The Brazilian Validation of my Ph.D.

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I’m still months away from being validated. But at least 95% of the paper work is in. It was easy, really:
-Sent Diploma and full academic transcript to Brazilian consulate in Houston (closest consulate to graduating institution). $10 verification.
-Had documents sent to Brazil. $93
-Had said documents verified by a notary: $11
-Documents translated by an “official” translator: $217
-Paid fee to the “validating” Federal University (UFRJ) in my case: $41
-Handed-in documents to UFRJ!
-Realized that they also want a verified copy of my Undergraduate degree (how do you get a Ph.D. without an undergrad degree?).
-My wonderful mother rips my McGill B.A. out of a beautiful frame and sends it Fedex to Brazil. $175
-Notary public certification of McGill degree: $4
-Explanation of all of my Ph.D. courses in English: time cost- 5 hours.

I hope this helps some people who will have to go through the same process. I still have to go hand in these two last items.

The most dreaded part of this process was visiting the cartorio (notary) repeatedly. Cartorio’s are an archaic, costly, and unfair Brazilian institution, which –unbelievably– are allotted on a concessionary basis to private citizens. Owners of Cartorios make fabulous profits off of sticking government stamps on your paperwork. The government undoubtedly makes off like a bandit as well. I am amazed how these feudal institutions –a universal tax on Brazilians– have survived, especially given what Brazilians think of them.

A tired older lady in the cartorio lineup the other day told me in no uncertain language how depressed these places made her feel. Lineups are perennial, and the listless enthusiasm of cartorio staff is undoutedly reminiscent of 1979 East Germany.

Cartorio certified: now a real letter to be taken seriously.
Cartorio certified: now a real letter to be taken seriously.

You have to obtain certification for just about everything. I sent a letter to the Federal Police because of a missing document they said they had sent me. As a precautionary measure, I certified the letter (above). I am seriously considering taking a picture of my wife and me into a cartorio and having it certified. The first step to true validation…right?

1 Comment

  • The process for the validation of foreign diplomas can be divided in three steps.

    Step 1: Authenticating documents in a Brazilian consulate abroad

    The process starts in the country where the diploma was issued, where the person will enter with a request to authenticate the required paperwork in a Brazilian consulate. Documents required to be authenticated by the consulates:

    Copy of the diploma
    Identity document or passport
    Complete academic record
    Program content of the academic courses attended, including the hour load and bibliography
    All documents issued in any country abroad must be legalized by a Brazilian embassy or consulate located in the country in which they were issued. France is an exception, as this country has a bilateral agreement with Brazil that exempts the authentication of public documents.

    Step 2: Sworn translation

    The second step is to check which of those documents will requested to be translated to Portuguese. It is the Brazilian public institution in charge of the process that will determine which documents will have to be translated.

    Step 3: Initiating the validation in a Brazilian university

    In Brazil, only the public universities (state or federal) are responsible for the re-validation of foreign degrees. So the first step is to find an institution that has a similar course as the one attended abroad. Normally, the Brazilian universities require a 70% equivalence in the subjects attended and hour load. Check the list of all the Brazilian public universities per region here.

    In most of the universities’ websites it is possible to check the courses available, their hour load and program content. The higher the similarities between the program contents, the higher the chances the diploma will be successfully validated in Brazil. Therefore, it is important to analyze and carefully compare both academic curricula.

    After picking the institution, the applicant must enter with a requirement for validation of foreign diploma (revalidação de diploma estrangeiro) in the selected institution. Each university will have a different process of application and evaluation. The more equipped ones provide requirements to be filled and sent online. In others, it is necessary to request the validation in person.

    The Ministry of Education did not establish specific rules for evaluating the equivalence of the degrees, which means that the universities have the autonomy to impose their own conditions. Also, the applicant will be submitted to the payment of some administrative fees that vary from university to university to initiate the process. This initial fee goes around BRL 50.00 to BRL 100.00.

    After the inscription, a special council related to the career chosen will be formed to analyze the case. The possible results are:

    Equivalence in full: the validation was completely approved and the applicant do not have to go through further steps.
    Equivalence in partial: the universe will require the applicant to attend some exams to prove his knowledge (in Portuguese) or request him to course additional school credits to get the diploma validated. The exams and the credits will be charged with fees, whose values vary from institution to institution.
    Non-equivalence: the validation was denied. In this case, the person can try another university or course to get his diploma validated. There is no way to contest the non equivalence. After the equivalence was obtained successfully, the person will obtain a diploma from the Brazilian university where the process of validation was conducted. pediatra medico doctor Foreign post-graduation validation: follows the same procedures above, but the degree is more likely to be validated than the graduation diplomas, as its curriculum is more specific.

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