Londoner moving to rio for 6 months in February 2012.....hi guys

Hi all....big hello to all.

I'm Matthew and I'll be taking career break in rio for 6 months to learn Portuguese and enjoy life after my sting in professional life.

I'm 29 and from the uk. I wont be working so have some savings I would like to store in a Brazilian bank account. This is a question I would like resolve. Can I open a bank account?

Also, I wouldn't mind some help finding a flat share. All suggestions welcome



Hi Matthew,

Welcome to! :)

Concerning your accommodation search, you may post an advert in the Rio de Janeiro classifieds, category flat share. It might help you.

Wish you all the best for your research.


Hi Matthew,

Since you state that you are coming to Brazil to spend six months I assume that you will not be seeking a permanent visa. First the good news... if you are traveling on a UK passport you will not require a visa to enter Brazil for tourism purposes, however the stay permitted is the same as for those who require a visa (i.e. 90 days, which can be extended a further 90 days at the regional headquarters of the Federal Police). You should request this "prorrogação de estado" at the very minimum two weeks before your 90 days expires.

Now the bad news... without permanency in Brazil and the related documents (RNE and CPF) you are not permitted to open a bank account in Brazil. Your only other options are as follows:

If you have an account with HSBC Bank then you may withdraw up to R$800 per day using your debit card at any HSBC Brazil ATM or other networked ATM terminal. Your credit card (be it MC/Visa or many others) may also be used for purchases here.

If you deal with another bank in your home country chances are you will not find that bank operates in Brazil. In this case if you wish to make an international ATM transaction to withdraw funds from your account this can only be done at Banco do Brasil and you must use a specific ATM which will generally be found only at the main branches. I can't remember if the daily limit is also the same. I opened an HSBC account in Canada in order to resolve this problem because it was extremely inconvenient.

If you receive payment by check of any kind here in Brazil, you will have to cash the check at the bank (and maybe even the branch in some cases) upon which it was drawn. You will have no problems provided you produce your original photo ID such as passport when you present the check.

If you do not already have an HSBC account I would recommend opening one before coming to Brazil to avoid the headaches. Please read my posting "A Gringo's Survival Guide to Brazil" you will find it very helpful.

William James Woodward

Hello William,

Thank you for your reply.

I do have a HSBC account. I opened it as I wanted to try and buy property in some time ago. I also registered for my CPF number (I have the number but no paper evidence).

I spoke to HSBC and they informed me I need a visa to open an account, so I shall apply for a student visa – do i need a permanent visa? I would not like to use my UK HSBC account for the duration as international fees soon add up.



Hi Matthew,

Unfortunately, yes, you need a permanent visa in order to open any kind of bank account here in Brazil. You are allowed to withdraw (depending on your limit) R$800 to R$1000 per day from your HSBC account at home using your debit card. The weekend being considered as one day, you can withdraw on Saturday or on Sunday, but not both. You receive your money in local currency and as far as I know only pay the excange rate.

For large cash transfers to Brazil you will have taxes and documents to consider, but ATM transactions are painless. Since the banking rules here are so complex HSBC at home is really your only option. I was in this situation for nearly ten years, just recently was able to open an account here. Using HSBC I really didn't miss having an account here that much.


Hi Matthew!

Im Sandra, im 22 and from Spain. Im moving to Rio this february, until july, and im also looking for roommates, if you still interested , contact with me!

Thanks :D