Leaving Brazil and Moving On

Leaving Brazil? Find out how to close bank accounts, end contracts for utilities and insurance, export cars, move pets and notify schools and residency officials...

There are a number of areas which need to be considered before departure when leaving Brazil and moving on elsewhere:

Local Authorities

The Brazilian government requires that a foreigner with a permanent visa register for a foreigner’s identity card at the local Federal Police Office (Polícia Federal) within 30 days of arrival in Brazil. This is the Cedula de Identidade para Estrangeiros or CIE. The CIE has an RNE number (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiros) and an authenticated photocopy is usually carried at all times by the foreigner in Brazil.

On leaving Brazil it is not necessary to return the CIE card to the Federal Police. There is no de-registration process and no notification is required.

There is no exit visa required to leave the country, but on arrival an embarkation/disembarkation card is provided to all visitors by the Brazilian Immigration Authorities (DPMAF). This must be filled in, signed and submitted on arrival. A portion of the card should be kept by the visitor while in Brazil. On leaving Brazil this card is checked by the immigration officials to make sure that the person has not overstayed their visit.

Those who have overstayed their visa deadline will have to pay a fine at a branch of the Banco do Brasil if they have declared themselves to the Federal Police, or to the immigration authorities at the departure gates of the airport. A person can choose to not pay on leaving, but in this case they must pay on re-entry into Brazil, again to the immigration authorities. The fine works on a fixed daily rate up to a maximum amount.

Education

International schools often require one school term written notice to the head teacher advising of the child’s departure from the school. In exceptional circumstances when a father or mother has been transferred abroad with less than one school term notice, it may be possible to discuss the situation with the school and on a case-by-case basis the notice period may be waived.

Many schools require a certificate stating the latest grade passed by the child. Request this from the school when giving notice of departure. Reports and certificates will be prepared by the school indicating the level of education the child has reached. Reports can be prepared in Korean, Chinese or any other native language of the child.

For children enrolled in state schools, a reasonable amount of notice should be given of a child’s departure, but the rules are not as stringently enforced. Certificates can be prepared (in Portuguese) that demonstrate the child’s academic level attained. Outstanding bills for any school fees, transport or meals should be settled.

It is advisable to leave a forwarding address for any correspondence.

Housing Issues

Rental contract

Rental agreements with landlords and estate agencies have a minimum early termination notice, which is usually 30 days' notice and payment of 30 days' rent and charges. The notice should be in written form and given or sent to the landlord. There is no requirement by law for the letter to be sent by recorded delivery, but it is recommended.

If a person’s employer transfers the tenant to another place of work, the tenant must still give 30 days' written notice to the owner, but will not have to pay the charges. Proof of the transfer, provided by the tenant’s company, may be required.

If the full term of the rental contract has been served and notice has been given in accordance with the rental agreement, the refundable deposit will be returned and it is up to the tenant to remove their name from the utility bills.

The landlord and/or estate agency may need to visit and inspect the property prior to departure. If there are any obvious issues and damage to the property, the owner/estate agent and the tenant will then negotiate the amount of the deposit to be deducted before the deposit can be reimbursed.

The landlord and estate agent may ask for a forwarding address.

Property sales

Property sales in Brazil can be completed quickly, as most purchases are made in cash.

Insurance

It is advisable to contact the relevant insurance company and get a proof of "no-Claims Bonus", if applicable. The notice required to end a contract will depend on the individual insurance provider.

Utility bills

Service providers will need to be informed of the move, and forwarding addresses should be given to the electricity and telephone companies. For gas services, a final meter reading will often need to be taken, in order to calculate any final payments that must be made before leaving the property. Water supply is generally registered to the property itself, rather than the owner, who will need to inform the relevant supplier of their departure so that their name can be removed from the address.

Health Care

In Brazil, it is common for most foreigners to have health care arranged through the employer - in such a case the employer will take care of any changes.

Foreigners with private health insurance will need to fill out a cancelation form and send it to their insurance company. There are generally no penalty payments demanded by private companies.

Any foreigners paying social security contributions to the National Institute of Social Security (Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social - INSS) will need to go to their nearest Social Welfare office (Previdência Social) agency and inform them that they will be no longer contributing.

  • To find the nearest Previdência Social office: Click here

Business and Tax Issues

Banking

Rules on closing accounts vary between Brazilian banks, so it is important to check with an individual bank for its procedures.

As an example, the Bradesco bank requires 15 days written notice by mail or in person at a branch. Any outstanding debts must be cleared, and the bank will cancel automatic direct debits with service providers that may have been contracted. All bank cards and check books must be returned to the bank or the account holder must provide a written statement confirming that these have been destroyed. All direct debits with third parties must be canceled. Sufficient funds must be maintained in the deposit account to cover any legal or contractual obligations (for example, to cover checks or bank insurance products).

Tax

Anyone who has been completing individual tax returns in Brazil should get in touch with the Ministry of Finance (Receita Federal). This also applies to businesses, but in this case it is likely that an accountant will be able to advise the individual of their tax position. There may be outstanding payments or refunds due.

Mail Forwarding

There is currently no mail forwarding service offered by the Brazilian Post Office (Correios). A service of this sort existed in São Paulo but has been temporarily canceled.

Arrangements will need to be made with new tenants or owners, or, in the case of some apartments, with the building syndicate.

Vehicles and Driving

Vehicles registered in Brazil can be driven freely in the Mercosul countries (the Common Market of the South; made up of Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay) for a limited period, dependant on the country's particular laws.

Exporting a car permanently from Brazil involves customs forms and certificates to be submitted to the relevant government organizations and documents certified by Consulates and Chambers of Commerce. Administrative facilitators, despachante or Aduaneira, are qualified to assist in this process. Vehicle owners should contact the Brazilian Consulate of their destination country for information on the required process.

Brazilian insurance companies will provide proof of no claims bonus, if requested.

Animals

Depending on the destination, some animals may require a period of quarantine. They will almost certainly require documentation and possible additional vaccinations or similar medical treatment.

Documents needed before leaving Brazil include:

  • International Health Certificate (Certificado Zoosanitãrio Internacional - CZI)
  • A certificate of vaccination against rabies
  • Proof of owners full name and address including state and country
  • Documents showing the animals name, breed, gender, size, color, coat and any other specific markings

As requirements for importing animals vary greatly between countries, it is advisable to obtain all the necessary details from the authorities of the destination country.

The exportation of some animals may be restricted (particularly in the case of rare and endangered species), and prior authorisation will need to be obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture.

The proper procedures should be requested from the Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture (Superintendencia Federal de Agricultura) in the Brazilian state of departure.

  • To find a local Brazilian Ministry of Agriculture office: Click here and select the state

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