How do I relinquish my Brazilian citizenship?
April 9, 2009 8:42 AM   Subscribe

How long will it take to relinquish my Brazilian citizenship?

The story is the following: I am planning a trip to Brazil in July. I have, since birth, held dual citizenship (USA, BRAZIL). I have always traveled to Brazil this way, using my Brazilian passport to enter Brazil and my USA passport on my return trip with no problems what so ever. But, now, since I am over 18, I am worried about Brazil asking me to serve the 1 year military service. If I enter Brazil using the Brazilian passport they may ask me to do so.

So now, I have decided to enter the country using a Visa. Obviously I am unable to hold Brazilian citizenship and get a visa to enter the country. So I must relinquish my Brazilian citizenship. Does anybody know how long this will take and how to go about it? Or have any other suggestions/ input?
Thanks in advance.
posted by cheechman85 to Travel & Transportation around Brazil (9 answers total)
I can't guarantee anything, but I'm 99% certain you shan't have to complete any form of military service, neither will you be asked to. Nobody I know of my age (I'm 25) has done it - it's not really an issue anymore, at least for the middle classes. I know, that's totally unfair but true. It seems that it's more hassle these days than it's worth for the Brazilian government to chase people up.

I advise strongly against giving up your Brazilian citizenship. Brazil has good relations with everyone, the same can hardly be said for the US. You might be glad of a Brazilian passport one day.
posted by Zé Pequeno at 9:24 AM on April 9, 2009

You can read Portuguese? Looks like things might be about to change somewhat:
posted by Zé Pequeno at 9:34 AM on April 9, 2009

It is a pain to go in and out of Brasil with a USA passport. So I'm with Zé Pequeno in saying you should keep your citizenship.

Unless they throw you in jail you could contact a US Embassy in whatever city you are in \ near and have the consulate demand that you be allowed to go back to the US. It seems like that's unlikely though. That government seems so disorganized I can't imagine some red glad being raised when you cross into their border.
posted by zephyr_words at 10:44 AM on April 9, 2009

When I went to Israel, a girl in our group was an Israeli citizen and had to apply beforehand to make sure she wouldn't be drafted on arrival. Perhaps something similar is in place in Brazil, where you can notify them of your intent to visit and that you are a resident of the US and don't want to be drafted.
posted by MonsieurBon at 11:04 AM on April 9, 2009

When were you born? I have to go to the Brazilian embassy every year to turn in military paper work that exempts me from joining the military. This no longer applies to people after a certain year, I think.
posted by mand0 at 11:51 AM on April 9, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the advice so far guys!! I was born in Sao Paulo in 1985.
posted by cheechman85 at 12:28 PM on April 9, 2009

Best answer: In the future, be good and go to the consulate every year until you're 30 and get the stamp. I failed to get it and had to spend two days of my vacation hanging out in army buildings in bad neighborhoods getting this fixed. If my uncle weren't a milico, I'd have been lost.

Per the page linked above you have to do this starting at age 18, in which case you're probably ok. To be safe, call your local consulate and ask them--mine was friendly (when they answered the phone. be patient.).

I second Zé Pequeno--keep plan B open in case the US becomes Mad Max (which seems more likely all the time).
posted by jewzilla at 4:15 PM on April 9, 2009

I was thinking today... Brazilian passports don't even have barcodes, i.e. they don't scan them, therefore there's no real way for them to know at the airport whether you're resident or not. You have nothing at all to worry about.

posted by Zé Pequeno at 4:29 PM on April 9, 2009

You've had citizenship since birth, so you take it for granted and don't grasp the value of it. The value is immense. Follow the advice above and do not squander your birthright. (Let alone for something as trivial as this).
I'd go so far as to suggest that even if your options came down to "Serve in the army for a year or else lose the citizenship!", you would be wiser to serve for a year and keep your citizenship.

The world is globalizing. Money can go anywhere, instantly, but labour can't.
posted by -harlequin- at 4:46 PM on April 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

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