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Bridge TEFL and visa issues

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Joined: 16 Oct 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:08 am    Post subject: Bridge TEFL and visa issues Reply with quote


I recently signed up with Bridge TEFL's placement program and am currently doing the online schooling however I am having some issues with my visa situation. The placement program am I going with told me to get a tourist visa but not to mention that I am working on a tourist visa as I assume that this is illegal? Is it the norm for teachers in Brazil to be working on tourist visas instead of work visas? And if so what are the consequences if one gets caught? I am extremely concerned about this and would really appreciate any type of feedback at all,

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Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 4:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think it is fairly common for people to travel to Brazil and teach on a tourist visa. Keep in mind that my viewpoint has been formed solely through internet research (albeit very extensive research...). Probably, this will become less common as the country becomes more global/modernized and more regulations/checks are put in place.

The reason for people doing this is because the application for a work visa is difficult, time consuming, and expensive in Brazil. I read an article once where the author claimed that the School manager had to drive to Brasilia to get the work visa approved. Coupled with the fact that many teachers are backpackers or travelers only looking to make money for a short period of time, it's no wonder companies are reticent to get work visas for their employees.

I imagine that if you work at one institution for a while you will have a better chance of getting a work visa, or if you work for a large/successful/international school you will be more likely to get a work visa.

I wouldn't worry too much about getting "caught." And I doubt the penalty for getting caught is any worse than deportation and a possible fine. It might not even be that bad. The penalty for overstaying your visa is 8 reais per day to a maximum of 800, with no other punishment other than deportation. Which do you think is a worse offense? I don't know...

I'm going to be traveling to Brazil at the end of December and hopefully taking a tefl cert class in January in São Paulo. I will be going there on a tourist visa with the hopes of upgrading to a work visa sometime before my six months are up.

One tip for you visa application: if possible tell the consulate that you will be there for under 30 days. If you are staying there longer they want a bunch more information, like a notarized letter from a host/hotel reservations, bank statements and a day-by-day itinerary. Of course that might just be my pain-in-the-ass consulate (Chicago). And if you're not a u.s. citizen of course it will be different...
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