If you’re trying to figure out how to open a Brazilian bank account as a foreign non-resident, you’ve come to the right place.
In this article we’re going to tell you exactly who can (and can’t) open Brazilian bank accounts and the requirements to do so.
We’ll also be sharing alternative options that you might want to consider instead, such as how to open a bank account in Mexico and how to open an account with Brazilian banks abroad.
Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to the sections most relevant to you.
Table of Contents
- Brazilian Bank Account Opening 101
- Brazil Banking Alternatives
- Alternatives to a Brazilian Bank Account
- Frequently Asked Questions
Brazilian Bank Account Opening 101
First, let’s cut straight to the most important point:
Brazil’s central bank requires that any foreigner opening a bank account in Brazil must have a CRNM.
So, if you do not have a CRNM you might want to consider opening accounts elsewhere instead.
CRNM stands for “carteira de registro nacional migratório” which translates to “national migration registration card”. It is a card that gets issued to foreigners when they register with the National Migratory Registry (RNM).
Prior to 2018, the RNM was referred to as the RNE and you may still hear some people refer to the RNE document as an account opening requirement today. But what they really mean is the CRNM, since it replaced the RNE completely.
In case you’re not familiar with the CRNM, it’s the official government document that gets issued to foreigners living in Brazil. This can include foreigners living in the country on a temporary or permanent basis. And when it comes to banking, a CRNM is mandatory.
In fact, we’ve even seen non-Brazilian individuals with very clear ties to Brazil fail at opening accounts because they didn’t have a CRNM. It was only after they registered and obtained their card that they were able to open accounts in Brazil successfully.
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Brazil Banking Alternatives
Seeing as you landed on this article, there’s a good chance that your goal is to open a bank account with a Brazilian bank. With this in mind, you may want to consider opening with Brazilian banks outside of Brazil.
In fact, there are a number of Brazilian banking options outside of Brazil in top banking jurisdictions.
Of course, in order to access them you need to meet their specific account opening requirements, navigate banker communications and have the right documents – which can sometimes be challenging since Brazilian banks abroad don’t always cater to non-residents.
That said, it’s still possible to open a Brazilian bank account abroad if you know which banks (and bankers) to contact and use the right account opening strategies that make sense for your situation.
Alternatives to a Brazilian Bank Account
Depending on your reasons for researching how to open a Brazilian bank account, you might want to consider alternative jurisdictions instead.
In most cases, people who are looking to bank in Brazil do so because they have ties to the country, or region, or require non-resident banking outside of their home country.
Well, if these are your reasons for wanting to bank in Brazil, then the following countries might be available to you:
- Isle of Man
- Saint Lucia
- United States
- And more…
Each of these countries are potential banking hubs for non-resident individuals in need of remote opening. And, in the case of the Isle of Man, Panama, Saint Lucia, and the United States, accounts can be opened for US $10,000 or less from the comfort of your own home.
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from foreigners trying to open bank accounts in Brazil. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.
Can I Open a Virtual Bank Account in Brazil?
Yes, you can open a virtual bank account in Brazil if you can meet the account opening requirements. Like opening with traditional Brazilian banks, you will be required to provide a CRNM. That said, certain individuals have reported being able to open an account without a CRNM, though these accounts are typically closed within one month of opening.
What’s the Best Brazilian Bank for Non-Residents?
Unfortunately, if you are a non-resident and do not have a CRNM you will not be able to open a bank account in Brazil. That said, you could consider opening with Brazilian banks outside of Brazil. If you’re interested in this approach, contact our team to find out more about the available options.
Ready to Open Accounts?
If you would like assistance navigating your banking options in Brazil or in any of the alternative jurisdictions, we can help.
You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.
Alternatively, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.
Of course, if you have any questions before deciding whether you would like to move forward, don’t hesitate to contact us directly!