Moving to Santa Catarina state


I am an American married to a Brazilian. I am looking at taking an early retirement and would like any information about nice cities and towns in Santa Catarina. It would be great to hear from anyone living there.

My wife is from Rio but no way we would consider living there. It's really gotten bad. The crime is out of control. We want a clean, safe place to live and l hear Santa Catarina offers both of those things.

Anyway thank you in advance.

KenAquarius :


I am an American married to a Brazilian. I am looking at taking an early retirement and would like any information about nice cities and towns in Santa Catarina. It would be great to hear from anyone living there.

My wife is from Rio but no way we would consider living there. It's really gotten bad. The crime is out of control. We want a clean, safe place to live and l hear Santa Catarina offers both of those things.

Anyway thank you in advance.

There plenty of people from the USA living in Brazil and on this site, so many here. your kep tripping over them  LOL

Hi KenAquarius,

I used to live in Santa Catarina for years. I´m now living in Novo Hamburgo, Rio Grande do Sul which is also a good place to stay.

If you´re looking for a clean and safer place to live, you have to find towns or cities with German, Polish and Italian colonization. For some reason, a more homogenous european culture including physical appearance (whiter) tends to be more peaceful or safer and also cleaner. I know this by experience since I´ve lived in different places in Brazil from north to south.

Blumenau, Santa Catarina

     *Population: around 310,000
     *Colonized by Germans
     *Very safe compared to other Brazilian cities
     *Splintered small favelas at the outskirts of town
     *German architecture everywhere especially at the city center
     *Famous for their Octoberfest (beer festival)
     *Efficient transportation
     *Good schools for children
     *Good supermarkets, theaters
     *Clean city, police very efficient
     *2 big universities (including a federal university)

Pomerode, Santa Catarina

     *Population: 25,000
     *Colonized by Germans, Polish
     *Safest city I´ve found in Brazil (but small)
     *No favelas
     *German architecture in abundance as seen in buildings and houses
     *Famous for their Festa Pomerana (beer festival)
     *Dubbed as the "most German" of all Brazil
     *Supermarkets should meet your needs - otherwise Blumenau is 30minutes away
     *Good schools for children
     *Clean city, very peaceful.
     *Discrimination is common occurrence as I´ve observed

Florianopolis, Santa Catarina

      *Population: Around 250,000
      *42 beautiful beaches and very touristy
      *Colonized by people from the Azores (Portugal). Many fishing villages
      *Mixed races
      *Relatively safe when compared to the rest of Brazil
      *Favela exists but not as big and rampant like Rio
      *Beautiful views, nice restaurants
      *Federal University

If you like a colder weather, you should go to São Joaquim or Rancho Queimado (higher altitudes) but they are smaller cities.

I hope this helps...


Hi Robal,

Thank you so much for your reply. That is a lot of good information. I know that SC offers one of the best standards of living along, with the lowest crime rate in Brazil. That is why I am considering it.
I have also traveled a bit in Brazil but mostly to the North. But I didn't find anyplace I could really see myself retiring to. They all seem to share more or less the same problems. I am hoping to travel to Florianopolis and begin my search in earnest. Again thank you for your thoughts.

You´re welcome. Please feel free to privately send me any questions you´d like to know about Florianopolis or any at all about Sta Catarina.



Hi Robal, how are you?
I intend to move to Santa Catarina too but I haven't decided which city yet, I need to ask you, do small cities there have the same governmental attention and services like the big ones?

Regarding accommodation, is the contract monthly or yearly? And do I pay each month or the total amount  (for the 12 months) is paid as a whole? Do U have to vacate the place  during high seasons? Is this something we agree on with the owner or they can kick us out when they please?

Is purchasing a home rather than renting  is allowed for foreigners? Is it easy? Is it worth it?
Is owning a house or an apartment in Brazil have any advantage for a foreigner? Like getting permanent  residency or Brazilian nationality?

I used to be a pharmacist in my home country, can I be a pharmacist there too?Do you have an experience of which  proffessions are allowed for foreigners to practice in Brazil?

How hard it is to find  a good job that can support a family with 3 children in Santa Catarina? What  kind of jobs should  I expect to find? Is Learning Portuguese is a must? Aren't there  any jobs that need english speaking people?

Is having  a job in Brazil grants me a permanent residency or Brazilian nationality?

Are there  any religious discrimination in Santa Catarina? How friendly are the people living there, do they accept  foreigners easily?

I know I have asked a lot of questions, just take your time and help me with them please.
Thank you in advance

Hi A.Usf,

That´s a plateful of questions indeed! But we´ll go through them with real fury and
we´ll be done in no time!

First of all you did not mention the country you´re coming from so that I can envision
and suggest to you where you´d fit well to live in Santa Catarina and what collateral profession would be best for your background in the event that the Ministry of Education and Culture (Ministerio de Educaçaõ e Cultura) does not recognize your
school´s transcript of records. I don´t know if your country has a reciprocity with
Brazil - meaning Brazilian professionals can practice in your country and vice versa.

I used to work in the biochemistry/biotechnology area before I retired. So I have a close contact with the scientific community in Novo Hamburgo, RS - from pharmacists, laboratory specialists, doctors, etc.

If you intend to work as a professional pharmacist in Brazil, you have to have the courses of a brazilian biochemist (bioquimico). Their university programs involve pharmacy, toxicological analysis, biochemistry, microbiology, medical laboratory diagnosis etc. I´m sure you got my drift. I don´t know what your scholastic curriculum
is, so make sure you have them. Oh, and they call them "doctor" here - even physical
therapists and lawyers. In my home country, only MDs and people with PhDs are
entitled to that address.

You can rent by month or annually depending on your agreement. Beach areas - you can
usually get away for a few months but you have to leave come summer season. They
then rent them rooms or apt. per day. If you pay in advance and a favorable rate to the
owner, you can probably arrange a beachside house or apartment for a year. If annual,
I would suggest to have a contract drawn so that you can take them to a small claims court (Juizado Especial Civel) if they violate the contract. With no contract, they can send you away anytime except if you have a witness and knows the agreed upon duration. The safest way would be to rent through a realtor (imobiliaria) where contracts are
common. Oh, and don´t rent an apartment where the owner is living above you and
share the bills from water to electricity. They usually create problems with you regarding
noises, bill payments, etc. Brazilians tend to be very nosy about private affairs too!

To my knowledge, buying a real estate does not entitle you to permanent residency
or citizenship. If you have money, you can have a permanent residency as an investor.
Just inform at a nearest Brazilian embassy in your country.

You need a permanent visa to work in Brazil which on the occasion CPF and RNE will be issued to you so you can work and pay your taxes.

Bigger cities with more electoral votes of course will receive funds and or attention better than smaller ones. But Pomerode, Sta Catarina (population 25,000) has the best
health care (SUS) that I´ve seen. Better than Blumenau with a population of 310,000.
Long lines of patients, bank lines etc are notorious in big cities. If you need extensive care, they will refer you to a reference hospital of a big city.

Any nationality can buy real estate or home in Brazil. Very easy through imobiliarias.
It´s worthed I guess if you stay a long time in Brazil. Otherwise, rent is cheap (except
São Paulo and Rio) and better to invest in income producing endeavors than to pay the
whole amount up front. Financing is very bad due to very high interest rates.

Speaking Portuguese is a must if you plan to work in Brazil. Jobs at this time due to the
already very long economic recession is hard to come by. To support your family with
3 children you will need at least R$4,000 to R$5,000 just to get by. At that amount you
will not live a luxurious existence. If you´re a professional with a good experience, you
can probably earn that. Minimum salary is approximately R$880.

If you´re a native english speaker you can probably find a job or establish your own business as an english teacher.

Brazilians are generall friendly to foreigners as long as you don´t hurt their pride like
saying bad things about Brazil. No religious discrimination.

An advice if you ever make it to Brazil: Be careful with choosing your friends and DON´T LEND ANY MONEY. I am a slow learner when it comes to that. About a dozen people (men and women) owe me money running for years now and I´ve never seen a cent being paid. Shame on me!

Ok, good luck and I wish you well with all your endeavors!



To secure a rental contract from an imobiliaria, they also need one of the 3 things

1. A security deposit (caução). Your money is deposited in a bank and returned to you
    on your contract termination with interest.

2. An insurance (non-refundable) to cover damages to the rental property or rent

3. An "avalista." This is a person who would vouch and answer for you in cases of rent
    defaults, damages etc. He usually owns properties as a collateral and shows the deeds
    of ownership to the imobiliaria.


Hi Robal,

First of all, thank you very much for taking time to reply to all my questions thoroughly that was very helpful indeed.

Second, yes, I forgot to mention my home country, sorry for that :D . It's Egypt. I'm from  Egypt originally, and that's where I had my college degree as well.I got your point though, regarding having a different curriculum. I will check this and see if Egypt's universities are recognized by the Brazilian authorities in charge. I should check the website of the ministry of education right?
My question was if foreigners (non Brazilians) are allowed to practice pharmacy or not, because some countries like Turkey, for example,some proffessions are not allowed for foreigners to practice no matter how qualified they were for it ; pharmacy, accountancy, law firm are among them.While in  other countries like Australia, Newzelands, I think Canada and the US as well, it is allowed for foreigners to work as pharmacists as long as they qualify certain degree of knowledge and experience and pass some tests.
By the way, in Egypt, anyone who works in the medical field is entitled a "doctor" too; physians,pharmacists,dentists,physical therapists, and nurses sometimes in some areas as well :D

To live and work in Brazil, a permanent visa is needed. But how  can a job be found overseas? Can one enters with a tourist visa, search for a job while being there and hence change the visa type  from touristic to work visa ? Or s/he must find a job first before entering the country?

I am not a native English speaker, I don't have an experience as a teacher  as you  must have known by now.But my English is very good. Can I still find a job as an English tutor? And how much should I expect to earn?

Thank you again for everything.  Your help is much appreciated. Best regards.


Hi A.Usf,

The problem with Brazil is that there are no board exams in the medical field so far. So they have to rely on your curriculum as reflected on your school´s transcript of records. If they find it relevant to their needs, they would administer a validation exam like doctors from Argentina. But Argentina is a part of the trading block including  Brazil (MERCOSUL). This could be likened to the European Union where citizens of member states could live anywhere within the different member states. Doctors from Cuba and Bolivia could practice in Brazil because of prior agreements between the countries (reciprocity).

I haven´t seen a case of pharmacists from other countries practicing their trade in Brazil. That´s why you should check with the Ministry of Education and Culture.

Do you have right away to bring your children and spouse to Brazil? Finding a job
vacancy in pharmacy while abroad would be impossible. You have to come as a tourist and see if any company or enterprise is willing to sponsor you for a job and hence a residency visa. But I believe there is an oversupply of biochemists in Brazil. The salary of an English teacher is not so high, about R$1,500 to R$2,000 at institutions like Wizard - if you can find one at all. A private tutor is possible but I´m not sure of the going rate.

Now, I just can´t be sure what to tell you. There are some other jobs that you can engage but I don´t know how determined you are to leave the country you´re at to
come to a foreign country with a possibility of a very uncertain future with a low salary where you can´t support your children adequately.

Best regards,


Hi Robal,

I can't thank you enough....that was really helpful indeed.

I really appreciate your time and help.I hope I can return the favor someday.

It was really nice talking to you.Wish me luck.
Best regards,


Good luck A.Usf! Be good and May God bless you!


hi robal can i contact you on email (for a couple of questions). thank you


Yes you may.

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