1. How long does the Naturalization process take?
Usually approximately one year, provided all the documents have been submitted correctly.
2. Can I keep my original citizenship?
This depends on your current citizenship, as well as on the character of your current citizenship – whether it is obtained by naturalization, or by birth, etc. Some countries consider that you lose your citizenship when you obtain another one, and other countries only apply this rule to naturalized citizens (ex., Spain). Some countries do not offer the possibility of “losing” your citizenship, even voluntarily (ex., Argentina). In others, it is a lengthy, expensive process (ex.,Russia). The form that you will fill in in order to apply for naturalization in Brazil, will mention a phrase that you renounce to your “current citizenship”, but in practice, it doesn’t mean anything, since you don’t have to submit any documents proving it. So, de facto, Brazil allows multiple citizenship.
3. Do I have to do military service once I am citizen?
In theory, the military service is mandatory, but the answer is No. If you are male, and under 45 years old, you have to appear at a Military Council of your place of residence in Brazil (or speak to the military attache at the Embassy), in order to comply with the rules. At the same time, if you don’t comply with these rules, the fine is under 2 reais per year. (thus less than a dollar). If you decide to appear, all you have to say is that you “don’t want to serve”. Military service in Brazil is mandatory on paper, but voluntary in reality.
4. Can I lose my Brazilian citizenship if I don’t live in Brazil?
No, in fact a lot of Brazilians leave Brazil and remain Brazilians. The law explicitly prohibits discrimination between native and naturalized Brazilians, so you can’t be deprived of your citizenship if you leave the country.
5. Are there any differences in rights of naturalized citizens and native Brazilians?
Yes. You can’t be elected President, you can’t enter diplomatic service, and there is a few other (very high) State positions that you can’t occupy. In all the rest, naturalized and native citizens are totally equal, thus they have the same rights and the same obligations.
6. I never saw Brazil on any lists of countries where it is easy to obtain citizenship. I suppose it’s not easy?
It depends on your definition of “easy”. Some countries make it relatively easy to obtain citizenship, but make it extremely difficult to obtain residence, which is condition to apply for citizenship. Brazil is a country where it is relatively easy to obtain residence, which in turn makes it relatively easy to obtain citizenship. Read this article on ExtraPassport.com about a comparison in citizenship acquisition in different countries. They ranked Brazil as “Moderate” in terms of difficulty to obtain citizenship.
Also, people are often daunted by the bureaucratic intricacies of the process. Brazil is a country that is quite fond of paperwork. If you have access to information – on what documents to obtain, where, how, when, in what order, how to legalize them, how to authenticate them, – the procedure is definitely not as complicated as it may seem.