I appreciate any time that a country eliminates barriers to visiting, both in terms of cost and convenience. In my opinion you shouldn’t have to pay for the privilege of spending your tourist dollars somewhere. If you do have to pay, countries should at least make it easy for you to give them money. Since I’m sure someone will bring this up shortly, yes, I take issue with how hard and expensive the US makes it for people from many countries to visit.
Brazil is a country that has historically made it difficult for Americans to visit. Visas were both expensive and complicated, as you needed to go to a consulate to get a visa.
Fortunately they made that process easier in early 2018, as Brazil began issuing electronic visas for US citizens. Not only did this make the process easier, but it also made it possible to get a visa for $40, rather than the previous cost of $160.
The current electronic visas are valid for two years and multiple entries, though you can’t stay more than 90 days per visit.
Anyway, there’s further good news on this front. Brazil’s tourism minister has said that the country plans to eliminate visa applications for US citizens. While an exact date for this hasn’t yet been announced, it sounds like they’re planning on implementing this soon.
This is part of Brazil’s new president (who is conservative) hoping to boost the country’s tourism sector, which has been lagging for years. He came into power on January 1, and this is part of his plan for the first 100 days in office, so hopefully it will be implemented by early April at the latest.
Brazil’s new president also wants to get closer to the US otherwise. As the tourism minister explained:
“The left has treated the United States as an adversary, but not our government. President Bolsonaro wants to embrace the United States as a partner of Brazil.”
Brazil also hopes to eliminate visas for Australians, Canadians, and Japanese, though an exact timeline hasn’t yet been given yet.
Brazil currently gets about 6.5 million foreign tourists per year, and by 2022 they’re hoping to nearly double that, to 12 million tourists annually.
Like I said, I welcome any initiatives that make it easier for people to travel, and this will represent significant time and money savings, and encourage people to go.
I’m lucky to have a German passport, which wasn’t subjected to the visa requirement, but I know a lot of others will benefit from this.