International Students and Visitors
USP and IAG are open and welcome international undergraduate and graduate students to spend part of his/her training in an excellent teaching and research environment. IAG is one of the leading centers for teaching, research and outreach activities in Latin America within the research fields of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences. IAG holds three undergraduate BSc courses and three post-graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in each one of these fields.
USP International Office (CCInt) is responsible to initiate the formal contact between the international undergraduate student and USP Faculty or Institute. This process takes approximately 60 days after the subscription deadline. The academic semester starts early February and August, first and second semester, respectively. Please contact the CCInt Mobility program staff.
If you need further information regarding IAG undergraduate courses and disciplines, write to us (email@example.com) and we will be glad to assist you.
International graduate students may spend a period of their doctorate in one of the IAG post-graduate programs. There are two modalities: Doctorate Internship and Double Diploma.
The Doctorate Internship does not require any formal agreement between USP and the visiting student. The agreement is between the international student supervisor and USP supervisor. Normally, this training period is part of an ongoing research collaboration, and the visiting student is enrolled and holds a scholarship at his/her university. See further details of this program at USP Doctoral Internship or Stage (Portuguese only).
The Double Diploma (DD) program requires a formal agreement to be drawn between universities and supervisors and, at the end of this joint program, a double diploma is granted. Students and supervisors willing to apply to a DD program may get all necessary information at the USP Graduate Studies website.
We strongly recommend the student and the USP supervisor to contact the Secretaria de Pós-Graduação (firstname.lastname@example.org) or one of the IAG-IO members to get further information regarding this modality at the early stage of the doctorate program because the paper work may take long to be organized (see flowchart of the procedures – Portuguese only). The agreement must be signed before the thesis defense otherwise the double diploma will not be issued.
There are many opportunities to enroll in one of the dynamic and leading research groups at IAG. Some of these positions are announced through Fapesp (São Paulo Research Council) or the candidate may contact the leaders of the groups in advance, in order to seek for opportunities and to apply for fellowships to one of the research councils (FAPESP, CNPq, Capes). In general, the main contact of the post-doctorate fellow is with his/her supervisor, but if any assistance is needed to get settled at USP and São Paulo, send us an email (email@example.com).
Apart from financial funds regularly provided by the national and state research councils, both the USP International and the Graduate Studies Office offer visiting scientist fellowships. Funding application should start at least one year before the planned visit. IAG faculty member willing to host a visiting scientist, may consider applying to one of the USP programs (Resolução N. 5910 (2011) – Bolsas para Professores Visitantes na USP – Portuguese only).
The CCInt Office has a list of USP students who are volunteers to help international students and research visitors upon arrival and during the period of adaptation at USP and in São Paulo. This program is named iFriends.
Getting Ready to Visit
In order to legally reside in Brazil for the time necessary to undertake her/his study and also to be registered as USP student, international students must obtain a student visa, a Type IV Temporary Visa.
Type I Temporary visa applies for visiting lecturer, scientist and post-doctorates depending on the planned activities and if the living expenses are covered by a fellowship or a scholarship, granted by either Brazilian or foreign foundations. Otherwise, if the visitor is remunerated by a public or a private organization for his (her) work, then Type V Temporary visa is required.
In any situation, the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate in the home country will assist the applicant. The address of the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate nearest at your home town can be found at The list of the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations website. required documents for visa application is obtained from the consulate visa office.
Tourist visa may be issued to foreign scientist, lecturer, researcher, student or professional coming to Brazil to participate in conferences, seminar or meetings related to science and technology, as long as he/she is not paid for the activities. This visa is valid for a maximum time of 30 days. The visitor is only allowed to have the payment or reimbursement of travel expenses (hotel, meals and air-ticket, etc).
Further information about the required visa for other different purposes of the visit may be obtained at the Ministry of Justice homepage.
We also recommend reading the document What kind of visa? (Portuguese only) which states the requirement of authorization by Brazilian governmental offices if the research project includes bio-prospecting activity.
Warning: It is not possible to enroll as student holding a tourist visa. Nor it is possible to change the type of visa once in Brazil or at neighboring country. To change the status the applicant or visitor MUST return to her/his home country.
2. Health Insurance
In Brazil, the international student and visitor is allowed to make use of the Brazilian Public Health System (SUS) only in emergency cases. Therefore, USP demands that students and any other visitor to apply for health (travel) insurance prior to arrival in Brazil, covering the whole period of permanence.
Attention! GRADUATE STUDENTS visiting USP MUST hold an international health insurance in order to be officially enrolled as USP student and to receive the USP ID card and other local benefits.
The IAG-IO assists international visitors to start searching for accommodation or apartments, depending upon the period of stay. Undergraduate students may be assisted by the CCInt Homestay list of accommodation near USP campus.
We ask the visitor to write to firstname.lastname@example.org sometime before the departure from her/his home country. Although we can assist in getting the list of options, finding the right accommodation and housing, or signing the contract is of the entire responsibility of the visitor/student.
4. Driving License
According to the Brazilian driving license rule issued in 2006, the foreign driving license from a country signatory of the Vienna convention is valid for 180 days from the date of the visitor arrival. Therefore, we recommend the visitor to apply for an International Driver’s License (also called International Driving Permit) in your home country. Normally, this license is valid for the same period of the foreign driving license and it is written in several languages. Both documents must be carried together because the police official honors the driving license, not the permit alone.
If you are using your home country credit/cashing card, be aware that some cashing services are not available in all Brazilian ATM machines. Most of the 24 Horas ATM machines (red color) located in supermarkets and shopping centers may accept a large variety of international cashing cards, as well as some international banks such as HSBC, City Bank, but their branches are located mostly at commercial, business and financial areas, therefore off the USP Campus. Verify with your bank an alternative options if you are a traveler, such as Visa Travel Money Card, before leaving your home country. Banking open hours in São Paulo city are between 10 am to 4 pm.
1. RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro)
All foreigners need to present at the Immigration Federal Police (PF) office to obtain the mandatory registration and identification number (CIE Carteira de Identidade do Estrangeiro), within 30 days upon the arrival date.
There are two options to start the application to get registered (RNE), either in Sao Paulo city (Instructions: English | Portuguese), or if your arrival time coincides with the Federal Police office opening hours (8 am to 5 pm), you can start at the office located within the Guarulhos airport (Instructions: English | Portuguese). If you need any assistance, please, contact the IAG-IO secretary (email@example.com).
The IAG visitors (researchers and post-doctorate) are recommended to contact the IAG-IO secretary who will fill the forms and assist you in booking the interview date, prior to your departure to Brazil. Or you may access the instructions and list of documents and make the arrangements yourself.
2. CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física)
The next step is to obtain the CPF (Cadastro de Pessoa Física) number from Receita Federal (Tax Office) in order to open a bank account. To apply for a CPF number the visitor or student may do it at any Banco do Brasil branch, Post-Office or Caixa Economica Federal (outside the campus). Normally at the Post-Office is faster and less crowded. At USP Campus there is a Post-Office near the Museum of Archeology and Ethnology (MAE).
3. USP services and facilities
Long-term research visitors (lecturer or post-doctorate) also have access to USP facilities such as University Hospital, sports center (CEPEUSP), restaurants (COSEAS) and libraries. Please, contact the IAG-IO secretary to obtain a letter signed by IAG Director to be presented at these facilities and get the users card.
Undergraduate students MUST present themselves at the USP International Relations Office (CCInt) in order to be introduced to the university and where the staff will provide the information about: RNE, USP ID card, Portuguese language course enrollment, signing up for classes, get the student transportation card (Bilhete unico estudantil) and to the Home-Stay program.