Are you thinking about going to Brazil this year? If you are from the United States, Japan, Canada or Australia, then you should be aware of some significant changes that are coming soon. After a three-year visa-free policy, citizens of these four nations will be required to have a tourist visa to enter Brazil. The cost of the visa can range anywhere from $40 to $160 and is determined by the length of stay and the reciprocity fees.

Before planning a trip to Brazil, here is everything that United States, Japan, Canada and Australia residents must know.

Photo Credit: Ingo Roesler

Visa-Free Period In Brazil

In June 2019, former president Jair Bolsonaro got rid of the need for visas for people from the United States, Japan, Canada and Australia. This plan aimed to simplify the visa application process for tourists and business travelers visiting Brazil. It made traveling to Brazil more convenient and cost-effective at a time when the country aimed to boost tourism and attract more foreign investment.

After the visa waiver, the number of United States’ tourists visiting Brazil went up; however, it didn’t increase drastically from where it was before the change. In December 2019, during its peak, Brazil welcomed 36,615 American tourists to the country without a visa. The year prior to that, Brazil saw similar results with 37,376 United States tourists visiting the country.

However, both of those figures aren’t far from the results in 2012. With visas in effect, the country welcomed 31,301 United States’ tourists into the country.

Why Brazil changed its visa policy

The reason for the change is policy is simple: the Lula government wanted Brazilians to get the same treatment. Brazilians entering any of those four nations are still required to get visas. After the request to have Brazilians access countries without visas was denied, the government decided to revoke the visa-free policy for citizens of those countries visiting Brazil.

“Brazil does not exempt other countries from visitor visas unilaterally and without reciprocity,” Brazil’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated. They added that the government is ready to negotiate reciprocal agreements to waive visas.

When is it going to begin?

The tourist visa requirement will begin on Oct. 1. Before this date, United States’ tourists will be able to visit Brazil without having to obtain a visa, as long as they have a valid passport and return ticket. Any trips after that day will require tourists to apply for a visa.

How to apply

In order to get a visa, travelers first have to fill out a form online and pay the fee. Then, they must schedule an interview with a Brazilian consulate, and wait for the document to be released.

Brazil officially began allowing United States’ tourists to get electronic visas. If citizen’s opted for this option, then they wouldn’t have to go in person to Brazilian consulates to get the document. The visa costs $40 and could only be used for up to two years.

When applying for a Brazil visa, travelers have to send in documents along with their application. The documents depend on the type of visa and the country you are applying from; however, they always include a passport that will not expire within six months and has two blank pages, a receipt for the Brazil visa form, a passport-size photo, and a return flight ticket, and proof that you have enough money to cover the cost of your stay.

Learn more about the Brazilian tourist visa application process by clicking here.