Millions of tourists flock to Brazil each year to enjoy the country’s fabulous weather and laid-back lifestyle, and many of them become so enamored with the country that they decide to remain and look for work. Those who speak Portuguese will find securing employment in Brazil far easier, but opportunities for English speakers can be found. Working legally in Brazil requires an employment visa, but official documentation is not always required to obtain some of the most popular jobs for foreigners.
The best way to become established as an ex-pat in Brazil is to line up a job ahead of time, but many foreign workers travel to the country each year with no firm offer in place. These ex-pats often find the cost of living a bit higher than they anticipated, and making ends meet can become a real struggle for them if they are unable to land a job quickly. Money transfers from companies like Western Union provide a quick and inexpensive way to send money to Brazil, and many ex-pats rely on them to keep their heads above water until they are able to get established.
Work for a Company With a Presence in Brazil
Hundreds of large American and European companies have offices or production facilities in Brazil. The country’s oil, gas and automobile sectors are thriving, and those with relevant qualifications may be able to secure an overseas posting to Brazil. When foreign workers in Brazil are asked why they moved to the country, being sent by their employer was the most common answer given. Being sent to Brazil by an employer also takes care of the bureaucratic requirements as work visas are obtained ahead of time.
Teaching English is the most popular job for ex-pats in Brazil. Language schools are extremely common in Brazilian cities, and opportunities for private tutors are also relatively easy to find. Many people who teach English in Brazil do not have a work visa as schools rarely ask for one and prefer to pay their foreign teachers in cash. However, the work is quite difficult and does not pay very well. Opportunities for English teachers can be found on several websites and in local newspapers.
Hotels and Tourism
Tourism is huge in Brazil, and every large Brazilian city has dozens of hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs that cater to foreign visitors. While this kind of work rarely pays very much, it can be great fun for young ex-pats who just want to earn enough to enjoy the Brazilian lifestyle. Bar and hotel work also lets ex-pats meet people from all over the world. While large hotel chains will be reluctant to hire foreign workers who do not have the proper papers, smaller establishments may be willing to offer off-the-books work.
The Gig Economy
The internet allows ex-pats living in Brazil to earn money from companies all over the world, and getting paid is usually not a problem. Some companies require their freelancers to be based in the United States or Europe, but ex-pats may be able to get around this hurdle by using a VPN. Common freelance opportunities include writing, web design, social media management, and virtual assistant services.
Opening a Business
Opening a bar, café or other small business catering to foreign visitors may seem like the ideal way to enjoy life in Brazil, but this can be a road to ruin for those who fail to do their homework. The problem is that thousands of other people have the same idea, which means competition for tourist money is fierce. Success may be easier to achieve with a business that provides goods and services to local residents, but at least a rudimentary grasp of Portuguese will be required.