Travel to Brazil requires a visa for citizens of many countries. There are certain rules that must be followed to obtain a visa, but Brazil has recently announced a visa waiver program for the Summer Olympic Games in 2016. Here's what you need to know about visa requirements, visa extensions, and visa waivers in Brazil.
1) Visa Waiver Program for Summer 2016:
The Brazilian government recently announced a visa waiver program that will temporarily waive visa requirements for citizens of four countries.
This program allows citizens of the U.S., Canada, Japan, and Australia to visit Brazil without a tourist visa from June 1 through September 18, 2016. Visits will be limited to 90 days. Citizens of these countries normally need to apply for a visa in advance.
The purpose of this program is to encourage tourism to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, which will take place in Rio de Janeiro beginning on August 5, and the Summer Paralympic Games, which take place from September 7 to September 18. Henrique Eduardo Alves, Brazil’s Tourism Minster, has stated that the visa waiver program should result in a 20 percent increase in visitors from these four countries. This seems like a sound strategy to counter a possible decrease in tourists heading to Brazil for the Olympics due to the problems in Olympics preparations and concerns over the Zika virus.
Tourists from many other countries, including those in the European Union, Argentina, South Africa, and New Zealand, already do not need a visa to visit Brazil (see below).
2) Visa Requirements
Tourists from certain countries, including the United States, Canada, Australia, China, and India, are required to obtain a tourist visa before traveling to Brazil. American citizens need a visa to enter Brazil because Brazil has a reciprocal visa policy. U.S. passport holders must apply for a visa in advance and pay a $160 visa fee.
However, as stated above, citizens of the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan will not need a visa if they plan to travel to Brazil from June 1-September 18, 2016.
Important: When you enter Brazil, you will be given an embarkation/disembarkation card, a paper that will be stamped by the immigration officer. You must keep this paper and show it again when you leave the country. In addition, if you want to extend your visa, you will be asked for this paper again.
3) Visa extensions
If you want to extend your visa in Brazil, you may apply for an extension of an additional 90 days through the Federal Police in Brazil. You must request the extension before the expiration of the authorized stay. With an extension, tourist visa holders are allowed to stay in Brazil a maximum of 180 days over a 12-month period.
When applying for a visa extension, you will need to do the following at the Federal Police office:
- show proof of sufficient funds
- fill in an application
- provide current passport and embarkation/disembarkation card
- show a return airline ticket
- provide a completed Requerimento de prorrogação de estada form
Federal Police offices are located at all major airports. More information about applying for a visa extension in Brazil can be found here.
4) Other types of visas:
There are several other types of visas for Brazil:
Short-stay business visa:
This short-term visa is for people who plan to visit Brazil for business purposes, for example for the purpose of attending a business fair, establishing business contacts, or speaking at a conference.
Temporary residence visa/work visa:
Those wishing to live and work in Brazil must apply for a temporary residence visa. To do so, a job offer from a Brazilian firm must be secured first, after which the company must apply to the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Labor. Such a visa application needs at least two months to be processed. Visas will also be issued to the employed person's spouse and children.
For those wishing to obtain permanent residence in Brazil, there are seven categories of application for a permanent visa, which allows the visa holder to live and work in Brazil. These categories include marriage, family unification, business executives and professionals, investors and retired people. People from other countries who are over the age of 60 can apply for a permanent visa if they have a pension of at least $2,000 USD per month.