Brazilian Students Suffer from Portugal's Outsourced Visa System

Students complained of a lack of information, late visas and even withheld passports


Portugal's new visa processing center in Brazil, announced in March as a way to expedite the issuance of these documents, is not coping with growing demand.

On the eve of the beginning of the school year in Europe, students - the main users of the system - reported missing information, delays, and even withheld passports.

Students at the Algarve University - Reprodução

Private company VFS Global operates the outsourced service.

Over the past five months, without fuss, Portuguese consulates in Brazil have been no longer accepting study visa applications at their premises. Now they forward applications to outsourced posts.

On social media and internet sites such as Complain Here, reports of communication difficulties, delays, and deadlines diverge.

The delays in issuing visas for students have been recurring for at least three years, accompanying the increased interest of Brazilians in pursuing higher education in Portugal.

In recent years, Portuguese universities have been pressuring the government to speed up processes. Portugal has invested in a strategy of internationalization of its universities, and the Brazilian market is the main target.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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