Portuguese Border Control Questions to Expect at the Airport

Portuguese border control questions graphic by Charlotte Markham

You step off the plane in Brazil and you’re herding straight to the immigration officers. But are you ready for an interrogation of Portuguese border control questions? Most officers will be versed in a few phrases in English, but for smooth sailing we’ve scooped up the most common Portuguese border control questions to breeze you through Brazilian customs.

Respect is really the key. In most Brazilian airports the immigration officer must be from the federal police. They can be absolute children. Once I arrived in Brasília and the officers ghosted the foreigner line completely. Stationary until all Brazilians, all diplomats, all children, all families etc. had passed through. Then we were allowed to show our documents. That’s a solid 45 min wait in an empty airport.

New regulations due to COVID-19 mean that all foreign travelers must have travel health insurance (although this rule fluctuates). You must also have a ticket to leave Brazil. The border control officer or more frequently the airline itself will ask for the proof of a leaving ticket. You do not need this ticket if you have a permanent Brazilian residency status.

Therefore, in the name of exuding respectfulness and speedily sweet-talking your way through, address the immigration officer in the following way:

Sim (yes) senhor (sir), senhora (ma’am).

Bom dia – Good morning
Boa tarde – Good afternoon
Boa noite – Good night

Portuguese Border Control Question with Answers and Translations

Black is question in English
Green is question in Portuguese
Brown is reply in Portuguese (English in brackets)

Why are you traveling to Brazil?
Por que você está viajando para o Brasil?
Estou aqui para (I am here for)

Turismo (tourism)
Negócio (business)
Para estudar (to study)

How long are you staying in Brazil?
Quanto tempo você vai ficar no Brasil?
Vou ficar por (I will stay for)

Três dias (three days)
Uma semana (a week)
Um mês (a month)
Seis meses (six months)

Where are you staying in Brazil?
Onde você está hospedado no brasil?
Vou ficar no hotel, Airbnb, Pousada … (I will stay in a hotel, Airbnb, Guesthouse)

What is the address of your hotel/ accommodation?
Qual é o endereço do seu hotel / acomodação?
O endereço é rua / avenida … (the address is street/ avenue)

When will you leave Brazil?
Quando você vai sair do brasil
Vou embora do Brasil (I will leave Brazil)

no dia 3 de julho (on July 3rd)
no início de setembro (at the beginning of September)

What is your job?
Qual é o seu trabalho?
Trabalho em (I work in)

tecnologia (tech)
marketing (marketing)
educação (education)

What do you do?
O que você faz?
Trabalho como (I work as)

professor (teacher)
engenheiro (engineer)
analista (analyst)

What do you study? Where?
O que você estuda? Onde?
Estudo (I study)

línguas (languages)
medicina (medicine)

Estudo na universidade de … (I study at the university of …)
Is this your first time in Brazil?
Esta é a sua primeira vez no brasil?
Sim (yes) / não (no)
Where are you coming from today? Do you live there?
De onde você vem hoje? Você mora lá?
Estou vindo da Inglaterra (I arrived from England)
Have you had a COVID test?
Você já fez um teste COVID?
Fiz um teste de COVID há 72 horas (I did a COVID test 72 hours ago)

línguas (languages)
medicina (medicine)

Estudo na universidade de … (I study at the university of …)
Do you have health insurance?
Você tem seguro de saúde?
Sim, aqui são os documentos (yes, here are the documents)
What was your flight number?
Qual era o seu número de voo?
Voo número … (flight number …)
What airline did you fly?
Qual companhia aérea você voou?
Voei com Gol / Lufthansa / American Airlines (I flew with …)
Do you have a visa?
Você tem um visto?
Sim tenho um visto de estudante / negócio (Yes I have a student / business visa)
Não tenho um visto (I don’t have a visa)

Although it’s positive to reply in spoken Portuguese, writing down your address and details can be a back-up. These Portuguese border control questions will help you in areas of doubt. Always keep your passport, your return ticket, your visa documents on hand. These are your negotiation key out of the Brazilian airport.

If you enjoyed Portuguese Border Control Questions try our other articles:

Common Portuguese Pronunciation Mistakes

Resources for Learning Portuguese

30 Portuguese Phrases To Know

10 Ways to Expand Your Portuguese Vocabulary


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