Your Top Questions about Brazil Answered!

My e-mail inbox gets pleasantly flooded daily with curious members of our community interested in finding out how they can best tackle moving to Brazil.

So I figure that it’s about time to put some more detailed answers to these questions than is possible over a quick e-mail.

Without further ado, here are the top questions asked about moving to and living in Brazil with my best answers for the community.

1. Finding a Job (and the Visa)

Here’s a popular question: “Kevin, can I come on a tourist visa, find a job and then get a work visa?”

In short, no. If you enter on a tourist visa, student visa or volunteer visa, they don’t technically allow you to work on them – you would be working “under the table”.

If you find a company to give you a job, then you can apply for a work visa. The process starts in Brazil and finishes abroad.

This means that after the company get’s their paperwork together from the different ministries etc, they will have to send you the paperwork so that you can go to the consulate in your home country and apply for the visa.

You will then have to wait for visa approval and then you can come back in Brazil on the new status.

This is also true for any other switch of visa except for the case of anything doing with families, which leads me to the next question I get:

“Kevin, I’m currently illegal and on a tourist visa, when my child is born here, can I get a permanent visa?

In short, yes. It doesn’t matter what visa you are on (or not) in Brazil if you have direct connections to a family member. This can be in the form of a Brazilian child (get’s citizenship for being born there a la anchor baby), Brazilian spouse or stable union cases.

This is the one exception to the rule that get’s the whole “leave the country and come back on your new visa” rule waved.

Here’s another: “Is teaching English the best option for foreigners these days to make money in Brazil and what if I do it on a tourist visa?”

If you aren’t sure about your career (i.e. are mostly starting out), then teaching English is a great option!

The demand for teachers is insane in Brazil and it pays decently so that you would have an ok lifestyle. Now, I know for a fact that loads of foreigners teach “illegaly” on a tourist visa or the like though there is a “loophole” to do it legally on a tourist or other temporary “non-work” visa.

You do this by teaching over Skype. The minute your teachings go through the internet, then a whole new set of rules apply. This is due to the fact that Brazil doesn’t own the internet and therefore you aren’t violating any rules.

You could easily recruit students locally and offer to teach them over Skype, receive payment over PayPal connected to your account back home etc.

Though there are people who aren’t interested in teaching English but feel like they “have to”. Teaching English is a good start as there are plenty of jobs out there for qualified professionals.

In a nutshell, to get a great job, you will need to integrate yourself well into Brazil, learn Portuguese and after doing this, your doors of opportunities will be wide open (even for getting a work visa sponsored!).

2. Deciding Where to Live (is it safe)

The next biggest question our community asks, has to do with deciding on what city to live in.

Here’s an e-mail I got today: “my biggest concern is the crime in these city’s if i move i want to be somewhere safe..ive been looking at info about petropolis and it seems like a great place..could i get your advice about making the move?”

The biggest factor affecting our community’s decision about moving to Brazil or usually is based on “how safe” the city is – due to the fact of the crime reputation Brazil has.

Here’s the antidote to the “is the city safe” question7 Reasons To Live In A Favela

I’m going to be straight forward and honest with you, if we live out of the fear of danger, then we should lock our doors and never leave the house.

Danger is everywhere no matter what country you are in. Denmark, the country my wife is from, is hailed as one of the “safest” countries in the world yet has one of the highest suicide rates – people don’t kill people there, they do it themselves!

The way I look at Brazil is that there are dangerous places and safe places, through if we are passionate about living life to its fullest and realize that Brazil fits the ticket, then what are we waiting for?

Fear will only hold you back from achieving your goals and on a side note, I’ve never once been involved in a violent crime since setting foot in Brazil in 2005!

3. How much Money do I need to Make?

The last and most asked question our community asks has to do with the amount of money you will need to make in order to have a decent lifestyle.

How much money will I need per month to live in Florianópolis?”

This is something I’ve covered in detail in this post , though am happy to recap.

You basically have a few different costs of living within Brazil:
1. Small/rural living (cheapest).
2. Medium city living (medium).
3. Large city living (expensive).

The general verdict is that if you are a party of 4 living in a rural city, that you could suffice with about R$4,000 a month and live well (that’s like $1,500). If you are living in a medium city then more like R$6–8,000 (around $2,200-$3,000). though if you live in a city like São Paulo or Rio, then expect to earn more like R$10–14,000 a month (like $4,000-$5,500) to live a decent lifestyle.

The above is obviously for a really comfortable lifestyle and you could live cheaper if you wanted to, though this is an area to be careful with if you are a family.

I always say that single people can live in a hole-in-a-wall somewhere and adjust their lifestyle according to their earnings, whereas us with children have a whole other set of priorities.

Final Words

The members of this community obviously ask a lot more questions and this was just an attempt and getting the biggest ones out of the way.

I’ll do my best to keep giving the best answers possible as time continues.

Oh, make sure and sign up for my newsletter below as there’s a really great announcement coming at the end of this month and you’ll only hear about it in there.


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  • I can definitely see those as being the most asked questions, as I would have the same, and probably asked a few of those. Excellent Kevin!

    As far as a job, I plan on continuing doing Internet Marketing while living in Brazil. If everything continues to go as planned I will be at 100k USD a month and growing.

    Most Americans think about teaching English, I just plan on working my own business, and helping other Brazilians that want to really learn what I do, and help change their lives. But most importanly, live life to it’s fullest while in paradise!

    • Yep for sure!

      Love the passion Bradley, I know a thing or two about IM in Brazil so feel free to hit me up if you need any connections or whatever!

      There is a huge room for our foreigner input in Brazil, so keep your eyes on the prize!

      • Awesome Kevin. I will keep that in mind. And as far as being a forigner in Brazil, I would try to position myself to become an asset to the community 😀

  • Yeah I thinking about moving to Brazil or Panama, I heading to BH next month. I read somewhere that one can life cheap there as long as what you buy is domestic and not imported due to tariffs. I working on my Internet Business so I can work anywhere in the world. Thanks for all you do.

    • Hey David, yep, you are absolutely right about living and buying domestic.

      Great to hear that you have that freedom of being a fellow internet entrepreneur – let me know how things progress!

  • Kevin you should put this in a FAQ link at the top of your page. Americans are far too concerned with finding work provided by others; safety issues when most people have only seen violence on TV and are far too trusting of the police.

    My friend lives in a favela in Salvador, Bahia

    No safety issues, its generally overrated by people that experienced very little life outside of certain areas, touristy zones, you get it.

    Thanks again for a very useful post….

    • I will definitely consider this, thanks for the suggestion!

      You are very right, it’s all perception, integration and common sense in my opinion. I know tons of gringos that live in favelas and love it!


      • I think the myth is perpetuated by statistics rather than reality. The country, in general, is no more dangerous than any other and most people can live safely around with no issues ever coming up. Of course there are more violent places, such as Rio and São Paulo, northeastern capitals like Maceió and Recife as well, but it’s usually the unavoidable you’d run the risk of running into in most places in the world.

        All of the statistics point to crime being mostly related to drug trafficking and sex trafficking. As long as one stays away from those activities, they can expect to not have any safety-related issues, especially in smaller towns. One should also consider that Rio’s murder rate is currently lower than Detroit’s, while still being regarded as one of the most dangerous capitals in the world under a “critical” crime-rate condition.

      • Hello! Friend, I’m an Indian national and a legal student here in brazil…. My wife is 7 months pregnant soon to become mom…. So, if we plan to give birth to our first kid over here? Would this make us eligible to apply for the Brazilian Citizenship on the behalf of our Brazil born kid as we are the parent of that kid…. Please do reply for sure…. Thank you…. Jason (Brazilian student visa holder)

    • Hi Omar, i’m brazilian and Jundiai and others cities around the capital São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro are goods, but the Capitals or the big cities are a bad idea. I’m from SP too, of Mogi das Cruzes, a city of Japanese immigrants. is very good and cute. ^^ good luck!

      • Ola Drika, obrigado para informacoes, I always heard that the interior is better for living than big cities, and here is your confirmation, thank you again

        • Omar, Jundiai is great. close to sao paulo and with good opportunities of work. I live in Campinas that is 50km from sao paulo, and I prefer here because is bigger than Jundiai but smaller than Sao Paulo (the perfect size I would say lol) and you can find everything around here. For one year I worked in Jundiai (go and go back everyday) and it was fine also.

  • Hello Kevin, My name is Victor maranhese am, and I live in Dom Eliseu Para!

    I want a guy your opinion! in your opinion do you think that is worth living in Brazil! Stop living in the USA (which is a major world power, a country that theoretically have more opportunities here, a country that does not have such high taxes as here, that the party has a Called Pt, ie it has no quanta corrupão as here, a country that there is a plague called Funk, a country that has had several favelas.Um country repeitados worldwide as Presidents Lincoln, who has the best domestic cars that a country can have Efim think you entedeu) to living in Brazil? Why? You can explain to me what the benefit of that? Why the Brazil logo

    Look I do not want Kevin look so unpatriotic, but lately I am so desepicionado with Brazil that made ​​me want to ask you that!!

    Hope you can help me!!

    Thank you!

    • Você não devia ter tentado traduzir com o Google Translator… Sua ortografia atrapalhou a tradução e não dá para te entender direito. E cara, para quem tem formação acadêmica alta, o Brasil é tão bom para viver quanto qualquer outro lugar. Se você mora em um lugar legal e ganha bem, sua qualidade de vida pode ser muito melhor do que muitos lugares nos EUA ou na Europa. Às vezes você ficou decepcionado com o Norte/Nordeste… mas definitivamente não são a cara do Brasil. Abs.

  • Oi Kevin, moro na Australia ha 7 anos e ano que vem eu e meu marido, que e Australiano estamos pensando em mudar para o Brasil. Pelos seus conhecimentos e experiencia ai no Brasil, em que nivel deve estar o ingles dele para conseguir um emprego na area de informatica?


  • Hi I’m from UK london and live and work in Spain 6 years ago I met my boyfriend here he’s from Brazil , paranaiba mato grosso do sol he wants to take me there to meet all his family he does in the future possibly want to live with me there I want to know everything about thus city and if anyone English goes there cost of food and cost of having child there chance of finding a cheap house to live in please reply

  • I also would like to know all the different rates for water electric gas if its like Europe different tariffs and cheap interment etc

  • hello Kevin! I write you from Baku Azerbaijan.I wanna live in Brazil or
    Argentina, How can I do to make it a real to move there? Please imagine
    that you are as me and advice me how to be what to do. Think that it
    will be an advice of brother! God bless! Cheers!

  • Hi Kevin,

    I am from India and I wish to move to this happening city with my
    wife and a lovely baby.Currently I am working with one of the indian IT
    May i get the job suitable to my profile?
    I am working as
    Function Automation Test Engineer and I am familier with Selenium
    webdriver , java , GIT, eclipse, automation framework development.
    My work experience relevent to above is 5+ yrs.
    Looking forward to your reply.

    Venkatesh D.

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