Brazil grants work visas for overseas students

by The Language Club / Monday, 20 February 2017 / Published in Latest News
International university students in Brazil can now obtain a work visa to legally pursue employment in the country while studying, after recent changes to the immigration system.

Brazil’s new authorisation of the work visa for overseas students also extends to recent graduates who wish to stay in the country.

Application conditions state that the request for the visa transformation may be made six months after the beginning of the programme in Brazil and within twelve months after the end of the course. The new immigration status of the student will be valid for one year and can be extended for the duration of their studies, the deadline to be outlined by the education institution.

Undergraduate or postgraduate students wishing to seek employment can send their work authorisation request to the General Immigration Coordination (CGIG) in the Ministry of Labor, where applicants will be revised and work visas issued, as conversion of the visa from study to work will not be immediate or automatic.

Speaking to StudyTravel Magazine Paula Prado of Study in Brazil, said, “This is great news not only for overseas students but also for Brazilian academic institutions and Brazilian employers in many sectors.

“Combining studying and working will include Brazil in the list of interesting destinations not only for tourism or leisure.

“The recent change is a great opportunity to increase the number of incoming students to Brazilian academic institutions – public and private ones. The possibility of having more diversity in our classrooms brings benefits for the whole environment including native professors and students.

“From the industry’s point of view this change is also amazing and will make life easier for all parties involved. Employers will have the opportunity to enhance their selection process with qualified foreign students who already have good Portuguese language knowledge as they live and study in Brazil.”

Study in Brazil’s Rafaela Rolim also highlighted the positive impact the change would have on the economy, “The students will bring a new culture and work practices to the host company. New perspectives often generate insights and innovation in processes and products. This is great also for international companies or those that are seeking to expand their operations to other countries. This diversity is very positive for the country.”

The conversion of study visa to work visa is on the condition that the work must be related to the academic curriculum of the visa holder.

“We are still studying and analysing all aspects of these new rules but I strongly believe that the work visa process will run in a very smooth way,” Paula concluded.

Previously, overseas students were prohibited from working in the country. Those wishing to do so after completion of their students had to return to their country of origin and apply for a work visa there.
The new measure is expected to lower the number of international students finding jobs in Brazil’s informal sector, on which taxes are not paid.

“They are qualified people because they are attending undergraduate and graduate school, [but then] working informally or dropping out of school and staying here because they could not afford to pay for college,” said President of the National Immigration Council, Paulo Sergio de Almedia.

By Clarissa Waldron,
Editorial Assistant