Validation of foreign diplomas to be free for refugees in São Paulo
Refugees living in the state of São Paulo will be able to validate their university diplomas, without paying any fees, at state universities.
Rio de Janeiro - Refugiados do Congo e de outras nacionalidades que vivem no Rio se unem na torcida pela equipe de judocas de refugiados, na sede da Cáritas (Tânia Rêgo/Agência Brasil)
Immigrants living in the state of São Paulo with refugee status will be able to validate their university diplomas, without paying any fees, at state universities.
Approved on December 27 by the São Paulo State Legislature, Bill 557/16 drafted by state legislator Carlos Bezerra Jr. applies to graduate, postgraduate, masters, doctoral and post-doctoral diplomas.
To be recognized in Brazil, university diplomas awarded by foreign teaching institutions must be validated by a Brazilian public university that offers the same or a similar course certified by the government. The high cost of this process, however, is an obstacle for people who are economically worse off, which is often the case for refugees.
“Refugees come here motivated to contribute to the local society and they are often unable to work in their field because of the difficulty validating their diplomas,” said Camila Asano, coordinator of programs at Conectas. “This law represents one less barrier and it facilitates the inclusion of these people who come to the country to flee extreme situations”.
The bill still needs to be signed into law by Governor Geraldo Alckmin, but it has been well received by organizations that work with immigrants. In a letter, several organizations including Conectas have asked the governor to sign the law with no vetoes.