|Brazil Citizenship Act|
|Parliament of Brazil|
|Enacted by||Government of Brazil|
|Status: Current legislation|
Brazilian nationality law is based on both the principles of jus soli and of jus sanguinis. As a general rule, any person born in Brazil acquires Brazilian nationality at birth, irrespective of status of parents. Nationality law is regulated by Article 12 of the Brazilian Federal Constitution.
A person born in Brazil acquires Brazilian nationality at birth. The only exception applies to children of persons in the service of a foreign government (such as a foreign diplomats). This means that parents and siblings of the Brazilian child are eligible to apply for permanent residency in Brazil, regardless of their nationality or where subsequent siblings were/are born.
Brazilian law considers as Brazilian citizens people born abroad in two cases:
Between 1994 and 2007, registration with a Brazilian consular office did not confer Brazilian nationality. In September 2007, a constitutional amendment reinstituted consular registration as a means of acquiring Brazilian nationality.
Those who have lived in Brazil for more than 15 years and have no criminal conviction do not have to satisfy any other condition for naturalization. There are also lower requirements for those who moved to Brazil as minors.
According to the Brazilian constitution, Brazilian citizens who acquire another nationality may lose Brazilian nationality. However, since 1994 a constitutional amendment allows two exceptions where Brazilians may maintain Brazilian nationality while acquiring another one. The first exception is in the case of recognition of "originary nationality" by foreign law. Contrary to a popular misconception, this term does not refer to recognition of original Brazilian nationality by the other country, but to cases where the other nationality is acquired by origin (by birth or descent, as opposed to naturalization). Whether the other country recognizes dual nationality is irrelevant. The second exception is in case the other country requires naturalization for the person to remain residing or to exercise civil rights there.
Although the government has the power to revoke Brazilian nationality of those who voluntarily naturalized in another country and did not satisfy one of the exceptions, it tends to apply these exceptions very broadly, and in practice it only revokes Brazilian nationality if the person formally requests so, or very rarely in exceptional circumstances. For example, in 2013 the Brazilian government revoked the nationality of a Brazilian citizen who had naturalized in the United States, to extradite her to that country (the Brazilian constitution does not allow extradition of its own citizens). The decision was confirmed by the Supreme Federal Court in 2017, and she was extradited in 2018.
Those who lost Brazilian nationality due to naturalization in another country may apply for its reacquisition on the condition that they will renounce the other nationality. After Brazilian nationality is reacquired, the applicants have 18 months to show proof of renunciation of the other nationality. The process is done in this order to prevent statelessness.
Naturalized Brazilians are allowed to also keep their previous nationality. They may lose Brazilian nationality if convicted of activity considered "harmful to the national interest".
Brazilian citizens who also have another nationality are allowed to enter and leave Brazil with the passport of the other country in combination with any document attesting Brazilian nationality such as a Brazilian identity card or an expired Brazilian passport. If they do not provide such document, they may still enter Brazil as foreigners, subject to the regular requirements and limitations as such. However, usually this case is only possible if Brazil does not require a visa from the other nationality. Brazil only issues visas to dual citizens in exceptional circumstances, such as for those who work in foreign government jobs that prohibit the use of a Brazilian passport.
Visa requirements for Brazilian citizens are administrative entry restrictions by the authorities of other states placed on citizens of Brazil. As of 7 January 2019, Brazilian citizens had visa-free or visa on arrival access to 171 countries and territories, ranking the Brazilian passport 17th in terms of travel freedom according to the Henley visa restrictions index.
Male Brazilian citizens have a 12-month military service obligation, unless the citizen has a disqualifying physical or psychological condition, or if the citizen does not wish to serve and the military finds enough volunteers to support its needs. Therefore, although registering for the military is mandatory, about 95% of those who register receive an exemption. Male citizens between 18 and 45 years of age are required to present a military registration certificate when applying for a Brazilian passport.
Voting in Brazil is mandatory for citizens between 18 and 70 years of age. Those who do not vote in an election and do not later present an acceptable justification (such as being away from their voting location at the time) must pay a fine of 3.51 BRL. Citizens between 18 and 70 years of age are required to present proof of voting compliance (by having voted, justified absence or paid the fine) when applying for a Brazilian passport.