Purchase of real estate in Brazil by a foreigner

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The foreign citizen, even without having Brazilian nationality or a fixed address in the country, can buy property in Brazil, if he/she has valid identification documents on national territory. Therefore, a passport, with regular visas, serves for this purpose and the CPF (Natural Persons Registry) issued by the Brazilian Ministry of Finance, is compulsory.

Every foreign citizen can buy real estate in Brazil. There are no limits to the investment, either in value or in quantity of real estate. However, there are restrictions on acquiring real estate in rural areas or border regions with other countries.

A foreigner residing in the country and a foreign company authorized to operate in Brazil can only acquire rural real estate property in the manner foreseen in Law 5907/71.

The present law states:

  1. The buyer must have permanent residence in Brazil (authorization to be a resident or acquired nationality);
  2. The property in rural areas must be included in the national rural register system and be equal to or less than 3 fiscal modules (between 5 and 11 hectares according to the municipality);
  3. The law limits the acquisition of land by foreigners to a percentage of the territory of each municipality. If the intended property exceeds this limit, the sale can only be made with the authorization of the President of the Republic, granted by decree;
  4. If the area is rural and exceeds 20 fiscal modules, INCRA’s authorization is required, and it must also approve the project for agricultural, livestock, forestry, industrial or colonization exploration;
  5. If the interested party is a legal entity, and the area is rural, an authorization from the Ministry of Agriculture is required;
  6. If the property is in a border area, in a strip of up to 150 km along the country’s border, or in a strip of up to 100 km along federal highways, the sale can only be made with authorization of the National Defense Council;
  7. As the applicant for the acquisition of the rural property is of Portuguese nationality, with a certificate of reciprocity in the terms of the Brazilian Federal Constitution of 1988, there is no need for INCRA authorization.

New Bill:

The Bill nº 2.963/19, which facilitates the purchase, ownership and leasing of rural properties in Brazil by foreign individuals or companies, is currently being voted on.

Under analysis by the Congress, the proposal does not require the authorization or license for acquisition and possession by foreigners, when it comes to rural properties:

  1. With areas no larger than 15 fiscal modules;
  2. The total rural areas owned and leased to people from other countries may not, however, exceed 25% of the area of the municipalities where they are located;
  3. In the case of companies formed by citizens and companies of the same nationality, this percentage cannot exceed 10%;
  4. The rural properties acquired by a foreign company in Brazil must also comply with the principles of the social function of the property, such as the rational utilization and adequate use of the available natural resources and the preservation of the environment;
  5. Foreigners must obligatorily acquire the property by public deed and the Land Registry Offices will have to keep a special registry, in an auxiliary book, of the acquisitions of rural properties by foreign individuals and legal entities;
  6. The identification of the buyer of the property will be accompanied, in the case of a legal entity, by information regarding the business structure in Brazil and abroad, declared under penalty of the crime of misrepresentation.
  7. If the rural property is located in the Amazon Biome, it must be subject to a legal reserve equal to or greater than 80%;
  8. In cases where the rural real estate acquisition is destined to the execution or exploitation of concession, permission, or authorization of public service, including the activities of generation, transmission, and distribution of electric power or of concession or authorization of public assets of the Federal Government (including mining activities), the restrictions do not apply;
  9. In the event of the granting of a guarantee that results in the acquisition of property by a creditor affected by this law, he/she will have a period of 2 years, extendable for another 2 years, to sell the property, under penalty of losing the effectiveness of the acquisition.