January 26, 2022

Brazilians form a nationality inextricably linked to the Brazilian State, that is, the fundamental characteristic of a Brazilian is their connection with Brazil. A Brazilian can also be a person born in another country to a Brazilian father or Brazilian mother or a foreigner living in Brazil, who applied for Brazilian citizenship. In the period following the discovery of Brazilian territory by Europeans, the designation "Brazilian" was given to the Portuguese traders of pau-brasil, referring exclusively to that activity, since the inhabitants of the land were, for the most part, Indians, or Portuguese born in Portugal, or in the territory now called Brazil. Independence and foundation of the Empire of Brazil, in 1822, both in Brazil and in Portugal, it was already common to attribute the gentilic "Brazilian" to a person, normally of clear Portuguese ancestry, resident or whose family resided in the State of Brazil (1530- 1815), belonging to the Portuguese Empire. During the reign of the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves (1815-1822), however, there were confusions regarding the nomenclature.


According to the Constitution of Brazil, Brazilian citizens can be:


Any person born in Brazil, even to foreign parents, except in cases where they are in the service of their country (such as foreign diplomats); Any person born abroad to a Brazilian father or Brazilian mother, in cases where they are in the service of the Federative Republic of Brazil; Any person born abroad to a Brazilian father or Brazilian mother, with birth registration at a Brazilian Embassy or Consulate. In addition, a person born abroad to a Brazilian father or a Brazilian mother, who was not registered, but who, after turning 18, went to live in Brazil and chose to acquire nationality.


A foreigner living in Brazil who has applied for and been accepted as a Brazilian citizen is naturalized. According to the Constitution, all people who hold Brazilian citizenship are equal, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender or religion. A foreigner can opt for Brazilian citizenship after living for 15 uninterrupted years in Brazil and being able to speak Portuguese. A native of a country whose official language is Portuguese (Portugal, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Timor-Leste) can apply for Brazilian nationality after only one uninterrupted year of life in Brazil. A person of foreign origin who has Brazilian citizenship has exactly the same rights and duties as a Brazilian citizen by birth, but cannot hold some special public positions, such as the Presidency of the Republic, the Vice-Presidency of the Republic, the Minister of Defense, the Presidency of the Senate, the Presidency of the Chamber of Deputies, being an officer of the Armed Forces of Brazil and Diplomat.

The Portuguese prerogative

According to the Brazilian Constitution, the Portuguese people have a special status in Brazil. Article 12, first paragraph of the Constitution, grants citizens of Portugal, permanently residing in Brazil, "the rights inherent to Brazilians", excluding the constitutional prerogatives of a native Brazilian. Requirements for granting equality are: place of habitual (permanent) residence, age of majority and the formulation of an application to the Ministry of Justice. In addition, they may request to be granted political rights granted to Brazilians (except for the exclusive rights for native Brazilians). In the latter case, this requires a minimum of three years of permanent residency.

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