Giving your Child Brazilian Citizenship by Birth
Both of us plan to have kids, so when the subject came up, I somewhat whimsically asked her whether she would be willing to travel to Brazil to have a child.
At first, she was perplexed.
Why would she ever want to have her first child in Brazil – away from her family and her doctor?
However, once I explained the benefits of giving birth in Brazil, she was fully on board with the idea.
Giving birth in a country that offers birthright citizenship is the easiest way to give your child the gift of a second passport. All that you and your partner need to do is make a plan to give birth in the right place.
This option certainly is not for everyone. I can attest to just how hard it is to find a partner willing to travel and live outside of their home country, and it’s even more difficult to find someone who would be comfortable having a baby in a foreign country.
However, for those of us who pursue the full Nomad Capitalist lifestyle, giving birth overseas can be both an interesting experience and a way to give the gift of a second passport to our children.
Engaging in birth tourism often has a bit of a negative connotation, but in reality, it’s an excellent way to set your child up for success while giving you and your partner the opportunity to add to your passport portfolio without buying another pricey economic citizenship.
And Brazil is the perfect place to do just that.
Brazil is, out of all of the countries that offer citizenship by birth, the best place to give birth thanks to its advanced medical facilities and valuable passport.
It also offers a fast-track option for you and your partner to obtain Brazilian citizenship without having to navigate Brazil’s tedious investment immigration program.
If you’re interested in giving your child the gift of a second citizenship in Brazil, read on to learn about:
- The benefits of Brazilian citizenship;
- How to give birth in Brazil;
- The fast-track naturalization option for parents; and
- Whether Brazilian citizenship is the right choice for you and your family.
The Benefits of Brazilian Citizenship
Out of all of the countries that offer citizenship by birth, Brazil is – by far – the best option.
Most countries in the Americas offer citizenship by birth. However, some countries, namely the US, come with unseemly tax and regulatory burdens, and others, such as Costa Rica, are not as comfortable to give birth in.
Brazilian citizenship, on the other hand, does not come with the baggage of a US passport, and thanks to its wealth of state-of-the-art medical facilities, it’s a very comfortable place for you or your partner to give birth.
Brazil is a popular destination for medical tourism thanks to the country’s low-cost, high-quality health care, so giving birth there can be beneficial for westerners looking to avoid the high costs of giving birth in their home country.
However, in addition to being cost-effective, giving birth in Brazil also gives your child all of the benefits of Brazilian citizenship, such as the opportunity to live in a diverse society and a high-quality – yet drama-free – second passport.
Anyone can be Brazilian.
When you explore the streets of Rio or São Paulo, you’ll quickly see that Brazilians are diverse. They can be black, white, Hispanic, or anything else and still be Brazilian.
It’s no wonder, then, that Brazil is one of the most diverse countries in the world.
By giving your child Brazilian citizenship by birth, you’re giving them the opportunity to be a part of a diverse society where they can interact with all types of people – an invaluable part of teaching them to become a global citizen.
Brazil also offers excellent visa-free travel for its citizens.
While Brazilian citizens do have to get visas for the US, Canada, and Australia, they still have visa-free access to a plethora of countries, including Russia.
A Brazilian passport is what I consider to be an A- passport. It doesn’t offer unfettered access to top-tier countries like a German or US passport does, but it still gives you most of the benefits of a western passport.
A Brazilian passport can therefore be a great asset for your child as they join you and your partner in your Nomad Capitalist lifestyle.
When you think of Brazilians, what do you think?
Odds are, you probably think of beaches, parties, and plastic surgery.
Unlike most A-level passports, a Brazilian passport doesn’t come with much baggage. Brazil isn’t frequently embroiled in global conflicts like the US or UK, and it doesn’t come with the potential tax and regulatory burdens of an EU passport.
This makes a Brazilian passport a great option if you’re looking to give yourself or your children the best of both worlds – an A-level passport without the hassle that can come with most western passports.
Brazilian passports are no-drama, making them an attractive option for anyone looking to get a great second passport for themselves or their child.
How to Give your Child Citizenship by Birth in Brazil
Giving your child Brazilian citizenship by birth is a relatively simple process.
You only need to arrive in Brazil with enough time to get settled, and you can then have your baby in the country, which automatically entitles your child to Brazilian citizenship by birth.
However, just because the process is relatively easy doesn’t mean that you should just show up at the border a few days before you or your partner are ready to give birth.
Before you pack your bags, you should plan ahead and consider issues like visa requirements and exactly where you want to give birth in Brazil.
This guide will help you and your partner make a plan to give birth in Brazil.
Obtain a Visa
The first step in the process of giving your child citizenship by birth in Brazil is arranging a visa.
If you have EU citizenship or another passport that allows visa-free travel to Brazil, then this step is relatively easy. You can simply use your 90-day tourist visa when you arrive, and you can then extend it at an immigration office if necessary.
While you may have to deal with some of Brazil’s infamous bureaucracy, the extension process is straightforward, and you’ll already be in the country.
However, if you’re from the US, Canada, or another country that does not offer visa-free access to Brazil, you will need to arrange a tourist visa before you arrive and pay a fee.
The process of obtaining a visa can be somewhat laborious thanks to Brazil’s bureaucratic system. You will need to answer plenty of questions about your visit, and naturally, you want to answer them honestly.
You should therefore consult with an immigration lawyer – preferably one who is familiar with birth tourism in Brazil – when you apply for your visa.
This way, you can be sure to answer questions accurately, honestly, and in a way that ensures your visa will be approved.
In addition to just getting the visa, you will also need to ensure that you have other items in order to facilitate a smooth arrival into Brazil.
Since you or your partner may be traveling while 6 or 7 months pregnant, you may need a doctor’s note confirming that you or your partner can safely travel while pregnant. Check with your airline beforehand to ensure that you have all of the required documents to travel.
Additionally, during the visa application process, you should also consider whether you will want or need things like a local SIM card, bank account, or leased apartment.
In order to get these necessities while in Brazil, you will need a CPF, which can be obtained through the Brazilian government’s tax office.
You’ll have to navigate through some bureaucracy to get there, but as long as you plan ahead, you should be able to get a to Brazil without much hassle.
Choose a City
Once you’ve navigated through the visa process, you can then decide which city to give birth in.
While hospitals should certainly be a factor in your decision-making, you’ll find that there are plenty of great ones throughout the country – especially in expat-friendly areas.
You should therefore prioritize factors like comfort and housing availability when finding the ideal city to give birth in.
Rio, for example, has a wealth of top-tier hospitals, but its hectic environment and safety issues at night can make long-term stays difficult to manage – especially while pregnant or with a newborn.
If you want to stay in a major city, São Paulo is much more hospitable for foreigners, or you could look into tourist hubs like Florianópolis.
Your final decision will ultimately come down to personal preference. Personally, I would lean toward resort areas like Florianópolis since they’re a bit more laid back than major cities, but if you feel more comfortable living in a large city like São Paulo, then you should stay there.
Regardless of where you decide, you should choose an area that has high-quality hospitals, a good standard of living, and long-term housing, and you and your partner should feel comfortable living there for two or more months.
Because you will be staying in Brazil for at least two to three months, you will need to take the time to find suitable long-term housing.
While you’ll surely be comfortable in a hotel, it’s not always the best option long-term. You’ll likely want more space and privacy than a hotel can offer, and you can find serviced apartments and long-term AirBnBs that are more comfortable and cost-effective.
You can also lease an apartment for the length of your stay.
If you choose to lease an apartment, you will likely need to get a CPF number from the Brazilian government, so you may need to set that up in advance. Sometimes, you can obtain a lease on an informal cash basis, but you may want the security of having a signed contract.
Additionally, if you plan to lease locally, you may want to wait until you arrive in the country to tour and secure an apartment. If you choose that option, be sure to arrive with enough time to find suitable housing, and book a hotel for the first week or two of your stay.
Choose a Hospital
As you decide where to give birth, you should also consider the kind of hospital that you would like to give birth in.
In Brazil, you have two types of hospitals to choose from – public hospitals or private ones.
Public hospitals in Brazil are free and provide good care, but they only provide a limited scope of services.
If you choose to give birth at a public hospital, your only option is natural childbirth – no pain medicine and no epidural – unless a C-section is medically necessary.
If this sounds unappealing to you, then you may want to consider a private hospital.
Private hospitals cost some money, but they are better equipped to cater to individual preferences since they offer a variety of options for your birth plan and numerous amenities within the hospital.
They also often offer the best care available in Brazil.
Albert Einstein Hospital in São Paulo, for example, is one of the top hospitals in the world, and it offers advanced prenatal care, personalized birth plans, and comfortable, state-of-the-art facilities for your stay.
You can find comparable hospitals in other major cities and tourist centers, such as Hospital Baia Sul in Florianópolis.
Personally, I lean toward the option of using a private hospital for two reasons: as a libertarian, I don’t feel quite comfortable taking advantage of a free system that I have never paid into, and the service-oriented part of me wants a more luxurious experience than a public hospital can provide.
Plus, it frankly isn’t that expensive – especially if you’re from a country with high-cost healthcare like the US.
For about $5,000, you should be able to give birth in a comfortable private hospital, and you can also pay a bit more for extra services like a suite room or bringing your own doctor from your home country.
Additionally, while you should have a good idea of which hospital you prefer when you arrive, you should wait to make final arrangements until you meet your doctor and tour the facility.
For example, you may initially go to São Paulo to give birth at Albert Einstein, but after meeting with doctors and touring other facilities, you may find another internationally-accredited hospital that better meets your needs.
Regardless of where you decide to give birth, you and your partner should feel comfortable with the facility and your doctor.
Plan your Trip
Once you have considered items like your visa, ideal location, and ideal hospital, you can then begin to make a cohesive plan to give your child citizenship by birth in Brazil.
One of the most important issues to consider when planning your trip is timing.
On one hand, you want to have enough time to get settled, visit your Brazilian doctor, and recover from childbirth, but on the other, you should limit the time you spend in the country to avoid issues like visa overstays and tax requirements.
Ideally, then, you should travel to Brazil during the last two or three months of your or your partner’s pregnancy.
First, this time frame gives you or your partner plenty of time at home to prepare with your own maternity doctor while still providing time to settle in with a Brazilian doctor prior to giving birth.
You can also plan to have your doctor from home fly in for the birth if you feel more comfortable, but you will likely need to arrange that with your doctor and the hospital in advance.
Additionally, arriving in Brazil two to three months prior to giving birth gives you ample time to remain in the country to recover from childbirth and settle in with your newborn.
You can relatively easily get a tourist visa for 180 days, and even if you only have a 90-day visa, you should be able to extend it through a local immigration office.
This means you’ll have three or four months after giving birth to recover and raise your newborn without the added stress of travel.
Limiting your visit to a maximum of 180 days is also essential to ensuring tax compliance.
If you stay over that amount, then you may need to pay tax in Brazil, so you should ensure that the length of your stay will not impact your current tax plan.
Once you consider these items, you should establish a rough timeline for your trip, and from there, you can make formal arrangements for accommodation and medical care.
Give Birth and Obtain a Birth Certificate
After months of planning, you and your partner will be ready to give birth in Brazil.
The process of giving birth itself will, naturally, depend on your and your partner’s needs and preferences. In general, you will be admitted the day of delivery and then stay in the hospital for a couple of days afterward to recover.
When you, your partner, and your newborn leave the hospital, the hospital will provide you with a document that confirms that your child was born in Brazil, and you can then take that document to a government office to get your child’s birth certificate in Portuguese.
Once you have a birth certificate, you can then use it to get your child a Brazilian passport.
Because your child was born in Brazil, he or she now has Brazilian citizenship by birth.
The Fast-Track Naturalization Option for Parents
One major benefit of giving your child citizenship by birth in Brazil is that you and your partner will have an expedited route to permanent residence and citizenship in Brazil.
Because you and your partner now have a Brazilian child, you can immediately apply for permanent residence just as you would if you married a Brazilian spouse.
To apply for permanent residence, you will need to provide police records of anywhere that you have lived for the past five years as well as from any country that you are currently a citizen of.
This is where the process gets tricky.
Your average bureaucrat might not understand why you have five different passports and four other residence permits on top of that.
In fact, an expert I consulted mentioned that he worked with a woman who had dual citizenship in Australia and New Zealand, and the bureaucrats she worked with in Brazil had some difficulty understanding that.
So, how will you be able to explain that you’re a digital nomad who collects residence permits or that you’re an investor with multiple economic citizenships?
If you decide to explore this route, I highly recommend consulting an expert. You will want to work with a professional who can help you legally navigate the system and work with bureaucrats to ensure that your permanent residence application is sound.
Then, once you sort out your permanent residence in Brazil, you can then wait for one year and apply for citizenship by naturalization.
However, to be considered for citizenship by naturalization, you will need to spend the vast majority of the year in Brazil.
The challenge here is two-fold.
First, Brazil does not have a set residence requirement for naturalization.
Most countries set a strict residence requirement for citizenship by naturalization. In the UK, for example, you would need to live there for eight months out of the year for six years, and as long as you meet this clear standard, you have fulfilled your residency requirement.
Brazil, on the other hand, is less clear, and it does not specify the exact amount of time that you need to spend in the country to be eligible for naturalization.
While you have some leeway without that formal requirement, the decision of whether or not you have spent enough time in the country is ultimately up to the discretion of the immigration officials that you work with, and you will need to explain any absences to them.
And, frankly, a bureaucrat may not understand that you’re a global businessperson who needs to travel to multiple countries per year for work.
This is where the second challenge comes in – you will need to spend the vast majority of your year in Brazil in order to become naturalized.
While a couple of trips out of the country to attend to urgent matters or visit family might be understandable, a bureaucrat will likely not comprehend why you needed to spend four or more months out of the year traveling to 20 different countries for meetings and other affairs.
So, in order for your application to be approved, you will need to take a break from traveling and settle down in Brazil for a while, which also means that you will need to be prepared to pay tax in Brazil.
As a permanent resident living in Brazil for the vast majority of a year, you will have a tax obligation there, so you will need to get set up in their tax system and plan to pay Brazilian income taxes that year.
You will also need to meet a few other requirements for Brazilian citizenship by naturalization, including learning Portuguese.
The test you take to apply is in Portuguese, so you will need to develop at least some proficiency in the language before you take it.
Spending a year in the country before taking the test may help you in that regard, at least, and other than the time commitment, there’s little downside to learning another language.
Learning Portuguese can also help you if you want to get an EU passport in Portugal, whose Golden Visa Program requires you to learn the language.
Brazil’s fast-track naturalization option for parents therefore requires you to live in the country for the majority of the year, pay taxes, and learn Portuguese – and, of course, contend with Brazilian bureaucracy.
However, as long as you follow the requirements and your case is relatively straightforward, you should be able to get Brazilian citizenship in just one year.
Is Brazilian Citizenship Right for My Family?
Now that you’re more familiar with the process of Brazilian citizenship by birth and the fast track naturalization process for parents, you may be considering whether getting Brazilian citizenship is the right choice for you, your partner, and your future child.
So, who should consider giving birth in Brazil, and who should consider becoming a Brazilian citizen afterward?
Deciding to give your child citizenship by birth in Brazil is more straightforward since it’s a relatively simple process, but choosing to pursue Brazilian citizenship by naturalization is a bit more of a difficult decision.
Should I Give my Child Citizenship by Birth in Brazil?
Choosing whether or not to give your child citizenship by birth in Brazil is relatively simple since it comes down to one issue – are you and your partner comfortable giving birth in another country?
For many of us looking for the full Nomad Capitalist experience, giving birth in Brazil is an interesting – if not exciting – prospect.
By giving your child citizenship by birth in Brazil, you’ll be able to give your child a head start on their passport portfolio in a highly livable country as well as all of the benefits that come with Brazilian citizenship.
You and your partner will also be able to have a unique experience of giving birth in another country, and you will also have the option of applying for permanent residence or citizenship at any time by virtue of having a Brazilian child.
However, giving birth is a personal experience, and if you’re not comfortable giving birth away from home, then you should not feel pressured into giving birth in a foreign country.
You may want to have family present, which can be difficult considering the travel involved, or certain pregnancy complications may arise that could warrant sticking with your doctor through the entire pregnancy and delivery.
Plus, there are plenty of alternative ways to give your child the gift of a second citizenship. For example, you can obtain citizenship by investment in countries that offer citizenships to your descendants, such as Bulgaria.
Therefore, when deciding whether or not to give birth in Brazil, you should carefully consider whether you and your partner are both comfortable with giving birth in a foreign country.
Should I Also Become a Brazilian Citizen?
Deciding whether getting Brazilian citizenship by naturalization is right for you and your partner, on the other hand, is a bit more complicated.
While there are plenty of benefits of Brazilian citizenship, such as ample visa-free access around the world, you and your partner may not need to add to your current passport portfolios, so you should first think about whether a Brazilian passport will be valuable for you and your partner in the long-term.
You should then consider whether you want to spend the time and money to get Brazilian citizenship by naturalization.
For the globally mobile and affluent high-earner, some parts of the naturalization process may be difficult – if not impossible – to stomach.
Spending the vast majority of your time in one country may hinder your ability to pursue and maintain your global business interests, and you will also need to pay a sizable tax on your yearly income.
Therefore, for most people looking to pursue a Nomad Capitalist lifestyle, getting Brazilian citizenship by naturalization is not worth the hassle.
However, in some circumstances, it may work for you and your family.
First, you may simply be interested in living in Brazil and becoming a Brazilian citizen. Brazil is certainly a beautiful country, and there are plenty of practical considerations, such as passport strength and livability, that Brazil scores high marks on.
Additionally, although Brazil has a substantial time and tax requirement, getting Brazilian citizenship by naturalization doesn’t necessitate the large capital investment that you would need to provide for an economic citizenship in another country.
You might also want to settle down for a year or two while you begin to raise your child.
If you can deal with the tax burden and can slow your travel schedule for a year, then Brazil can be an ideal spot to settle in for a year or two to spend with your child.
Spending your child’s first year on a beach in Florianópolis doesn’t sound half bad, does it?
It’s also a great option if you plan to sell your business before you or your partner give birth. While Brazil has a substantial income tax, it does not have a wealth tax, so you and your partner could live in Brazil while paying minimal tax under those circumstances.
Overall, whether you and your partner should pursue Brazilian citizenship after giving birth in Brazil comes down to whether the benefits outweigh the costs.
I personally don’t see much value in it for myself and my fiancé. We already have a solid passport portfolio, and I would not want to tie myself down to one country for an entire year.
However, if a Brazilian passport is a perfect addition to your portfolio and you’re willing to meet the requirements, then Brazilian citizenship through naturalization is a relatively easy way to add another passport to your collection.
Giving your child citizenship by birth in Brazil can be an interesting experience for couples looking for the full Nomad Capitalist lifestyle, and it can be a great way to give your child a jump start in life with a second passport.
As a no-drama, A-level passport, it gives you or your child visa-free access to numerous countries without the baggage of a UK, Australian, or EU passport.
It’s also a relatively simple process – despite the bureaucratic maneuvering involved.
The fast-track naturalization option for parents can also be beneficial under the right circumstances, and you and your partner don’t necessarily need to pursue it right away.
As you and your partner consider whether to give birth in Brazil, keep in mind that choosing where to give birth is a highly personal decision, and even the most ardent nomads may still want to give birth close to family and friends.
If that’s the case, then you can always explore alternative options like second citizenships that offer citizenship to your descendants.
For those of us who want the experience of giving our children the gift of a second citizenship, however, Brazil offers a level of comfort and passport quality unmatched by other birthright citizenship countries.