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Brazil will now require visas for citizens of U.S., Australia, Canada and Japan

The Charlotte Observer 3/21/2023 Roshae Hemmings, The Charlotte Observer

If you’re planning on traveling to Brazil any time after October 1, there’s new documentation you’ll need in order to visit the country. The Brazilian foreign ministry announced that the country is reintroducing the tourist visa requirement for Canadian, American, Japanese and Australian citizens.

The decision overturned a move by former president Jair Bolsonaro, who removed the need for visas for citizens who were visiting from the four nations in 2019. The logic behind visa-free entry into Brazil was twofold: one, it aimed to simplify the visa application process for tourists and business travelers, and two, it would increase tourism to the country by reducing travel costs associated with purchasing a visa.

This visa-free period, however, didn’t bolster the number of tourists visiting the country as hoped. In December 2019, Brazil welcomed 36,615 American tourists to the country with the new visa-free policy in place. According to Travel Noire, the country welcomed 37,376 American tourists in the previous year. These figures are also on par with 2012 numbers — with a visa requirement in effect — as 31,301 American tourists visited the country.

In the press release, the foreign ministry also attributed its reasoning behind this decision to lack of reciprocity when Brazilian tourists visit any of the four countries. Despite allowing Canadian, American, Japanese and Australian citizens to visit Brazil without visas since 2019, the four nations still required Brazilian citizens to get visas in order to enter the respective countries. A request was made to allow Brazilians access to the countries without a visa and was denied, acting as a driving force for the country to reinstate its visa policy.

“Brazil does not exempt other countries from visitor visas unilaterally and without reciprocity,” Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. The country is, however, open to negotiating reciprocal agreements to waive visas.

The visa requirement won’t be enacted until October 1. Any American tourists with a valid passport and return ticket will be able to enter the country without a visa prior to that date.

For those who are planning to go to Brazil once the visa requirement is in place, you’ll need to fill out an online form, pay a fee, and schedule an interview with a Brazilian consulate. American tourists are allowed to obtain electronic visas, though. If you choose this option, there’s no need to go in person to a Brazilian consulate to obtain the document.

To apply for a Brazil travel visa, travelers need to send in their documentation along with the filled out application. Documentation will vary depending on the country you’re applying from, but will always include a passport that will not expire within six months and has two blank pages, a passport-size photo, a return flight ticket, financial proof that you can cover the cost of your stay and a receipt for the Brazilian visa form.

To learn more about Brazil’s visitor visa application process, visit here.

Roshae Hemmings is an arts and culture magazine journalist from St. Louis, MO. A graduate from the Missouri School of Journalism, Roshae has bylines in the Columbia Missourian, Vox Magazine and 5280 Magazine discussing topics ranging from pop culture, social justice and eat and drink. She is a foodie at heart and enjoys eating food as much as learning about the story behind it. When she’s not working on a story, Roshae enjoys cooking, watching and analyzing reality TV, and spending time with family and friends.

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