‎Real Estate Purchase in Brazil

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You don't have to be Brazilian or live in the country to buy real estate in Brazil. Attracted by the potential for profitability and appreciation or even spending holidays with the family in one of the countries with the most natural beauty in the world, foreigners frequently purchase land, houses and apartments in Brazil.

The precautions to buy real estate in Brazil are the same recommended both for those who live in the country and for people from outside. According to Brazilian Real Estate Lawyer Alessandro Jacob, the difference is in the procedures prior to the purchase, which require a few more steps for foreigners.

“The initial step is to obtain the CPF number by the foreigner, which can be requested at any Brazilian embassy or consulate abroad. To do this, you must present a certified copy of an identity document used in your country of residence, preferably your passport. If you are married, you will also need a CPF number for your spouse.

With the CPF created, adds the professional, it's time to plan the acquisition. “The purchase can be made by means of a power of attorney by public instrument, granting powers to buy, sign deed, private contracts and resolve any matter before the Notary Publics, legalized at the Brazilian consular office of the foreigner's country of origin, in Brazil registered in the Titles and Documents Offices and translated ”, continues the lawyer.

Once the negotiation is closed, the transaction proceeds to the final stage, which consists of transferring the values ??to the seller and the ownership of the property to the buyer. At this stage, the foreigner may have to present some more documents, such as proof of address, certificates of the acquired property or even the presentation of details regarding the origin of the money. "Banks have the autonomy to deny deposits made by foreigners, as long as for justified reasons, which can block the acquisition.

It is important to note, however, that there are some legal restrictions on the direct purchase of real estate by foreigners, with respect to rural properties and land located in the 100 meters range along the national sea coast. On the other hand, especially in relation to investors, it is possible to develop some solutions that can circumvent such restrictions, reducing the risk of loss of invested capital.

Income tax only on sale and rent

Income tax is not levied on the purchase of property. "The incidence will happen only monthly, if the property is rented in Brazil, and at the time of sale, if there is a capital gain", emphasizes the professional.

The taxes and fees involved in the transaction are the IOF (normally already withheld by the bank at the time of the international transfer), the ITBI (municipal tax due to the prefecture where the property is located) and the notary fees for carrying out the deed and registration of the transfer, which vary according to where the asset to be transferred is located.

Care when buying the property:

Before proceeding with the purchase, it is recommended to provide an escrow account to provide security in the transaction. This type of account authorizes the deposit by the buyer and the money can only be redeemed by the seller when the deal is finalized and proven.

It is important to collect all information about the property and the owner. Is there any pending issue? Is the seller's CPF in good standing? Is there a lawsuit in progress regarding the property or the seller that may cause problems after the purchase? Certificates should be consulted, mainly, at the location of the property and at the seller's home.

The purchase and sale contract must be very well prepared, providing for all possible situations and guarantees, as well as indemnities due if the other party does not fulfill its obligations. Having a trusted attorney will prevent headaches and financial and emotional losses in the future.

Real estate helps permanent visa application for foreigners

Those interested in living permanently in Brazil now have a new way of applying for a permanent visa for foreigners: investing in real estate in the country. Before the change of law, in November 2018, these authorizations were only given to those who put resources into companies, a more time-consuming and complex process.

The alternative of granting a permanent visa to foreigners who invest in real estate already exists in many countries and is widely used by Brazilians seeking the so-called “gold visa” in Portugal, for example. With this new measure, the Brazilian government expects to receive investment from several countries and regions, especially China, the USA and Europe.

Conditions for investment

Interested parties must make a minimum investment of R $ 700 thousand in properties in the North and Northeast and R $ 1 million in other regions. This rule is valid for urban residential and commercial properties, but not for rural properties. In addition, these acquisitions need to be made through a Brazilian bank.

Once this is done, the immigrant will be able to apply for a permanent visa with the National Immigration Council, which will grant provisional authorization. The application for a permanent residence permit in the country will only be continued after two years, when the foreigner proves that the property purchased is well maintained and remained in his name during this period.

Permanent visa documentation for foreigners

Since hosting the World Cup and the Olympics, the interest of foreigners in getting to know, visiting and even investing and moving permanently to Brazil has only grown. However, many still face difficulties with the Brazilian bureaucracy, which is especially complex. For this reason, our Brazilian Immigration Lawyers offers personalized and specialized assistance in documentation for immigrants who want to seek residence in the country. Contact us, we will be happy to serve you!


Mr. Alessandro Jacob speaking about Brazilian Law on "International Bar Association" conference

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