Asylum seekers and refugees can open bank accounts, bearing in mind that the Refugee Request Protocol and the National Migratory Registry Card (formerly the National Foreigner Registry – RNE) are valid documents in the country. This right is expressly guaranteed by Law 13.445/2017 – Migration Law
In addition to the RNM or DPRNM, the necessary documentation also includes the presentation of the CPF and a Declaration or Certificate of Residence (for example, electricity bill for your home).
Attention: If you do not have a declaration of residence, ask the landlord to certify that you live in that specific location.
UNHCR, the Central Bank and the Ministry of Justice and Public Security launched the Financial Information Booklet for Migrants and Refugees with the aim of helping migrants and refugees to understand how the National Financial System works and become banked. You can access it by clicking here .
I am an asylum seeker and I was denied to open a bank account. What can I do?
As an asylum seeker, you have the right to open a bank account. However, some banks are unaware of this right. If you find yourself in this situation, contact the Federal Public Defender’s Office (DPU) or a UNHCR partner .
The bank is charging me many additional fees. Is there a way not to pay those fees?
Banks often charge their users account maintenance fees. However, according to Resolution 3919/2010, banks are required to offer current accounts without charging fees, in order to offer basic banking services. For more information about these services, contact your bank branch.
If you suspect that your bank is charging you more fees than it should, contact the Federal Public Defender’s Office or a UNHCR partner.
How can I send money abroad?
In Brazil, there are several banks, specialized companies and exchange offices that offer services to send money to different countries. Most of these companies accept, in addition to the passport, both the RNM and the DPRN. Fees charged may vary depending on the amount of money you wish to send and depending on the chosen company. We advise you to research well before choosing a company.
Bank branches specialized in assisting refugees in São Paulo
In São Paulo, there are three branches of Banco do Brasil that specialize in assisting refugees:
- Center Agency
- Address: R. São Bento, 483 – Historical Center of São Paulo. São Paulo – SP, 01011-100
- Telephone: (11) 4003-3001 (type 0018 when asked for the agency number)
- Sé Cathedral Agency
- Address: Plaza Dr. João Mendes, 31 – Liberdade. São Paulo – SP, 01501-060
- Telephone: (11) 4003-3001 (type 4223 when asked for the agency number)
- Head Office
- Address: R. Quinze de Novembro, 111 – Historical Center of São Paulo. São Paulo – SP, 01014-030
- Telephone: (11) 4003-6501 (type 6501 when asked for the agency number)