“Twelve-month student visa,” for “Brazil,” says my Australian passport. No more tourist visa – at least for twelve months.

“Six months in, six months out,” I once said. I kept “legal” but I wanted the change.

“15 to 30 days’ wait for your national police record check,” said the federal policewoman.

You’ve got to be kidding?

The policewoman stayed firm. “It could be closer to thirty days. Your record check requires a fingerprint.”

I wasn’t sure if this was true. I called the Brazilian consulate. “Courses under three months don’t need the record check at all. Your course is four. You need the check and with the fingerprints.”

I paid 99 dollars for national police check. I gave my credit card details on the hard copy application.

Down at the local cop shop I was informed, “You’ll need hard copy prints. We can’t give them to you.”

Well, how the hell can I send the application and fingerprints together?

The police officer went on, “Bring your application into the shop with an addressed envelop, we’ll do the prints then post them with your application, to the federal police.

I had no idea the local police and the federal police were separate.

Half way through my prints, my hands covered in ink, the officer hit me with some good news. “We’re supposes to charge 42 dollars for doing this.” I returned a smile. And? “I’m not going to charge you a thing,” he said. “I don’t see any point in taking money, we do finger prints all day for the criminals for free.”

15 days later my national police check arrived. At least that’s better than “30”.

“I’ll be there soon bub,” I told my girl, sitting in the south of Brazil.

I checked the Brazilian consulate’s website. “Make your appointment.”

Brazil Student visa information
Brazil Student visa information

What the hell’s this? The woman at the consulate told me “come straight in.”

I got my appointment 48 hours later.

“Passport photo?” Yep.

“Criminal check?” I’m Ten years clean.

“In and out airfare?” Done.

“Bank statements?” Roger.

“Course enrolment with notary’s signature?” I did that before I last left Brazil.

The Brazilian consulate took my passport during the appointment. “Take this ticket,” the consulate man said. “Come back in seven days and your visa will be ready.”

Sounds easy. There’s got to be a catch. I changed that train of thought with the blink of an eye. My course is for four months. Maybe they’ll give me a five-month student visa.

Seven days later I returned to the Brazil consulate, opening my passport anxiously, to find, “Twelve-months student visa,” for “Brazil”.


The Brazilian student visa information was provided by Australian travel writer Gaston Cavalleri.