In order to open a bank account in Brazil you have to be present at the individual bank branch. Some banks also offer the possibility of provisionally opening accounts online, but it is still necessary to present the required documents at the bank in person.
Documentation required to open a bank account
The following documents must be presented to open a Brazilian bank account:
- Permanent or temporary resident visa (with a minimum duration of 12 months)
- Identity document – Either passport or the foreigner's identity card (Cédula de Identidade para Estrangeiro – CIE). If the CIE has not been issued yet, a valid CIE approval will suffice
- National tax ID number - CPF (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas)
- Proof of domicile
- Proof of income (when opening a salary payment account)
If you wish to open a current account ask for conta corrente. A savings account is referred to as conta de poupança. Whereas a current account is used for daily payment transactions and entitles the account holder to a debit card, a savings account only serves to store money but the money is interest-bearing.
If you receive income in Brazil you might also want to consider opening a salary payment account (conta salário). It is equal to a current account but you usually benefit from certain advantages, like lower fees on payment transactions.