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08/08/2017 - 17:14hs

São Paulo city hall offers free course to immigrants

The ‘Open Doors’ project makes free Portuguese language lessons available to all immigrants notwithstanding their status in Brazil. Emphasis will be placed in the city’s east and north areas.

Press Release

A poster with information on the course

São Paulo – Enrolments are open for the Portas Abertas (Open Doors) project, which offers free Portuguese language courses to immigrants. Enabled by a partnership between São Paulo city’s secretariats for Human Rights and Citizenship and Education, the program targets immigrants, stateless individuals, refugees and foreigners regardless of status in impoverished areas in north and east side São Paulo.

According to the Secretariat for Human Rights and Citizenship, the courses will be taught in ten municipal schools and will last four months, give or take. The neighborhoods covered will be Canindé, Casa Verde, Santana and Vila Maria, in the north side; and Cidade AE Carvalho, Cidade Satélite Santa Bárbara, Guaianazes, Mooca, Parque Cruzeiro do Sul and Tatuapé, in the east side.

The secretariat said in a statement that the chosen regions are ones with “high social vulnerability, an undersupply of Portuguese courses and home to the bulk of São Paulo’s immigrant population.”

Courses will be 90 class-hours, divided into basic, intermediate and advanced levels. Students will undergo diagnostic assessment to determine their current language skills. Enrolments began on July 20 and have been extended until August 28, on which date classes will begin. Candidates can go to the schools where lessons will be taught to enroll and for date and hour information. The secretariat notes that priority will be given to night classes.

ID types accepted for enrolment include application for refugee status or Foreign National Registration (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro - RNE), the RNE itself, labor card or taxpayer ID (CPF) issued in Brazil, or documents issued in the candidate’s country of origin, such as passport, ID card or any other official ID. Proof of residence is not required. Candidates can state their address in filling out a form onsite at the schools.

Enrolment forms are available in English, Spanish and French, but according to the secretariat the course is available to speakers of any language. The course and learning materials are made available to students free of charge.

Quick facts

Open Doors Project: Portuguese for Immigrants
Enrolment open until August 28 at participating schools
Find out more: Immigrant Support and Reference Center in São Paulo (Referência e Atendimento para Imigrantes - CRAI) +55 11 3598-7200

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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