The good news is that while it is preferred, a college degree isn’t mandatory for employment as a Teacher of English as a Foreign Language in Brazil. An internationally recognized TEFL certificate is mandatory though and must have been awarded from a reputable TEFL school.
The whole work visa process though is not so clear and we have received numerous reports from tefl online pro graduates who have made the move to the Land of Samba that the majority of schools try to dissuade teachers from going through the lengthy, bureaucratic process of applying for one. It seems that when a teacher does decide to apply for a work visa that the language school is required to jump through so many bureaucratic, expensive hoops that it just isn’t worth their time and energy doing so. The result of this is that many teachers choose, or are convinced, to teach on a tourist visa.
We never recommend teaching illegally, but if you do choose to then it is worth noting that citizens of Argentina, the EU, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia and Turkey can receive a tourist visa on arrival to Brazil which is valid for up to 90 days. Citizens of the US and other countries will need to apply for a visa before arrival and for this process we recommend applying for the evisa. The application for the evisa can be completed online and will grant you the same 90-day limit.
However, please note that whereas EU nationals and other nationals who can travel to Brazil and receive a visa on arrival can theoretically travel in and out of the country indefinitely, US nationals and other nationals who need to apply for the evisa can only enter Brazil once in any given year. This means that if you do need to apply for the evisa before traveling out to Brazil then we strongly recommend you research schools beforehand that will guarantee they will help you through the process of applying for a work permit.