By Jay Forte, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Just in time for Christmas this year authorities announced that foreign undergraduates or postgraduates in Brazil may work legally in the country. The measure is also valid for students who have already finished the courses and intend to stay in the country.
The resolution authorizing the work visa of foreigners was published in last Thursday’s edition (December 22nd), in the Diário Oficial da União (Official Gazette of the Union) and is already in force.
According to the announcement, conversion of the visa from studies to work will not be automatic. The students will have to send the request to the General Immigration Coordination (CGIG) in the Ministry of Labor, which will analyze the cases and issue the authorizations.
President of the National Immigration Council, Paulo Sergio de Almeida, said the measure should reduce the number of students in the informal sector, since many face difficulties to remain in Brazil without working.
“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,” he says.
Almeida added that “The measure leaves Brazil coherent with good international practices, while at the same time it has qualified workers in the country.”
British expatriate in Rio, and director of English4 language school, Ed Horgan, is excited about the possibilities but curious what the requirements of the work visa will be.
Horgan explains, “Usually work visas are issued on the basis of being offered work from one company and it is for use solely with that company. One is not free to work for whomever and wherever one wants – usually. So the facility of the new law depends on upon the conditions attached to the work visa.”
The announcement by authorities state that student can apply for the work visa after six months of the beginning of the course. In these cases, the new immigration status of the foreigner will be valid for one year and may be extended for the duration of the course, within the deadline stipulated by the educational institution.
Among the conditions for permanence is that the function established in the student’s work contract is related to the curriculum of the course that is being done in Brazil.
Before the resolution, the work for foreign students was vetoed in the country. Those interested in staying in the country should return to the country of origin and apply for a work visa.