December 12, 2012
Sao Pãulo, Brazil
Citizenship is a funny thing. We’re born, and we’re citizens of a country. It’s a complete accident that we have absolutely no control over.
Think about it: In many countries, simply by virtue of being born, you might have been signed up for a lifetime of obligations and responsibilities — taxation, military service, paying down debt inherited from previous generations, and so on… none of which you volunteered for.
It’s a bizarre system… thrusting obligations onto human beings because they happened to be born on a particular piece of dirt.
In some cases, though, you can use this system to your advantage. Because, while you can’t control where you were born, you can absolutely control where your children are born. And if you strategically select the birthplace of your children, you can set them up for a lifetime of benefits.
Brazil is a great example.
For the most part, any child born in Brazil is automatically a Brazilian citizen… which makes them entitled to a Brazilian passport. The icing on the cake is that if you, as the parent of a Brazilian child, live in Brazil for roughly one year, you can also qualify to apply to become a naturalized Brazilian.
And having a Brazilian passport is HUGELY beneficial.
First of all, it’s one of the most valuable travel documents in the world. Everyone loves Brazilians; they can go all over the world visa-free. President Obama has even put Brazil on the list of countries which will soon be part of the US visa waiver program.
Second, it’s easy to blend in. This country is full of nearly every race imaginable. It would be pretty hard as a pale-skinned gringo to pass as Cambodian, or as a dark-skinned Indian to pass as Bulgarian. But Brazil is such a huge melting pot, anyone can pass as a Brazilian.
Third, Brazil has a very unique status in the world in that they will not extradite citizens to foreign countries. If you or your kid end up on the wrong side of some bureaucrat’s list in North America or Europe, you’ll always have a place to hide out, worry-free. I can certainly think of worse places to live out my days.
Most importantly, though, being a Brazilian citizen entitles you to live, work, and enjoy all the incredible opportunities of this thriving country.
Undoubtedly, Brazil is on its way to becoming one of the most important economies in the world. Its trend is rising. The trend in the west (US, Europe) is falling. Simple. Having the option of being able to live, work, and do business here is an extraordinary benefit.
One fortunate thing is that there are few people thinking about this right now. The market for citizenship is like the market for anything else… there’s supply and demand. When demand is high, the ‘cost’ goes up. With citizenship, that means more time, more bureaucracy, and a higher barrier to entry.
Right now the demand for citizenship in Brazil is low. Few people are thinking about this… which means the ‘cost’ is low. You can apply for naturalization in as little as a year, and there are dozens of backdoor loopholes to qualify.
I have to imagine that the day will come, however, when people from all over the world will travel to Brazil in order to give birth… analogous to the way migrants from Central America and Mexico would travel to the United States.
As this happens, the ‘cost’ of acquiring citizenship in Brazil is going to increase. Big time. The government will pass all sorts of new laws and regulations, making it much more difficult.
This is definitely something to think about, especially if you’re considering having children. After all, your kids have to be born somewhere. And if you put some serious mental energy behind this and plan strategically, you could set them up for life.