8 Easy Steps To Get A CPF for Foreigners in Brazil | 2016 Guide

IMPORTANT: If you’re reading this in 2020 or beyond: Please scroll down this page to the comment section to see the stories and exact steps of people who have gotten their CPF following the new and updated process. This blog was written in 2016 so the steps have been updated over the years. Again, see the updated process in the comments down below. A lot of people have been able to get their CPF easily with these new steps.

In this easy 8-step guide I’ll take you through the exact process to get a CPF for foreigners in Brazil.

Maybe you’ve already experienced this…

And if not: you’re right on time to get your CPF number (Cadastro de Pessoas Físicas) because you’ll need it to be able to do anything like rent an appartment, open a bank account et cetera.

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…

I went through all of this in 2016 so, in this post, I explain it all to you.

Starting from printing the first online form to going to the “Correios” (Post Office), the “Receita Federal” (Tax Service) and everything in between.

I hope that you will have an easy and less stressful time getting yours 🙂

Let’s get into it.

8 Steps to get your CPF for foreigners in Brazil

      1. 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. *If you are already on a different link, it’s probably this one: http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/PessoaFisica/Cpf/CadastroPF.htm and it’s the wrong one. Read here why it’s the wrong link.
        Online form for applying for a CPF as a foreigners in BrazilRight 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:receita federal cpf for foreigners in english translated by google translateIf your browser gave you a security warning after clicking the link:security warning chrome on receita federal website 1it 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.
        security warning chrome on receita federal website 2
      2. 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.select your country and click fichaWhen 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”.
        Portuguese wording of countries
      3. There will open a screen asking you for your information that looks like this. You put in your details and hit the “Enviar” button.
        4 Online form for obtaining a CPF foreigners in Brazil
        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:Online form for obtaining a CPF foreigners in Brazil translated to EnglishIn 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 😏Completely filled out CPF application form for foreigners
      4. A pop up screen will show up which has your details entered into a nice looking black and white, government form.pop up screen after completing the CPF for foreigners application form asking for confirmation
        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)
      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. CPF for foreigners form sent and ready to print or save
      6. 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.Correios with 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.passport cpf application and comprovante receipt at correios

        This is all you will need to go to the Receita Federal office.

      7. Go to a Receita Federal, pick a number (senha) and wait your turnwaiting for my senha to show up at receita federal
        • As your number shows up on the screen, proceed to your booth and provide your CPF application form, passport and comprovante (the proof of payment – your receipt – that you got at the Correios).at receita federal - government official is processing my CPF application
        • 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.at receita federal - last step - government official printed my CPF
      8. 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.)

Pronto! You now have your CPF for foreigners nice and safe and plasticized.My CPF for estrangeiros - comprovante de inscricao - plasticized

* (Some people found this link on the Receita Federal website: http://www.receita.fazenda.gov.br/PessoaFisica/Cpf/CadastroPF.htm

wrong receita federal page - for brazilians onlywhich will show you a link “Inscrição CPF Internet” and if you click it you will see a different form.wrong CPF application form - for Brazilians onlyThis 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 

41 thoughts on “8 Easy Steps To Get A CPF for Foreigners in Brazil | 2016 Guide”

  1. I went in to the post office in Brazil said I wanted a cpf I paid 7,00 Rs they asked for my passport and my mother’s name they gave me a receipt I then went to the Receita Federal and it took 1 hour there and have a cpf was simple as that.2020

  2. Just read through the other comments a little late, having already sent mine above, and realised other people have already come to the same conclusion.

    Could you please update the page, as it does indeed have a lot of hits and updating it will save people some hassle! 🙂 Many thanks.

    1. I’ll put a warning at the top (don’t have the time to update it and also don’t have the exact steps for 2020 – I’ll point people to the info in the comments here from people who did do it recently)

  3. Many thanks for your thorough post! I was relieved to find it, although I thought I would share that the process went somewhat differently for me. Got through Steps 1-5 okay, but when I went to the Correios, the lady had a problem inputting my data into her digital system as it required that I have a voters registration number, which obviously as a foreigner I wouldn’t have. She couldn’t get around the software and so I went to the Receita Federal (in Jundiaí, SP) to ask what to do, and they directed me to a web page on their site where I could make an online application there and (for some weird reason) get around having to pay the R$7 fee. I thought I would write my own step-by-step for your readers as even if they don’t experience the same issues in the Correios, it may save them R$7 🙂

    1. Go to this webpage: http://receita.economia.gov.br/orientacao/tributaria/cadastros/cadastro-de-pessoas-fisicas-cpf/servicos/copy_of_inscricao-no-cpf

    2. Adjacent to where it says “Estrangeiros residentes no Brasil ou em Trânsito no País que necessitam se inscrever no CPF”, click ‘Online’

    3. Fill out the form and click ‘Enviar’. Sorry I can’t provide more details without photos but it was pretty straightforward, although note that you will need your passport with you for your passport number, as well as details of your address in Brazil.

    4. Print the generated ‘Protocolo de Atendimento’ by clicking the little button on the bottom right that says ‘preparar página para impressão’. After clicking this a new window appears with the Protocolo on it. If you have a printer on your PC you can press ‘Imprimir’ now. If not, I clicked ‘Imprimir’, changed the print destination to ‘Save as PDF’, saved the PDF and then took that file to the nearest ‘Papelaria’ for them to print for me. [The process for saving a web-page as a PDF will probably be different for Mac users or earlier versions of Windows than Windows 10 – just find a way to print the information that appears!]

    5. Take the printed ‘Protocolo de Atendimento’ to your nearest Receita Federal, along with your passport. They will print a bit of paper with your CPF on it for you (as described in this post), however you won’t need to pay any fee! 🙂

  4. I confirm the post from Castro above.

    Just got CPF in Sao Paulo.
    Went to the link, filled the form. Did not need to print it. Saved it as PDF just in case but the bureaucrats only need the reference number on it so I showed it to them on my phone and they knew what I was there for. Went to the light shopping center, 2nd floor, the tax office is very clearly marked, easy to find. Got the queue number at 12:31, had the CPF number at 1pm. Only needed to show passport. Provided my hotel’s address.

  5. Hi all, I did my CPF in Foz do Iguassu. I followed the steps as laid out, however when I got there it looked like they had never seen the printed out CPF form before (three people were consulting with each other about the form). I was then given a number and told to wait. I was promptly called and the person assisting me was not the most helpful. She stated that the form was incorrect, the address was incorrect as it should be a foreign address since I do not live in Brazil, and then she proceeded to ask me questions about my visa (valid) and why I wanted a CPF. I explained to her why I needed a CPF, that I had followed the steps necessary and if there was a problem (she didn’t seem to want to help me), to tell me what I needed to rectify and I would return with the needed documents. Eventually she called someone else and he was outstanding, he helped me sort out the CPF, was kind and patient and within a few minutes we had everything sorted. They never even looked at the application form I printed online, nor did they ask for my birth certificate or proof of my mother’s name. They just checked my passport and the receipt from Correios.

    It seems it really depends where you get it done and who you speak to 🙂
    Good luck to everyone getting theirs done 🙂

  6. It would be useful if this blog were updated, seeing as it’s the top hit on a Google search of “CPF, foreigner, Brazil”.
    I completed the process yesterday and I confirmed the correct information with the staff at Receita Federal, for the purposes of writing this:

    – Updated online form is here: http://receita.economia.gov.br/orientacao/tributaria/cadastros/cadastro-de-pessoas-fisicas-cpf/servicos/copy_of_inscricao-no-cpf

    – You no longer have to pay r$7

    – You do not need to take a birth certificate. If you have a document which confirms your mother’s name then take it just in case, but it is not mandatory if it doesn’t appear on your passport/ID card.

    – You do not need to have an address in Brazil, or be resident/studying in Brazil. You can even be a tourist for 1 week and still register for the CPF.

    So just complete the form → Print it out → go to Receita Federal (as others have mentioned, if you’re in Sao Paulo, go to the one on 2nd floor of Shopping Light) → hand in your completed form and passport at the reception → they give you a ticket with a number → depending on how busy they are, it can take anywhere between 30 minutes a 2 hours for you to be called, there are loads of coffee shops (Starbucks also) in the shopping centre, grab it to take-away and wait to be called → when you’re called, take your documents to the appropriate booth, it’ll take approx. 5 minutes for them to register you

  7. Hi everyone. Will they accept an identity card opposed to a passport? As embassy is processing a renewal. Also I am just a traveller/student. So I am have no proof of employment in Brazil. What do I need to qualify for CPF?

  8. I got my CPF in Sao Paulo today, yay! I got it done at the Receita Federal in mall Shopping Light. See my previous post for address.

    I got there at 10AM because I was told that the mall opens at 10AM but when I got to the office, there were people already waiting! So I must have had the wrong information and the office must have opened before the shopping mall opens at 10AM.

    There were only two people in line. I presented my passport and the PDF application that I had printed from their website.

    Wrong! The girl tells me that I have the wrong form!!! Murphy’s Law was kicking in. But she gave me address of the ‘correct’ website. Fortunately two shops down the RF on the same floor is a computer/fax/copy/print shop. I was able to fill out the new application, print it and got back in (now long) line at the office. I got my receipt and number to wait. There was NO FEE.

    I waited about 20 minutes. When my number was called, I went in the other room. The agent took my passport and receipt and sent me to another desk after entering some information on her computer. The lady at the other desk had the print out of my CPF! She asked me to verify the information which was correct.

    From the time my number was called, the process was done in less than 3 minutes! Awesome. I went back to the same computer shop to have the CPF plastic coated.

    Here is the correct address for the application:


    Good luck to others in obtaining their CPF and thanks for all who made this forum useful for other users.

    1. Thank you Frank, you are amazing. Just if anyone is curious, if you do end up going to a Correio or Banco do Brasil to fill out the form, the process will still work and they will take your money even though you no longer have to pay the fee. Frank’s process is the easiest and what they will tell you to do if you go to the Receita Federal in the first place.

      Also a minor aside: if you are getting a certificate error trying to fill out the form on the Receita Federal website right now, no one is trying to hack you and that’s actually a problem the Receita Federal knows about: http://idg.receita.fazenda.gov.br/noticias/ascom/2018/setembro/receita-alerta-sobre-mensagem-de-pagina-nao-confiavel

  9. Hi all, just did this this morning (march 26th 19) in SP and it wasn’t as complicated as some of the steps mentioned in the comments. I didn’t have to go to the bank or anything like that:
    1. I went online and filled in my details (full name, mother’s name, address (I entered my uk address), etc. on the site.
    2. Printed the paper they generated and took it to the receita federal in shopping light with my passport.
    3. Waited for 20 mins and then the guy sorted it out in less than 5 minutes, without speaking nor making eye contact with me!
    (I got there at 9.40am on a Tuesday, I got there just in the nick of time though as the lines started to grow as I was leaving…so I’d suggest going early)
    Only one downside was that I tried to do all this last Friday but their system wasn’t working, so the process wasn’t without its frustrations.

    1. Excellent Paul, congratulations. If you didn’t have to go to bank, where did you make the payment? Please clarify.


  10. When you started the application at the very top or the very beginning, did you select the right option? Pay close attention to any selection box and make sure you are selecting the right option. You must select the option that has to do with getting a NEW CPF. If you do so, the system won’t expect you to provide the information you are getting flagged for.

  11. Hi Frank
    Please can you help me with a problem I have filling out the CPF application form, I am from U.K. filling the required form in from the link provided and leaving the CPF and Voters number boxes blank, when I press enter (submit) it keeps throwing me back saying invalid CPF and Voters Number? Would appreciate any help or advice you can give

    1. Hi Frank
      Thank you for getting back to me I managed to figure the problem, the weblink wouldn’t let me process the application form from my mobile phone I got access to a computer and did it from there, I now have the certificate to take to the bank, thank you for all your help I have found all the information you have provided the quickest and best help ever, reading all the peoples blogs has been very useful to
      Kind Regards

      1. Wayne -I will be there next month. Kindly do us a favor and in detail describe your experience here. Please add as much detail as possible such as what branches did you go to, what documents did they ask for and what was the total time in hours/days to get your CPF.


    2. Hi Wayne. If it does not work for you and if you are not in Brazil to go to the postal office or Brazilian IRS, you can do this process through an Brazilian consulate. They are very responsive if you emailed them (at least in California).

  12. Very informative article and thanks for those who posted their experiences in getting the CPF after the article was posted.

    I am a US naturalized citizen and do NOT have my birth certificate from the country where I was born, nor there is any way for me to get it. Can someone please confirm if birth certificate is a requirement for foreigners who want to get CPF in Brazil.

    I need to get one for real estate purchase in Sao Paulo. I don’t have residency, nor address in Brazil. I only visit Brazil as a tourist and stay in hotels for the duration (few days) when I am in Brazil. On my next visit to Brazil, I was hoping to get the CPF and was very hopeful after reading this article. However today I read the comments section and see someone mentioned need for birth certificate!!! Could someone confirm or deny that it is a requirement.

    Also thanks to those who posted the location of offices that deal with foreigners! This is such an important piece of information.

    Thank you and look forward to reply to my question.

    1. Hi Frank,
      I didn’t have my birth certificate with me and there wasn’t a problem. I just gave the address I was staying at the time I applied (what else can you do?). Each time I go to Brazil (1-2 times each year) the address is different. This last visit I found it impossible to buy things on-line (like bus and plane tickets) with my Brazilian debit card. It required CPF number and my address, which was different this time to the one registered for the card (which I had forgotten).

      Hope this helps!

      1. Harbolady -thank you for your response and yes it does help!! It is a huge relief. Thank you.

        To summarize based on others (foreigners) and offices recommended that are known to handle CPF for non Brazilians:

        1. Go to Banco do Brasil to pay the R$7. Get a senha as if you want to pay a bill and tell them you want to pay for a CPF. Bring your passport

        Address: Banco Brasil, Av. Paulista, 2163 – Bela Vista, São Paulo
        Metro: Consolação (bank is right there as you come out of the metro exit on the side of the bank across from Safra bank)

        2. Only three receita federal locations issue CPFs to foreigners. Person in the comments above recommended this branch (inside a mall called Shopping Light).

        2. Receita Federal located at: R. Cel. Xavier de Toledo, 23 – Centro, São Paulo
        Metro: Estação Anhangabaú

        3. Harbolady confirmed he/she did not require birth certificate.

        4. You can use the address of your hotel or place of temporary stay in Brazil if you are there as a tourist.

        I will be in SP in April and plan to get my CPF during my few days stay in SP. I need it to start real estate purchase process.

  13. Went through the process in Sampa today. Went smooth. However I have to point out it’s better to do it as soon as possible after your arrival. I left it to one week before the departure and it would not let me complete the online form… so had to play with leaving date a bit. Not a biggie for me as the address is of my best friend… So I am going to get the card anyway. Peace and thanks for the help.

  14. Hello, I wanna ask about CPF_form_ADRESS_ they want to know my home adress or adress where I will stay in Brazil? Thank you so much for answer

  15. I just went through this process in São Paulo and here was my experience (Jan 2019):
    – You can pay at some Correios but not all. I went to the one closest to my house and they wouldn’t do it. Banco do Brasil is a safer bet.
    – Go to Banco do Brasil to pay the R$7. Get a senha as if you want to pay a bill and tell them you want to pay for a CPF. Bring your passport. I went to this one: Av. Paulista, 2163 – Bela Vista, São Paulo – SP, 01311-300
    – Only three receita federal locations issue CPFs to foreigners. I went to this one in centro that is only for CPF issues and it was very fast: R. Cel. Xavier de Toledo, 23 – Centro, São Paulo – SP, 01048-100 (inside a mall called Shopping Light).

  16. In case anyone checks back here: I hardly ever looked at the comments here because for 1 real comment there were like 200 spam comments that I had to weed through (a couple fell through the cracks). So, I’ve missed a lot of your comments here. But I’m happy I seem to have helped. Good luck to you all.

  17. Hans, If your ever back in SP….I owe you a drink. Thank you very much for the info. I got my CPF yesterday thanks to it. A couple of things have just changed (or someone just didn’t want to tend to me and both options are possible). 1) The steps done at the Carrteiro are now done at the Banco do Brasil.
    2) Only 3 Receitas give foreingers a CPF. I strongly recomend CAC Ramos de Azevedo. It’s on the 2nd floor of the mall Shopping Light, next to Metro Anhangabau. Fast & open till 8pm.

    1. I don’t drink though. Happy to have been of help.
      How are you now? Still living in Brazil? Where are you from? I’m making plans to move back to The Netherlands after almost 5 years in Brazil.

  18. I did CPF yesterday and the whole process took me 90mins. The form is not necessary anymore. Just go to Correios with your passport and birth certificate (your moms/parents names should be in the papers) and they will fill out the form for you. After that you pay 7reais and you take the receipt to Receita Federal and show them the ticket. Wait your turn and they’ll print the paper for you.

    1. Sounds just too easy for Brazil! But how many people have their birth certificate with them when they travel? And do you need the original, or will a scan of the document work?

      1. Since November 2017 the Federal Police require you to bring your Birth certificate with you, and even get it Apostilled before coming

  19. Hi,
    I’m (obviously) looking to get a cpf but I read something somewhere about taxes and what not? What are the consequences of having a cpf?

    1. Hi. I am from Brazil. CPF is also a tax ID, but like any their countries you must pay tax in Brazil if you make more than R$28K working in Brazil. If you don’t work or have income in Brazil you should submit a form every year for non income or low income to keep your cpf active. By using the cpf, the internal revenue can track how much you make and spend, so it’s important no to lie when you submit your tax return.

  20. I’ve just been through the process (Jan, 2018) in Ribeirao Preto, SP state. It seems to have got simpler.
    The link to the website to get the application form worked well (but not via Safari, so use another browser if you have a Mac)

    1) download your application form, fill it in, print it out and sign
    2) Take the printout, along with your passport to the Ministerio de Fazenda Receita Federal, present it at the relevant desk. They will scrutinise the documents and print your CPF card!
    3) Go to a photocopy shop and get it laminated as you just get given a paper print out.

    I initially took my form to the local Correios as suggested. They appeared to be confused by it and sent me to the main branch in the city centre. Here they told me that the application was somehow blocked at the local branch. So back to the local branch where someone else recommended going straight to the Ministerio de Fazenda Receita Federal. This worked fine – in no time I had a PFC card! And at no cost. So cut out the Correios step, it seems now to be a simple 2 step process:

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