Getting a Student Visa (Already have Tourist Visa)

Hi All,

I've been living in Brazil for 5 months now, i'm on an extended (6 month) Tourist Visa.
I would like to stay here longer.. But there are few options left, only two I can see right now being Student Visa or Marriage (not looking to marry).

Does anyone know how to obtain a Student Visa for 6+ months, which schools are accredited (Sao Paulo), if I can apply now (I'm living in SP right now), how much it costs, ect.

It seems super difficult to find an accredited school. I found this school - Rioandlearn, which says you can pay about $18,000 BR for a 1+ year Student Visa and have the lessons Online. Not sure if this is a scam or not.

Anyways, any help would be nice!

Best,
ess

Hi, Ess,
That does sound fishy.
I know that the Catholic University, PUC São Paulo, has an accredited Portuguese for Foreign Students program that qualifies for a student visa; you could contact them for dates and prices.

It's either a scam or a very very bad deal. A proper school would require you to fulfill the fifteen hours per week in-person class time requirement. The consulate will not accept an online course as a visa requirement and 18 grand is an absurd amount. You might as well enrol for a degree at a university for that price. There are many schools that offer these services now. They need to be accredited and registered properly with the law and that's a licence that they have to display at the school itself.

Now, you have two options, either you actually want to take the lessons hence any course that fulfills the requirements will be able to help you or, if like me you already speak portuguese or you're not willing to spend fifteen hours weekly learning it, you can find a school where you could get enrolled, pay them a symbolic fee and use that enrolment to get your visa. Many schools now offer this option on the down low due to foreigners only wanting the visa. In this case though, you will need to speak and negotiate with the school. Maybe you could get enrolled and attend much less classes that the required 15 hours per week or you could pay a one time fee to them. The problem with universities like PUC is that if you don't meet the course requirements in terms of attendance, they are likely to advise the Policia Federal and you might lose your visa eventually. With private schools, there is less bureaucracy and you can speak directly with the owner.

The schools will try to make you think that it is a difficult process for them etc but it is not. They only need to be lawfully registered a language education provider and write a letter for you(I wrote my own and made them sign it). It's very very simple. The difficult part is finding a school that is willing to help without ripping you off because you're a foreigner. I suggest that when you go scouting for schools, downplay your financial situation as much as possible. Brazilians are helpful to foreigners but if you say "I'll pay what it takes" for example, you will probably get overcharged as many locals seem to think that we are all here with thousands of dollars enjoying the good life.  Keep in mind as well that you will need to leave Brazil so as to apply for a student visa. You cannot change visa categories while inside the country unless it is to apply for residency.

abthree :

Hi, Ess,
That does sound fishy.
I know that the Catholic University, PUC São Paulo, has an accredited Portuguese for Foreign Students program that qualifies for a student visa; you could contact them for dates and prices.

Hi abthree,

Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I think it's a little fishy too.
I'll checkout the Catholic University, thanks for the recommendation!

Oweezy07 :

It's either a scam or a very very bad deal. A proper school would require you to fulfill the fifteen hours per week in-person class time requirement. The consulate will not accept an online course as a visa requirement and 18 grand is an absurd amount. You might as well enrol for a degree at a university for that price. There are many schools that offer these services now. They need to be accredited and registered properly with the law and that's a licence that they have to display at the school itself.

Now, you have two options, either you actually want to take the lessons hence any course that fulfills the requirements will be able to help you or, if like me you already speak portuguese or you're not willing to spend fifteen hours weekly learning it, you can find a school where you could get enrolled, pay them a symbolic fee and use that enrolment to get your visa. Many schools now offer this option on the down low due to foreigners only wanting the visa. In this case though, you will need to speak and negotiate with the school. Maybe you could get enrolled and attend much less classes that the required 15 hours per week or you could pay a one time fee to them. The problem with universities like PUC is that if you don't meet the course requirements in terms of attendance, they are likely to advise the Policia Federal and you might lose your visa eventually. With private schools, there is less bureaucracy and you can speak directly with the owner.

The schools will try to make you think that it is a difficult process for them etc but it is not. They only need to be lawfully registered a language education provider and write a letter for you(I wrote my own and made them sign it). It's very very simple. The difficult part is finding a school that is willing to help without ripping you off because you're a foreigner. I suggest that when you go scouting for schools, downplay your financial situation as much as possible. Brazilians are helpful to foreigners but if you say "I'll pay what it takes" for example, you will probably get overcharged as many locals seem to think that we are all here with thousands of dollars enjoying the good life.  Keep in mind as well that you will need to leave Brazil so as to apply for a student visa. You cannot change visa categories while inside the country unless it is to apply for residency.

Hi Oweezy,

Thanks for the information.
If you know if any other "private" schools that are legit, i'd love to know!
It's also good to know I have to leave the country before re-applying again.

Update:

I found an institute that can provide me with accredited classes and get me a student visa. But the problem is, I need to obtain a Criminal Records Check/Certificate.

Does anyone know how can do I this while already living in Brazil ?
Does anyone know an online website that can I print out?

FYI I only have 2 more weeks left as a tourist visa, then it expires for my 6 month term... (I extended).

That is tough. Law was had to be FBI in US and they would no accept an online printed report.
The FBI offers two methods for requesting your FBI Identification Record or proof that a record does not exist:
1.The subject of an identification record may obtain a copy of that record by submitting a written request to the CJIS Division. The request must be accompanied by satisfactory proof of identity (consisting of name, date and place of birth, and a set of rolled-inked fingerprint impressions) and a certified check or money order for the current processing fee. The FBI will not provide copies of arrest records to individuals other than the subject of the record. Requests should be directed to the FBI CJIS Division, Attn: SCU, Mod. D-2, 1000 Custer Hollow Rd., Clarksburg, West Virginia 26306. If there is no criminal record, a report reflecting this fact is provided. See www.FBI.gov for current processing fees and further information, See also Identification Record Request and Guide for Obtaining Your FBI Identification Record; Submitting an Identification Record Request to the FBI.


2.The subject of an identification record may also submit a request through an FBI-approved channeler, which is a private business that has contracted with the FBI to receive fingerprint submissions and relevant data, collect the associated fee(s), electronically forward the fingerprint submissions with the necessary information to the FBI CJIS Division, and receive the electronic record check results for dissemination to the individual. See www.FBI.gov for the list of FBI-approved channelers.

You can check online for companies in the US that do this service for you. Also you can ask them to get the apostille from the state department. I believe i got mine in 2 - 3 weeks.

Unfortunately you will need to go home in 2 weeks to get all this done. The only document you need from Brazil is the matriculation or Acceptance letter from your school notorized at the Cartorio. Consulate will not accept this document without this..

Another advise is to get your health insurance and financial documents showing you have funds enough to pay for your duration in Brazil. They are very strict on this.

If you have any questions, send me a msg did my process a few months ago with the Houston Consulate

But if i've already used my 6 month duration of my Tourism Visa (ending this month), how can I re-enter Brazil to go process my Student Papers when I try to come back in a month or two?.

Update:

I have my acceptance letter to a school here in SP to study Portuguese.
I went to the PF, they said I can still get my Student Visa even if i'm over-staying the 180 tourist visa days.. But I have to pay the fine for each day I over-stay ($100 BR per day).

Looking at criminal record checks visa mail, it takes 2-7 days to get back.

So technically, I will be paying my overstay fee, and when I have all my documents i'll return to the PF, pay the fine for each day I overstayed, and receive my student visa.

There is a new law that allows you to stay 60 days (while paying the fine each day) and still be eligible to obtain your student visa!

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