Brazil Dropping Visa Requirements For US Citizens

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.

Bottom line

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.

Comments

  1. So u guys should make it mutual. US is not quite easy to get a visa for. Not even to mention trying to get through immigration.

    The other day I was in Europe and saw in Amsterdam that US citizens can get through e-gates and are not harassed by immigration officers as long as no alarms ring. Would be nice to visit the US wit a similar mechanism. Apart from my last trip to LAX where I was through in less than a minute, usually disaster strikes after the flight has landed.

  2. As a Brazilian, I’m very happy about this move. The reason we historically require visas from US citizens is purely a reciprocity policy. It doesn’t make sense: I’ve never heard of US citizens trying to illegally immigrate to Brazil. Conversely, lots of Brazilians try to do so to the US. So it seems to make sense for the US to require visas, while it makes no sense for Brazil to reciprocate, just for the sake of reciprocating (while losing potential tourist income).

  3. Brazil has always been on my list of places to visit. However, there are so many other countries that don’t require a visa that Brazil fell to the bottom of the list. Now, I may have to reconsider.

  4. This is great news. Everyone I know who has been there has a “getting my Brazilian visa” story. Usually it ends with “I had to cancel/reschedule my trip”

  5. Thanks for the heads up Lucky. – This is great news for me as my significant other is from Brazil.

  6. not here. i have a Brazilian-visa-free passport on top of my US one and yet have zero intention of returning anytime in the next 5-10 years for leisure purposes. GIG is one of those once-and-done places.

    Checked it off my to-do list, now onto places that actually matter and actually welcoming to tourists.

  7. So does anyone know what to do with an existing tourist visa? I have one in my passport valid for five more years.

  8. As an American who spends half his time in Brazil and in a relationship with a Brazilian I can say this is great news. The old Visa system was a pain for sure. I have not used the new e-system as my old visa is still good (life of the passport).

    For my significant other though the process for her to renew her U.S. Visa is always anxiety filled. Especially since she is a self-employed artist. The interviews and demands for personal information are never pleasant (I think women get the worst of it). This, despite her numerous trips back and forth showing that she has no past intent to stay in the U.S. with trips that never go beyond three weeks.

    Finally, for tourism, yes..despite my dislike in general for Bolsonaro (could the world please discover centrist politics again) there is a lot to be said for pulling Brazil closer to the U.S. With a lot of new and planned hotel and resort developments in Brazil (Fasano, Four Seasons, W, and more) there will be a growing desire to discover a country that has largely been ignored by U.S. travelers (maybe more due to safety concerns which is highly overblown). The options in the country are truly staggering (Amazon, Trancoso/Bahia, Thousand of miles of beaches, fantastic architecture, exciting urban areas like Rio, S.P. and B.H. – as well as the largely overlooked southern areas like Florianopolis. Mix that in with a rich culture, a gentle and genuinely fun people, cheap beer, great food, and easy/cheap flying throughout the country and it’s a win for any style of traveler. Further, while one may need to use common sense caution in the larger cities it’s not nearly as bad as legend has it. Outside of those cities there is virtually no concerns at all and is probably safer than the U.S.

    Here for a month now and looking forward to trying on this trip a resort south of Maceio that is a sweet spot with Marriott. It’s called Kenoa and came with Design Hotels into into the program. Just one of many unique hotels that have opened in the past few years…with many more to come.

  9. “Brazil’s new president (who is conservative)”

    You misspelled “fascist”.

    You misspelled white privileged murderer.

  10. I doubt it would have any effect on your existing visa.

    Not some place I want to go to, especially given what the new president has planned and is already doing.

  11. the misogynist, homophobic president who recently signed a decree relaxing gun laws sucking up to his bff Whilst there are tens of millions of wonderful Americans it’s about time Europe introduced an e visa / esta type system at a fee. Europeans have to apply for an esta and pay $14. It has to be reciprocal. Sadly There are thousands of Americans who overstay, work illegally and try to get free medical care

  12. On one hand, I don’t mind an inexpensive visa if there’s a nice stamp or sticker. On the other hand, it’s so much easier without visa. The worse is an electronic visa that you have to pay and then have no stamp.

    Visa do discourage travel. I have never traveled to the People’s Republic of China because it’s too much trouble and expense to get a visa. I know there are ways to get around it, like LAX-PVG-NRT ticket instead of LAX-PVG-LAX. In contrast, I have been to the Republic of China on Taiwan, which doesn’t require a visa.

    I know Brazil required a visa to retaliate against the US which requires a visa for Brazilians. However, the US waives visas for countries that don’t send a lot of illegal aliens to the US. Argentina was iffy. Norway is not. No Norweigian wants to sneak into the US because Norway has plenty of oil money.

  13. Debit has said it well enough in a previous comment: facist would be the word to describe him.
    If you are a member of the LGBT community, you should know Brazil has the worst numbers of hate crimes against us in the world, and to add insult to injury Bolsonaro is a homophobe himself! However, big cities have a vibrant LGBT community. Brazil is full of contradictions. If you can navigate them you can have a great exprecience here.

  14. Brazil waived visa requirement during the Rio2016 olympics but not sure if it actually increased tourism due to all the media attention on Zika virus and violent crime in Brazil.
    For me this is a good development since I’m a US passport holder but not sure if it will significantly increase US tourist numbers in Brazil.

  15. Before, I would have been uncomfortable visiting Brazil, even if it was visa-free. There just weren’t enough guns in private hands to ensure that I would be safe during my stay.

    But since Bolsonaro also plans to make sure that there is easy access to firearms for all, I guess that things will be a lot safer now. In that sense, the timing of this new visa policy is perfect!

  16. I’ll echo what numerous other commenters have said.

    The new President of Brazil is, indeed, a fascist. He also vehemently opposes LGBT rights, and is about as pro-women as the men of The Handmaids Tale (I’m reaching, but the sad part is I’m not reaching by much).

    I have always noticed that European passports, Australian passports, and NZ passports have been able previously to enter Brazil without a visa, but if the reason why Americans are getting visa-free passports is because of a new president like this one, then I’m gonna have to throw up in my mouth a little bit.

    Glad you’re bringing this to our attention, however, but also, the man is disgusting.

  17. As others have pointed out, one may think it’s “unfair” to have a situation where countries do not experience full reciprocity of visa-waivers. However, the most common method for illegal immigration into the US is to enter legally (usually visitor or student) and never leave. Visa waiver countries are chosen primarily based on how many overstays and visa denials. The simple fact is that people tend to move from poorer countries to richer ones. As such, the richer ones will have tougher visa regimens against the poorer ones.

  18. 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.

    Just to say, but you do know that it cost $160 for a Brazilian to apply for a US Visa, right? And that is a non-refundable amount, if the US government decide to give you a visa or not, you pay that amount. Considering the economical situation of the country, $160 would translate to almost R$640, that’s more than 2/3 of the minimum wage of Brazil. Also, you need to go to the US consulate to get your visa, a consulate where you are not allowed to take a cellphone or any kind of eletronic inside (iPad, laptop etc). And no, there are no lockers provided at the consulate, you just have to make your whole day about going to the US consulate. All of that, and when you land in the US you are also allowed to be subjected to a random selection to be questioned about your reasons to be visiting the country, even when you are coming in legally with a visa.

    So please, don’t tell me that Brazil makes it hard for Americans to visit. The name is reciprocity.

    (PS: the new president is a fucked up person)

  19. All of you sitting comfortably in your American suburbia sipping lattes virtual-signal by denouncing Bolsonaro, repeat ad nauseam soundbites from our mainstream media… You think you know better than Brazilians who voted for him, after the continuous failures of left-wing socialists Lula and Dilma?

  20. As an American who has visited multiple times, I welcome the attempt to bring the countries closer together. At the same time, Brazil needs to work on its own internal security and clean the streets of the armed robbers, muggers and vandals before they can expect an influx of tourists. It’s sad when I visit my own family in Bahia and we have to be home before dark behind locked doors as multiple family members have been robbed at gunpoint in various parts of town.

    Brazil, as beautiful as you are, is not safe.

  21. As soon as I saw you write the political affiliation of Brazil’s president, I knew you were going to get a bunch of comments from angry yahoos aghast that Brazilians would dare to vote for any non-socialist. Such predictable faux outrage. Bwa ha ha ha ha.

    Anyway, the US really needs to make this reciprocal. Since I lived in Florida, I’ll tell you what it’s like. When Brazilians come, they bring the whole (extended) family. Imagine owning a hotel and getting a reservation for 4 rooms instead of one. What else? Brazilians come for weeks. Imagine owning a hotel and getting reservations for 3 weeks instead of a 3 day weekend. For years, maybe a decade, Administrations of both parties have been trying to get Brazilian tourists in without visas, but Congress, both parties, won’t budge. Now it’s time to reward Brazil with reciprocity.

  22. “You think you know better than Brazilians who voted for him, after the continuous failures of left-wing socialists Lula and Dilma?”

    1) Even if one finds previous presidents to not have been bad, are we not allowed to point out the problems of the current president?

    2) “The People” have elected some very terrible people across the world. Just saying commentators have no ground to stand on because they don’t live in Brazil is a sad and unconvincing argument. Give us some facts – show us how we are twisting his policy goals and his bigoted statements out of context.

  23. Mexico, please follow suit. (There’s no visa requirements for American tourist but the departure tax adds up quickly if you like to visit a few times a year)

  24. @Franklin
    “1) Even if one finds previous presidents to not have been bad, are we not allowed to point out the problems of the current president?”
    The alternative would be Bolsonaro’s opponent, Haddad who is another Marxist just like the two previous presidents = more of the same disasters for Brazil.

    “2) “The People” have elected some very terrible people across the world. Just saying commentators have no ground to stand on because they don’t live in Brazil is a sad and unconvincing argument.”
    Not saying there is no ground to stand on, just out of touch and unrealistic to Brazilians’ day-to-day concerns. Notice everyone here was just turned off by his fiery rhetoric, while Brazilians are more occupied with fighting murder, crime and corruption.

  25. My travel is discretionary, so I absolutely take visa requirements into consideration. Hence, I have avoided Brazil for years, even picking 2 cruises that didn’t leave from Rio.
    No I MIGHT consider a trip there.

  26. omg these people complaining about the President don’t even LIVE IN BRAZIL! Get a life. He’s the BEST thing to happen to our government in YEARS. So get off your American high horse, you got your own government problems to deal with.

    Regarding this move, it’s simply FANTASTIC news. But the US should follow suit and eliminate Visas for Brazilians as well. It’s so expensive, time consuming, and difficult to do the whole VISA process for Brazilians.
    Brazilians are always in the Top 5 of nations that most visit the US and bring in TONS of $$. Miami and NY is the playground for rich brazilians. They should see value in that and tone down restrictions for Brazilians.

  27. Sick and tired of people such as Debit making comments in every post about their political agenda. This is a travel blog! Not a political forum. Please go elsewhere with your political left leaning rants!

  28. @CMorgan

    His is not commenting, he is trolling.

    Debit previously credit used to post far right rants, before suddenly shifting to left leaning rants.

    Simply put he/she/it is a Troll with a capital T.

    Best thing is to just ignore.

  29. I have avoided Brazil as a potential place to visit because of the the visa. Basically the same for any country without VOA for US citizens. This is a good move for Brazil tourism.

    It’s unfortunate for Brazilians that it’s not reciprocal, but the country is a major source of visa overstayers.

  30. Add me to the ‘until Crime is controlled I won’t be visiting’ camp. In fact they could offer me money to go and I wouldn’t. I had friends working there in the 90’s and wouldn’t. I’ve been all over the world; but won’t go anywhere that has a safety issue (excluding petty pickpocketing, etc). Would love to the the Pyramids in Egypt; nope. Cape Town – no.

    Happy travels everyone.

  31. Yes on the other hand for us to get a visa for United States is really painful. I have a 10 years tourist visa and I even lived there (legally In the past) but I am now “renovating my visa” and just preparing documents took me around one week and completing forms the whole day. I sent my passport to the embassy and after a week no answer I called today and a nasty person told me: “I can not tell you when you get an answer, it can takes two days or three weeks” and if I need my passport I asked… “call us and we will see if we can do something”… That plus how nasty is immigration there even just to transit, I have been in line for 2 hours with just 30 people ahead of me, and this even when I am from Costa Rica (a country with no many problems) .. I try to avoid at all cost connecting in USA but sometimes tickets are just very cheap. It is funny to see americans complaining about visas or immigration procedures in other countries. How funny that I actually prefer to transit in Brasil than in US

  32. About 30 years ago Canada dropped the visa requirement for Brazil for 3 weeks. Every nonstop flight(only 4 a week then) was filled with Brazilian citizens who claimed they were being persecuted as Christian Scientists. Some were Christian Scientists but the large majority were as usual economic immigrants. It was re imposed 3 weeks later. I’d hate to think how many Brazilians would try to enter the USA in 1 day with all the flights there are now between the USA and Brazil. This would make Trump’s wall look like small potatoes.

  33. PEOPLE….. this is a travel site not a political one. It is so sad that some people only look at politics for all their decisions, and are offended by every perceived offense. Narrow minded. The people of Brazil did vote for their new president. It is who they wanted.

  34. Hopefully all the new tourist $$ will go to the middle/lower economy class people and not to his rich friends/family/cronies like the Trump’s!

  35. I find it amazing that absolutely nowhere we can talk about anything without everyone expressed their extremely polarized political opinions. Really, what has a politician’s likes and dislikes to do with our travel? Why can’t we just talk about travel here and join a political forum for our political vents?
    Homo carentiam sapiens is what we are becoming.

  36. Glad the visa requirement is dropped. Hopefully I’ll go to Machu Picchu next year as well as Brazil so I can check them off my bucket list and finish off this part of the world!

  37. Now that Bolsonaro has been elected, I would be happy to visit Brazil even if the old visa requirements were still in place. Make Brazil Great Again!

  38. Pretty good move by Brazil. The reciprocal thing is dumb. @Ricardo gets it. Now, maybe I’ll risk my life to visit some of their natural wonders.

  39. So glad I got to visit Rio, Iguassu Falls and Salvador Bahia back in the late ‘80’s when it was a (relatively) safe destination. It is lovely but I wouldn’t go now.

  40. I’m Brazilian, I was at USA less than a week ago. Besides the inconvenience, I completely understand why we need a VISA. Is understandable that people wants to run to a better place, and to stay like that, Americans must protect themselves.

    I completely agree what my fellow said and i quote him bellow.

    “As a Brazilian, I’m very happy about this move. The reason we historically require visas from US citizens is purely a reciprocity policy. It doesn’t make sense: I’ve never heard of US citizens trying to illegally immigrate to Brazil. Conversely, lots of Brazilians try to do so to the US. So it seems to make sense for the US to require visas, while it makes no sense for Brazil to reciprocate, just for the sake of reciprocating (while losing potential tourist income).”

    https://onemileatatime.com/brazil-dropping-visa-requirements-us-citizens/#comment-4110139

  41. Ha.
    If anyone come to Brazil, please don’t argue about politics.
    People here aren’t passionate about it, in this last election, they became obsessive about it.
    It’s even worse than soccer.
    Just take your plane, go to Rio de Janeiro, enjoy some caipirinhas, churrasco and the beach.
    Watch some conflict between police and drug dealers, get mugged. Maybe kidnapped for the full experience.
    Then you go to Sao Paulo and realize that LA have not that bad of traffic congestion.
    After that you can go northeast for some of the most beautiful beaches. And if you still have some money in your wallet, get robbed again.
    Or you can go south and visit Cataratas do Iguaçu.
    Maybe I should create a tour called “The Full Brazillian Experience”.

    Just kidding (not about politics). I love this country

  42. Yes, to all of you touting the horrific crime, the inevitable of being mugged, knifed, or mudered while locked in your mediocre hotel with horrible food and terrible people waiting to rip you off….it’s MUCH better to avoid Brazil entirely. DON’T COME TO BRAZIL.

    Leave the redemptions all for me for flights and hotels. Let me have the beaches free of your pasty white legs. I will get the best tables at the finest restaurants in Rio and S.P.. I’ll even get timely Uber pick ups. And, finally, I can drink caipirinhas in peace with friends as we agonize over the lack of Americans in Brazil.

    Or, if you dare….https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LStfYE-3ApA. COME TO BRAZIL!!

  43. Why is it that whenever someone believes in traditional marriage they get called a homophone I don’t understand. I am one who believes in traditional marriage due to my faith yet am in no way a homophobe I have a brother who’s gay and several clients who are gay and I have never treated them different from anyone else but have shown nothing but respect and love.

  44. My wife and I loved our visit to Brazil. The Brazilian people we met were welcoming and warm. Our voyage up the Amazon (Recife to Manaus) was awesome. And Rio is always beautiful (except for the favelas). If Brazil lifts the visa requirement, that’s fine, but our 10-year visas are good until 2024.

    Brazil is the largest economy in South America, and the 6th or 7th largest in the world. It is a top-10 trading partner of the U.S. We should encourage trade and tourism with Brazil, by placing it on the list of visa waiver (I-94W) countries.

  45. Ronaldinho Gaucho – While I’m not American, yes I do know better than you moral cesspits who voted for him. Ditto with those who voted Trump. You’re all vile.

  46. @Leeza1 While I assume you wrote that to be humorous, please dont scare the readers of this blog who will think thats the daily reality in brazil. Ive lived here for over 20 years and have been pickpocketed ONCE. Thats it. Nothing else. And im 6’2 and white as they come lol.

    If you can, COME TO BRAZIL!

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