Getting a Visa to Teach/Work :Come in on a Tourist Visa or Work Visa?

Thank you everyone for all of the helpful responses! I was specifically looking for the private franchise prices and you guys all definitely cleared that up for me!!!

For those of you that did teach at franchise schools,
1) Did you all get sponsored by the company for your visa to stay in brazil?
2) How much did the visa process cost to you?
3) How many native english speaking teachers were there with you?

1. 95% of native English teacher's in Brazil are here on Permanent residence visa's or spousal visa's and are not sponsored by the schools they work at. idea

3. 75% - 90% of teachers at all the schools I worked at were Brazilians

1: No. Extremely rare.

2: N/A

3: Aim High all but one of us were native speakers. At United I was the only one. I applied at Wizard in SP and here and a couple others here and there were no native speakers.

I've actually been told several times that the Brazilian government is very slow to issue visas for people coming to teach because they feel that Brazilians with strong English skills can do just as well as native English speakers at teaching English.

Hi, I'm Brazilian, I'm currently living in Canada, if you need help I can help,
I lived in São Paulo, I can have many things clarified.

stevefunk :

1. 95% of native English teacher's in Brazil are here on Permanent residence visa's or spousal visa's and are not sponsored by the schools they work at. idea

3. 75% - 90% of teachers at all the schools I worked at were Brazilians

I agree with Steve, this is true.

I am here now on a tourist visa.  I am a certified teacher from Canada with many years of experience overseas.  I am applying, networking and contacting schools, but it seems like I am missing something.  If anyone has any ideas, suggestions or know of any schools looking that I may have missed, that would be greatly appreciated.

I am loving Sao paulo and want to be in brazil for a long period of time, so being legal and getting a work visa means a lot to me.  I am also more than willing to help in any way to go through the work visa process!


Hi!  Three questions:

1. What subjects, and at what level (i.e., primary, secondary, special ed, etc.) does your Canadian teaching cert cover?
2. What areas of expertise, whether teaching related or not, do you have?
3. How's your Portuguese?

As already commented, getting sponsored by a school that exists to teach English is unlikely.  However, there are many international schools in SP that might be better possibilities with your Canadian qualifications.  There are also private faculties and graduate schools, like the Business School of São Paulo, that might find you an attractive hire, depending on your background.  In private industry, I'd start with Canadian companies, to get some home court advantage.

The better your Portuguese is, the more it will help your job search.  You may have already noticed the positive reaction that even trying to communicate in Portuguese evinces.  Whatever you can do to strengthen your skill in the language is worth the investment of your time, and a reasonable amount of money.

Good luck.  May 2018 bring you a satisfying new job and a home in Brazil!

Contact Regina at Aim High. She won't pay as well as some of the other schools, but she'll hire you on the spot. Most of the other chain/franchise schools tend to stay more within the law here and don't hire many foreigners to teach ESL classes. With Aim High on your CV, you'll probably have a better chance to obtain more gainful employment.

Also try some of the online ESL schools. You'll need Skype or something similar and a reliable Internet connection (which admittedly can sometimes be difficult to find here) and they pay decently. A couple of them just take quite awhile to make a decision, or they are with me and my total lack of ESL certifications.

Regina is the coordinator at Aim High?  Thanks for this.  From your message, I am assuming they do not provide work visas?  This is my ultimate goal.  Just wondering...

Yes. Regina is the coordinator. Her and her husband Sonny run the school. It's in Pinheiros closest to the Faria Lima station of Line 4/Amarela off Rua Teodoro Sampaio on Francisco Iasi. … 2582?hl=en

Oh, and no. Regina told me that only the largest Brazilian companies will hire a foreign individual as a teacher for their upper executives but that the legal process is long and involved and very expensive.  Some of the classes you teach will be at the school (for which you get paid one rate for class/hour) while some will be at the student's office (for which you'll receive a slightly higher rate).  I started with her 3 days after touching down in São Paulo.

If they're still operating, United Institute of English, which has multiple locations, sometimes hire foreigners.  The difference with them is that you'll most likely be teaching between 5 and 8 classes a day at United and be on salary instead of basically a wage.

Wizard was going to hire me until I told them that my family schedule precluded me from having classes one night a week and on Saturdays (and Sundays, but they close on Sunday so no worries). I was told every instructor must be available all day every week and on Saturdays. You won't have classes scheduled for all day, but you need to be available to take over if a teacher doesn't make it. Although I don't remember exact numbers I remember their compensation package was the best.

Good luck, I don't know any Expats that are here in Brazil teaching English on a work visa. I only know one guy who is here on a work visa with a large corporation and its not for teaching English. Its probably not impossible, but finding the school to sponsor you will be difficult. Most of us Expats are here by either married to Brazilian, Brazilian children, Investments, or retirement permanent residency reasons. I wish you luck!

I believe you don't have yet enough Q.I..."Quem Indica".
First thing in brazil, much more than in EU or North America is to build your network of colleagues and friends. Without it, you don't exist.  There are intenet websites, linkedin, etc....but the one who get the job is the one recommended.
So make friends, be member of sport club, speak to anybody. Go to a coworking place and networks with freelances and entrepreneur. Participate to language group on Facebook. 
And it quite long to have his network. It why your visa issue doesn't help either.
All the best for your researches.

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