Preparing for your move to Rio de Janeiro


Preparing to go abroad includes securing important documents, making copies, and a lot of planning. It is vital to make copies of everything and keep it in a separate secure space. It is a great idea to take 3 copies of your passport, visas, and other paperwork that is facilitating your move. Keep one with you, one in an accessible, but safe place (ie safe deposit box), and one that is with a trusted relative of friend that can give you the information if something were to happen to you or the other copies.

    A checklist of other things to consider:
  1. Passports: check expiration- must not expire within 6 months of your arrival. Make at least 2 copies and keep one in a safe place separate from your original passport.
  2. Secure medical insurance and possibly travel insurance to prevent unmanageable medical bills and enable entry into other countries.
  3. Research and apply for a Visa. This can take several months to obtain before you leave.
  4. Save enough money to support your cost of living and lifestyle plus travel costs with enough of a buffer to be prepared for the unexpected.
  5. Bring things to facilitate transition like a universal electric plug adaptor, any medications you take, or anything else to make you comfortable during the transition.


If you are bringing pets with you, documentation is required and you will need to plan in advance.

    This includes:
  • International Health Certificate
  • A certificate of vaccination against rabies
  • Proof of owners full name and address including state and country
  • Documents showing the animals name, breed, gender, size, color, coat and any other specific markings

With animals other then dogs, cats, and birds there may be restrictions on their movement (particularly in the case of rare and endangered species). Requirements for exporting animals vary greatly between countries and it best to check with your country of current residence before trying to export an unusual animal. It is also best to check with the Department of Agriculture in Brazil.


On the home front, make sure all bills are paid or have a means of being paid. If you are retaining a residence while abroad, make sure the rent is taken care of and that utilities are being paid while you are away. Insure that important institutions like your bank and business are able to reach you.

If you are retaining a bank in your home country, ask about fees for overseas transactions. If you have a credit card, find out if there are additional fees or any changes you need to make with your account. Inform banking industries that you will abroad so as to not arouse suspicious activity on your account as anti-theft systems can see this activity and put a most inconvenient hold on your account.


It is best to inform tax offices of any change in residency. Some countries have reciprocal tax agreements, and others may require you to pay some form of taxes both in your home country and aboard. Most National Tax Administrations are an excellent resource for exactly what steps to take when moving away. For more information, refer to our section on taxes.

For example, UK nationals should refer to the HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) for details of managing their taxation payments and National Insurance contributions in the UK if they are living and working in Brazil.


No vaccinations are required if you are traveling directly from most developed countries. However, a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate is required if you have visited in the past 90 days or if you will visit one of the following countries before entering Brazil: Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Republic of the Congo (Brazzaville), Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda, Venezuela. For an up-to-date map showing the distribution of yellow fever in Brazil, go to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website at

The only recommendation for the city of Rio is to have your Hepatitis shots. To prepare for any other ailments that concern you, visit a physician four to eight weeks before departure as immunizations take about two weeks to set in. You may also ask your doctor for an International Certificate of Vaccination (otherwise known as the yellow booklet), which will list all the vaccinations you've received. This is mandatory for countries that require proof of yellow-fever vaccination upon entry, but it's a good idea to carry it wherever you travel. A signed, dated letter from your doctor describing your medical conditions and medications (including their generic names) can also be useful. If carrying syringes or needles, take a physician's letter documenting their medical necessity.

Taking malaria pills is strongly recommended for forested areas. Malaria risk is negligible outside the states of Legal Amazonia.

Tap water in Brazil is generally not safe to drink. Vigorous boiling for one minute is the most effective means of water purification. Another option is to disinfect water with iodine pills. There are also a number of water filters on the market. Those with smaller pores (reverse-osmosis filters) provide the broadest protection, but they are relatively large and are readily plugged by debris. Those with larger pores (microstrainer filters) are ineffective against viruses, although they remove other organisms.

For concerns about your health when abroad, the World Health Organization (WHO) publishes International Travel and Health which is revised annually and is available free online.

Another excellent resource is MD Travel Health. It provides free, complete travel-health recommendations for every country and is updated daily.

Update 29/05/2010


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