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Brazil or Australia: Where Should You Migrate?

15 July, 2016

A month from now, Brazil, specifically Rio de Janeiro, will stage the foremost sports competition in the world, the 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio beat three other major cities namely Chicago, Madrid, and Tokyo (Tokyo will host again in 2020, though). This will be the first time the country will host the Olympic Games, and this is a clear testament that Brazil is now up and ready to compete and be recognized in the world’s center stage, not just in sports, but in terms of economy, culture, and migration.

Today, we shine the spotlight on the Land of Brazilwood.









Characterized by moderately free markets and an inward-oriented economic structure, Brazil has the world's ninth largest economy by nominal GDP. Its major industries include textiles, shoes, chemicals, lumber, steel, aircraft, motor vehicles and parts, other machinery and equipment. However, unemployment and inflation is a bit high, at 7.5% and 7.27%, respectively.

If you plan on working in the country, you need to find a job prior to your departure. The job market and regulations for expatriates provides very limited opportunities. This is due in part to the increasing number of well-trained and well-equipped natives, filling in Brazil’s ever growing workforce. Knowledge of Portuguese language is also a requirement here. Average working time is 40 to 44 hours a week.



One of the largest mixed market economies in the world, Australia’s economy is primarily driven by its service sector, comprising 68% of its GDP. Other sectors (and biggest employers) include mining, manufacturing, agriculture, finance, tourism, media, education, and logistics. It is the 12th largest in the world in terms of GDP. Unemployment here is higher by a small margin at 5.8%, but still very low in overall scale. Inflation rate is 1.3%.

Like in Brazil, it is best here with a job already intact. However, coming to Australia unemployed doesn’t leave you in the dust. Employment sites on the internet are everywhere, and they are increasingly being used by Australian agencies and headhunters. Everybody speaks English so you can communicate with basically everyone. At 1,664 working hours annually (or 32 hours a week), it is lower than in Brazil, and way lower than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 1,770.





Health Care



Health care in the country is a right as mandated by their Constitution. It is a responsibility of the federal government and is overseen by the individual states when it comes to operations of hospitals. It is available to anyone who is legally in Brazil, which, including foreign residents.

This service can be accessed from the public national health system, from private providers subsidized by the federal government through the Social Security budget, or from the private sector through private insurance or employers. Those who cannot afford healthcare can utilize the government’s free public national health system. Doctors’ fees, lab fees, hospitalization, surgery, or even prescription drugs are all free through this. The private system, on the other hand, have shorter waits and better care. The wealthier Brazilians, which covers about 20% of the population, usually utilize this system.



Australia’s health care is divided into two systems. There is the private health system, and there is the Medicare for the public system. The latter is funded partly by a 2% Medicare levy (with exceptions for low-income earners), with the rest being supplied by government. An additional levy of 1% is imposed on high-income earners without private health insurance.

Medicare is the government’s universal health insurance scheme. It provides Australian residents free treatment as a public patient in a public hospital and free or subsidized treatment for optometrist, dental care, and psychology services as well as treatment by doctors.

The extent to which the health care system is used is flexible among Australian citizens, overseas visitors, and temporary and permanent visa holders.  Check here how the Australian Public Health Care System Works.








Brazilian cuisine differs vastly region by region, and is heavily formed by European, African and Amerindian influences. Typical dishes include feijoada (considered as the country's national dish), vatapá, moqueca, polenta and acarajé, all of which are regional foods. Coffee is the national beverage, and cachaça is Brazil's native liquor. Cachaça is distilled from sugar cane and is the main ingredient in the national cocktail, caipirinha.

When dining outside on informal settings, you may summon the wait staff by making eye contact, and may require you to share a table. Do not discuss work and/or business matters unless your Brazilian associates start doing so. Follow their lead. Generally, the one who does the inviting settles the bill, although the guest is expected to make an effort to do it. Tipping with 10% is considered sufficient already.



Australian cuisine has changed over time and is a fusion of native aboriginal inventiveness and British colonial contribution, with mix of Asian and Mediterranean traditions provided by wave after wave of post-colonial migrations and helped transform their cuisine. They usually take advantage of meat available in the continent, such as lamb, kangaroo, and emu, as well as pork, beef, and chickens. Like the Japanese, Aussies prefer the freshest produces as much as possible (check here for Australia’s most amazing/weirdest foods).

When dining in exclusive restaurants, making reservations and confirming them are a protocol. For informal places, not much. And you may share a table with a stranger. You may strike a conversation if welcomed.








Housing is still a major challenge in the country is facing today due to accelerated urbanisation and population growth especially in major cities. As these cities grow too quickly, the resources are not able to catch up with the ballooning population. The migrants who are unable to afford proper housing are built temporary housing without proper utilities which formed what is now called favelas. There are over 7 million houses in the country with no adequate conditions to be habitable.

The cost of living has been rising over the years, and that includes housing. Economic experts claim that a housing bubble is on the rise and will soon collapse. As an expat with place to settle yet, you may seek local help to find a house for you. Expats and migrants can definitely buy a house in Brazil. However, foreign nationals may need to obtain first specific permission from authorities to purchase property in close proximity to beaches or agricultural land.



The government works hard to increase house-ownership in Australia. Only 33% of residents here lives in a fully owned properties, 31.4% rents their home, while 35%of homes are mortgaged.

Suburban fringes of cities and towns sports the inner-city medium to high-rise apartments and the low-density townhouses/fully detached houses, while Melbourne and Sydney cradles the inner-city public housing. They are usually 3-5 story walk-up flats and 11-22 story high-rise towers. Low-density suburban estates is located in almost every city and town in the country.

You may check here for a comprehensive guide on how to find your first apartment.





Public and Private Transport



Brazil is constantly being criticized due to the lack of investment in its infrastructure. Because of the fast-growing economy, there will be increasing demands in the transport networks, especially to efficiently allow the follow of exports, But Brazil has yet to meet them. A high-speed rail, one connecting São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, is currently under development. Subways can be found in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, and five other cities. They are useful in avoiding intense traffic. But buses remain the most common form of transport especially amongst Brazil’s common mass who have to travel long distances from the outer-city limits to the wealthier areas where they work. Taxis also operate in the country. You can call for them in advance or wait at the tax station.

A one way train ticket here costs US$1.06, while a monthly pass is at around US$45.48. Starting taxi tariff is US$(1.44 with US$0.83 for the first one kilometer. A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) will set you back US$21,222.41. Gasoline is at US$1.09 for every litter.



All of Australian cities have reliable, affordable public bus networks and train lines, plus taxis operate nationwide. These train lines include commuter rail networks, trams, light rails, and rapid transits. Despite this, driving is the most used mode of transport, and this number continues to rise. It is followed by train, walking (the country has a very good culture of walking), bus, and lastly, train.

Fares are pricier than in Brazil, though. A one-way ticket here sets you back by US$2.96 while going for a monthly pass will increase it to US$96.96. A kilometer ride of taxi is US$1.62 with US$2.98 as starting tariff. If you want your own car, A Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (or any equivalent new car) will cost you US$18,644.84 plus US$0.96 for every litter of gasoline.





Weather and Climate



Due to the difference of heights above sea level of the Brazil landscape and also the proximity to the coast, the climate varies from region to region. There are four distinct climatic zones.

An equatorial climate in which rainforests can be found due to the year-round humidity and precipitation. There is no winter season and no period it is particularly dry. The semi-arid zone receive less rain than they actually need to make up for evaporation, turning the area into an almost desert. They are the halfway mark between deserts and humid forests. The highland tropical zone, also called an oceanic climate or a maritime climate, and is found along the coast of the country. It features cool summers and warm winters, although the annual temperature does not change by significant amounts. The subtropical zone refers to the areas that are just outside of the formal tropical zones. It is hot, but not quite as hot and humid as tropical areas. Winters are mild to cool, but not cold enough for snow or frost.



Due to its massive size, climate varies vastly in Australia to a wide degree. This is reflected on the snow-capped mountains in the south and arid deserts in the interior. Majority of the country leans more towards the temperate, tropical rainforest climate. Australians get plenty of sun and warmth most of the year but with huge drops in temperature during winter.

The weather widely differs with every city. To find out more about the climate in each of them, check it here.





Benefits of Citizenship



Advantages of Brazilian Citizenship include:

  • The right to vote and run for public office (with some exceptions for highest offices).
  • The right to apply for public service jobs
  • The right to obtain a Brazilian passport.
  • The right to all services that are provided free of charge to Brazilian citizens because of age or disability.
  • The right to enroll in government programs that are restricted to Brazilian citizens
  • Allows visa-free entry to more than 80 countries worldwide
  • Opens the possibility of immigration to Europe
  • Dual citizenship



Advantages of Australian Citizenship include:

  • Being able to work for the federal government
  • Children will be Australian citizens
  • The right to vote
  • Being able to run for public office
  • Avoid deportation
  • Entitlement for Australian passport
  • Access to consular help
  • Eligibility for the deferral of education fees
  • Full residence rights in New Zealand
  • Being able to adopt
  • Being able to represent Australia in international sporting events

For a more detailed information about these benefits, check our blog here.





The Takeaway


When it comes to the warm overall climate, friendly people, fun beach culture, and an exciting nightlife, Brazil and Australia share these similarities and are two of the top countries to go to. For everything else, however, is heavily a matter of preference.

Brazil boasts of Spanish and Latin American culture, where parades and festivities are everywhere. Plus, the opportunities and salary for executive positions are high, coupled with the high interest on savings in local bank accounts. On the flipside, you may need to learn Portuguese before settling here without any hassle. Also, the cost of living and inflation rate is slowly rising. And as mentioned, it gets pretty crowded in major cities, which sometimes lead to safety and security concerns.

Australia, meanwhile, sports a more American lifestyle. The cities are safe (with low crime rates and strict gun control laws) and pretty laidback. There also a lot of opportunities for workers of all levels, all giving what is considered as the highest minimum pay in the world. And it is home to seven of the best universities in the world. However, there is the issue of the cost of living gradually rising also. Not to mention, the highly erratic weather can add to further inconvenience along the way. Also, you need to learn to drive at the left side of the road.





Leaning towards Australia but don’t have a migration professional yet? Throw us a message in the enquiry section below or call us at 1300 619 977 and we will help you get here!

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