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Background information

I'm an European Union citizen temporarily living in Sao Paulo, Brazil. I have a student visa (VITEM IV) that is valid for 7 months, starting from 01.10.2013 to 01.05.2014, which I cannot extend. I need to stay in Brazil till 28.08.2014, when I have my flight back to Europe (overstaying my visa with approximately 120 days).

I don't consider the period between 01.05.2014 - 01.08.2014 a problem (staying in Brazil with an expired student visa), since I can keep a low profile.

What is the problem?

The problem is that I need to take internal flights (Sao Paulo - Foz do Iguacu - Manaus - Salvador - Rio de Janeiro - Sao Paulo) between 01.08.2014 - 28.08.2014 . (with one of those GOL or TAM internal air passes)

Even though most forums say that when you take internal flights in Brazil they don't really check your visa status, but just the identification page of your passport, I can not risk that (since I'm not going to be traveling alone).

I cannot risk being denied boarding one of those flights. Ending up in Manaus and being the only one in my group not being able to board a flight to Salvador wouldn't be the nicest thing.

Fact to consider:
European Union citizens can only visit Brazil as tourist visa-free for 90 days within a 180 day period.

What solution did I think about?

Around 26.05.2014 (therefore my visa will be expired for 25 days) go to Argentina for 1-2 days and then come back as a tourist (which would allow me to stay 90 days, therefore let's say the validity period would be 28.05.2014 - 28.08.2014, which will allow me to take internal flights without problems).

What are my questions?

  • Will I be denied entry in Brazil (therefore not being granted the tourist status I'm hoping for) when I come back from Argentina based on the fact that I overstayed my student visa and just exited Brazil 1-2 days before?
  • Is it possible to enter as a tourist immediately after having a student visa? (Asking this due to being allowed to stay 90 days within 180 days in Brazil, as an European Citizen. Is it possible that they take into consideration my previous 7 months of staying in Brazil and not grant me entry because 90 days didn't pass in between?)
  • Can anyone think of a better solution that the one I came up with?

Unrelated question, but would be nice to know:

  • Currently I have a bank account at Itau. Will I have problems with it due to my expired visa? Does anyone check these things?

EDIT:

I just found on Brazil's consulate in London website here (number 13) mentioned that it is possible to re-enter the country as a tourist. It doesn't mention though if that can happen immediately.
But I found this other source that does mention that I can come back immediately on a tourist visa.
Now the question is if I will be allowed to re-enter Brazil from Argentina on a tourist visa, taking into consideration that I overstayed my student visa just 1-2 days before.

Clarification:

I really don't want to break the law by applying this solution, but it doesn't seem like I have a choice.

The background story is the following:
I came to Brazil to have an internship through a student organization. I asked for the period of my staying in Brazil to be 1 year from the start, but somehow that was not possible and I was assured that I can extend my student visa for a period equal to the initial period (so another 7 months).
Knowing that I can extend my visa, I booked those internal flights in August and my flight ticket back to Europe on 28.08.2014.
Meanwhile, this student organization lost the connection/partnership with the university that I was linked to, making it impossible for me to renew my student visa.

Therefore I need to find a solution to get out of this situation. I thought and asked a lot about it, and this seems to be the best solution so far. If anyone knows a 100% legal solution so I'm not overstaying, then I would be really happy to hear about that and use that instead.

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closed as off-topic by Mark Mayo, mindcorrosive Apr 27 at 9:13

  • This question does not appear to be about traveling within the scope defined in the help center.
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Unfortunately, I don't have an answer to your question, but a small quibble: EU citizens don't need a visa. Conceivably, you could be denied entry and/or deported but neither granted nor denied a visa. Another solution (and I don't know if that's possible at all in Brazil) would in fact be to officially apply for a visa in advance so you would reduce the risk of being denied entry when showing up. –  Relaxed Apr 26 at 20:55
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This question appears to be off-topic because it is asking how to avoid the legal ramifications of breaking the law in a foreign country. –  Mark Mayo Apr 26 at 23:50
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Are you able to leave Brazil on the day your visa expires? Are you able to call/visit your embassy to ask? –  Will V Apr 27 at 2:54
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It would be really nice if that could happen, but that doesn't apply to European Union citizens as stated here ec.europa.eu/world/agreements/prepareCreateTreatiesWorkspace/… . I cannot renew the tourist visa. Any other ideas? Thank you. –  Johny Apr 27 at 3:17
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Your bank account with Itau will almost certainly stay open with no problems. I managed to open a bank account on a short-term visa (I think they made a mistake as this should not be possible) and it is still open 2 years later. Just make sure you have online banking and don't forget your passwords! –  imoatama May 14 at 7:35

1 Answer 1

NEW ANSWER AFTER EDITS AND COMMENTS:

One way or the other, overstaying (whether it's overstaying your student visa in May or staying as a tourist in August) would be breaking the rules. You might get away with it or be able to do it with a small fine but if you really don't want to break the law, there are really only two solutions: Reschedule your flight to leave Brazil earlier or find a way to stay several weeks in another country like Argentina in-between.

It might be expensive and inconvenient but if you stay May-June-July in Argentina (so more than 90 days), you would not be breaking any rule and could fly around Brazil in August without worry. Of course, you also need to have a right to stay in Argentina all this time (you might need to visit several countries to reach the 90 days).


EARLIER ANSWER:

I don't know whether your stay as a student would prevent you from staying another 90 days as a tourist. In the Schengen area, it is in fact possible but you would need to find someone familiar with the details of Brazilian law to confirm how it works there.

But there is another thing that sounds extremely problematic in all this: When leaving to Argentina at the end of the May, you would have been staying illegally in Brazil for several weeks. You wrote that you could keep a low profile but what about exit immigration? At this point, your passport will be checked and you could be liable for a fine (apparently up to 400 USD) and/or have difficulties reentering the country (haven't heard about that about Brazil but the same webpage suggests the government announced last year they wanted to become tougher on overstaying). If you didn't want to come back, all this might not bother you too much but you do want to come back!

I don't know Brazilian law on this point either but the punishment could be serious, the way the 90 days are counted seems like a trivial issue by comparison. For this to work, the best would be to leave one or two days before the expiration of your visa and reenter after. Once you have crossed the line to illegality, you are in completely different situation.

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First, please see my edit. Second, I don't know if this matters, but my nationality is Romanian and Romania is not in the Schengen zone. It shouldn't matter according to this link ec.europa.eu/world/agreements/prepareCreateTreatiesWorkspace/… ,as Brazil seems to be treating us the same. –  Johny Apr 27 at 1:30
    
Third, the proceeding would be like this: I go to Argentina in the end of May and I pay the fine (which is around 9R$ per day of overstaying) when exiting Brazil. The problem is that I might be denied re-entering Brazil after 1-2 days in Argentina due to the fact that I overstayed my student visa. I didn't find any information of what happens in this case. –  Johny Apr 27 at 1:31
    
Not being able to re-enter Brazil and being stuck in Argentina when my flight back to Europe is from Sao Paulo would be a even bigger problem. According to this website liveinbrazil.org/3-must-knows-about-a-brazilian-tourist-visa (read section 3) overstaying your visa doesn't seem to be a big issue in Brazil. And regarding the government wanting to make it tougher, honestly, I'm not too worried about that since they have much bigger problems to deal with and the World Cup is coming. –  Johny Apr 27 at 1:34
    
I am not sure I completely follow you, being denied re-entering due to the fact you overstayed your visa is precisely the issue I tried to highlight. Compared to that, the number-of-days issue seems like small potato. The way I see it, either you care about respecting the rules and you need to do your “visa run” while your visa is still valid or you are confident that Brazil doesn't care too much about enforcing those rules and then it seems none of this matters very much. –  Relaxed Apr 27 at 8:49
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Hi, unlike countries such as the USA I can confirm that there are no consequences of overstaying a visa in Brazil, provided you pay the fine on exit. I know several people that have overstayed, there is a set per-day fine up to a maximum, and in some cases people have overstayed by a month or more. Never ever heard of any consequences or subsequent denial of entry, except where they neglected to pay the fine. –  imoatama May 14 at 7:08

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