Your Brazilian Student Visa
In order to study in Brazil, you must be granted a student visa from within your home country, or the US (if different). The first step is registering you at your chosen university in Brazil, which you’ve done or will soon do.
Next, the university issues your contrato de estudios. This takes months. Only upon receipt of this very official looking paper can you go and apply for your student visa for Brazil. The letter will be available on your student portal—the same place where you uploaded documents at the Brazilian university. You should print this and send it to the consulate when you’re ready to apply.
In the meantime, you should look at your consulate’s web site and make sure that you understand all of their requirements and begin gathering documentation. You may not apply at any consulate you wish, but only at one whose jurisdiction covers either your home or your school address. Check here to see which one(s) applies: http://boston.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/jurisdictions.xml. If you fall under the jurisdiction of Boston (either home or school address in Maine, Massachusetts, new Hampshire or Vermont), then you should consider applying through Boston—they have easier requirements and allow you to mail your application. Some others require a personal appearance.
Here are the links to your consulates’ requirements:
Boston: http://boston.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/how_to_apply.xml Follow the directions for “student program participants.”
Los Angeles: http://losangeles.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/other_types_of_visa.xml
New York: http://novayork.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/other_types_of_visa.xml#Temporary
San Francisco: http://saofrancisco.itamaraty.gov.br
Washington DC: http://www.consbrasdc.org
Here are a few of the standard requirements and tips on procuring them:
Background Check: Either a state police or FBI background check is required to secure documentation that you do not have a criminal record—both are time consuming, so start now, but it’s often easier to get one FBI check than multiple state background checks.
FBI criminal background check
Start by calling the sheriff’s office where you live to see if they can fingerprint you there.
To get fingerprinted in Middlebury: call the Sherriff’s office at 388.2981 to make an appointment—available Tues. 1-4pm.
They will not give the fingerprint card to you so you’ll want take:
Completed forms from the FBI link (above)—the Sherriff’s office will mail your forms, your payment, and the fingerprint card to the FBI at this address:
FBI CJIS Division – Record Request
1000 Custer Hollow Road
Clarksburg, WV 26306
Fee to get fingerprinted—find out what they charge when you call to schedule your appointment.
$18 in money order or cashier’s check payable to Treasury of the United States (to send as processing fee to the FBI for the background check)
Photo ID (driver’s license or passport.
The FBI background check process can be completed in a few weeks.
State Background Check
If your consulate requires the state background check(s), they will not accept the FBI background check. You will need to procure two state background checks—one from the state in which you live, the other from the state in which you attend school (unless they’re one and the same).
i. To get the state background check from some place other than VT, call your local police station and tell them what you need and they’ll send you along to the right office.
ii. To get the state background check from VT: https://vcic.vermont.gov/ch-information/record-checks/vermont/my-own
Passport—take a moment to make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months after your intended return from Brazil and that it has at least two consecutive, blank visa pages (the ones that say “visa” at the top). The passport also needs to be in good shape—it can’t look as though it’s been put through the washing machine, etc.
Application form with one official passport photo attached. Boston has you begin the form on-line, then print the receipt, and affix an official passport photo (don’t try to do-it-yourself—go somewhere to have passport photos taken). Most of the form is self-explanatory, but you’ll need some information:
- USE FIREFOX (even though it says you can use Chrome) and a computer with ADOBE WRITER (or something that allows you to print to a pdf).
- Under “Profession,” write “student” then this contact info.:
356 College Street
Middlebury, VT 05753
Under “Contact in Brazil” use this:
Silvia Lorenso Castro
Rua João Evangelista Pinheiro, 252, bloco 3 - Apt 503
Bairro Santa Lúcia - Belo Horizonte, MG. Cep: 30.360-170
Tel: +55(21)97125-4122 - (48)9125-4122 (31)
- At the end, you need to download the receipt of the document, but in order to print it, you need to change the file from “imprimirrecibo.do” to “imprimirrecibo.pdf”
Other Requisite Materials
- Application: when asked for your parents’ names, include their full legal names as they appear on your birth certificate.
- Birth certificate
- Itinerary (proof of round trip ticket)
- Proof of jurisdiction (student ID, utility bill, driver’s license, bank statement, etc.)
Proof of financial capability (notarized letter from a parent stating s/he will support you in the amount of at least 2,000 reis/month that you’ll be there (and list the months in the letter AND notarized bank statements with this much money in them—at present, 2,000 reis is about $650, so that would be a bank account with at least $3,500 in it OR a letter from the financial aid office listing your grant/scholarship amount).
- Money order—you cannot pay by any other method, so look at your consulate to figure out how much they charge (they change it on June 1 if they’re going to change it) and get it for the correct amount at a bank or post office—you take them cash and they give you a money order for a nominal fee (~$2). Boston charges more for the convenience of applying by mail, which will be worth paying for anyone who doesn’t live in Boston.
- Original passport—yes, you must apply with your original passport; the visa gets affixed inside it.
- Proof of residence—take whatever the consulate requires, but be sure to have your driver’s license and/or school ID with you.
- Proof of enrollment in a Middlebury program—from Middlebury
- Proof of enrollment in the university—this will be issued once you have completed your university registration and emailed to you; you can print a copy of this and apply with the copy. Please print it in color.
- USPS mailing envelope (this is only if your consulate will mail the visa/passport back to you). Go to the post office and purchase a TRACEABLE “priority mail” envelope—self address it and include it with your application materials. Do not use FedEx or UPS unless instructed to do so by your consulate—they generally prefer regular mail because then they don’t have to make a phone call for pick up.
You do not need any requirements for “minors.”
If you need to list an address, use the international office address at your university:
Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina
ESAI – UFSC
Brasil Prédio da FAPEU - 3º Andar
Caixa Postal 476
Universidade Federal Fluminense
c/o Assessor/a para Assuntos Internacionais
Rua Miguel de Fria, 9/70
andar, Icaria, Niteroi, RJ
CEP 24220-000 BRASIL
Universidade Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Minas Gerais
c/o Coordinator of Exchange Programs
PUC Minas Coração Eucarístico
Avenida Dom José Gaspar, 500, Prédio 4
30535-901 - Belo Horizonte - MG - Brasil
Please email a copy of your visa and the document you receive from the consulate to Nicole.
If you will arrive before the program start date, email your director to let her know your date of arrival and port of entry.
Once you arrive in Brazil, you will have to register at the Federal Police during the first 30 days of your stay so you can get your Foreigner ID (“Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro” or “RNE”). If you fail to do so, you may face problems like not being allowed to return to Brazil in the future, or being asked to pay a penalty fee.
The Policia Federal stations are located in:
- BELO HORIZONTE: Rua Nascimento Gurgel 30, Gutierrez (open from 8:30am to 12:00pm and from 1:30pm to 4:00pm)
- FLORIANÓPOLIS: Av. Governador Irineu Bornhausen 4744, Agronômica (Av. Beira Mar Norte)
- NITERÓI: Praça Fonseca Ramos s/n, Centro (open from 10:00am to 4:00pm).
When you go to the Federal Police, you must remember to take the following documents:
- Original passport
- Photocopy of all pages of your passport that were used, written on, or stamped
- Original visa application (this gets returned to you along with your passport/visa. Take ALL papers given back to you at the consulate to Brazil with you. You will need the originals to register your visa upon arrival.
- Entrance registration (you will receive this document at the airport, upon arrival to Brazil)
- Two recent color photos, 3cm x 4cm, white background
- Two completed forms and payment receipts. The forms (codes 140082 and 140120) are at “GRU-FUNAPOL –Emissao do guia para pessoas e entidades estrangeiras” Once there, where it says “Unidade Arrecadadora”, you’ll have to choose the one that operates in your area: “MG (015-9) SUPERINTENDENCIA REGIONAL NO ESTADO DE MINAS GERAIS” for Belo Horizonte students; “RJ (056-6) DELEGACIA DE POLICIA FEDERAL EM NITERÓI” for Niterói students; or “SC (026-4) SUPERINTENDENCIA REGIONAL NO ESTADO DE SANTA CATARINA” for Florianopolis students. Then, on the field named “Codigo da Receita STN” you have to click on the magnifying glass icon and choose the code 140082 (“Registro de Estrangeiros / Restabelecimento de Registro”). Once you have completed the form, print it and repeat the steps choosing the code 140120 (“Carteira de Estrangeiro de Primeira Via”). Then you will have to take these printed forms to any bank, pay the fees, and take the receipts to the Policia Federal for the registration procedure.
Be aware that you could have to wait up to 90 days for your Foreigner ID to be ready, so please keep with you the Protocol RNE that will be given to you. Also, it would be advisable to ask the Federal Police, on the same day you apply for your ID, for the SINCRE Report (SINCRE = Sistema Nacional de Cadastramento e Registro de Estrangeiros) that includes your personal data. These two documents can replace a Foreigner ID while you are waiting for it.