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Know everything about Brazilian Citizenship through Naturalization

Brazilian Citizenship

Applying for citizenship is the most complex and delicate step for anyone who wishes to legally live in Brazil. It’s important to comprehend that the concession of Brazilian citizenship to a foreigner means that the applicant will have right not only to his/her original nationality but also to the Brazilian one, being it temporary or permanent. The law regarding the mutual gathering of Brazilian and original citizenship depends on the laws of the home country.

There are a few ways to apply for Brazilian citizenship, and each of them has its own requirements.

Do you want to know everything about applying for Brazilian citizenship? So, keep reading this article, and if you have any doubts, just contact us!

1. What is the difference between a native and a naturalized Brazilian?

Brazilian nationality law is based on both the principles of Jus Sanguinis and Jus Solis.

Jus Sanguinis: from latim “blood right”. It ensures to the individual the right to the citizenship of a country through their parentage; on the other hand, Jus Solis: “land right”. It guarantees for the individual the citizenship from the country where he/she was born.

The Jus Solis’ principle is applicable in Brazil, like in many other South, Central and North American countries. That means that every child who is born within Brazilian national territory can apply to Brazilian citizenship regardless of their parents’ nationality.

2. Types of Brazilian naturalization

The present Migration Law – Lei n° 13.445/2017, establishes four species of citizenship: ordinary, extraordinary, special and provisional.

2.1. Ordinary naturalization

The ordinary Brazilian naturalization is granted to foreigners who wish to get naturalization and fulfill the following requirements:

I. Civil capacity, according to Brazilian law

II. Four years of permanent residency in Brazil

III. Adequate ability to communicate in Portuguese, given the applicant’s condition

IV. No prior criminal conviction, in Brazil or in the country of origin

2.2. Extraordinary naturalization

Extraordinary naturalization will be granted to the person of any nationality who has established permanent residency in Brazil for at least 15 years uninterruptedly without criminal conviction, or already rehabilitated under the current legislation.

2.3. Special naturalization

Special Brazilian naturalization grantees to the spouse or partner of:

  • a member in activity of the Brazilian Foreign Service

  • a person who is working abroad for the Brazilian State

  • someone who worked or is currently working in a diplomatic mission or in a Brazilian consulate office for over ten years uninterruptedly.

The requirements for obtaining the special naturalization are:

I. Being legally married for five years or longer

II. Civil capacity, according to Brazilian law

III. Adequate ability to communicate in Portuguese, given the applicant’s condition

IV. No prior criminal conviction or proof of rehabilitation, under the current legislation

2.4. Temporary naturalization

Provisional naturalization may be granted to a child or adolescent migrant who has established residence in the national territory before the age of ten and must be requested through his / her legal representative.

3. How can someone apply for a Brazilian citizenship?

The application for a Brazilian citizenship is complex and encompasses several levels of the government, such as: the Federal Police, the Ministry of Justice, the Department of Migrations and the National Secretary of Justice.

The application is initially addressed to the Ministry of Justice, and it must be submitted in one of Federal Police units. The Federal Police will process the request of naturalization and will forward it to the Department of Migration for analysis. If there is any discrepancy in the documentation presented, the applicant will be notified to submit it again within 30 days, extendable upon justified request.

If the application for naturalization is accepted, the Department of Migration will issue a reasoned opinion and will forward it to the National Secretary of Justice for a final decision.

The application for naturalization’s result will be published in the Official Federal Gazette. After it, the naturalized person will have the right to get their first national identity card in Detran.

4. Loss of Brazilian nationality

The loss of Naturalization can occur because of a final conviction of an activity which is considered harmful to the national interest. The risk of a situation of statelessness will be considered before the loss of nationality becomes effective. After the case is closed, it is possible to reacquire the naturalization or have the act that declared the loss revoked, in the manner defined by the competent body of the Executive Branch.

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