Brazil: Resolution allows students to convert to work visas

What is the change? A resolution issued Thursday by Brazilian immigration authorities provides two pathways for foreign students to convert their student visas into temporary work visas without having to leave the country.

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What does the change mean? One route allows foreign students to obtain work authorization within 12 months of completing a graduate or post-graduate course in Brazil. The work authorization is valid for two years and can later be converted to a permanent visa. The other route allows foreign students currently engaged in a graduate or post-graduate course in Brazil to request work authorization six months after starting their course of study. The work authorization is valid for one year and may be extended as long as the applicant is enrolled in the course of study.

  • Implementation time frame: Immediate.
  • Visas/permits affected: Student visas.
  • Who is affected: Foreign students in Brazil.
  • Business impact: The changes benefit students and employers hiring students and recent graduates, as they will not need to leave Brazil to apply for work authorization.

Background: The changes were announced in Normative Resolution #124 by Brazil’s National Immigration Council.

Applicants must provide supporting documents as well as a work contract with a Brazilian sponsor company when submitting applications to the Ministry of Labor. Approved applications for change of status will be published in the official gazette.

Students under designated federal government programs, such as the PEC-G (graduate course) and PEC-PG (post-graduate courses), are not covered by the resolution and will not be allowed to convert to work visas.

BAL Analysis: The changes are welcome developments that allow greater flexibility for employers seeking to hire foreign students studying in or newly graduating from higher educational institutions in Brazil.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Brazil. For additional information, please contact brazil@balglobal.com.

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