Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, Immigration Cards (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Access the records: Brazil, Immigration Cards, 1900-1965 .

Title in the Language of the Records

Registros de Imigração no Brasil

Record Description

This collection of immigration cards from Brazil dates from 1900 to 1965.

This collection of immigration records contains cards issued by Brazilian consulates around the world granting permission for a person to enter Brazil. The qualification consular cards needed to be presented at the port of entry by each foreigner visiting or immigrating to Brazil. Cards include a picture of the immigrant. The years are not in chronological nor alphabetical order. The text is in Portuguese.

The immigration process in Brazil was of great importance for the formation of the Brazilian culture. Portuguese colonists exploited the vast land, and the country became quite wealthy, which was reason enough for the great immigration of other nationalities, which began in 1818. In 1819, the first group of immigrants came from Switzerland and were assigned to settled in the area known now as Rio de Janeiro, which they named then Nova Friburgo. The Germans arrived later in 1824 and were settled in Rio Grande do Sul, colonizing the cities they called Novo Hamburgo, São Leopoldo, Santa Catarina, Blumenau, Joinville, and Brusque. People from Ukraine and Poland settled the area of Paraná. The Turks and Arabs settled in Amazonia. The majority of the Italians settled in São Paulo, as also did the Japanese and Spaniards.

After the abolition of slavery in 1888, the Brazilian government encouraged European immigration, because the skills brought by immigrants were needed for the progress of the country. Since then, the largest groups of immigrants to Brazil came from Italy and Germany.

As immigrants arrived at the port of Rio de Janeiro, they were registered by the Central Agency for Immigration (Agencia Central de Imigração). After disembarking, the immigrants were taken to the Isle of Flores (Ilha das Flores) and processed at the House of Emigrants (Casa dos Imigrantes). If the immigrants’ destination was São Paulo, they usually continued on to Santos, which is the port city for São Paulo (many ships went directly to Santos). The port authorities who registered and handled immigrants in Brazil were known as the Hostelry of Immigrants (Hospedaria de Imigrantes).

According to the census demographic statistics, Brazil reached a population of about 17,438,434 in 1900. In 1920, the population had almost doubled in number. By 1940, the population had increased to 41,236,315, and in 1960, Brazil reached a population of 70,191,370.

About 171,157 German immigrants arrived between the years 1900-1960. About 1,243,633 Italian immigrants arrived between 1876-1920. The largest group of Italian immigrants came from the areas of Vêneto, Campânia, Calabria, and Lombárdia. The smallest group came from Ligúria and Sardenha. The major Japanese immigration occurred between 1940 and 1950 with the majority of about 132,000 Japanese settling in São Paulo. The next largest group of Japanese settled in Paraná, and some 1,000 Japanese settled in Rio de Janeiro. Smaller groups of less than 1,000 were distributed in other nearby areas.

Once you are able to locate your ancestor, the card information will help you determine where he or she came from, the date and place of birth, and the parents’ names. This information will let you prepare a family group record for the family. You can then start searching in the records from the place of birth and residence for other members of the family.

The immigration registration was necessary to keep a record of all immigrants settling in the country. These records were used to track the movement and settlement of two groups: immigrants who came from countries other than Brazil, and migrants who moved from places within Brazil.

The information came directly from the immigrant or a traveling companion, usually a family member. Realize that incorrect information was sometimes given, and mistakes were occasionally made in recording the information.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.

Brazilian consulates at the country of origin. Rio de Janeiro Immigration cards. National Archive, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

These immigration cards usually include the following information:

Brazil Immigration Records (10-0404) DGS 4548605 12.jpg
  • Complete name of immigrant
  • Date of immigration
  • Date and place of birth
  • Permanent of temporary stay
  • Nationality
  • Civil or marital status
  • Parents’ names
  • Profession or occupation
  • Place of residence in country of origin
  • Names, ages and gender of children traveling under 14 years of age
  • Passport number with its date and place of issuance
  • Signature of the immigrant

How to Use the Record

To search this collection using the index:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Be sure and click on the View Image to bring up the actual image. There is often additional information that might be valuable in your researching.

Known Issues with This Collecton

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See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

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Contributions to This Article

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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection