier. With our reliable, cost-effective, and array of relocation services, our phenomenal team of experts is all set to get your relocation going. Providing the best reliable and professional packing, moving, and organizing services, our team of advisors guides you when you plan to move across country. Connect with us today to kickstart your excellent expat adventure thereby saving your time, money, and stress!

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