As a foreigner in Brazil, you will need your CPF number (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas) in order to get your life started (rent an appartment, open a bank account et cetera.)
Because as with every bureaucratic thing in Brazil, it’s not always 100% clear what you need to do, what documents you need to provide and how it all works.
In this post, I explain it all to you.
Starting from printing an online form to going to the “Correios” (Post Office), the “Receita Federal” (Tax Service) and everything in between.
As I went through the process of getting a CPF in February 2016 I thought I’d use my experience and write down a detailed guide of applying for a CPF number in Brazil, in the hope that you will have an easy and less stressful time getting yours 🙂
Let’s get into it.
8 Steps to apply for your CPF as a foreigner in Brazil
- Go to the online form to apply for a CPF for foreigners at http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/Aplicacoes/ATCTA/CpfEstrangeiro/fcpf.asp on the website of the Brazilian Ministry of Finance. *
Right off the bat, you’re hit with a page only available in Portuguese, which even your Chrome browser can not translate into your native language. (I happen to know this because the website is coded in frames, so Chrome can not read the text and thus, can not translate it for us.)If you would like to know what it says on this first page of the form, I worked some magic and translated the page into English using Google Translate:If your browser gave you a security warning after clicking the link:it is because the government website is not using a safe https security protocol to run their website on. Since it is asking you to fill out personal information, they should. But they don’t. So Google Chrome is nice enough to warn you about it.However, in our case… We have no choice.
We must enter the website in order to get the form you need for your CPF.So instead of clicking the big blue “Back to safety” button, you click on the words “Advanced” on the left.
This will unfold some extra text with the phrase “Proceed to www.receita.fazenda.gov.br (unsafe)”.
You click that link, to get through to the website.
- Now that you are on the site, you need to select the country of your nationality from the dropdown list and click the “Fichar” button to proceed.When you select your country, remember to look for it the way it is written in Portuguese! It may be completely different than it is officially named in English.
For example: my country is called “The Netherlands” but it showed as “Paises Baixos (Holanda)” in the list. The same goes for “Kenia” which is written like “Quenia” and “United Kingdom” which you can find as “Reino Unido”.
- There will open a screen asking you for your information that looks like this. You put in your details and hit the “Enviar” button.
Again, I did some magic and translated this page to English so you can understand what it means if you don’t have a Brazilian friend helping you:In our case we are trying to apply for a CPF number so not all of the fields apply to us. For example, the CPF number at the top right is only necessary when you were filling out this form for a cancelation or alteration. Also, the field “Titulo Eleitoral” (Voters Card Number) is not applicable to us.Here’s what a completely filled out form should look like. I used my own name and data, with sensitive data blurred out of course 😏
- A pop up screen will show up which has your details entered into a nice looking black and white, government form.
Check your details one last time and click the small button at the top “Confirmar envio” (This button actually commands your computer to print, so your computer will open another pop up screen asking you to print the document, which is step 5)
- Now your CPF application form is ready to print! Click the “Print” button and print it right away at home or scroll down and “Save as PDF” to later print it at a “LAN house” somewhere in your city, like I did.
- Find your nearest Post Office (called “Correios” in Brazil) and go there with your passport and CPF application form. Pick a number (“senha”) and wait until your number shows up on the screen. When your number shows up, proceed to the booth and present your CPF application form and passport.
- Pay the R$ 7 fee. (At time of writing the fee was R$ 7, let me know if this is not the case anymore and I’ll adjust it, but it shouldn’t change too much or too soon.)
- Sign the paper that they present you after they have done some typing on their computer.
- You will be given a receipt that proves you have paid the fee.
This is all you will need to go to the Receita Federal office.
- Go to a Receita Federal pick a number (senha) and wait your turn
- As your number shows up on the screen, proceed to your booth and provide your CPF application form, passport and comprovante (that you got at the Correios).
- they will ask you to sign some papers and write your mothers full name
- they will give you a paper and send you to another desk that has the printer. Present them that printout and they will print your CPF on a sheet of paper.
- Take your CPF on your sheet of paper and go to any LAN house to get it plasticized. (Save the CPF number in your phone so you always have your CPF number with you.)
* (Some people found this link on the Receita Federal website: http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/PessoaFisica/Cpf/CadastroPF.htm
which will show you a link “Inscrição CPF Internet” and if you click it you will see a different form.This is a form only for habitants of Brazil. This form is not for foreigners!
The correct CPF application form for foreigners is found here: http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/Aplicacoes/Atcta/cpfEstrangeiro/Fcpf.asp