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Moving to Brazil to Work Abroad: The Inside Scoop

by - Published April 26

Whether you’re stuck in a rut at your current job or you’ve just graduated and are looking for adventure, is a great way to further your career, pick up some Portuguese skills, and enjoy all the churrasco you could ever want. 

Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

Views like these are the norm when you live and work in Brazil.

Life in Brazil is never boring, and from the moment you arrive, you’ll be surrounded by people who are enthusiastic life and getting the most out of it. Brazilians take work seriously, but they also make sure to savor every free moment, too. From beach-filled weekends away to late nights out with friends over caipirinhas, moving to Brazil is a decision that will definitely pay off. 

FAQs on moving to Brazil to work

While getting a job abroad can be challenging, it’s an achievable goal for those who are motivated. Of course, there’s no reason to make it more difficult than it needs to be, so preparing yourself is the best way to make your Brazilian dreams a reality. Head on over to Google, start networking, and do as much research as possible. Not sure where to begin? We’ve got you! Read on for for some of the best moving to Brazil advice: 

How much can I make by working in Brazil?

The salary for jobs in Brazil varies greatly depending on what you’ll be doing and where you’ll be living. The cost of living is much higher in big cities like and , but compensation usually accounts for these disparities, and you’ll make more in larger urban areas. Pay will likely be lower in rural areas, but accommodation will also likely be more affordable. 

That said, living in Brazil isn’t necessarily cheap, and unless you are working in a highly-skilled field, you’ll likely break even after you’ve paid your monthly expenses. This doesn’t mean you won’t be able to enjoy yourself while living in Brazil, but don’t expect to return home with a fat savings account, either. Careful budgeting can help you prioritize your expenses and make even the smallest paycheck go farther! 

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What do I need to know work visas in Brazil?

While the work you are doing may affect the type of visa you require, in general most people moving to Brazil for work will need to apply for a temporary work visa. This type of visa is sponsored by your employer, is valid for two years, and can be renewed for an additional two years. It’s important to plan ahead if you’ll be obtaining this type of visa, as it can take two to three months for processing. It’s also important to note that once you enter Brazil on this type of visa, it’s non-transferable and you cannot change jobs without permission. 

gif, Christ the Redeemer statue

Brazil will welcome you with open arms.

In some cases, those teaching English do so on a tourist visa, and it’s common for language schools to hire teachers this way. Tourist visas are valid for 90 days (they are renewable), and they must be obtained prior to entry in Brazil. Keep in mind that while English teachers use this method to work in Brazil, it is technically not considered legal work and it does come with some risk. Find your nearest embassy or consulate . 

Where are the best cities to find jobs in Brazil?

Brazil is a massive country, and there are literally hundreds of places where you could find work. That said, larger cities usually offer more jobs for foreigners and are a good place for you to begin your search. 

Famous for its stunning beaches and festive Carnival celebrations, is also one of the best cities to find a job in Brazil. With over seven million inhabitants, job opportunities cover a wide spectrum, from business to teaching, and the large amount of tourists make hospitality jobs popular here, too. After clocking out for the day, hop on a bus to Lapa and explore as dancing and music fill the streets. 

Brazil’s largest city, , is also a great spot to focus your job search. This city of 12 million residents is big, busy, and incredibly diverse, meaning you’ll always be able to find a taste of home when you need it. Many multinational companies are based here and English teachers are in high demand, making it a great destination for job seekers of all levels of experience. 

For those looking to experience something a bit different, in the south or in the north might fit the bill. Still large cities in their own right, they offer a taste of the diversity of Brazilian culture, and you’ll quickly learn regional differences as you navigate your new home. Both locations are on the coast, so either way you’ll have prime beach access every weekend. 

Parrots in Brazil

Spread your wings and move to Brazil and work abroad.

Is it safe to work abroad in Brazil?

Brazil can have a bad reputation when it comes to safety, and the truth is that you do need to be safety conscious when you travel here. That said, as long as you take common sense precautions, you’ll be able to enjoy your time in Brazil. Your best bet is to check in with your co-workers when you arrive and ask them for advice on how to stay safe. This might include specific places to avoid after dark, how to carry your belongings, or the best way to use public transportation. Keep in mind, moving to Brazil from the USA is a cultural change, and you may need to alter your daily behaviors and habits in order to stay safe and healthy. 

Any other advice or resources you can point my way?

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What are popular jobs for foreigners in Brazil?

While it’s possible to get any type of job in Brazil, there are some fields that more readily hire foreigners. Native English speakers can usually find opportunities teaching, and highly-skilled workers in the engineering and energy fields also have an advantage. Yet with a bit of research and a lot of motivation, getting a contract is possible for any type of job seeker. 

Teaching English

For native English speakers, teaching is one of the easiest ways to find work in Brazil. Many Brazilians are interested in learning English and this is especially true in larger cities, where businesses conduct work internationally and often need to practice their language skills. While this kind of work is relatively plentiful, it can be difficult to secure long-term contracts and the pay is usually hourly, so budgeting and careful planning is important.

Many organizations that offer TEFL certifications also assist in job placement. If you don’t yet have a TEFL certification but would like to get one, this can be a good option to gain more experience teaching, and you’ll receive assistance in finding a job once you’ve finished the course. 

Recommended programs:

boulders and jungle in brazil

There’s plenty to explore outside of the office.

Sports

Perhaps an unlikely job field, it kind of makes sense if you think it. Sports are hugely popular in Brazil, and someone needs to be reporting on all of those matches for spectators around the world. This isn’t a full-time job and it likely won’t pay the bills, but picking up some work on the side for some extra cash can’t hurt, especially if you’ll be at the game anyway! 

Recommended programs:

Public Health & Medicine

Brazil is a large country, and its public health infrastructure varies depending on location. While health care is quite good in many large cities, there may be less access to health care facilities in rural areas. Public health care workers can contribute to Brazilian society in many ways, from providing educational programs to working directly in health care clinics. 

While Portuguese skills aren’t required in all health care positions, some background in the language can make your work much more effective. Be sure to speak with your employer what kind of support you’ll be receiving on the ground to ensure you can be successful in your work. 

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Engineering

Many jobs for foreigners in Brazil are specifically for high-skilled workers, especially in the engineering field. The country is growing, and the demand for infrastructure and energy is at an all-time high. Workers with a background in these areas can make quite good money, especially when employed at large companies. 

While other positions in Brazil may be short-term, most jobs in engineering are longer-term commitments. This can be helpful when applying for working permits, as the company will often assist you through the process and can offer additional guidance on applying for permanent residency. Speaking Portuguese isn’t always a requirement for these positions, but knowing some will take you a long way toward enjoying your time in Brazil. 

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friends laughing and smiling in brazil

Living and working with your amigos makes moving to Brazil from the USA worth it. 

Tourism

Maybe you’re moving to Brazil because you’ve already visited as a tourist, and now you can’t wait to go back. We hear you! Tourism is one of Brazil’s biggest industries, and there are tons of jobs for those who want to assist travelers. From leading tour groups and adventure treks to working in an information center, there are a lot of opportunities to share your love of Brazil with other travelers.  

Being able to speak English and Portuguese is a must in this type of job, and knowing multiple languages is even better. Depending on your job duties, you may be interacting with people from many different countries and backgrounds throughout the day. 

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Business

Business careers fall along a wide spectrum, and you could be looking for jobs in finance, technology, advertising, or sales. All of these and more are on offer in Brazil, and many of these companies are looking for internationally-minded individuals to help them expand their reach. You’ll have the best luck if you already have some work experience in the field, and having a degree is even better. 

In addition to looking at companies based in Brazil, another option is to explore multinational companies with branches in the country. Sometimes it can be easier to start out in your home country and then seek out a transfer after you’ve proven you can do the job. Sure, this is playing the long game, but it can pay out in spades if you’re patient. 

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Your next stop? Jobs in Brazil!

By now you may have figured out that moving to Brazil from the USA isn’t necessarily a piece of cake, but it is possible for those who are motivated. Your best bet is to cultivate a skill before looking for a job, either by obtaining a teaching certification or getting some work experience in your field. Once you’ve shown that you’re an extraordinary employee, it’ll be that much easier to land yourself an interview and get an offer. Then before you know it, you’ll be packing your bags for the adventure of a lifetime! 

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