Introduction to Brazilian Naturalized Citizen Law



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Quick guide to acquire Brazilian nationality. There are two basic ways to become a naturalized Brazilian citizen: ordinary and extraordinary.

1. Naturalization

1.1 Ordinary

A naturalized citizen is a person who was born an alien, but has lawfully become a citizen of Brazil under the Constitution and laws. A naturalized citizen has all the rights of a natural born citizen, except is not eligible as president or vice-president, and a few other government positions.

Naturalization is the method of acquiring secondary nationality and depends on consent from the person concerned. The ordinary naturalization is described in Article 12, section II, paragraph "a" of the Federal Constitution.

Article 12. Brazilians are:
[...]
II - naturalized:
a) the ones that acquire Brazilian nationality under the law.

The mentioned Law is the Federal Law number 6.815/1980 ( Foreigner Statute), which lists the following requirements:

• civil capacity under Brazilian law;
• be registered as permanent in Brazil (permanent visa);
• continuous residence for a period of four years;
• read and write in Portuguese;
• good behavior and good health;
• exercise of profession or in possession of sufficient assets to maintain themselves and family.

The satisfaction of all requirements does not guarantee the acquisition Brazilian nationality, once the Executive has the discretion to grant or not the naturalization.
The applicant must have been lawfully admitted in Brazil, which means accordance with the immigration laws. Individuals who have been lawfully admitted will need to get registered in the Federal Police.

1.2 Extraordinary

The extraordinary naturalization is described in Article 12, section II, paragraph "b":
Article 12. Brazilians are:
[...]
II - naturalized:
[...]
b) foreigners of any nationality, resident in the Federative Republic of Brazil for over fifteen uninterrupted years without criminal conviction.

In this case the naturalization can be granted to an alien after 15 (fifteen) consecutive years of residency in Brazil.
The satisfaction of the requirements is enough to acquire Brazilian nationality, regardless of state discretion.
The procedure for foreigners who want to naturalize Brazilian is the same as ordinary naturalization (application to the Federal Police Department).

2. Special Cases - Permanent Visa for those who have a Brazilian life partner (união estável).

The foreigner who has an civil union to a Brazilian (same-sex union or not) can get a permanent visa in about 90 days, thanks to this law: Regulatory Resolution number 77/2008 from Labor and Employment Ministry (Resolução Normativa n. 77/2008 do Ministério do Trabalho e Emprego).

Basically, a judge must recognize the union first and a legal form must be sent to the Conselho Nacional de Imigração after that. The legal union procedure is very simple and can be proved with witnesses, pictures, joint bank account, and any other document that proves the union.

With this permanent visa the Brazilian nationality can be acquired.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Diogo Bianchi Fazolo, Lawyer
Partner at DBF Advocacia, with law firms in Foz do Iguaçu/PR and Curitiba/PR.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.