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Open Bank Account in Brazil

Discussion in 'Brazil Property' started by jeduardo, Nov 11, 2008.

  1. jeduardo

    jeduardo New Member

    The requirements for a foreigneer to open a bank account in Brazil varies from Bank to Bank but the most important document is the CPF which is Brazilian equivalent to U.S. SSN.
    See Foreigners - How to Get a CPF (Social Security Number) in Brazil - BootsnAll Travel Network

    With CPF in hand you can request electricity (COSERN), phone (OI), and water (CAERN). Any one of these will serve as proof of residence. You should provide a copy of the bill you receive in the mail rather than one you get from the Internet. Bring both original and copy at time of application.

    You also need proof of income which is difficult if you are not working in Brazil. The way around this is to have a Brazilian accountant submit a form to the Receita Federal declaring your income. Banco do Brasil will accept this. The accountant usually charges around R$70 for this service. Be aware though that if you do this the Receita Federal will be looking for your tax declaration every year so keep this declared income under R$14.992,32 annual. Starting in 2008 if you are under this limit you don't need to do anything. Prior to 2008 you had to declare annually that you were exempt.

    With Banco Brasil you can open an account via the Internet but you really don't gain much here since you will be asked to physically go to the bank with all your documents in order to finalize the application.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2008
  2. debzor

    debzor New Member

    Hi Jeduardo

    Welcome, but this has been discussed ad infinitum in these threads.

    The accepted reality (for foreigners) is that while the law allows them to open accounts, in practise this will not happen because of the Draconian measures that the banks have to accept if they should open such a (C5) account. Thus they will no longer do so.

    Out of interest, I have found that you can open a poupanca (deposit/savings) account without proof of income, but do need it for a corrente (current/checking). But only if you are resident.

  3. jeduardo

    jeduardo New Member

    Yes, it has been discussed at length, but most likely by people that got the runaround when they tried to do it and they gave up.

    I opened an account with UniBanco in 2007 with just my Passport, CPF, and proof of residence(Electric bill). It is checking+savings and came with both Mastercard and Visa. They waived the requirement for proof of income since they were running a campaign to drum up new customers.

    You are right - Banco do Brasil and many other Banks will open a savings account without proof of income. If you can get your foot in the door you could probably upgrade it to a checking account later on.
  4. debzor

    debzor New Member

    Yes I have friends who also had success with opening an account as late as 2007, but you try it now! This is the point - we need to keep threads relevant and up to date, not relate stories and present them as current fact, when the truth is that it cannot occur now. When did you last try to open an account for a foreigner?

    They will not accept an electric bill as proof of residence, to start with, it will only prove address - they want to see a permanent visa or RNE (or at least the protocol for an RNE).

    However I am pleased for you that you achieved success before the bureaucrats slammed the door!
  5. jayjayh

    jayjayh New Member

    HI all,
    I have been trying for the past 12 months to get an account set up and failed !! unless you have a temporary visa ( minimum 4years) a work visa ( investment visa) or RNE you DONT HAVE ANY CHANCE!!.... this is the unfortunate truth and it is a real hassle to work arround as I have to send my loan payments for the contractors every month..
    Having a CPF and utility bill does not do anything....I am hanving a meeting with a guy from Banco Banif ( a portugeuse bank starting up in Brazil) next week and I have been told there may be a way aound things, however you will be expected to produce lots of supporting info ( salary, personal wealth, status, tax paid for past 5 years + other things!!) ... will keep you posted.
  6. jeduardo

    jeduardo New Member

    Which Bank(s) have you tried and in what city/state? I know this shouldn't matter but sometimes you can get lucky.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  7. jayjayh

    jayjayh New Member


    I have tried Itau Personalite, Banco de Brasil and hsbc all in rio de janeiro.. no luck with any. need RNE which I can't get. If you have any other suggestions it would really be welcome, if i get any joy from Banco Banif I will post... best regards..
  8. robh

    robh Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If you really, really need an account you can get one by opening a brazilian company, but this isn't cheap and is expensive to keep running.

  9. jeduardo

    jeduardo New Member

    It's been a long time since I checked but don't you need a permanent visa (RNE) for a foreigner to open a company and get a CNPJ?
  10. robh

    robh Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    As a foreigner without a permanent visa you can open and own shares in the company, but you will need a company administrator (who must be Brazilian or have a perm visa) to manage your bank account for you.

  11. debzor

    debzor New Member

    As I am writing this I am looking at 35 postdated cheques that I am holding on behalf of friends who have rented their houses but cannot bank the cheques themselves, as they own property but cannot have bank acounts! (As I have a permanent visa & RNE, I have even tried joint accounts, but without success)

    On the due dates, I bank them and give the funds to my friends when they return.

    This situation is a real pain, but as I have stated before it is not against the law for foreigners to have a bank account, it is just horrendous the amount of paperwork the banks have to complete for every single transaction.

    Once this changes it will be much easier for all foreign owners and investors.
  12. DGM42

    DGM42 New Member

    I opened an account with Banco do Brasil in Belo Horizonte in May 08 with no problems.
    I have a CPF no RNE but a declartion of residence when I stay in Brazil which my fiancee got for me at the local council type office. I have a debit card from them (didn't want a credit card)
    BB in London have set me up to pay money into my account via Nat West over here free into my account.
    This was straight forward and pain free. I know that people have had problems, as I said previous just one of the lucky ones. Maybe your location is a major issue to opening an account.
  13. jeduardo

    jeduardo New Member

    Can you be more specific in "declaration of residence"? What agency (in portuguese) issued this document? Is it a certidão? I was able to get by with Electric/Phone Bill as proof of residence last year for checking account + credit/debit cards with UniBanco in Natal, RN but it wouldn't hurt to get this "declaration of residence" for next time.
  14. jayjayh

    jayjayh New Member


    which branch in BH did you manage it? I could try and speak to the manager there next week.. I have a cpf an could get proof of residence/ownership in brazil. I can only assume the manager at your branch was a little easy with the mountain of beauracracy!!! thanks for your help.
  15. jeduardo

    jeduardo New Member

    On-line stores here in Brazil usually require a credit card issued in Brazil and do not accept foreign credit cards. I bought several major appliances through Americanas, Submarino, and Ponto Frio paying via "boleto" at the local lottery office and I guess the stores sold my name to 3rd parties because I got offers from American Express, Hipercard, Itaucard, and Carrefour. These were all pre-approved and I didn't have to provide proof of income.
  16. debzor

    debzor New Member

    I presume your fiancee is Brazilian, which puts you in quite a different position to the vast majoity of foreigners who cannot open accounts here. I would also be interested to know exactly what was stated in the 'declaration of residence'.

    But I am certain location had nothing to do with it.

    Congratulations, anyway!
  17. DGM42

    DGM42 New Member

    Yes Debzor, my fiancee was born in Brasil.
    I went with my fiance and got a CPF, then to another office and got a Declaracao of residency when in Brasil with the Servico... - Look at cost of living in Brasil thread.
    The Declaracao basically says that when i am in Brasil my permenant residence is xxxxx and two people are referees that they know me etc.
    I also registered my signature there which I believe is a requirement, so if I buy anything of value they can check my signature is authentic. Not sure how correct this is, my fiancee took me to these places to get it all sorted and it seems to have worked ok.
    I do not have a visa or RNE as yet because I am not looking to move to Brasil until about 5 years, in which time I will be married, but I travel to Brasil around 6 times per year.
    The branch is in Lourdes just around the corner from Minas Tenis club.
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