With a population of over 1.4 million in 2014, Porto Alegre is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Brazil, as well as the largest and capital city of the southern Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul.
Porto Alegre has long been an important industrial city, and as such has attracted expatriates and foreigners throughout its history, which has had an impact on its demographics.
As well as the native population, there are also large foreign-born communities in the city from Poland, Japan, Ukraine, and Palestine. Porto Alegre was founded by Europeans in the 18th century, and so nearly all of its native population is of European heritage.
Located in the sub-tropical zone, Porto Alegre has a humid sub-tropical climate, characterized by hot, humid summers and mild winters, with precipitation common throughout the year. Porto Alegre has summer temperatures of around 32°C, which, coupled with the high levels of humidity, can make the city very muggy.
During the summer months, from November to March, precipitation is common, frequently in the form of thunderstorms and cyclones, but Porto Alegre is significantly drier than many Brazilian cities.
Due to its high altitude, Porto Alegre experiences the most notable difference in seasons out of all the Brazilian cities, with winter temperatures falling to between 4°C and 16°C. This high altitude also means that radiation fog is very common, and that those living in Porto Alegre are exposed to higher levels of UV radiation than anywhere else in Brazil.
Expatriates moving to Porto Alegre will need to apply for a visa. If you are staying for less than three months for business purposes, then you can apply for a short stay business visa, which is as easy to obtain as a normal tourist visa.
However, an expatriate moving to Porto Alegre for more than three months should apply for a permanent visa, as well as a work permit. Permanent visas can be difficult to obtain, so expatriates should be prepared for a lengthy application process.
Usually, these permanent visas are only offered to research specialists, expatriates with skills that would be beneficial to the Brazilian economy, or to expatriates working for companies that have invested a lot in the economy. Your prospective employer should be able to help with this application process, but be prepared for a long wait.
After three months in Porto Alegre, you need to register for a Brazilian Identity Card with the Federal Police.