Guidebook to get residence in Brazil based on common-law marriage (união estável)

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The residence based on common-law marriage has been the most agile, simple, and economical option for foreigners to stay and build a new life in Brazil.

Common-law marriage is the coexistence between two people (of different or the same sex) foreign or Brazilian, set on a continuous, public and lasting interaction, being established with the objective of family constitution, however without changing the marital status of the couple.

Some couples, living under one roof for some time and having decided for themselves that “this is for life”, often hesitate to legalize their relationship for different reasons, like financial difficulties (a wedding is a very expensive event) or unwillingness get involved with paperwork. For such couples in Brazil there is a way out – to conclude união estável (“stable union”). In Brazil it is possible to legalize an alliance without high costs, bureaucracy and nerves.

This type of marriage is equated to a traditional marriage, the main differences are that:

  • marital status does not change to “married” / “married”;
  • partners do not have rights to each other’s property (for this you need to conclude a separate agreement);

How to conclude união estável with a Brazilian? What documents are needed for this?

Required documents:

  1. Your partner’s ID and your passport: it must be translated into Portuguese and certified by a notary. As a rule, when you apply for a legal translation, they certify it themselves. Service cost – about R $ 170;
  2. Your and your partner’s CPF;
  3. Proof of residence: any bill for water, electricity, or gas; the account can be in the name of the partner;
  4. Receipt of payment: the cost of the união estável conclusion is R $ 269.96.

Where and how to submit documents

With all the documents, you must contact any office (cartório), where the “unions” are registered. The whole procedure is fast enough, and you will immediately receive a certificate of união estável conclusion in your hands. Price and document requirements may differ depending on the office. So, for example, somewhere two witnesses may be needed, but somewhere they do not accept documents with a foreign passport, only with RNE (Registro de Estrangeiro), that is, with the registration of a foreign citizen in Brazil.


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