How To Work In Brazil If You Are American

Brazil can be an exotic and fascinating place. If you find yourself anticipating working in this amazing country realize there are some procedures to follow. The better prepared you are before you travel, the more likely you will succeed on your desire to work in Brazil if you are American. Whether you are planning on joining a teaching organization or transferring with an American company to Brazil, follow these procedures and you should be able to work in Brazil.


  • Citizen documentation
  • Employment opportunity contacts
  • Course on Portuguese language

Step 1

Plan early so you can obtain paperwork. You will need a US Passport that is active more than 6 months before you request a Brazilian visa.

Step 2

Speak the language. Take the time to learn Portuguese or at least some basics of the language so you will be able to communicate.

Step 3

Find employment. If your current employer is transferring you, great. If you are just interested in working in Brazil but don’t have a job, you won’t be able to obtain a work visa. Do your research and find the job first.

Step 4

Obtain documentation of employment. Brazilian visas require a letter on company letterhead along with the employee’s information and contact in Brazil.

Step 5

Research the location. Find out from your employer where you will be working and where the closest living quarters options are. Research the area and make contact with a local company representative. Find out the details about the community you will be joining including climate, demographics, government and local commerce.

Step 6

Contact the Brazilian Consulate to request a work visa. There are two types of work visas available in Brazil – a business visa or a temporary visa. Most applications must be submitted in person, so contact the consulate closest to you and arrange an appointment to submit your paperwork. If necessary, verify the type of visa you are applying for, any immunization requirements and additional paperwork needed. Getting the right information to the Brazilian authorities the first time will ensure your request will not be delayed further.

Step 7

Once you have permission to enter the country, learn about the culture. Brazilians are social people and often combine business with social activities. Learn and respect their traditions and work in Brazil will be a rewarding experience.

Step 8

Arrange for an escort to meet you when you arrive. Brazil can be confusing to maneuver and, in some areas, an escort is necessary for safety and custom.

Step 9

Enjoy your stay. Brazil is beautiful and the culture rich and exciting. Take time to enjoy the land and people during your work stay. Do not be afraid to get out among the people. If you choose to be ‘all work and no play’, you will miss a great deal of what Brazil has to offer.

Working in Brazil can be a rewarding experience whether you are volunteering for an aid organization or pulling a tour of duty for a corporate employer. Whatever your reasons for working in Brazil, take the time to plan carefully and the experience will be the opportunity of a lifetime.


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Great advice.

By Jason Kay