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SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – While many Brazilians are trying to find ways to move permanently out of the country, Patricia Nunes Leigh and her company, Live in Brazil, is helping hundreds of foreigners become permanent residents in Brazil.

Brazil is becoming a favorite among foreigners seeking to have a second citizenship and another place to call home,
Brazil is becoming a favorite among foreigners seeking to have a second citizenship and another place to call home, photo by Ricardo Stuckert/Fotos Publicas.

Many, says Leigh, say the low cost of living, the rich culture and the relatively stable political scenario makes the South American giant an excellent choice for those seeking a second country they can call home.

According to the managing partner at Live in Brazil, there are a few ways to obtain permanent residency in Brazil: marrying a Brazilian, purchasing property, setting up a business or even having a child in the country. Leigh says her clients have often chosen the latter option – having a baby in Brazil.

“Most of my clients have opted for having a baby here,” she tells The Rio Times.

“I think this is one of the few countries, if not the only one, where if a child is born in Brazil the entire family is eligible for permanent residency and later on, if they want, citizenship,” she adds.

That was the reasoning behind James Howes’s decision when choosing Brazil to have his baby girl.

“My thinking was that the world is more connected than it’s ever been. By having a child (abroad) I had the opportunity of opening a door in another country and use that as a possible option for the future,” says the 36-year-old Londoner, who sought Leigh’s Live in Brazil services when he and his partner decided that they wanted their child to have another country to call home.

Brazil,Britain's James Howes choose to have his baby girl in Florianopolis so she could have duo citizenship.
Briton James Howes chose to have his baby girl in Florianópolis so she could have dual citizenship, photo courtesy of James Howes.

Howes is a consultant having both British and Irish passports, while his partner is Polish, so the UK and EU passports were guaranteed. “Essentially, I view it (additional citizenship) as a gift to my children and to their children,” he says.

After some research, Howes says that he found that most of the countries granting citizenship to those born within their borders are in the Americas. But instead of looking at the obvious nations, like the U.S. and Canada, Howes says he considered the less commonly viewed countries, and Brazil ‘came up top of my list’.

“This is one of the best opportunities in the world right now to obtain residency in another country,” adds Howes.

Having clients from the US, the Philippines, China, Australia, the UK, and Saudi Arabia, Live in Brazil’s Leigh says the reasons for having a baby in Brazil vary widely among her clients.

“We helped a man from Afghanistan who said he wanted to protect his kids from war. The father also wanted to give his other kids, who were not born here, a chance to live in Brazil, so he chose to have a child here,” she explains.

According to Leigh, after her client chooses how he wants to obtain permanent residency, her company helps out with paperwork, translations and visits to find real estate to purchase, a place to start a business, or even a hospital where the baby will be delivered.

If the client chooses to have a child in Brazil, Leigh only stipulates that families must do so in the private hospital system.

“The public hospital system (SUS) is already overburdened with Brazilians, so the only thing we require is that the couple have the child in a private hospital and pay for all childbirth costs themselves,” she explains.

As an added benefit, getting residency now, says Leigh, does not mean you must immediately move to Brazil. In five years of working with foreigners, Leigh has seen many of her clients obtain residency only to return to their home country.

Brazil,James Howes and his family leaving Florianopolis after his baby daughter was born in Brazil.
James Howes and his family leaving Florianopolis after his baby daughter was born in Brazil, photo courtesy of James Howes.

“Many have said they may eventually come live permanently in Brazil, but most now obtain the residency and return to their country of origin,” she notes.

That is the case with James Howes. The consultant, who has been to Brazil twice, says that he may seriously consider living for a time in the South American country if he can organize his job to work remotely.

Meanwhile he and his family have already booked their holiday flight to Florianopolis for January of 2021.

“My partner loved it when she came and we are looking forward to visiting again,” he concludes.

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