Discovering Brazil A Resource Guide for Daily Living
The information contained in this publication is provided by Dwellworks, LLC and its affiliated entities (the “Company”) as a service to relocating employees and should be used for general informational purposes only. While the Company undertakes to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information in this publication, the Company cannot assure its accuracy or completeness and does not commit that it will undertake to update the information. This publication, in its entirety, is the sole copyrighted property of the Company and may not be modified, reproduced, sold, or otherwise distributed without the express written consent of the Company.
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Bem-vindo ao Brasil! Welcome to Brazil! At Dwellworks, we recognize there is much more to relocating than finding a new place to live. Familiarizing yourself with the neighborhood, finding your way around an unfamiliar city, and, of course, finding your new home, are top priorities. The Brazil Country Guide was created with you, the relocating employee, in mind. The Dwellworks team is focused on alleviating any of the concerns you may have and working with you to ensure your transition to Brazil is as smooth as possible for both you and your family. We’ve teamed up with local experts to provide you with important information on the country. Our goal is to deliver fresh and reliable information to make you feel as comfortable and organized as possible during your move to this truly unique country.
Breathe easy knowing that you have all you need to prepare for the big move. Bem-vindo ao Brasil , or, Welcome to Brazil!
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Facts About Brazil.......................................................................................4
People and Culture ...................................................................................10
Money and Banking ..................................................................................17
Safety and Security...................................................................................18
Communication and Media .......................................................................20
Household Help ........................................................................................37
Informative Websites ................................................................................40
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Facts About Brazil
Official Country Name: Federative Republic of Brazil, República Federativa do Brasil
Capital City: Brasilia
Official Language : Brazilian Portuguese
Official Religion: While there is no official religion, the majority of Brazilians practice Catholicism
Currency: Brazilian Real (BRL), indicated by preceding the number with R$
Weights and Measurements: Metric System
Electricity/Voltage: Typically 110V is used, but there are several exceptions. 220V outlets are found in the kitchen and laundry areas. Brazil is currently using a “Type N” plug
Public Holidays Because Catholicism is the religion followed by the majority of people in Brazil, many public holidays are based on religious events. Cities and states also have their own particular public holidays which are not included in the following chart.
New Year’s Day
Friday-Tuesday, leading into Ash Wednesday
Tiradentes – Revolutionary Day
Varies, earliest March 22 or latest April 25 60 days after Easter, typically May/June
Nossa Senhora Aparecida – Patron Saint of Brazil
November 15 December 25
Government Brazil is divided into one federal district (Brasília) and 26 states, each with its own governor and state legislature. Federally, the National Congress exercises legislative power and is composed of the Chamber of Deputies with members elected every four years, and a Federal Senate comprised of three senators per state who are elected to eight-year terms. The president, elected by popular vote for a four-year term with a maximum of two terms, is both head of state and head of government, and may unilaterally intervene in state affairs.
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The main political parties are the Brazilian Democratic Movement party, the Brazilian Social Democracy party, and the Workers party. The Brazilian Constitution is based on the U.S. Constitution; however, due to the legacy of French Positivism, legislation is often formed into constitutional amendments without regard to feasibility of carrying them out. Economy Few countries have undergone as fast an economic transformation as Brazil has in such a short time. Privatization of services and industries in areas like electricity, telephones, iron, and steel have led to significant economic and financial success. Today, many privatized companies invest heavily in their Brazilian subsidiaries. Plano Real Plano Real was a successful economic plan developed and implemented by the former Minister of Economy, Fernando Henrique Cardoso, in 1995. Aiming to reduce inflation that was at a rate of 1,175% per year in 1992, this plan initiated harsh adjustments such as increasing the interest rate, decreasing the internal demand, and currency devaluation to stimulate exports (as of 1999) to increase Brazilian trade commerce. Controlling inflation was an effective strategy initially, but economic recession began to emerge after a couple of years; consumption decreased, industries ceased to grow, and unemployment levels rose. Reducing the economic activity – the main basis of Plano Real – led to unemployment in industrial and agricultural sectors. The delay in implementing the agrarian reform has aggravated the field conflicts. While Brazil’s gross domestic product (GDP) increases slightly each year, it is the third- largest exporter of agricultural products worldwide. The greatest expansion of the agribusiness was in the mid-western region of Brazil, formerly considered non-viable because of poor soil. Today, many farmers use mechanical harvesters controlled by satellite. Production of all soy crops is done mechanically and one-third of sugar-cane production is mechanical as well. Agriculture Products: Coffee, soybean, cotton, corn, rice, bean, manioc, cocoa, tobacco, orange juice, as well as the raising of cattle, poultry, and swine Exports: Coffee, soybeans, footwear, motor vehicles, concentrated orange juice, beef, transportation equipment, and steel Business Hours Standard hours apply to most businesses but there is some flexibility. It’s important to become familiar with the hours of each individual business. Regular Office Work Hours: Monday through Friday, 8 or 9 a.m. to 5 or 6 p.m. Street Shops: Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Some shops open at 8 a.m. and others stay open up to 7 p.m., or even later. Most street shops close at 1 a.m. on Saturday, and stores are normally closed on Sunday Shopping Malls: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Some are open on Sunday only in the afternoon and close at 8 p.m. Banks: Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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Post Offices: Street offices are open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Locations within shopping malls are open Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. There are no set hours during the weekend and vary by location
Weather Temperatures in Brazil are relatively consistent throughout the year, but some areas vary more than others. Along the Atlantic coast the summer months
(December to February) are hot, humid, and rainy. The winter months (June
to August) are very comfortable with an average temperature of about 20ºC (68ºF) The northeast region is typically the hottest, especially during the dry season, between May
and June, into November where highs have been recorded in excess of
38ºC (100ºF). Along the coast, temperatures are similar to Rio de Janeiro, but tropical breezes lead to low humidity In the south region, the temperature can reach close to 0ºC (32ºF) in the winter and some areas even experience snow In the Amazon, the humidity level is high and it can be very rainy, though temperatures remain stable year-round at an average of 27 to 32ºC (80ºF to 90ºF) Natural Hazards The main issues impacting Brazil are flooding and droughts. Heavy rains and the resulting flooding have also led to mudslides in certain areas. Below is some information to follow in case of emergency. The most important factor to consider in a natural disaster is the location of your home or work. Understanding the geography and local weather patterns in your area is vital to being able to make an informed decision. Each city and region has unique precautionary systems in place and regional governments are continuing to develop public safety plans to aide in evacuation and early recognition of potential natural disasters. In many situations, it is best to err on the side of caution and remove yourself from danger.
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In the case of flooding, a common occurrence in some regions, be aware of if your home or work is located in a high flood area or near mountains or hills that are susceptible to mud slides. For droughts, it is often common for the city or state to develop limitations to conserve water and the cities resources. In either of these scenarios, the important thing is to remain calm and take all necessary precautions. Time Zones Brazil uses four standard time zones. The main time zone is Brasília time, or BRT (UTC-03), and all other time zones are an offset of BRT, ranging in time from UTC-02 through UTC-05. Daylight Savings Time (DST) Each Brazilian state is given the ability to determine whether or not it chooses to follow daylight savings. Many regions in Brazil do follow the time change and lose an hour in February, while gaining an hour in October. The time change tends to occur on a Sunday, although the date may change each year. Telling Time Telling time in Portuguese is very similar to English. There are only a few exceptions and some key phrases to know: Time at the start of an hour: Use the phrases, São nove horas or São nove horas em ponto , meaning, “It is nine o’clock,” or “It is nine o’clock sharp.” Time within the first 30 minutes: Refer to the hour number first, and then the word “e”, followed by the minute number. For example, São nove e quinze. “It is nine fifteen.” Time after the first 30 minutes: Refer to the remaining time until the next hour using the phrase, “para as.” São quinze para as dez. “It's fifteen to ten.” For half hours: Use the expression “e meia” in place of “and a half.” São nove e meia . “It is nine thirty.”
Midnight and midday in Portuguese:
É meia-noite . “It is midnight”
É meio-dia . “It is noon”
Using morning (a.m.), afternoon (p.m.), and night: Use the expressions “da manhã,” “da tarde” and “da noite” with specific time. For example, A reunião começa às 9:00 da manhã . “The meeting starts at nine a.m.” When an event begins and ends there are two structures: “From (hour) to (hour)”, or “das (horas) às (horas)”. A cerimônia será das 10:00 às 11:00. “The ceremony will be from 10 to 11.” Or, “From (hour) until (hour)” the structure is “das (horas) até as (horas)”. A cerimônia será das 10:00 até as 11:00 . “The ceremony will be from 10 until 11.”
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Comparative Size Charts Although most countries are trying to standardize clothing sizes, there is still a great deal of variation, often making shopping in a different country very difficult. Even with a size conversion chart, always try clothing on before purchasing it.
Europe/ Costa Rica
Men’s Pants (waist)
Europe/ Costa Rica
*Sizes may vary depending on manufacturer and country of origin
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Geographic Overview Brazil is divided into five regions and has 26 states, as well as one Federal District.
Regions (With each state, per region) North : Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Sergipe, and Tocantins Northeast : Alagoas, Bahia, Ceará, Maranhão, Paraíba, Pernambuco, Piauí, and Rio Grande do Norte Mid-West : Distrito Federal , Goiás, Matogrosso, and Mato Grosso do Sul
Southeast : Espírito Santo, Minas Gerais, Rio de Janeiro, and Brazil South : Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul
Major Cities +
Brasilia : Brasilia is the capital of the country, designated in the First Constitution of Brazil (1891). Its bold and contemporary architecture was created by the architects and urbanists Lúcio Costa and Oscar Niemeyer and was inaugurated in 1960 + Belo Horizonte : Inaugurated in December of 1897, Belo Horizonte was the first planned city of Brazil. Currently, it is the fourth-largest urban center of the country
Rio de Janeiro : Discovered by the first
Portuguese expedition that explored the coast in 1502. Today, Rio is the second major economical city of the country and one of the most fascinating tourist cities in the world with its exuberant landscapes and beautiful shores, frantic nightlife, delicious restaurants, and fantastic hotels
+ Sao Paulo : São Paulo is truly a cosmopolitan city with a multi-ethnic population and a more international and business environment than any other Brazilian city. São Paulo is a city of great wealth, wide boulevards, contemporary skyscrapers, sophisticated international boutiques, fabulous restaurants, state of the art hotels, and huge traffic jams
Other major cities: Curitiba, Porto Alegre, Recife, and Salvador
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People and Culture The beauty of Brazil lies in understanding the diversity and remarkable differences this country has to offer. The core culture of Brazil comes from its strong colonial ties with Portugal, though it has many other influences from Europe, Africa, and Asia, as well as indigenous Amerindians. Brazil is known for its enormous ethnical and cultural diversity among different religious beliefs and ethnicities, along with its trademark cheerfulness and kindness. The country faced many influences and welcomed many people from different places in the world who have left a physical mark on the landscape, as well as in Brazilian culture. Brazil was culturally developed by people from Portugal, as well as Africa, England, Germany, France, Holland, Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, and many other nations. Demographics Brazil is by far the largest and most populated country in South America, and one of the largest nations in the world in terms of both surface area, and demographics. It stands fifth among the largest territorial domains, following Russia, Canada, China, and the United States. The Brazilian population is concentrated within the South and Southeast regions, and throughout most of the coastal area. A significant percentage of this population is a mix of European, Amerindian, Middle Eastern, African, and Asian cultures. For example, São Paulo state has the highest Japanese concentration in the world outside Japan. Language Portuguese is spoken by nearly the entire population. The only exceptions are some members of Amerindian groups and other immigrant groups who have not yet learned Portuguese. The principal families of Amerindian languages are Tupí, Arawak, Carib, and Gê. Even though Portuguese is the native language in Brazil, the difference between the way it is spoken here and how it is spoken in Portugal is drastic. Sometimes a Brazilian might not understand what a Portuguese person is saying, and vice-versa. Within Brazil, there are no dialects of Portuguese, but only moderate regional variation in accent, vocabulary, and use of personal nouns, pronouns, and verb conjugations. Variations have diminished as a result of mass media, especially due to national television networks viewed by the majority of Brazilians. Religion Although Evangelical Protestantism is growing in appeal, Roman Catholicism is still the most popular denomination in the country. Approximately two-thirds of the population identifies themselves as Catholic, and Brazil is said to be the largest Roman Catholic country in the world. Brazil does have a presence of other Christian religions, as well as Judaism, Buddhism, and the religions of Candomble and Umbanda, which were introduced by African cultures.
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Etiquette In Brazil, it is a great part of the culture to interact with the people around you, and to enjoy life. For Brazilians, greetings are the first chance to create a friend, and this can be seen in everything from how they say hello, to their casual attitude towards punctuality. Keep in mind that personal space is not an issue for Brazilians, who often stand very closer together and favor casual touching of the arms, elbows, and back.
Greetings and Introductions In Brazil, the typical way to greet a new or old friend is to kiss on both cheeks by touching left cheeks first. Women traditionally kiss two or three times, alternating cheeks, when greeting other women or men. Men do not typically greet other men by kissing on the cheek. If a Brazilian takes the initiative to kiss, follow along and make sure you turn your face to the side! Handshakes are very common in business and when first meeting someone. Among friends, for both men and women, hugs are typical greetings as well kisses accompanied with a touch on the arm or shoulder. If you are not familiar with the social situation, or the people you are with, allow them to take the lead. Greetings are very important in Brazilian culture so make sure to fully introduce yourself and engage in conversation. Handshakes might last longer and personal space might be more limited than you are used to. Many people stand close to one another and have strong eye contact. These practices can be a little surprising at first, but try to relax and embrace this style of personal interaction. Business Etiquette Typical office dress is formal business attire. For men this generally means a suit and tie, while women will dress in conservative, business formal or casual attire. As many offices are beginning to adopt a more casual dress code, be sure to check with your employer. When conducting business, trust is key; interpersonal relationships are sometimes valued higher than other qualities relating to a business deal. It is customary for meetings to begin with 10 to 15 minutes of informal small talk, which should not be abruptly interrupted as this can cause tension. Although punctuality and timeliness are appreciated in Brazilian business, meeting delays are generally tolerated due to traffic congestion in the city. Offices generally operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but don't be surprised if a meeting is scheduled after 6 p.m. Additionally, be prepared for a slightly longer lunch hour; in Brazil, lunch, rather than dinner, is the main meal. Punctuality Brazilians see time as flexible and flowing with a stronger emphasis on personal interaction rather than on typical areas of courtesy like formal conversation and punctuality.
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Another way they view time follows the mentality that it doesn’t matter how long something takes, just that it gets done. This also means that it is very common, and almost expected, that people will be late, and not just a few minutes late, but often up to 30 minutes late for social functions. Being at least 5 to 10 minutes late is expected for work meetings, gatherings with friends, and all other plans or appointments. Things like traffic, weather, and social norms make tardiness socially acceptable and expected. When arriving for a social function or party at someone’s house, it is important to remember that being the first person to arrive or the last to leave is considered impolite, and often times, the hosts are not expecting guests to arrive on time and won’t be ready. Though large immigrant populations and international businesses have helped increase punctuality, it is still a work in progress.
Common Phrases The following is a selection of some basic greetings and words.
Obrigado (men) / Obrigada (women)
You are welcome
Não há de quê Desculpe-me
My name is…
Me chamo or Meu nome é
All is well
Tudo bem Não falo…
I don’t speak…
Can you help me?
Pode me ajudar?
When greeting someone a simple “hello” is a given, followed by the phrase, “Tudo bem?” For example, when seeing a friend you might say, “Oi Chris, tudo bem?” This phrase asks, “All (tudo) is well (bem)?” It is often followed with the response “Tudo! E você?” This means, “Yes, all. And you?” Even conversations over the phone and other forms of communication follow this tradition. Greetings are important and help to create a feeling of comfort and courtesy before beginning any conversation or asking for something at work. Brazilians respect and appreciate the time you take to have an initial conversation, and following this tradition shows care and courtesy. Food Brazilian cuisine, like Brazil itself, varies greatly by region with the natural crops available in each region adding its singularity. While Brazilian cooking has many similarities to its South American neighbors, it is distinct. Stretching from the Amazon in the north, through the fertile plantations of the central coast, and on to the southern pampas, the food of Brazil spans a unique mix of cultures and cuisines.
Ingredients and Typical Dishes The original population contributed popular ingredients like manioc, cassava and guaraná.
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European immigrants (primarily from Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, and Portugal) were accustomed to a wheat-based diet, and introduced wine, leafy vegetables, and dairy products into Brazilian cuisine. When potatoes were not available they discovered how to use the native sweet manioc as a replacement. Italians added pizza, lasagna, and other pasta dishes to the popular foods in Brazil. Today pizza is a traditional meal for many people on Saturday nights, especially in São Paulo. Root vegetables such as manioc or cassava (locally known as mandioca , aipim , or macaxeira ), yams, and peanuts, and fruits like açaí, cupuaçu, mango, papaya, guava, orange, passion fruit, pineapple, and hog plum are among the local ingredients used in cooking. Climate and soil vary depending on location in the country; therefore, the agriculture is different from region to region. Some tropical fruits such as açaí, cupuaçu, and star fruit, can only be grown in certain parts of the country and have to be shipped from their native states to places in Brazil to be consumed in smoothies or as fresh fruit. Rice and beans is an extremely popular dish and considered basic at any Brazilian table, a tradition that Brazil shares with several Caribbean nations. Salgadinhos (salty snacks) are popular finger foods and can be found in delis, bars, and diners. They are often served as appetizers in restaurants and at family parties. The most common salgadinhos include: Pão de queijo (cheese bun or cheese bread): A small, soft roll made of polvilho flour, eggs, milk, and minas cheese. It can be bought ready-made at a corner store or frozen and ready to bake in a supermarket Coxinha: A chicken croquette shaped like a chicken thigh that can also be found filled with the typical Brazilian soft cheese catupiry Quibe: A mixture of ground beef, special grain and spices. Brought over by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants, it can be served baked, fried, or raw Esfiha (Arabic Sfiha): Another Lebanese and middle-eastern dish resembling pie/cakes with fillings such as beef, mutton, cheese, or seasoned vegetables Pastéis are pastries with a wide variety of fillings brought to Brazil by the Japanese diaspora. They are mainly made in shapes like half-moon and square that originally would set the difference between the fillings, but nowadays are just for decorative reasons. Size, flavor, and shape may vary greatly Empada: A small snack that resembles pot pies. Can be filled with a mix of palm hearts, peas, and flour with chicken or shrimp Popular Brazilian cheeses include queijo minas , a soft, mild-flavored fresh white cheese usually sold packaged in water; requeijão , a mildly salty, silky-textured, spreadable cheese sold in glass jars and eaten on bread; and catupiry , a soft processed cheese sold in a distinctive round wooden box. Other typical dishes include feijoada , a simmered bean-and- meat dish; tutu de feijão , a paste of beans and cassava flour; moqueca capixaba, consisting of slow-cooked fish, tomato, onion and garlic topped with cilantro; and, chouriço , a mildly spicy sausage. Brazil is also known for cachaça , which is a popular native liquor distilled from sugar cane that is the main ingredient in the national drink, caipirinha .
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Dining Customs Typical meal traditions may differ from region to region, but standard practices are below: Breakfast: Common foods include tropical fruits, typical cakes, bread with butter or jam, minas cheese, requeijão, coffee, milk, juices, or tea Lunch: Normally the biggest meal; rice and beans are a staple with some kind of protein, salads, farofa (a toasted flour of manioc or corn) Afternoon snack ( lanche da tarde): A quick meal between lunch and dinner, often consisting of coffee or tea with cookies, typical cakes, salgadinhos, or bread with butter Dinner: For most Brazilians dinner is a light affair, but choices vary from region to region. In São Paulo, soups, salads, pasta, sandwiches, and pizza are common dishes; other areas may choose more filling meals Grocery Nearly all Brazilians use supermarkets to do their grocery shopping. On average Brazilians probably frequent the big grocery stores four to six times per month. Some families opt to take one big grocery shopping trip per month and then buy daily items such as milk, bread, and deli meats from local stores closer to their houses. Brazil’s many local stores often carry homemade items. Local produce stores sell fresh fruits, vegetables, and salads. There are also many bakeries, which sell pastries and bread fresh out of the oven. Although grocery stores in Brazil feature familiar aisles, the quantities of items are much smaller, and there is less variety. Additionally, stores in Brazil do not have self-checkout. They also don’t have pharmacies or photo centers inside grocery stores; for these services, you must go to separate, specialized stores.
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To legally become a Brazilian employee, an expat must apply for a work visa through the Brazilian Ministry of Labor, and obtain all necessary Brazilian documents. Approved visa stamped by a Brazilian embassy or consulate at the home country Federal Police stamp on the passport (upon arrival in Brazil) RNE ( Registro National De Estrangeiro , or identity card for non-nationals) protocol and number CPF ( Cadastro de Pessoa Físcia or income tax card) protocol and number CTPS ( Carteira de Trabalho e Previdência Social or work booklet) issued Note: Registration at payroll has to be retroactive to arrival date, even if the date was on a weekend or holiday. Driver’s License Driving in Brazil requires special procedures pertaining to a driver’s license. Depending on the type of visa, an international driver’s license is only valid for 180 days after arrival (the date stamped on your passport visa is used to determine the 180 days). After the first six months, an international resident can apply for a Brazilian driver’s license at their local DETRAN office. In Brazil, a driver’s license is called a Carteira Nacional de Habilitação (CNH), A Brazilian driver’s license is awarded to residents living in Brazil legally and who pass the four tests to receive a driver’s license. You are required to present the following: An original RNE card, or its protocol, and a copy of your foreign identity card An original and copy of your taxpayer’s card (CPF) An original and copy of proof of address for the previous three months (can be utility bills or bank statements) Your original driver’s license or temporary license These items must all be presented at your local DETRAN office. Staff at the DETRAN office will determine if you must take the medical and psychological tests required by Brazilians on a case by case basis. In each DETRAN office, there is a special unit to help expats with this process. Helpful Hint: In Brazil, driver’s licenses are offered without the need for driving lessons and tests to expats coming from countries that are members of the Vienna Convention, and countries that Brazil has international reciprocity agreements with. Medical exams are mandatory to all expats. Be sure to check with your Dwellworks Consultant for more specifics.
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Visas In the process of moving to Brazil, it is recommended an applicant travel here for a visit first. Even though some Latin American countries can travel to Brazil holding their home country identity card, most foreigners wishing to visit the country must have a passport valid for at least six months after the date of arrival. Depending on their nationality, a visa is a mandatory request and should be requested at least six weeks before your departure date. A citizen from an EU country (or of certain European countries) will need just a valid passport; however, for citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, or the U.S., obtaining a travel visa is necessary. Check the list of countries that would need a visa at the consulate of your jurisdiction. To be engaged in any form of salaried employment in Brazil, an expat must have either Brazilian residency or a work permit ( Autorização de Trabalho ). To apply for the work permit, an appropriate immigration visa ( Visto ) must be obtained; it is the first step to work legally in Brazil. The process has to be started by the interested Brazilian party by presenting a list of documents to the office of the Ministry of Labor in Brazil. Please check more details with your visa provider. Important Information: Assignment cannot start before the adequate visa concession Household goods shipment cannot be authorized before the adequate visa concession The Brazilian Income Tax Return is on an annual calendar year basis At the end of an assignment, it is mandatory to submit an Income Tax Return along with a request for a Tax Clearance before leaving the country to break the tax residency Visa concession (temporary or permanent) takes from six to eight weeks to be approved after application is submitted to Brazilian government Mandatory to wait for 90 days to apply for a new visa, starting from the expiration date or cancelation date of the current visa
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Money and Banking
Banks For long-term assignments it is recommended to apply for a local credit card via your bank. There are also cards provided by the banks that can be used to pay in cash, and the debit from your account is made online. Banks typically charge administration fees for all bank services, which vary from bank to bank. Service packages are available. Checks are more acceptable in Brazil than in Europe or the U.S. For expensive purchases, such as clothes or household appliances, stores may divide the payment into monthly quotas (three installments with no interest) or pre-dated checks – in this case the interest is not included. Expensive purchases made in cash may offer 5 to 10% off the purchase price; normally this is not applicable for credit cards. Opening a Bank Account This is normally done after you have been included in your company’s payroll, which is completed only after you have received your CTPS work booklet. Necessary documents for opening a bank account are: RNE protocol and number CPF protocol and number Proof of residence Most banks will also require your CTPS and a letter from your employer when opening an account where your payment will be deposited Exchange Typically, the best rates are found in travel agencies. Cash or travelers checks, especially U.S. dollars, may be exchanged mostly in banks and specialty establishments, and also in main hotels. Note: Avoid exchanging money while on the streets. Credit Cards Almost all major credit cards are accepted in Brazil. MasterCard and Visa are the most widely accepted, although not everywhere. American Express is also accepted, although not as widely. Almost all commercial establishments accept at least one or two different credit cards. There are some that do not accept any credit cards, so be sure to check in advance. Taxes While in Brazil, you are required to submit an Income Tax Declaration every year. If you receive part of your monthly payment at your home country, or receive any income abroad, you need to pay Carnê Leão , a form of tax, every month. If you need more information and/or support on this, your Consultant can refer you to professionals in the area.
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Safety and Security
Although some of the information and safety measures listed below may seem like common sense, it is worth reinforcing to keep in mind.
At Home Avoid sharing personal information by telephone to people you do not know, and be sure that your household help behaves the same way. (Household help is common in Brazil and will be discussed under the Housing section.) Never tell strangers about household routines Always ask your future household help to present documents and references. Take photocopies of their identity cards in case you need future confirmation of their identity If a representative of a public utility company (i.e., gas, electricity, telephone) comes to make repairs at your home, ask them to present identification Never accept orders or packages you have not asked for Keep at hand a list with all of the emergency telephone numbers (nearest police and fire stations, nearest emergency hospital, etc.)
Childproofing Most of these commonly used gadgets can be found in Brazil but at a higher price. Just for an idea of what is available, and to compare pricing, check out: www.tokstok.com.br .
On the Streets
Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid traveling to unsafe areas alone or at night. Also pay attention to personal
belongings in large crowds to avoid pick-pocketing by both adults and children Common sense rules while traveling the streets of Brazil: - Taking large amounts of cash, expensive jewelry, and other precious items should be avoided if you can - Avoid traveling with an item that you cannot afford to lose Always remember to keep personal items such as purses or cameras close to you in public spaces and do not leave personal items unattended at any time
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Do not keep your documents, credit cards, checkbooks, and your money together in the same pocket or wallet; also take photocopies of all your documents to keep at home If an assault occurs, try to keep calm; remember the thief is more nervous than you and if you react their attitude may be aggressive; observe their face very well in case you may need to identify the assailant Helpful Hint: You may want to determine a moral strategy for how you want to address beggars. You may choose, for example, to keep candies in the car to give to child beggars or some change that is easily accessible. If you choose to donate change or small coins, do not open your wallet to take out money, and do not open the vehicle windows all the way. In Case of Theft Telephone the nearest police station and call a patrol car, or go to the nearest police station to report the situation (you will receive a report on the occurrence for insurance purposes) Do not resist handing over valuables. Cancelling credit cards or personal checks after the incident is a safer alternative Advise your bank of any loss or theft of credit cards or checkbooks immediately after a theft occurs In the Car While driving, make sure to lock your doors and windows and try to keep windows up at traffic intersections Inside automobiles, keep your packages and personal belongings out of the sight of other people, leaving them on the vehicle floor or in the trunk to reduce visibility Always have a mobile phone – not only for safety but for a mechanical emergency. Using mobile phones while driving is prohibited in major cities and will receive a fine At night, try to park your car near a street light and avoid empty streets In case of a flat tire, keep going until you find a safe place to change to a spare Unfortunately, faking car accidents is a common scam, so do not stop behind vehicles which have had an accident or if someone is injured. Contact emergency services such as the police to report what you see so that the proper assistance will arrive Tell your children never to accept rides from people they do not know Emergency Numbers National Emergency Services: dial +190 (911 and 112 redirect to 190 when used on cellular phones in Brazil) National Ambulance Services: dial +192 National Fire Services: dial +193
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Communication and Media
Telephones Land lines can easily be requested in your new home. If you choose to use your current phone, the jack and electrical current (for cordless) will probably be different, but adapters can be found easily. The international telephone country code for Brazil is +55.
Public telephones are found regularly in major cities. They work with phone cards only, which can be bought at any newspaper stand. Regular phone cards allow you to make local and national calls, but the credits are used at an incredible rate if the call is directed to another city or to mobile phones. There is a special phone card for international calls, so make sure to ask the clerk for the correct one.
Mobile phones are universal and major international brands of cellular phones can be bought in almost any city in Brazil. Your current cellular phone might not be compatible in Brazil, so be sure to consider your options if you must purchase a new cellular phone. Packages of services including the phone itself are normally a good option. Television Television first arrived in Brazil in the 1950s and was available only in black and white for many years. Cable TV has only been available in Brazil since 1995 and Digital TV became available in 2007 in just a few cities. The open channel system in Brazil is PAL-M. Televisions on other systems may only play in black and white or not at all. The major free networks are Band , Rede TV , Globo , Rede Record , and SBT . Brazil TV , a national channel run by each state + TV Cultura , a São Paulo state-run channel + TV Camera and Senado , which report on the Chamber of the Republic and Federal Senate respectively Satellite television can be used in Brazil, but in all major cities cable is the preferred choice. Cable and satellite TV are available by subscription. Your Dwellworks Consultant will advise you on what is available in your area. If you sign up for cable, their system will most likely have built-in NTSC capability. It is advisable to check it with the cable provider before shipping a personally owned TV, or purchasing a new one to make sure everything is compatible. Other free networks are: +
Brazilian programs are in Portuguese and foreign programs can either be dubbed or have subtitles. Many imported programs on cable offer a choice of viewing languages.
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Cable channels include Japanese, Italian, French and German channels, among others. The available providers can differ from area to area in any city in Brazil. In apartment buildings there will usually be a preferred provider already installed and to join is an easy process. Of course, there is always the possibility of choosing a different provider, but it can be complicated and more expensive. Major cable providers in Brazil are: NetTV: www.netcombo.com.br
Claro TV: http://clarotv.claro.com.br/pacoteTV.aspx
Vivo TV: www.vivofibra.com.br/pacotes.aspx
All of these providers offer telephone, cable, and Internet as packages that are less costly than purchasing services separately. Subscriptions are made by telephone but some shopping centers have stores where a person can subscribe to telephone, cable, and Internet in person. To choose the best package, be sure to check their website for options and prices. Companies often require several documents and pieces of information to begin services. Some of these include: Passport, or Foreigner's Identification Number (RNE)
CPF ( Cadastro de Pessoa Fîsical ) individual taxpayer's number
Brazilian bank account information (for a direct debit)
Date of birth
The provider of choice will send an engineer to the person's address (usually within a week) to install the equipment. On that day a person has to be available at the property during the commercial hours. A TV, a computer and a telephone will have to be available for installation. Connecting Utilities and Other Services It is mandatory to have received your Brazilian documents (identity card and your CPF number) in order to request utilities unless your company, or a representative, allows you to establish utility connections under their name. Postal or Zip Codes: Brazilian postal codes are a sequence of eight digits, e.g. 12345-678. To search for a code in Brazil you can access: http://buscacepbrasil.com Addressing Mail: The stamp is placed in the front, top right-hand corner. The sender's address should be included on the back center of the envelope or parcel, matching the format for the recipient. The recipient's address must be written on the front center of the envelope. Use capital letters to write the following information: - Name or company name - Name and number of the street/avenue/road and other relevant information - Name of the district (Bairro) - Postal code, City or region name, and Brazilian Federal Union sign Postal Service
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Postage Options: Regular and priority mail letters can be sent using postage-paid envelopes, stamps or franking machines located within Post Offices
Delivery Times: Regular mail / Domestic delivery in one to three days
SEDEX 10 : An express service for documents and parcels with guaranteed registered delivery up to 10 a.m. following the day of posting (from Monday to Saturday); can be tracked online SEDEX HOJE : Same-day recorded mail delivery service to some main Brazilian cities. Parcels can be declared up to a value of R$10,000; can be tracked online SEDEX MUNDI : Is the international registered mail service. Delivery time to Europe is four to six days; can be tracked online Telegrams: National and international telegrams can be sent electronically via the Internet, by telephone, or at a Post Office. Ask your Dwellworks Consultant if you need any other information
Helpful Hint: Weight limits and sizes are different for each service. Check with your local Postal Office for information and other services.
Common Postal Terminology in Portuguese
Address: Endereço Ordinary Postal Service: Correio Normal Postal Codes:
Código de Endereçamento Postal (CEP)
Post Office Box:
International Shipping Certain materials are strictly prohibited in Brazil and cannot be shipped into the country. Ensure that these items are not sent in your shipment or that they are handled according to Brazilian legislation. For a complete and more detailed list be sure to check with your freight forwarder, moving company, or airline. Most important items of note: Drugs: This applies mainly to narcotics. Penalties are severe, so do not take risks. If you must bring any medicines with you, make sure to bring proper prescriptions Firearms and ammunition: They are strictly prohibited in Brazil. It is best to leave them in your home country Brazilian or Portuguese antiques: Even though there is no restriction to bring them into the country, you will not be allowed to take them back with you
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Driving Driving in Brazil can be the best way to access some of the more remote areas of the country, and also reach parts that are not well connected by train or bus services. Traffic signals in Brazil are similar to the U.S. and Europe, but there is a large difference in driving etiquette and style. Strictly following traffic laws is not always common practice, and drivers are often very aggressive and opportunistic. It is also typical for mopeds and motor cycles to weave around both moving, and non-moving traffic; so keep all limbs inside of the car at all times and pay close attention to your mirrors. Driving in a different country can be daunting so please read the following carefully, and ask your Dwellworks Consultant for any specific support you might need. Rules and Regulations Driving legislation in Brazil is federal and therefore applies to each individual state. These are the standard practices to follow: Drive on the right side of the road, overtake on the left The legal minimum age for driving cars and motorcycles is 18 years-old The use of a mobile telephone is not allowed In the event of an accident, contact the national emergency telephone number, Tel: 193 It is mandatory to wear a seat belt ( cinto de segurança ) including in the back seats if belts are fitted. If a child is too small to use a seatbelt, a child safety seat must be fitted and used at all times At traffic islands/roundabouts the vehicle on the roundabout yields to vehicles entering the roundabout system (This is not the case at other junctions, and it is not always respected, so use caution when entering a roundabout) Park in the direction of traffic flow, not facing it Right turns at red lights are prohibited unless indicated by a livre a direita (free to turn right) sign Signaling when changing lanes or making turns is mandatory It is an offense for a person
to drive wearing flip flops or with their elbow resting on the windowsill, and/or protruding from the vehicle Keeping both hands on the wheel is mandatory Police radar is widely used in many cities and roads. Fines are sent to the address provided when licensing a vehicle
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