When I was 15 I went to Toronto for 4 weeks to learn English. It was brilliant, I had an amazing time and more than anything I learned a whole lot, not only about living abroad, but mainly about trusting myself and sticking to my guts. After I landed, there I go to the immigration line and when I got to the window.... red flags everywhere... a 15 yr old travelling alone, they got very suspicious. I had papers from the school, my visa was right, but they had to do their job.

Into a little room they took me, my English was so bad at the time that they had to find a translator and on top of it all, I couldn't understand why they didn't believe me. I am glad that this wave of self-confidence came over me and I was just telling them over and over why I had traveled all the way from Brazil to Toronto... to study English!!!

A couple of hours later they made some phone calls, the school also confirmed, that indeed, I was meant to be going to school there. Alleluia, I was free.

Funny enough, or not, the first time I went to Switzerland I got stopped! Again! Maybe I just look suspicious... apparently, the schools pass on the information to immigration about any foreign students they have and this school hadn't done it for me. This time wasn't so bad, I was 20, knew my place in the world kindda thing, plus the Swiss are super organized, it took only a few minutes and I was off.

If you find yourself in a situation like that, all you can do is stay calm. Immigration will do their job, we are entering a different country and they've seen it all. A lot of times they get it wrong, and unfortunately, I truly believe that they do. But I also believe that most times they are right. If you have nothing to fear, then you will be fine.


Types of Visas in Brazil

I've never needed a visa to go to Brazil, but I did some research in case someone stumbles upon this cute blog of mine. A few notes taken straight from the Brazilian's consulate website:

  • Citizens of countries with which Brazil does not maintain diplomatic relations, applying for any type of visa, will receive a special travel document – “LAISSEZ-PASSER”- issued by the Consulate to each individual, with prior approval of the Brazilian Government. Approval of visas for citizens of countries with which Brazil does not maintain diplomatic relations usually takes from 2 to 4 weeks. After approval, the processing time is up to 5 (five) working days. Please plan accordingly! The Consulate General of Brazil in Los Angeles does not process same day visas (no rush fee!). The "Laissez-Passer" and the corresponding visa are good for multiples entries for the duration of the visa.  
  • Long-duration visas (valid for 5 or 10 years, for instance) are valid from the day they were issued. Short-duration visas (valid for 30 or 90 days, for example) are valid from the date of first entry into Brazil. All visa holders, regardless of nationality or visa validity date, may only stay in Brazil for up to 90 days a year, unless otherwise noted on the visa. An extension of the original 90 days may be granted by the Federal Police Department in Brazil, yet total stay cannot exceed 180 days a year, unless otherwise noted.

First check out this list provided from the consulate to see which type of visa you can get, then read below.

Entrance Visas to Brazil

There are 8 types of visas:

1) VRT - Temporary residency - For nationals of any of the MERCOSUL's countries - valid for 2 years, with option of being upgraded to a permanent visa.

2) VIPER - Permanent visas Anyone wanting to move to Brazil permanently.

3) VITEM - Temporary visas - Anyone going to Brazil to study or work temporarily. There are 6 types of the temporary visa - You must have a return ticket - Proof of financial capability and (but not limited to) FBI or local police dept. clearance.

4) VITRA - Transit visas - If you are travelling to a different country, but must enter in Brazil for a connection flight.

5) VITUR - Tourist visas - Any tourist looking to spend up to 90 days in Brazil.

6) VICOR - Courtesy visas - No idea what this is for, I couldn't find any information on the consulate's page.

7) VISOF - Official visas - Anyone taking part of an official (govt related) visit.

8) VIDIP - Diplomatic visas - Anyone in a diplomatic mission to Brazil.

All information was taken from Consulate-general of Brazil in Los Angeles and Itamaraty Portal Consular.



Yesterday evening, we watched the speech from President Obama on immigration. Accountability was the word he used to describe the "deal" he is making with illegal immigrants already living in this country, not someone who is coming through the borders today or someone who is planning on coming to the US in 1 year. He is protecting those who work hard, pay taxes and respect the country that they live in. The President also made it clear that this is not a gateway to citizenship or permanent residency, it's just temporary.

9 to 5 and Odd Jobs - Immigrate only Legally

9 to 5 and Odd Jobs - Immigrate only Legally

If you are planning on living in a foreign country, one of the steps is to investigate and plan. Like I mentioned before, there are different reasons why people move and  one of them might be for work, either your company is transferring you abroad or you decided to take your chances and find work else where.