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        getting a student visa inside brazil?
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Hello all,

I like the new forum. Kudos to

So I've just arrived in Sao Jose dos Campos, Sao Paulo state on a visitor visa with the standard 3 month plus 3 month extension. I went to the federal police station today and to the "estrangeiro" section to get a "CPF" card in order to open a bank account. NO go. The rather rude young woman I was dealing with tells me that I cannot get a CPF card and therefore cannot open a bank account because I am on a visitor visa. It's ridiculous, but, o well, no big deal. I have other arrangements.

But the thing that really got me was that when I asked her if I can eventually change my visitor visa to a student visa she said that I have to leave the country to do so. Is she right? She was young and nervous and a little rude and I was not entirely confident that she knew what she was talking about. So I have come here to get some input.

I will not be working in Brazil but I will be studying Portuguese. The thing is, I want to stay more than the 6 months I am allowed on the tourist visa, so I am hoping to find a school here that can provide me with a student visa so I can stay longer than the 6 months without having to return to my home country (Canada).

[Sorry, I've had a few SKOL's tonight so please forgive the run-on sentences  and the non-cohesive presentation  ]

So, what I am trying to say here is that, is it possible for a foreigner with a tourist visa to change that said tourist visa to a student visa while still in Brazil if they find a legitimate Portuguese school to study at?

The policelady said "Nao", but I still don't believe her. Do I really have to leave the country to get a student visa?

Any input will be appreciated.


Total Posts: 18 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 7:18 pm on Jan. 6, 2003 | IP


you are gonna get an even bigger head now. I don't get good news for you. Apparently all you could do had to be done in Canada. Not even a trip to the border would work. Unless you find a jeitinho. For that you'd have to talk to you fellow students, teachers and Brazilians in general.

This info is from Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina. But the regulation is federal and applies to all states. Go drink some more Skol. Tomorrow you will feel better.

O aluno estrangeiro que deseja estudar na UFSC deverá chegar ao Brasil com o VISTO TEMPORÁRIO ITEM IV, aposto em seu Passaporte. Após sua chegada deverá apresentar-se, num prazo máximo de 30 dias, na Polícia Federal, para fazer o seu registro e solicitar a carteira de estrangeiro, apresentando os seguintes documentos:

Cópia das folhas utilizadas do passaporte;
Cartão de entrada/saída no Brasil ou carimbo no passaporte;
2 fotos 3 x 4, coloridas - fundo branco;
Formulário do Pedido de Visto (recebido na Embaixada e/ou Consulado brasileiro);
Pagamento da taxa de R$ 105,00.
A manutenção do visto atualizado é responsabilidade do estudante e constitui condição indispensável para efetivação da matrícula e, posteriormente, para inscrição em disciplinas no início dos períodos letivos.

Em hipótese alguma será aceito Visto de Turista. Não existe a possibilidade de transformar no Brasil ou na fronteira o Visto de Turista em Visto de Estudante. Isto somente poderá ser feito no país de origem.

Total Posts: 211 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 7:40 pm on Jan. 6, 2003 | IP

Policia Federal is the wrong place to go to in order to start workng on your CPF.

Instead, go to a Banco do Brasil branch and fill out an application.  You would also need a document stating the names of your parents as well as a proof of having a permanent address in Brazil.

Then, you would have to pay a visit to an office of Receita Federal (part of Ministerio da Fazenda) in order to complete the process and obtain your CPF number (the card would be mailed to you later on).  

There are also certain legal and tax reporting obligations that go along with having a CPF number in Brazil.  You would have to file Income Tax return and/or Income Tax Waiver here in order to regularize your CPF.  If you do not regularize  your CPF annually, you might lose it.

You can get a CPF even without a tourist visa (from abroad), but you would have to go back to where you came from in order to get a student visa.

Check out for more information.


(Edited by Boris at 3:28 am on Jan. 7, 2003)

Total Posts: 19 | Joined Jan. 2003 | Posted on: 3:24 am on Jan. 7, 2003 | IP

Junior Member
The same rules apply to us, Brazilians, here in the States. I am on an H1-B visa, this Visa is only good for work so I was able to get a Social Security Number and then be able to open an checking account but my wife has an H-4 visa, this visa only permited her to be legally here while I am working, but she was not permited to get a check book only a Bank ATM card, and she cannot work here. I guess that for a foreigner to be able to study here in the US, must comply with the same sort of rules that exists in Brazil for US citizens. Each country have their rules for visitors and sucks when we need to go through them. I really understand your problem!

Fernando B.

Total Posts: 55 | Joined Dec. 2002 | Posted on: 2:28 pm on Jan. 8, 2003 | IP

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