Brazil Emigration and Immigration

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How to Find the Records[edit | edit source]

Online Records[edit | edit source]

Use the certificate certidão links to search for and request copies of records. When you find a record and click on Ver Dados para Emitir Certidao or Solicitar Certidao, click on that to see who is listed in the record with or near them.

Port of Rio de Janeiro[edit | edit source]

Archivo Púbilco do Paraná[edit | edit source]

Port of Salvador[edit | edit source]

This site has images of passenger lists of arrivals to the Port of Salvador. Choose the images you with to view from the list found on the left side of the page. The information about the images can be found directly below the image viewer.

Port of Santos[edit | edit source]

  • Imigrantes Espirito Santo Immigration records from the public state archive of Espirito Santo, providing name of passenger, age, date of arrival and often name of birth place.
  1. Begin your search by entering the first letter of the last name in the space Iniciais.
  2. Next click on Filtrar
  3. A drop-down list of surnames will appear in the Familia space. Choose the surname you are looking for.
  4. Click on Pesquisar to see all results with the surname you have chosen.
  5. When your results appear, click on Pesquisar next to the name of interest. A new section will open up.
  6. In section 3, click on Pesquisar next to the name of interest. You will then see information about the person you have chose.
  • 1907-1962 Passenger Lists (Board Lists of Listas de bordo), 1907-1962 Port of Santos, they contain information such as the name of the steam, the date of entry into the port, the number of people and their nationalities. There are richer on-board lists for 1854 to 1872, which indicate the full name and personal data, such as age, profession and place of birth. Many of them also inform the referral given to these people when they arrive in the country.
  • 1882-1958 Log Books of the Hospedaria de Imigrantes Built between 1886 and 1888, the former “Hospedaria de Imigrantes do Brás” was one of the largest reception centers for foreigners in Brazil. More than two million people passed through its facilities between 1887 and 1978. transcription of the records of the registration books of this hostel for the years 1887 to 1958. In addition, there are also records in the bank of the former Hospedaria do Bom Retiro (predecessor of the Hospedaria do Bras) covering the years 1882 to 1886.
  • 1888-1978 Immigration Certificate Application, Port of Santos The Landing Certificate is a document issued by the Public Archives of the State of São Paulo based on the Port of Santos Landing Lists (1888 to 1978).
  • 1960-1982 Brazil, São Paulo, Port of Santos, Passenger and Immigrant Lists, 1960-1982 at FamilySearch - How to Use this Collection; images only

Port of São Paulo[edit | edit source]

Repositório Digital

  • Acervo Textual
    • Documentos Pessoais. Use the drop-down menu for a list of names of people whose records are available.
    • Listas de Bordo. Passenger lists. Use drop down menus to see which ships Vapor and years Ano are included.
  • Mapas
  • Bibliográficos

Memoria do Imigrante

  • Desembarque. Passengers disembarking in the port of Santos. 1888-1978.
  • Delegacia. Police registration forms for foreigners in the capital. 1939-1984.
  • Use the certificate certidão links to search for and request copies of records. When you find a record and click on Ver Dados para Emitir Certidao or Solicitar Certidao, click on that to see who is listed in the record with or near them.
  • Acervo digital do Museu da Imigração do Estado de São Paulo
    • Iconografias. Photos, post cards, and portraits of immigrants
    • Requerimentos SACOP. Documents seeking restitution for transporting immigrants to Brazil.
    • Registros de matricula. Immigrant hostel registers 1882-1958
    • Cartografias. Maps showing immigrant colonies and floor plans for the immigrant hostel and the museum of immigration
    • Jornais. Newspapers from immigrant colonies in Brazil 1886-1987
    • Cartas de chamada. Letters offering help to those who wish to settle with their family in Brazil.
    • Listas de bordo. Passenger lists for the Port of Santos 1888-1978.

Archivo Público Mineiro[edit | edit source]

  • Archivo Público Mineiro click on Acervo then Imigrantes to arrive at their immigrant database.
  • You can also enter a name in the Search field on the home page to be led to a list of results with indexed information and some images.

Passports[edit | edit source]

Cultural Groups[edit | edit source]

Dutch[edit | edit source]
Germans[edit | edit source]
Italians[edit | edit source]

Offices and Archives to Contact[edit | edit source]

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png Each of these archives has online databases. They are listed in the Online Records above, according to port.

Arquivo Nacional do Brasil
Praça da República, 173
Rio de Janeiro, RJ-20211-350

Tel.: (00 53 7) 8629436

  • Website
  • Distance Attendance Module: The Distance Attendance service is designed to facilitate access to documentation from the National Archives for all those who, for whatever reason, cannot attend the institution to conduct their research.

This archive contains a considerable number of extremely important documents on this subject. Users have access to several sets of documents concerning the entry of immigrants into Brazil. Those particularly worthy of mention are:

  • Departamento Nacional do Povoamento: This collection holds the immigrant registers of the Ilha das Flores and Pinheiro centres, as well as the Registers of the Rio de Janeiro Central Immigration Agency Register. The registers held date from 1875 to 1974.
  • División de Policía Marítima, Aérea y de Fronteras: This contains the lists of passengers disembarking in Brazilian ports and those from planes landing at its airports. These lists contain a wealth of information for the study of emigration, with details including the entry date and name of the ship/plane, its place of departure and the personal details of the passengers carried. The archive holds passenger lists from 1875 to 1974 for the following ports: Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Recife, São Francisco do Sul, Esperança, Florianópolis, Uruguaiana, Salvador, Aquidauana, Corumbá, Porto Coutinho, Foz do Iguaçu, Guajará-Mirim, Belém, Manaus and Paraguaná.
  • Servicio de Policía Marítima, Aérea y de Fronteras. Registro Nacional de Extranjeros: This Register, created by Federal Decree no. 3010 of 20 August 1938, made it compulsory for all foreign nationals to register at their local police station, where they were issued with a document certifying their temporary or permanent residence in Brazilian Federal Territory. This foreign identity document was known for a long time as form 19. The Arquivo Nacional holds this documentation, which comes from the Federal Police Force, for the period spanning from 1838 to 1987.
  • Inspetoria Geral das Terras e Colonizaçao: This collection contains the lists of immigrants disembarking in the port of Rio de Janeiro between March 1817 and 1896.
  • Policía da Corte: This contains foreign national registration numbers and documents related to the presentation and authorisation of passports between 1808 and 1880.
  • Serie Agricultura- Terras Públicas e Colonizaçao: The most important documents here are those dealing with colonist settlement licences, the location of foreign workers in several provinces, the list of Spanish immigrant families camped at Fort Santa Teresa, etc. This series dates from 1819 to 1890.
  • Serie Interior-Extranjeros: These are the foreigner deportation files and authorisations to remain in Brazil between 1851 and 1947.
  • Serie Interior-Nacionalidades:This contains the application files for Brazilian citizenship (naturalisation).

Memorial do Imigrante
Rua Visconte de Parnaíba
1316-CEP 03164-300

Tel.:(00 55) 21791257, 21791273

The Memorial records from the Hospedaria de Brás immigrant centre, opened in 1888. From 1887 this centre received, registered and housed immigrants arriving in São Paulo. The centre concluded its activities in 1978. This collection, which enables users to make online searches of emigrants, holds the following documentation:

  • Listas de pasajeros del Puerto de Santos: Entries are dated between 1888 and 1978. Departures between 1908 and 1950.
  • Libros registro de inmigrantes alojados en la Hospedaria do Bom Retiro y Hospedaria de Brás: A set of 150 registration books from 1882 to 1962
  • Fichas de la Delegación de Extranjeros de São Paulo / Secretaría de Seguridad Pública: These are data sheets ordered alphabetically and by nationality, from 1945 to 1984.
  • Documentos del Registro de Extranjeros producidos por las Delegaciones de Interior de São Paulo (Registration Documents for Extranjeros produced by the Interior Delegations of São Paulo: Documentation from 1938 to the mid 1940's.
  • Fichas de registro de inmigrantes: Documents produced by the Intergovernmental Committee for European Migrations (ICEM) from 1947 to 1970, including files of persons displaced after World War II.

Arquivo Público do Estado de São Paulo
Av. Cruzeiro do Sul, 1777 – Santana
São Paulo – SP – CEP 02031-000

Tel.:(00 55 21) 20898100

  • Contact
  • Website
  • Request for Certificates The Public Archives of the State of São Paulo issues certificates of the documents it holds, respecting the criteria of organization and conservation of the documents. The certificate may be in extract, in full or negative, depending on the specific case.

This archive holds this series issued by the Secretariat of the agricultural and provisions sections. It contains monthly tables of migratory movements, immigrant entry certificates and passenger lists. The archive website has a specific portal for immigration to São Paulo, with an emigrant search engine.

Finding the Town of Origin in Brazil[edit | edit source]

If you are using emigration/immigration records to find the name of your ancestors' town in Italy, see Brazil Finding Town of Origin for additional research strategies.

Brazil Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

"Emigration" means moving out of a country. "Immigration" means moving into a country. (See Immigration into Italy.)
Emigration and immigration sources list the names of people leaving (emigrating) or arriving (immigrating) in the country. These sources may be passenger lists, permissions to emigrate, or records of passports issued. The information in these records may include the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, destinations, and places of origin or birthplaces. Sometimes they also show family groups.

Immigration Background[edit | edit source]

  • After 1530, the Portuguese started to settle in Brazil in significant numbers.
  • By 1550, the colonists started to bring African slaves.
  • From 1500, when the Portuguese reached Brazil, until its independence in 1822, from 500,000 to 700,000 Portuguese settled in Brazil, 600,000 of whom arrived in the 18th century alone.
  • In the 18th century, large waves of Portuguese settled the country, in the wake of the discovery of gold in the region of Minas Gerais.
  • From 1550 to 1850, some 4 million slaves were brought to Brazil. The average survival of an African slave in Brazil was merely seven years after arrival.T he natural growth of the slave population was always very small.
  • In the early 19th century, Brazil was mainly composed of people of three different origins: the indigenous inhabitants, the Portuguese and their descendants, the Africans and descendants, and, naturally, people of varying degrees of "racial" mixture.
  • Maria Stella Ferreira Levy suggests the following periodization of the process of immigration to Brazil:
  • 1820–1876: small number of immigrants (about 6,000 per year), predominance of Portuguese (45.73%), with significant numbers of Germans (12.97%);
  • 1877–1903: large number of immigrants (about 71,000 per year), predominance of Italians (58.49%);
  • 1904–1930: large number of immigrants (about 79,000 per year), predominance of the Portuguese (36.97%);
  • 1931–1963: declining number of immigrants (about 33,500 per year), predominance of the Portuguese (38.45%).
  • From 1824, immigrants from Central Europe started to populate what is nowadays the region of São Leopoldo, in the province of Rio Grande do Sul. These German immigrants were mainly "oppressed peasants and former soldiers of the army of Napoleon".
  • Between 1820 and 1876, 350,117 immigrants entered Brazil. Of these, 45.73% were Portuguese, 35.74% of "other nationalities", 12.97% Germans, while Italians and Spanish together did not reach 6%. The total number of immigrants per year averaged 6,000. Many immigrants, particularly the Germans, were brought to settle in rural communities as small landowners. They received land, seed, livestock and other items to develop.
  • From 1877 to 1903, almost two million immigrants arrived, at a rate of 71,000 per year. Large numbers of Europeans, especially Italians, started to be brought to the country to work in the harvest of coffee.
  • From 1904 to 1930, 2,142,781 immigrants came to Brazil. Italian immigration had, at this stage, a drastic reduction: in this period they were only 19,000 annually. The Portuguese constituted 38% of entries, followed by Spaniards with 22%. A number of Jewish immigrants' arrived in the 1920s.
  • From 1932 to 1935 immigrants from Japan constituted 30% of total admissions.
  • During the 1970s, Brazil received about 32,000 Lebanese immigrants escaping the civil war, as well as smaller numbers of Palestinians and Syrians.
  • Between 1974 and 1980, Brazil also received almost 500 Portuguese settler families fleeing Angola or Mozambique as well as some 1,000 exiles from Portugal proper, many of them serving officers of the Portuguese Military or Police, fleeing post-Carnation Revolution Portugal because of their association with the former regime.
  • During the 1990s. Brazil received small numbers of immigrants from the former republics of Yugoslavia, from Afghanistan and West Africa (mostly Angolans).
  • Recent immigration is mainly constituted by Chinese and Koreans and, in a smaller degree, by Argentines and other Latin American immigrants.
  • Because of political issues, people from Bolivia immigrate to Brazil. Between 1,200 and 1,500 Bolivian immigrants come to Brazil every month looking for a job. There are an estimated 200,000 Bolivians living in the Greater São Paulo, the majority of which are undocumented immigrants.[28]
  • In 2010, Brazil is home to 4,251 refugees from 76 different nationalities. The largest refugee ancestries were Angolan (1,688), Colombian (583), Congolese (402), Liberian (259), and Iraqi (197).
  • Due to the Venezuelan refugee crisis, in 2017, 22,000 new Venezuelan refugees sought shelter in Brazil. By mid-2019, over 168,000 Venezuelans were living in Brazil.[1]

Emigration Background[edit | edit source]

There are an estimated 3.1 million Brazilians living abroad, mainly in the U.S. (1,410,000),[11] Japan (~210,000), Paraguay (201,527), Portugal (~120,000), Spain (~120,000), Germany (~100,000), United Kingdom (100,000)[12] France (80,000), Australia (50,980), Italy (35,000), Switzerland (25,000), Angola (30,000), and another 100,000 are living in other European countries.

Dark thin font green pin Version 4.png One option is to look for records about the ancestor in the country of destination, the country they immigrated into. See links to Wiki articles about immigration records for major destination countries below. Additional Wiki articles for other destinations can be found at Category:Emigration and Immigration Records.

Brazilians in Germany[edit | edit source]

  • Brazilians in Germany consists mainly of immigrants and expatriates from Brazil as well as their locally born descendants. Many of them consist of German Brazilian returnees. According to Brazil's foreign relations department, there are about 85,272 Brazilians living in Germany.
  • A wave of Brazilian immigrants coming to Germany began in the early 1990s with the potent combination of a crashing Brazilian economy, rampant corruption and cheaper air fares.
  • In addition, many of Brazil's LGBT community chose to migrate to Germany due to the country's liberal attitude toward gays.
  • Many Brazilian artists consider working in Germany more prestigious than in Brazil.
  • The Martius-Staden Institute is the first stop for Brazilians researching their German ancestors. The institute’s archive has an extensive index of family names of German origin.[2]

Brazilians in Japan[edit | edit source]

See also: Japan Emigration and Immigration – Wiki page with additional larger databases which also include Brazilians

  • There is a significant community of Brazilians in Japan, consisting largely but not exclusively of Brazilians of Japanese ethnicity. Brazilians with Japanese ethnicity are known as Nikkei Brazilians. Brazil maintains its status as home to the largest Japanese community outside Japan.
  • During the 1980s, many Japanese Brazilians went to Japan as contract workers due to economic and political problems in Brazil, and they were termed "Dekasegi". Working visas were offered to Brazilian Dekasegi in 1990, encouraging more immigration from Brazil.
  • In 1990, the Japanese government authorized the legal entry through visas of Japanese and their descendants until the third generation in Japan. These people were lured to Japan to work in areas that the Japanese refused (the so-called "three K": Kitsui, Kitanai and Kiken – hard, dirty and dangerous).
  • The influx of Japanese descendants from Brazil to Japan was and continues to be large. By 1998, there were 222,217 Brazilians in Japan, making up 81% of all Latin Americans there.
  • In April 2009, due to the financial crisis, the Japanese government introduced a new program that would incentive Brazilian and other Latin American immigrants to return home with a stipend of $3000 for airfare and $2000 for each dependent. Those who participate must agree not to pursue employment in Japan in the future.[3]

Brazilians in Nigeria[edit | edit source]

  • Brazilians in Nigeria, Amaros or Agudas consist of the descendants of freed Afro-Brazilian slaves who left Brazil and settled in Nigeria. The term Brazilians in Nigeria can also otherwise refer to first generation expatriates from Brazil.
  • Starting from the 1830s, many emancipated Africans who had been through forced labour and discrimination in Brazil began moving back to Lagos. These emancipated Africans were often called "Aguda" or "Amaro", and also included returnees from Cuba.
  • At the height of the Transatlantic slave trade in West Africa, many prisoners of war or those kidnapped for sale in slave markets were sold to Europeans and transported across the Atlantic. Estimates of the number of slaves from the Gulf of Guinea to Brazil totaled about 300,000 in the nineteenth century. The captives disembarked in Bahia before moving further south to work on plantations, assist tradesmen or hawk goods for white Brazilians. As some gained manumission, earned savings or got deported as a result of racism, waves of African migration back to the West African coast developed.
  • The first recorded repatriation of African people from Brazil to what is now Nigeria was a government-led deportation in 1835 in the aftermath of a Yoruba and Hausa rebellion in the city of Salvador known as the Malê Revolt. After the rebellion, the Brazilian government - fearful of further insurrection - allowed freed or manumitted Africans the option to return home or keep paying an exorbitant tax to the government. A few Africans who were free and had saved some money were able to return to Africa as a result of the tough conditions, taxation, racism and homesickness. In 1851, 60 Mina Africans put together $4,000 to charter a ship for Badagry.
  • After slavery was abolished in Cuba and Brazil in 1886 and 1888 respectively, further migration to Lagos continued. Many of the returnees chose to return to Nigeria for cultural, missionary and economic reasons. Many of them descended from the Yoruba. In Lagos, they were given the watery terrains of Popo Aguda as their settlement. By the 1880s, they comprised about 9% of the population of Lagos. Towards the end of 1920, the migration stopped.
  • When Agudas arrived from Bahia and Pernambuco, they took up residence on the Eastern parts of Lagos on land provided by Oba Ojulari. In 1852, this region was demarcated as the Brazilian quarters (what later came to be known as Popo Aguda).
  • Popo Aguda was also a commercial center of trade, serving as a distribution center for imported goods. A sister community of Brazilians also exists in Ago Egba, the Egba colony in Lagos, which is located on the mainland in Ebute Metta.[4]

Brazilians in Paraguay (Brasiguayos)[edit | edit source]

See also: Paraguay Emigration and Immigration – Wiki page with additional larger databases which also include Brazilians

  • Brasiguaio (Portuguese) or brasiguayo (Spanish) is a term referring to Brazilian migrants in Paraguay and their descendants. The word Brasiguaio has been used by members within and outside this group to categorize individuals whose lives are connected with both Brazil and Paraguay, and more specifically to refer to Brazilians who live or have lived in Paraguay.
  • The origins of Brasiguayos are from the three states of the South Region of Brazil, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Most Brasiguayos are mainly ethnically White of German, Italian, and Polish descent.
  • They typically live in the Southeastern Paraguayan departments of Canindeyú and Alto Paraná, which border with Brazil. Most emigrated from Brazil by the 1960s. In total they make up 455,000 Brasiguaios as of 2001, or about one-tenth of Paraguay's population.
  • In some border zones, Brasiguayos and their descendants are more than 90% of the population, where Portuguese is still spoken as the mother tongue. In San Alberto de Mbaracayú city, approximately 80% of its 23,000 inhabitants are of Brazilian ancestry. [5]

Brazilians in the United Kingdom[edit | edit source]

See also: England Emigration and Immigration – Wiki page with additional larger databases which also include Brazilians

  • Brazilians came to the UK from the 1980s onwards to study, but once they arrived some discovered that the major cities (in particular London's) ethnic and cultural diversity offered more professional opportunities.
  • The Brazilian consulate in London estimated that in 2015, there were 120,000 Brazilians in the UK.
  • The majority of Brazilians in the UK reside in and around London. It is estimated that some 20,000 Brazilians reside in the Midlands (the majority in Birmingham), while some 15,000 Brazilians are thought to live in the county of Norfolk in East Anglia (most of these in King's Lynn and Norwich). The coastal town of Brighton was home to an estimated 10,000 Brazilians in 2005. 10,000 individuals of Brazilian origin also live in the Greater Manchester/Liverpool Urban Area.[6]

Brazilians in the United States[edit | edit source]

See also: United States Emigration and Immigration – Wiki page with additional larger databases which also include Brazilians

  • Brazilian Americans are relatively new arrivals, for the 1960 Census only counted 27,855 Brazilians. The first major wave of immigration came after 1986, when 1.4 million Brazilians emigrated to various countries. Nearly half live in New York, Massachusetts, and New Jersey, with significant populations in the south as well. According to the 2016 American Community Survey, there are a total of 350,091 Brazilians living in the United States. For analysis of their motivation for coming and a comprehensive list of Brazilian community locations, see Brazilian Americans in Wikipedia.[7]

Passenger Lists[edit | edit source]

When migrants arrived or departed from Brazilian ports, they usually used one of the three following ports:

  • Rio de Janeiro had its own port. There, migrants were registered through the Agência Central de Imigração (Central Agency for Immigration). Newly arrived immigrants were then taken to the Ilha das Flores (Isle of Flores) and processed at the Casa dos Imigrantes (House of Emigrants).
  • Santos was the main port for the city of São Paulo. The port authorities who registered and handled migrants in Brazil were known as the Hospedaria de Imigrantes (Hostelry of Immigrants).
  • Salvador was the main port for the state of Bahia.

The information in passenger lists varies over time but usually includes the emigrants’ names, ages, occupations, and destinations. In addition, relationships and last residences or birthplaces may be given.

Immigration Cards[edit | edit source]

Brazilian consulates around the world issued immigration cards, which were presented at the Brazilian port of entry by foreigners visiting or immigrating to Brazil.

Information on immigration cards may contain the immigrant's name, date of immigration, date and place of birth, nationality, marital status, parents' names, profession/occupation, place of residence in country of origin, names, ages, and genders of children under the age of 18 traveling with the individual, passport number, whether the stay was permanent or temporary.

Passports[edit | edit source]

People desiring to leave Brazil were required to obtain passports from the Federal Police (Polícia Federal) in each state capital.

The applicant had to provide an original copy of her or his birth certificate, two recent pictures, a voter’s registration, an identification card, CIC (income tax information), and a military release (required for males over 18 and under 45 years). After completing the necessary forms the police performed a background check. You can research these records if you can show your relationship to the person and a need to see the records. Useful records are:

  • Permissions to emigrate (Rio de Janeiro)
  • Probates of relatives who stayed
  • Police records
  • Passports
  • Court records

The addresses for the Federal Police are:

Policia Federal (Escritório Central)
Avenida Prestes Maia, 700 Centro
05512-000 São Paulo, SP

Policia Marítima
Avenida Venezuela 2 - Saúde
20081-310 Rio de Janeiro, RJ

Directoria de Portos e Costas (CIPANAVE)
Rua Teófilo Otoni 4-Centro
Rio de Janeiro
RJ - Brazil
CEP: 20090-070
Phone: +55 21 2104 5195
Fax: + 55 21 2104 5196

Departamento de Policia Federal
Rua da Assembléia 70 - Centro
20011-000 Rio de Janeiro, RJ

In-country Migration[edit | edit source]

The National Archive, with the support of the Carlos Chagas Filho Foundation for Research Support of the State of Rio de Janeiro - FAPERJ, makes available for consultation the database “Movement of Portuguese in Brazil (1808 - 1842)”. The database has 64,194 records and allows the search for the most varied information, such as: age, marital status, profession, companions, places of residence and housing, destinations and physical characteristics.

For Further Reading[edit | edit source]

There are additional sources listed in the FamilySearch Catalog:

References[edit | edit source]

  1. "Immigration to Brazil", in Wikipedia,, accessed 18 May 2021.
  2. "Brazilians in Germany", in Wikipedia,, accessed 19 May 2021.
  3. "Brazilians in Japan", in Wikipedia,, accessed 19 May 2021.
  4. "Brazilians in Nigeria", in Wikipedia,, accessed 19 May 2021.
  5. "Brasiguayos", in Wikipedia,, accessed 19 May 2021.
  6. "Brazilians in the United Kingdom", in Wikipedia,, accessed 19 May 2021.
  7. "Brazilian Americans", in Wikipedia,, accessed 19 May 2021.