Every traveler agrees that you should visit Brazil at least once in your life. The fifth-largest country in the world is also the biggest in South America, with a coastline that touches almost 8,000 kilometres. It’s a popular destination for hundreds of thousands of vacationers each year who are in search of unique cultures, beautiful beaches and trips to the Amazon.
Moreover, as Brazil boasts good transport connections both within the country and internationally it’s easy for tourists to plan a trip here. There are numerous direct flights to Brazil from North American cities such as Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Toronto, Washington, D.C. and more. Most flights go to either Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro, and from there you can easily find a connecting flight to other cities.
Of course, as you plan a trip to Brazil, you must learn about the tourist visa requirements and Brazil’s entry policy. Fortunately, Brazil’s government initiated a visa-exempt regime in June 2019 for dozens of nationalities including Americans, Australians, Brits and Canadians. If you are ineligible for visa-free entry then you must apply for a Visitor Visa (VIVIS).
In this article, we will explain the entry requirements for visitors who are visa-exempt and for those who will need a Visitor Visa. Make sure that you follow Brazil’s visa policy and sort out your paperwork before you go!
Visa-Free Countries to Visit Brazil
If you are a citizen of any of the following countries or territories, then you will be visa-exempt for when you visit Brazil. If this is the case, all you will need is a valid passport and then you can stay here for up to 90 days per trip. Below is a list of the visa-exempt countries:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Costa Rica
- Czech Republic
- El Salvador
- Hong Kong
- South Korea
- New Zealand
- Saint Kitts and Nevis
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
- San Marino
- South Africa
- Trinidad and Tobago
- United Arab Emirates
- United Kingdom
- United States
- Vatican City
If you are exempt then you are permitted to enter Brazil for activities including arts and sports (so long as they are unpaid by Brazilian sources), business, tourism and transit. If this is the case, then it’s really easy to enter Brazil and you can just focus on planning the fun parts of your journey!
Brazil Visitor Visa for Non-Exempt Nationalities
If you require an entry pass to enter this top South American destination, then you must make a formal application for what is called a VIVIS or Visitor Visa. Similarly to visa-exempt nationalities you are permitted to enter for up to 90 days with a VIVIS for activities such as non-remunerated arts and sports, business, tourism and transit.
A Visitor Visa is normally valid for one year and permits multiple entries, meaning that you can enter and exit Brazil repeatedly during that time. To apply for a VIVIS you will require the following supporting documents:
Brazil Visitor Visa Requirements
- A filled in application form.
- A passport valid for at least six months and with at least two blank pages.
- A passport photo that meets ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) standards. Passport photos taken at US pharmacies usually meet these standards, though just in case, here are the requirements: 35mm x 40mm in size, a recent photo taken within the last six months, the photo must show the top of your shoulders and your face, your face should occupy 75-80% of the photo, your face must be visible with a neutral expression and you must look straight at the camera, have a plain white background with no blurs or glares or shadows, no headgear must be worn unless for religious purposes and this should not cover your face.
- A receipt of payment of the fees (see below for more details about these).
- Proof of adequate funds to cover your stay such as bank statements from the past three months.
- Proof of your accommodation in Brazil.
- Return or onward transport tickets.
- A personal cover letter explaining your trip to Brazil, what you plan to do here and how your trip will be paid for.
- *You may need to submit other documents at the embassy’s discretion.
Brazil VIVIS Application Process
You can apply for a Brazil Visitor Visa through the embassy or consulate of Brazil in your country. Fortunately, since September 2021 you can apply using Brazil’s online e-consular platform, although be aware that the process may vary based on where you live. Here are the steps to follow:
- Find the closest Brazilian embassy in your country or neighboring country. Make contact to learn about the requirements and documents needed.
- Make a visa appointment. You can do this online in some countries. Meanwhile, gather the required documents for the Brazil visa application.
- Complete the Visitor Visa application form online, and fill in all the information accurately and carefully to avoid any errors. Submit your visa photo and electronic copies of the required documents.
- Get the confirmation number, print your application form and attach the visa photo to the designated spot.
- Visit the embassy on the date of your appointment and submit all the documents and your application form to the consular staff. You may be allowed to send the documents via mail.
- Pay the Brazil visa fee as per the methods permitted at your embassy. Usually, you can pay via check, money order, or credit or debit card. The visa cost differs depending on your nationality. For example, Angolan citizens pay $180 USD, Algerians pay $85 USD, while Chinese citizens pay $115 USD.
- Wait for the embassy to process your application. The processing time for a Brazil visa depends on each embassy, although typically it takes 10 to 15 working days. You will be notified when your application is accepted or whether you will need to try again.
Then, visit the embassy to receive your visa or request to get it via mail. Once you have your entry pass you will be free to catch your flight and enter this fantastic destination!
Other Useful Tips for the Brazil Visitor Visa
- If you are planning to extend your Visitor Visa, check with your local Brazilian consulate as extensions are not available for every nationality.
- The Federal Police Department in Brazil grants visa extensions that allow you to stay longer. The total stay can’t go beyond 180 days in 12 months.
- Brazil doesn’t require you to have a yellow fever vaccination to enter the country. Equally though, it’s recommended to get the vaccine if you are planning to visit certain states such as: Acre, Amapa, Amazonas, Distrito Federal, Goias, Maranhao, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Para, Rondonia, Roraima and Tocantins.
- Minors traveling alone or with one parent require permission from each parent to travel to Brazil. Fortunately, though, no written authorization is needed if the minor travels with both parents.
- If you are taking more than 10,000 BRL (Brazilian reals), you must declare this at customs to enter Brazil. To do this, submit the details of the currency amount to the Brazilian Federal Revenue Office through the electronic form before your trip.
- You don’t require a transit visa to Brazil if you have a connecting flight booked on the same ticket or if you have no plans to leave the airport’s international area. Notably, though, this exclusion does not apply to the airports of Curitiba (CWB), Porto Alegre (POA), Florianopolis (FLN) and Salvador (SSA).
- The requirements regarding COVID-19 to enter Brazil change frequently, so be sure to check these at the nearest embassy ahead of your trip.
- Be sure to apply for your Visitor Visa well in advance of your journey to ensure you receive it in time. After all, it’s valid for a year, so this gives you a large window of time to apply for your entry pass. Follow the steps outlined here carefully and it’s sure to be a smooth and simple process.
To summarize, you now know whether you are visa-exempt for Brazil (or not) and how to apply for your Visitor Visa. Keep this information on hand and whether you’re exploring the beautiful Jalapao State Park, heading to the gorgeous island of Fernando de Noronha or visiting here before you move to Brazil permanently – have an excellent time!