What Canadians Should Know About Expat Life in Brazil

Planning on living in Brazil can give one an image of the popular festivals in the Latin American country, but before you pack your bags, you must learn more about expat life in Brazil.

Health Care and Health Risks

There is no universal access to health care in Brazil so be sure that you have medical insurance that will cover your hospital bills. Getting medical services from the private sector in this country can be costly so it’s best to be prepared instead of paying out of pocket for hospitalization or consultation.

There are health risks you should also prepare for. Getting your vaccinations for hepatitis A and B and typhoid fever should be at the top of your to-do list before you move to Brazil. Since Brazil still has a lot of jungle regions, there’s also a high malaria and dengue fever risk in the country. Learning about precautionary measures on how to stay away from these diseases will do you good.

Traveling Around Brazil

Traveling around this Latin American country is convenient thanks to its large road network. Getting a car when you get there is advisable especially if you are planning a road trip around the country.

While taking the bus is also a great idea, getting a map of all the bus routes is difficult and since buses have no designated stops, it would be hard to find a bus that travels from a particular location to another. This is especially true if you are in the rural areas. However, in big cities like Brasilia, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo, it is easy to find bus terminals. Because the country is huge, the easiest way to get from one major city to the next is by plane.

Financial Planning, Banking, Cost of Living

There are a number of debit and credit facilities in Brazil but there is a need for an expat to get a residence visa first before he or she can open a bank account. To ensure that you do not run out of funds, you should look for ATMs that do no charge extra for international accounts. If you still need to pay for a few things back home, you must set up an offshore account so that you can just pay these bills online.

Whether you’re moving to Brazil to spend your senior life there or moving to the South American country for work, it is important to take into consideration that living expenses in Brazil are quite costly. The cost of food and drink depends if you decide to eat out or prepare your food at home. Eating in a restaurant is quite expensive in Brazil.

For those wanting to raise a family in Brazil, the cost of education in international schools is around USD 32, 700 per year.


All foreign nationals are required to pay Brazilian income tax unless the home country of the expat has signed a Double Taxation Treaty with Brazil. The good news is, Canada signed this treaty in 1984 which means you’d be saving money.

Learn Portuguese to Enjoy Expat Life In Brazil

While English is used in Brazil, expats must learn Brazilian Portuguese to be able to take care of their daily affairs. Most Brazilians do not speak English and it would be difficult to not be able to communicate with them when you’re just buying groceries or asking a taxi driver to take you to a certain address. While Portuguese sounds a bit like Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese is more complicated. It is important to note too that you don’t say “Gracias” when saying thank you. You should say “Obrigada” or “Obrigada”.

Canadians seeking to relocate to Brazil should take advantage of the wealth of resources at Canuckabroad.com.