Skip to content
Fact Checked by Experts

The Brazilian Buyer's Guide to Buying Florida Real Estate

Buying a house in Florida when you're from Brazil might seem confusing, especially if you're not familiar with how things work in the Florida real estate market.

Whether you're planning to get a house in Florida as a newcomer with visas like H1-B, L-1, etc., or if you're an investor from Brazil, this complete guide will take you step by step through the process of purchasing property in Florida.

Can People from Brazil Buy a House in Florida?

Yes, foreigners, including those from Brazil, can buy homes in Florida even if they're not American citizens. This means you can own different kinds of properties in Florida, like houses for living, business spaces, vacation homes, and even land.

The process is straightforward, allowing individuals to become happy property owners and experience the benefits of owning real estate.

This guide will help you understand what you need, the steps to follow, and important tax things to think about when you're getting a house in Florida as a buyer from Brazil.

Aerial view of neighborhood in Miami Florida

Tips for Brazilians Buying Property in Florida

If you're from Brazil and want to buy property in Florida, here's what you should know:

  • You can buy property in Florida like US citizens do, with similar flexibility and rights.

  • You'll need a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) from the IRS before you can buy property.

  • To finance your purchase, work with a US bank or another financial institution.

  • You might need extra documents like proof of income, work history, and credit records.

  • Good news - There's a special mortgage program for foreigners, even if you don't have a US credit history.

  • You might need to put down a bit more money upfront, around 20% to 25% of the property's value.

  • You'll have the same tax responsibilities as US citizens when you own property.

  • You can buy a home for yourself or an investment property in beautiful Florida without any extra restrictions or complications.

Documents Needed for Brazilians Buying Property in Florida

When you're getting a loan to buy property in Florida, you might have to give these documents to your mortgage lender:

  • Your valid passport from Brazil.

  • A US visa or a driver's license.

  • Some lenders might ask for a b1/b2 visa if you're an investor from Brazil.

  • If you're from a visa waiver country, you might not need a visa, and some lenders don't require it.

  • Social Security Number or ITIN.

  • Bank statements and papers from your Brazilian bank if you have them.

  • Proof that you have enough money saved.

  • Paycheck stubs.

  • Tax return from Brazil.

  • Your credit score (if it applies).

Even if you don't have a US credit history, you can still get a loan to buy property in Florida.

Buying a House in Florida from Brazil – Step-by-Step Guide

If you're from Brazil and want to buy a house in Florida, here's a step-by-step guide to help you:

Step 1 – Choose Where You Want to Live

You can pick any place in Florida to buy a house, whether you're living there or just investing.

For residents, think about things like schools, convenience, and amenities. If you're an investor, do research to find the best cities and regions in Florida.

Step 2 – Find the Right Real Estate Agent

Look for a real estate agent who knows about international buying.

It's good if they have a CIPS certification, which means they're trained for global deals and can handle different visas like H1B or L1.

Step 3 – Work with Your Agent

When you find an agent, you'll sign an agreement. Don't forget to read and understand it before you sign.

You won't have to pay anything to your agent – the seller takes care of that. Your agent can help you without extra costs.

Step 4 – Know About Taxes

If you live in the house, you'll pay regular property taxes. If you're renting it out, you'll pay taxes on the money you make, not the house's value.

You might need an ITIN to buy property in the US if you don't have a Social Security Number.

Step 5 – Start Looking for a House

Your agent will help you find houses that match what you want. You can see them in person or virtually.

In the US, when you buy a house, you usually own the land it's on too.

Step 6 – Make an Offer

Your agent will help you figure out how much to offer for the house. If the seller likes your offer, they'll say yes. If not, they might suggest a different price.

Step 7 – Get a Mortgage

Even if you don't have a US credit history, you can still get a mortgage. Some lenders offer loans for foreigners, including those with visas like H1B or L1.

You don't need to pay cash for the whole house – you can get a mortgage and invest your money in other ways.

Remember, buying a house in Florida from Brazil is possible, and with the right steps, you can make it happen!

If you're paying in cash, you'll usually own the house and move in about 30 days after signing the sales contract.

If you're getting a mortgage, it usually takes around 60 days from signing the sales contract to complete the ownership process.

Your real estate agent can help negotiate different timelines if needed.

Mortgage Choices for International Buyers Getting a US Property

If you're not from the US and want to buy a property here, there are mortgage options that fit your situation. Here are five choices:

  • Foreign National Mortgage - This mortgage is for newcomers to the US. You might need a higher down payment (20% to 25%) and could have slightly higher interest rates. It's good for investing in US real estate.

  • DSCR Loan (For Investment Properties) - If you're an investor, this loan considers the property's income compared to its debts. It's good for non-residents investing in US properties. Some lenders might offer it even if you don't have US credit history.

  • ITIN Loans - These loans work for people with an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) instead of a Social Security number. They help undocumented immigrants become homeowners.

  • FHA Loan - This loan, backed by the government, is for non-US residents with US credit history. It's more flexible with credit and down payments.

  • Conventional Mortgage - This mortgage follows certain rules by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It's for non-US residents with established US credit history.

FHA and conventional mortgages usually have good interest rates and down payment options for non-US residents with US credit history.

If you have a good US credit score, MakeFloridaYourHome can help you find lenders for FHA or conventional loans, making it easier for you to finance your home.

Visa Rules for Foreigners Buying Property in the US

Understand the rules around buying Florida property based on the following Visa statuses:

Green Card Holders

People with green cards have similar rights as US citizens for getting mortgages. They can apply for FHA, Fannie Mae, or Freddie Mac loans.

They might only need a 3% down payment if they show two years of tax and work history.

Temporary Non-Resident Aliens

Temporary non-resident aliens with valid work visas can apply for FHA loans. They might need to show an Employment Authorization Document and a Social Security Number.

They could also need proof of living and working in the US for at least three years.

Refugees and Asylees

Refugees and those granted asylum can get home loans just like US citizens, because foreigners can buy property in the US.

They might need documents like a valid Form I-94 with an "Employment Authorized" stamp or an Employment Authorization Document.

Global Investors

Global investors might need a B1/B2 visa, depending on the lender. If they're from a visa waiver country, they might not need a visa for a US mortgage.

Knowing the visa rules is important when buying property in the US. MakeFloridaYourHome can help foreign buyers understand and meet the visa requirements for a smooth mortgage application process.

Obtaining a Green Card from Brazil to the USA

If you're from Brazil and wish to acquire a Green Card in the United States, there are specific pathways available to you. Here are two common routes:

K-1 Fiancé Visa

If you're engaged to a U.S. citizen, you can pursue a K-1 fiancé visa. This visa allows you to travel to the United States to marry your fiancé and subsequently apply for a Green Card.

The process involves these steps:

  • Petition Filing - Your U.S. citizen fiancé files Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé, on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  • Approval and Consular Processing - Upon approval of the petition, you will go through consular processing in Brazil. This involves submitting required documents, attending an interview at the U.S. consulate, and undergoing medical and background checks.

  • Entering the U.S. - After the K-1 visa is granted, you can enter the U.S. within the specified period. You are then required to marry your U.S. citizen fiancé within 90 days of your entry.

  • Adjustment of Status - Following marriage, you can apply for Adjustment of Status (Form I-485) to obtain a Green Card. This process involves submitting additional forms and attending an interview with USCIS to demonstrate your eligibility for permanent residency.

Family-Based Green Cards

If you have a U.S. citizen sibling, parent, or child, you can be sponsored for a family-based Green Card. The process generally entails the following steps:

  • Petition Filing - Your U.S. citizen family member files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf with USCIS.

  • Waiting for Priority Date - Depending on visa availability and your relationship to the U.S. citizen petitioner, you may need to wait for a visa number to become available.

  • Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status - Once a visa number is available, you can go through either consular processing (if you're outside the U.S.) or Adjustment of Status (if you're already in the U.S.) to obtain your Green Card.

Can a Brazilian Work in the US?

Yes, Brazilians can work in the US under certain conditions. Here's how the process typically works:

Employment-Based Categories

If a Brazilian wants to work in the US, their prospective employer or agent may need to obtain labor certification approval from the Department of Labor.

Once this approval is secured, the employer can then file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140, with U.S.

Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of the Brazilian applicant.

Work Visa (Non-Immigrant)

In addition to the employment-based Green Card process, Brazilians can also apply for non-immigrant work visas.

One common type is the H-1B visa, which allows foreign nationals with specialized skills to work for a specific employer in the US.

The employer needs to sponsor the applicant for this visa.

  • H-1B Visa - To qualify for an H-1B visa, the applicant must have a job offer from a US employer in a specialty occupation that requires specialized knowledge. The employer must file a petition on the applicant's behalf, demonstrating the job's requirements and the applicant's qualifications.

  • L-1 Visa - Another option is the L-1 visa, which allows intracompany transferees to work in the US. This is often used by multinational companies to transfer employees to their US offices.

  • Other Work Visas - There are various other work visa categories, such as the O-1 visa for individuals with extraordinary ability or achievement, the E-2 visa for investors, and the TN visa for Canadian and Mexican professionals under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Cost of Visa to USA from Brazil

The fees for various immigrant visas to the USA from Brazil are as follows:

  • Returning Resident Application (form DS-117) - $180.00

  • Filing I-130 Immigrant Visa Petition - $535.00

  • Filing I-360 Application - $435.00

  • MRV fee (K1/K2/K3/K4 visas) – Payment at the Applicant Service Center (ASC) website - $265.00

It's important to note that these fees are subject to change, and it's advisable to check with the official U.S. government sources or the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Brazil for the most up-to-date and accurate fee information before submitting any visa applications.

Fastest Ways to Obtain a US Green Card

If you're seeking the quickest path to obtain a US Green Card, here are several options to consider:

  • Marriage to a U.S. Citizen - Marriage to a U.S. citizen is widely regarded as one of the fastest ways to immigrate and acquire a Green Card. Once married, you can apply for a spousal Green Card, expediting the process of obtaining permanent residency.

  • Family Reunification - Immigrating through family reunification, especially as an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen (such as a spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21), can lead to a relatively swift acquisition of a Green Card.

  • Political Asylum - If you can establish a legitimate fear of persecution in your home country due to factors such as race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group, applying for political asylum in the USA might be a viable and expedited route.

  • Extraordinary Ability - If you possess extraordinary skills, talents, or achievements in fields like arts, sciences, education, business, or athletics, you could qualify for an EB-1 visa, which offers a quicker pathway to permanent residency.

  • Investment Immigration (EB-5 Visa) - By investing a substantial amount in a new commercial enterprise that creates jobs for U.S. workers, you may be eligible for an EB-5 immigrant investor visa, leading to a Green Card.

With over 50 years of mortgage industry experience, we are here to help you achieve the American dream of owning a home. We strive to provide the best education before, during, and after you buy a home. Our advice is based on experience with Phil Ganz and Team closing over One billion dollars and helping countless families.

Find The Right Mortgage

For more than 20 years, Phil have been helping customers achieve their home purchase and refinance goals by providing them with invaluable resources and support.

Schedule a FREE Consultation
Phil Ganz