In this post, we will teach you on how to get the Brazilian CPF as a foreigner in Brazil. This document will be really useful during your time in Brazil, specially if you are going to be here for more than a month. If you are only visiting, you may not need it. In any case, here is a quick summary of the topics.

What is a CPF?

CPF stands for Cadastro Pessoal de Pessoa Física and is issued by Receita Federal (Department of Federal Revenue). Literally, that means registration of physical person, meaning just, a person, an individual. This number is a unique number that each person in Brazil has and it can be used to identify the person for tax purposes and can be used for different purposes. It is a valid document throughout the national territory and issued by an official organ of the federal government, its acceptance in other organizations for identification purposes is high (Bank agencies, government agencies and private companies).

Similarly to the United Stated, we use our CPF like Americans use their Social Security Number. It is the number that our IRS (Internal Revenue Service) uses to identify people in Brazil. It is one of the documents companies use to register an employee and it doesn’t matter if you are Brazilian or Foreigner, you can get a Brazilian CPF, which would be the same.

It follows this systematic of numbers. XXX.XXX.XXX-XX. So, There are 11 numbers in total, but 2 of them are digits, that are placed at the end of it.

Why do I need a Brazilian CPF?

Well, if you want to buy an online flight ticket in Brazil or even do online shopping, you may be asked for a Brazilian CPF. In case you need to register at a building, they might ask you for a RG (Registro Geral) or General Register that is a number of a person registered in Brazil, or they could ask you for a CPF.

If you want to activate a Brazilian SIM Card for your phone, you will need a CPF. To enroll at a university, you will also need a Brazilian CPF.

In Which Cases Do I need to have a CPF?

Below you will find the situations, in which you are obliged to sign up for a CPF. So, if you:

  • engage in real estate operations of any kind in Brazil;
  • want to open a bank account or invest in Brazilian capital markets, including stock exchanges, commodities, futures;
  • are over 14 years old, and you are included as a dependent in Federal Tax Declaration;
  • have, in Brazil, assets and rights subject to public registration or specific registration, including real estate, vehicles, vessels, aircraft, financial instruments and equity or capital market interests;
  • live in Brazil and are part of the main or accessory tax liability area, either as a taxpayer or responsible person, as well as a legal representative;
  • by requirement of federal, state, district or municipal public administration agencies or entities, under the terms of its own legislation, affects the business of these organs and entities; or
  • have claimed benefits of any kind from INSS (Instituto Nacional do Seguro Social) – National Institute of Social Security.

How do I get a Brazilian CPF as a foreigner in my home country?

It depends on where you from. Each country will need a set of steps, but it is usually the same process. We will use an example in this article, but it works for pretty much every location/country/city that has a Brazilian Consulate or Embassy.

Go to the Brazilian Consulate Website. Here is the link for the Consulate in Boston. 

Under other services, you may find something like Taxpayer registry – CPF. Click on the link.

Here are the documents necessary to register for your CPF:

a)  For applicants under 16 years old: 

  • Identification document of the applicant containing DOB and local of birth (ID, birth certificate, etc);
  • Identification of a parent, guardian, trustee or guardian for custody under a court order;
  • Document showing guardianship, custody or responsibility for the guardianship of legally incapacitated persons;

b) Applicants 16 years old and above:

  • Identification document of the applicant, containing date of birth and local of birth (identity card or passport or other official document valid in your place of residence);

After getting the documents, you will have to fill in a form here.

Then, all you need is to make an appointment. You’re all set to go.

What are the steps to get a Brazilian CPF as a foreigner if I already arrived in Brazil?

If you are already in Brazil, the process is different and (in many cases), very easy. The first step is to gather the documents.

  • Passport or CRNM (Carteira de Registro Nacional Migratório)
  • Residence proof (Electricity bill, for example)

Here are the steps on how to get a Brazilian CPF in Brazil.

  1. Go to any post office (Correios) and tell the attendant you want to create a CPF. Show the necessary documents and pay the R$7,00 fee (Brazilian reais). The attendant will give you a payment receipt, keep it. You will need it
    for the next step.
  2. Go to the Receita Federal and tell the attendant that you want to create a CPF and that you have been to the post office before. Show the payment receipt that was given in the Correios and the passport. CPF will be issued and you will get it in a printed paper.

In which cases I shouldn’t worry about getting a Brazilian CPF?

If you are staying for up to 90 days on tourism or volunteering in Brazil purposes only. If you won’t be involved with anything related to study abroad, interning abroad in Brazil, work or anything related to it.

To sum up, Brazilian CPF is really useful and you can get your own Brazilian CPF in your home country. However, if you happen to be in Brazil and realize that you need one, read this article on how to get it.

If you happen to plan a trip to Brazil and you still don’t know what to do, here is an idea. You could do an internship in Brazil by filling in our application form or start your volunteering program in Brazil, also by filling our application form.

Feel free to comment your experience on how was it to get a Brazilian CPF as a foreigner in Brazil.



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