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Best Bank in Brazil for foreigners

Best bank in Brazil for foreigners

Learn about the best bank in Brazil for foreigners.

Find out how to open a bank account for foreigners in Brazil with or without a visa or residence permit and to understand the differences between ordinary bank accounts and those for non-tax residents.

Finding the best bank in Brazil for foreigners can exceed your expectations and demands may become a challenge, so you will find valuable tips and procedures to guide you along the way.

First, your move should be to define your priorities, such as:

  • Essential services: Start by defining which banking services you need, such as an account, debit and credit card, international wire transfers, etc.
  • Costs: Compare the fees charged by different banks for opening an account, maintenance, transfers, withdrawals, etc.Foreigners often choose the best bank in Brazil for its low fees.
  • Customer service: Check whether the bank offers customer service in Portuguese and English, as well as online and face-to-face channels.
  • Reputation: Research the bank’s reputation and the experience of other foreign clients. It will let you know if it is the bank in Brazil for foreigners.

Individual or company: who wants to open a bank account in Brazil?

In fact, the process of opening a bank account in Brazil for foreign citizens is a point of great general interest, and there are many questions about the requirements and the necessary procedure.

Opening a bank account is an essential service for those wishing to reside in Brazil, and is also highly sought after by foreigners:

  • They are looking to invest in the country.
  • They want to do business with Brazilian companies
  • They want to buy property in Brazil
  • They want to hire Brazilians remotely
  • They want to live in Brazil temporarily or permanently.

In this article, we try to clarify the most common doubts about the procedure.

If you represent a company and wish to start doing business in Brazil, in the end of this article you will find a valuable solution to find the best bank in Brazil for foreigners.

Where to open a bank account in Brazil?

Opening a bank account for foreigners is done directly through one of the financial institutions in Brazil. 

Actually, there are more than 20 banks in Brazil, including public, private, foreign and Brazilian institutions.

However, Brazilian law authorizes the opening and maintenance of bank accounts entirely online, but few banks carry out this activity, most still require you to go to the bank branch in person. This makes it difficult for foreigners.

That’s why there are some digital banks that are a great option for those who have a Residence Permit in Brazil and have a tax address in the country, with possession of the RNM – former RNE (we will explain about it further).

On top of that, these are a few options of banks that you can research on:

  • Traditional banks: Bradesco, Itaú, Santander and Banco do Brasil offer accounts for foreigners, but they may have stricter requirements and higher fees.
  • Digital banks: Inter, Nubank and C6 Bank offer simpler account opening processes and competitive rates, but some services may be limited
  • Fintechs: Wise, Remessa Online and Nomad offer innovative solutions for sending and receiving international remittances, multi-currency management and other services.

If you don’t have a residence permit, you can still open a Non-Resident Bank Account, which we’ll explain below.

And remember, finding the best bank in brazil for foreigners is not the simplest thing.

What are the impediments and requirements

Each banking institution in Brazil establishes how the account opening process will be carried out and what documentation is required. This applies especially to foreigners wishing to open a bank account in Brazil.

The main obstacle foreign citizens face when opening a bank account is presenting the RNM – Registro Nacional Migratório (National Migratory Registration).

The RNM is a document intended for foreigners residing in Brazil, representing an authorization for them to live in the country on a temporary or permanent basis.

Furthermore, the requirement to present the RNM is very common in practically all banking institutions established in Brazil. This requirement ends up making the process of opening an account more difficult, as many foreigners who wish to open an account in Brazil do not plan to reside in the country.

To obtain the RNM card, you must take an appointment on the website to a federal police office and present all the documents required :

-Original Visa Application
-Printed Form (completed in advance on the police website)
-Proof of payment of the fee (pay in cash R$205 at Banco do Brasil and retrieve your receipt)

It takes between 2 weeks and 2 months to obtain the RNM card.

Documents for a foreigner to open an account in Brazil

By analyzing the main financial institutions established in Brazil, it is possible to put together an overview of what it will take for a foreign citizen to open a bank account here. 

The documents required by the banks are:

  • RNM
  • Valid passport
  • CPF
  • Proof of address

In addition to the RNM requirement discussed in the previous topic, another document on the list of requirements for financial institutions is the presentation of a valid passport.

Every passport has an issue and expiry date.

If a foreign citizen finds themselves in Brazil with an expired passport, they must contact their country’s consulate or embassy in Brazil to issue a new travel document.

Closely linked to the RNM, proof of address in Brazil is also commonly requested by financial institutions. Proof of address is usually provided by a regular bill, such as a water bill, electricity bill, telephone bill, credit card bill, etc.

In addition, some banks in Brazil may require foreign nationals to appear in person at one of their branches to apply for an account.

Non-tax resident bank account

Given the challenges of opening a regular bank account without being resident in Brazil, there is a type of account called a CDE – Domiciled Abroad Account, regulated by the Central Bank.

This type of account is intended both for foreigners who are not resident in Brazil and for Brazilians who have left the country permanently.

The CDE is similar to a current account, with the difference that it is intended for foreigners and Brazilians without tax residency in Brazil.

However, the CDE is not currently offered by most banks in Brazil. This is because the Central Bank’s requirements for opening this type of account are quite strict and financial institutions are free to offer it or not.

Some of the financial institutions that offer account opening for non-residents are Banco Rendimento, Banco Santander and BTG Pactual. This list may change over time, so it is important to contact the institution directly to confirm the conditions.

Then, the expectation is that the regularization of the Domiciled Abroad Account (CDE) will be simplified and offered by more institutions soon, given that the New Exchange Framework came into force on December 30, 2022, bringing with it significant changes.

Foreigners often choose the best bank in Brazil for its low fees.

Does opening a bank account for foreigners require an attorney in Brazil?

The need for an attorney to open a bank account for a foreigner will depend strictly on the type of bank account being created. Opening accounts for foreigners residing in Brazil, whether temporary or permanent, does not require an attorney-in-fact.

Opening a CDE – Domiciled Abroad Account usually requires an attorney in Brazil. This requirement varies according to the financial institution’s guidelines.

For example, Banco Rendimento, is one of the institutions that offers account opening for non-residents, without the need for an attorney in Brazil. The service is offered 100% digitally, which makes it easier for foreigners who only reside abroad. Comparing features can help you find the best bank for foreigners in Brazil.

Is it necessary to establish a tax residence in Brazil to open a bank account?

According to the Brazilian tax system, tax domicile is the place of habitual residence, which corresponds to the place where the center of the taxpayer’s life is usually located.

In order for a foreign citizen to be considered a tax resident in Brazil, they must be in one of the following situations:

  • Enter Brazil on a permanent visa;
  • Entering Brazil on a temporary visa:
  1. To work as an employed or scholarship doctor in Brazil, on the date of arrival;
  2. On the date of completing 184 days, consecutive or not, of stay in Brazil, within a period of up to twelve months;
  3. On the date of obtaining a permanent visa or employment relationship, if this occurs before completing 184 days, consecutive or not, of stay in Brazil, within a period of up to twelve months;

It is not necessary for a foreign citizen to be considered a tax resident in order to open a bank account in Brazil.

Then, a foreign citizen with a temporary visa, for example, can open an account as soon as they arrive in the country. In addition, foreigners living abroad can also apply to open a CDE account in Brazil, as seen earlier in this article.

Procedures for companies

The procedure for companies requires specialized advice, considering the complexity of the Brazilian bureaucracy.

In this case, Europartner can help you with all the necessary procedures to simplify accounting

Europartner has been operating in the Brazilian market for over 15 years, helping foreign companies to establish themselves and start good businesses in the country.

Finding the best bank for foreigners in Brazil can be challenging.

Contact us now for detailed information.

Here is a link for more information :

Banking procedures


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