Starting today, March 21, refugees who live in the state of São Paulo will be exempt from fees for validating a foreign graduate or postgraduate diploma. Law 16,685 of March 20, 2018 has now been signed by Governor Geraldo Alckmin and will undergo a 30-day regulation period.
This is a long-time demand of civil society, since the cost of this process is very high and prevents refugees from practicing their profession in Brazil. As a result of the new law, the exemption now applies to graduate, postgraduate, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral diplomas.
Equipped with diplomas that have been certified in Brazil, refugees can enter the job market in their field of expertise. According to the NGO Compassiva, which works in partnership with UNHCR to validate the diplomas, 43 diplomas were certified in Brazil in 2017, of which 12 were requested at São Paulo universities.
“It is an important measure that needs to be adopted by other states. Enabling diplomas to be validated not only contributes directly to the integration of refugees, but it also allows qualified professionals to work in various areas in the Brazilian labor market,” said Camila Asano, coordinator of programs at Conectas.