Amongst the many different temporary visas Brazil offers to foreigners, one of them is the visa for students, known as VITEM IV. In this article, we will learn how to get a VITEM IV.
Student Visa in Brazil
Brazil has different policies for different countries concerning visa requirements. Some common examples are those for professionals attending trade shows and congresses, or even ones for missionaries and clergymen. Foreigners that want to study in Brazil - without any immigration goals or intent to perform paid activities that are not internships - need to apply for a special temporary visa at the nearest General Consulate or Brazilian Embassy. Student visas in Brazil are called Temporary Visa IV, or VITEM-IV.
The VITEM-IV are valid for up to one year at a time, depending on which course the student is enrolled in, and can be renewed as many times as necessary in order for the student to finish the course. The request for extending the visa must be done at a Federal Police Department or at the Ministry of Justice within 30 days before the current visa expires. It is important to mention that those who come to Brazil with a VITEM-IV are not allowed to engage in paid activities that are not internships.
However, foreign students that are willing to be interns in Brazil are allowed to perform paid activities. For internships of up to four months, there is no need for a formal link with a Brazilian educational institution as the Letter of Agreement can be signed directly by the Brazilian company and the foreign education institution. For internships lasting longer than four months, a formal link with a Brazilian education institution is mandatory. For interns, the student visa is valid for one year and can not be renewed.
It is important to note that a change of course and transfers between different education institutions are authorized, but must be notified in the application for renewal of the student visa, when applicable.
After the student visa is granted to the applicant, the student has three months to enter Brazil. After entering Brazil, the student has up to 30 days to register with the Federal Police Department of the city in which they will live.
All the items below must be submitted in order to apply for a student visa. Additional documents might be requested by the Ministry of Foreign Relations or by the respective Consulate during the process.
In order to apply for a VITEM-IV, it is necessary to prepare the following documentation:
- Applicants passport which cannot expire within 6 months and must have at least two blank pages
- One Visa Application Form per applicant - generated online - dated and signed by the passport holder or their parents or guardians in case of minors
- Two 3cm x 4cm sized photos
- Proof of residence within the jurisdiction of the Consular Section of the Embassy for the past 12 months
- Non-criminal record certificate issued by the applicant's local Police Department for applicants over the age of 18, issued less than 90 days before the application
- Proof of scholarship, if not, proof of financial capability to pay for the whole duration of the course
- Proof of enrollment in the institution certifying that the applicant will be attending a course of study, clearly stating the amount of class-hours per week
- Notarized birth certificate or declaration
- Certificate issued by the previous education institution stating the level of schooling of the applicant
- Should the applicant be under the age of 18 and not travel with their parents or guardians, a notarized copy of birth certificate sworn translated into Portuguese or English and an Authorization for Brazilian Visa Issuance for Minors signed by both parents or legal guardians at a public notary is to be presented
- Health insurance valid in Brazil offering coverage for treatment and hospitalization, or PB4 in case of students from Portugal
In addition to the documents mentioned above, the following documents are required in specific situations:
- For non-graduating programmes such as middle and high school, technical and language courses - a document stating the duration of the course is to be presented
- For graduation - proof of conclusion of high school or similar
- For post-graduation - proof of conclusion of higher education or similar
- For internships - letter of agreement between the intern entity and the educational institution
After the visa application form is completed and signed, it is necessary to pay the related fees. As of December 2014, the fees charged were:
- For United Arab Emirates citizens: USD 95
- For France citizens: USD 140
- For United Kingdom citizens whose visa validity is up to 180 days: USD 40
- For United Kingdom citizens whose visa validity exceeds 180 days: USD 195
- For United States citizens: USD 160
- For citizens from any other country: USD 40
After the fee is paid, all the documents listed previously must be presented at the nearest consular office. These entities recommend that the process should be started at least one month prior to the intended departure date.
Presentation of the signed form and the required documents can be done either:
- In person, by the applicant
- By proxy, although this is discouraged by the Ministry of Foreign Relations and by most Consulates
If the application is submitted in person, a self-addressed envelope and sufficient postage must also be submitted for the return of the passport and documents by mail. The processing times vary from country to country. In the United States, for example, Consulates usually set an average timeframe of 10 business days, mailing time not included. You can also check the current status of your VITEM IV application online.