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November 22, 2010

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polyana

i think the biggest problem and need to fill executive positions with ex pats in brazil stems from the fact that so few people here still have access to post graduate education. but then again, multinationals don't help because even when they assist in education for workers in Brazil, they only offer partial aid to English speaking MBA programs, for example, which run about R$100k a year... and to make that much here you probably need an MBA already. it's a vicious cycle and neither the government nor multinationals or large national companies help much!! but i do agree that having foreign workers in any country helps with innovation.

as for work visas in the US vs Brazil, i won't even comment bc you know how I get with that topic :-P

bz

In a way, the subject you’ve just brought up has been the bane of my youth; the inability to get a work visa in Brazil. I don’t care about moving to New York or L.A. To me those cities are overrated and are hyper-glorifications of all the things that bug me about the rest of the United States rather than any sort of escape from them, complete with a drastically higher cost of living. I just want to be in Brazil!

I quickly eyed the Yahoo article you linked to, and it seems that in saying that more foreigners are getting work visas in Brazil, it is exclusively talking about people with graduate degrees. This is understandable I guess. On a side note, I actually think the U.S. has more favorable visa laws for Brazilians; they can study and work, study and THEN work, etc. We give them lots of options whereas, what I’ve seen in my research is that in Brazil you are either strictly a tourist, strictly a student, or, if you get lucky, you are granted the coveted work visa.

I think more foreign workers in Brazil can only help because, unlike many of the foreigners who come here, they will be skilled. They will increase innovation and thus increase jobs for Brazilians.

I guess this is a good trend, but Brazil still has a long way to go. It is the most protectionist country in Latin America and is hurting itself and frittering away potential by being that way.

Does anyone have links to more articles or studies that support this trend?

The Gritty Poet

Disturbing revelations about Dilma Rouseff's past just flourished. Impeachment pending.

http://grittypoet.blogspot.com/2010/11/brazilian-president-elects-hidden-past.html

Simone

"The reality is that it's extremely difficult to get a Brazilian work visa."

Huh? Try an American work visa, Rachel!! Are you freaking kidding me?

Sure is hard to get a Brazilian work visa but it is nearly impossible to get an American one. Tell me and others like me about it. It is easy for you to get married and get a green card (which is already a lenghty process) than to find a sponsor and/or get the huge pile of documents approved by American "standards".

The issue with Americans complaining about things such as visa in Brazil always "puzzles" me. Americans are welcomed in most places around the globe although there might be xenophobia against some in Brazil and violence against them in some places in the world... but nothing compares to the treatment foreigners get in the US. I think that by stating this you simply point out the dirt on someone else's clothes, without noticing you have some stink dirt on your own. Although you do mention something about it in your post and I know you have written about the injustices of (illegal) immigration in the US, I don't get these type of statements in your post without mentioning the REAL issues from your own side. It sounds to me like a spoil and arrogant attitude. If I didn't know you, I would probably guess that's who you are. But I know you are nothing but very understanding and knowledgable of the cultural differences. You are the furthest thing from arrogant or spoil so I don't get your statement.

Perhaps you need to talk to more people with issues in the US to see what I am talking about? I have taught some executives and met some others in NY who had to live abroad for a extensive period of time (sometimes over a year) to get all the papers aproved. And we are talking here about MBAs from Columbia and NYU not just about anyone like me and any other less "resourceful" person. Even a former boyfriend of mine, from Italy, had to leave with its NYU's MBA because the work visa could not be extended simple because immigration did not feel like it.

I am not saying you should not criticize Brazil or Brazil's immigration policy but a honest look to your own country would only prove that Brazil even with its hard policy is still a heaven for foreigners seeking to work here. I know a few who are here, in Brazil, on a work visa who did not have a bit of trouble getting all documents done. I am teaching two of them now. In fact, one is here because he can't work to the largest financial firm in the world, from NY permanently. He has to travel back and forward every week until he gets all his paper work approved in the US. Nice, huh?

Simone

To bz

You also have no idea what is to be an immigrant in the US, do you?

Well, let me respond first to the issue in Brazil... Here we only give an option at a time, as you say, to foreigners because is mostly cheap to study here and if you want to work, you can actually do so with no papers (like most English teachers I know) and on a tourist visa or do it legally by applying through a company. It is a difficult process, but again why would an American, for example, want to work in Brazil (in the Brazilian workforce: as secretaries, analysts, etc.) when salaries here are so low?

Unless you are an executive (or even a journalist) or married to a Brazilian, or other specific circumstance, I see no major reason for you to want to work in Brazil. Although I understand why people want to live here. :)

On the brighter side, Brazil does treat investors (and retired foreigners) with open arms. So innovation can still happen in Brazil. I am not saying Brazil would not benefit from an influx of foreign labor by improving its work visa processes, but we are a protectionist country (more so than the US) just look at our import policies to see what I am talking about. I am not saying this is necessarily good but it helps to understand us.

On the US being flexible, you got to be kidding. I spent 10 years in the US on a visa, a student visa, because of your complex and mostly, inept, immigration system. In any other place, like Canada, for exemple, you go as a student, you change to work visa soon after, if you wish to work, or become a resident, if you wish to stay, in about 3-5 years period time. It is out of the question to spend 10 years in a country (by the way, after 5 years in the US you are considered a resident for tax purposes - talk about irony, huh?) without even a work visa!!

It is not a coincide, bz, that there are so many illegals in the US. The path for those like me who decide to do the "right" thing - that is to change status and stay legally in the US - does not reward us; it punishes us! Read my previous post to Rachel, if executives with MBA have a hard time imagine CUNY BA students or less (like AA Degrees) or foreign Degress in the US.

Just because you want to live in Brazil, or any foreign country, and you are an American, it does not mean that it needs to be easy. An just because you are a foreigner and want to live in the US legally, it does mean mean it needs to be an almost impossible mission. Think about it!!!

Eric

Simone,

I have to say I disagree with a lot of what you say...I'm also detecting some bitterness and anger in your comments. Sorry to hear that you've had visa issues. I'm sure it is a pain in the ass to deal w/ US immigration. Now let's look at some of your comments:

"Sure is hard to get a Brazilian work visa but it is nearly impossible to get an American one". Got any statistics to back that up? Tell me which country has more LEGAL foreign workers. And which country has more legal foreign workers NOT sponsored by multinationals? You could argue that our economy is bigger, but even adjusted for GDP I'm sure we still have more.

..."but nothing compares to the treatment foreigners get in the US". Really? I think you are confusing the desire to control our borders and limit illegal immigration w/ the actual treatment that foreigners receive here. You are also equating bureaucratic incompetence w/ mistreatment. I work in IT, and the number of Indian expats in the industry is just astounding. Yet they are generally accepted and treated as equals, even though yes, most of us would prefer working w/ fellow Americans. On my way to work each day I pass dozens of no doubt ILLEGAL Mexicans standing on the street corner looking for work. Nobody messes with them. In Brazil, on the other hand, while most of the people are fine to work with, there are always one or two "espertinhos" on a project that want to make the gringo look bad. It's part of your anti-colonial mentality.

"It sounds to me like a spoil and arrogant attitude. " No comment.

"...(sometimes over a year) to get all the papers aproved." Too bad. Took me over six months to get my V ItemV in Brasil, and then it was only good for 1 year when we requested two!

"If you want to work, you can actually do so with no papers". And you can't work with out papers in the US?

"why would an American, for example, want to work in Brazil" That's irrelevant to the argument. The fact is that some of us do, and it's damn near impossible.

"but we are a protectionist country" So you are allowed to be protectionist and we're not? Sounds like a double standard.

Check and mate, Simone. The original article was about the realities of foreigners working in Brasil. As is too often the case w/ Brasilians I have met, you turned the discussion into a rant about all that is wrong with the US immigration system. No one is saying that it should be easy to work in Brasil, or that they should always welcome Americans w/ open arms. But the reality is, as the blogger points out (nice job Gringa BTW) that it is extremely difficult for foreigners to find legal work in Brazil. Considering all of the people who try to work in the US LEGALLY, it's relatively much easier to get a visa here, if only for the simple fact that most of you are seen as cheap labor.


Simone

You are right, Eric, there is some anger and bitterness still from my experience in the US! But that's really nothing compared to the anger and outrage I feel when I see the injustices in the US in regards to Immigration - not really the issue on the post.

I absolutely detest to see how unfair it is to compare both systems, despite the ugliness that might still exist in Brazil's Immigration system. It pisses me off to see how people who have access to so many things in part due to oppression of so many others around the globe (like Americans) complain when they can't get one little thing the way they want it. It is like someone with plenty of food in the house, complaining he/she can't dine because there are not enough restaurants in his/her area. Deal with it! Learn how to cook, hire a cook, move to another place or open your own damn restaurant! Just don't come and complain about it as if you are going to die of starvation. Not sure if this make sense but I tried illustrating how unfair it is to complain of Brazil's work visa system... it is not like you can't live without it!

There is plenty of great things in the US, and plenty of bad (garbage). So it is in Brazil!! I can "hate" the America system for this particular issue or move on. I decided to move on. It is a fact that I am now in Brazil and very happily so. I don't resent the US as much but I am working towards whatever remaining anger issues I have and it is going well. :) But when I see comments such as those Rachel made, I can't help but get agitated. I have experienced first hand the cruelty of your system. Again, that says nothing about Rachel's character. She is an amazing person and writer but I do not agree with her all the time. This is one of the very few times I really do not agree and I hope I made clear why. Nothing personal, not against her or you or the US. It is just what it is.

Regarding stats, not sure if there is any but it is a fact that many foreigners are coming to Brazil. I see more an more people getting relocated here in work visas everyday. And, believe me, these people have plenty of food in their tables and do not have any issues dining at fine restaurants in their own town or elsewhere! You cannot compare this to the immigrant experience in America. We did not have enough in our tables to begin with... have you ever think about this? That's a major difference between you (an American) seeking to work in Brazil and a foreigner (let's say a poor Brazilian) seeking to migrate to the US.

Simone

By the way, Eric, just to address some of your questions/comments:

1. You are right about the Indians. That's the only case I can't see America being "impossible" on immigration. It is mostly due to one reason and one reason only: greed. It is cheaper and better for companies to hire them. That's mostly where all work visa caps goes to.

I did not understand the Mexican and Brazilian comparison on "espertinhos"... But I met plenty of illegal Mexicans and I can say with ease that they do not have an easy life. In some states, their lives are miserable, especially now. Again, comparing that to your experience is a bit extreme... But i hear your pain on some people's attitude here against foreigners. It is very common and it is part of the % of ignorant people every country has. I used to know plenty of these people and they acted like that with me or other Brazilians for no other reason than stupidity!!!

2. Sorry about your visa issue here as well. But if you stop to think about it, at least you got it, and that's a blessing! I did not even get a chance of that.. in over 10 years!!! By the way, Brazilian Immigration system is bad (I know) but there are plenty of other areas for citizens that are far worse. We have one of the most corrupts governments in the world. There is no real justice system in here.. and the list goes on and on so don't think I don't acknowledge our own problems. It is what it is. :(

3. Yes, you can work with no papers in the US. Of course! That's the whole issue with illegal immigration, isn't it? Now, what I meant, I think, is that if you really want to work here in Brazil you can always find other ways of doing.

4. Why is it irrelevant to talk about the reason you want to work here? I understand you like our country (hoping that is the reason why), and I appreciate it (actually love it - I am big fan of diversity), but do not think you were dying of starvation back in the US (supposing you are American) But even if you were having a hard time there, I still find your statement exaggerated considering you got your visa. The US system is so, but SO bad that it deports people with HIV even for someone with a green card! I have a dear acquaintance going through that right now. Imagine people like me who waited ten years or more to get a damn work visa!!! I would say that is a better use of "nearly impossible". Again, it does not apply to Indians. :O

5. I think, it is not a double standard because I was not trying to justify Brazil's behavior. I understand the reasons for the US to have some sort of filter and restriction. I am just saying that the way it is now in the US is completely insane. Here at least, we know is to protect (or so we think so) but in there is for profit only (in detriment of the need of the American people - thus, Indians getting more opportunities than Americans in the technology industry)

Btw, thanks for empathizing with me but I really think that as bad as my story was, it was not nearly as awful as some others I know of, or read about. I am glad I am finally done with trying to work (with a visa) in the US. 10 years was enough of trying.

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