Tips for Successful Relocation to Brazil
Cartus is excited to be celebrating the five-year anniversary of our LATAM office based in São Paulo, Brazil on October 1st. The operation has not only doubled the number of people in the office over that time to best support our clients and their transferring employees moving to Brazil, but it has also become an important hub for the entire Latin America region.
Famous for its vibrant Carnival festivities, passion for soccer, and joyful people, Brazil has the largest population in Latin America and ranks fifth in the world for size. Brazil is a popular destination for expats, but can also be a challenging location to move to. Understanding how culture, market practices, and bureaucracy play a major part as one adapts to Brazil is the essential role of global mobility managers who support transfers to this vibrant country. Cartus‘ recent Brazil Relocation Country Guide offers best practice recommendations for assignees and mobility managers to succeed in Brazil.
Supporting Your Employees in Brazil
Having worked in global mobility for more than 10 years in Brazil, and seeing the relocation process from both the HR and service provider points of view, I have seen firsthand what a rollercoaster ride a move to Brazil can be! Many times, I have seen employees and their families arrive in Brazil with concerns about living in a developing country, and then have a hard time leaving Brazil at the end of the assignment! It’s all about one’s predisposition to face, and overcome, the minor challenges to be found along the way.
Here are a few quick tips to help you get started:
Be sociable; business is about personal relationships
In Brazil, business is about taking an interest in your colleagues’ lives outside of work. Be sure to engage in conversation at the office and at meetings rather than rushing straight to the point. It is also generally better to communicate indirectly to help a colleague “save face” in a compromising position.
Be prepared to move quickly in the housing market
Housing is one of the most challenging issues for assignees in Brazil. There is no MLS in Brazil and properties can be listed under multiple agents, so a lease could be in the works and the property will remain on the market until the lease is finalized. Additionally, payments are always made in the Brazilian Real due to currency restrictions, and the first prospective tenant to have the money ready is often the one who gets the apartment. Be ready to make quick decisions on rentals and examine any schooling and commuting needs to narrow down your search. Be sure to have the rent, deposits, and fees ready when you start your home search.
Be organized when considering schools for children
It is recommended that you begin the enrollment process for schools six months prior to the move to Brazil. Most schools will have a waiting list depending on the school year and require children to be tested prior to acceptance.
Be patient with visa and immigration processes
Work visas can take approximately three to four months to process. There are multiple agencies involved, including the Ministry of Labor, Consulates, and Federal Police. Frequent changes in processes and requirements and strikes by various agencies can cause unforeseen delays, so be sure to factor this into your planning for a visa.
For more information on relocating to Brazil and practical guidance and tips for success, read our latest Relocation Country Guide for Brazil.