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Expat Resources In Languedoc, France…Foreign Residency Requirements In Brazil

Expat Resources In Languedoc, France…Foreign Residency Requirements In Brazil

“My husband and I are considering Languedoc as a possible area for retirement. You mentioned Cessenon sur Orb as a good possibility recently, Kathleen. Is there an expat community in or near that area? We want to experience French culture and lifestyle, but we hope to have someone we could turn to for guidance if we run into snags. Thanks for your help. We’re really enjoying your newsletters.”

— Joyce T., United States

Euro-Correspondent Lucy Culpepper, living in the south of France, replies:

“Cessenon sur Orb is home to a thriving but not overly obvious expat community. The expats living here are mostly retired but some have set up businesses–for example, a Welsh couple that runs Restaurant l’Orb and a Dutch family that runs the real estate company Maxea and the rental agency Moerland. I was in the local bar recently watching an international rugby match and just about every other table was taken up by expats. They/we seem to come out at certain times and then fade back into the stonework. It’s quite nice to know they are there yet not to feel you are living in an expat ‘enclave.’

“The quickest way to meet local expats is to join the International Women’s Club (known as the ‘Wic’), a 120-member group of women who meet once a month in St. Chinian. Many nationalities are represented, including French, English, German, Dutch, American, and Danish. The monthly meetings are conducted in English and French, and the annual membership fee is US$38. The husbands of WIC members also go on excursions and have organized their own lunch club. See: The Languedoc-Roussillon Women’s International Club.

“In the village, the delightful Jean Fonteroy runs ABC Informatique/Services, a newcomer’s godsend. This is the man to help you with any ‘snags.’ (You can reach him at 33-4-6789-3939.) Jean speaks English and can organize all your essential services, such as phone, Internet, TV, electricity, and water. His office may look a little disorganized but ignore that. Do remember, though, that even the unflappable Jean works at a southern France pace–slow…and even slower in the summer.

“The printed and online magazines produced in the area are worth reading, notably:

“There is also a sizeable expat community in St .Chinian, 10 minutes away.

“I hope that helps you make a decision. This is a beautiful time of year to visit this part of France; it’s hot but green, with great swimming in the nearby Gorges d’Heric.”

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“I am confused about the investor residency requirements for Brazil.

“I read in material I purchased that I would need to invest US$50,000 (100,000 reals) to qualify for residency in this country. Then I was told by another source that the figure is US$75,000 (150,000 reals). Most recently, I was told I would need to start a company in the country to get a residency visa.

“I had a girlfriend in Florianopolis and we were getting close to getting married, but I decided it would not work out. Now I would like to explore northeast Brazil. I have four months left of my tourist visa this year and plan to visit the Fortaleza area in September or October, including Cumbuco/Icarai. Tchau.”

— Pasquale F., United States

Latin America Correspondent Christian MacDonald, currently in Brazil, replies:

“You are correct. There has been a recent change to the immigration law in Brazil, and the minimum required investment for the investor visa has been raised to 150,000 reals (just under US$75,000 today). The money must be invested in a Brazilian company (this can be a company that the investor creates himself).

“This investment can be worth it if you want to do business in Brazil, but it is a cumbersome and expensive way to obtain residency. The company will have initial set-up costs, plus it will be required to meet ongoing legal and reporting standards.

“In another recent but unrelated change, the minimum age for the retiree visa in Brazil has been raised to age 60.

“Given all this, the best strategy, really, is to stay in the country only up to 180 days a year, which you can do easily on a tourist visa. This is the option that many second-homeowners choose.”

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