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.
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.
Fortunately in January we learned that there was further good news on this front, as it was revealed that the country planned to eliminate the visa requirement for citizens of the US and other countries. At the time an exact date hadn’t yet been provided on when this would be implemented, though that has finally changed.
It has been announced that Brazil will eliminate the tourist visa requirement for visitors from the US, Canada, Australia, and Japan, as of June 17, 2019.
This comes ahead of Brazil’s new (conservative) president meeting with Trump for the first time today, as he’s visiting Washington. He’s 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.
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 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.
The US doesn’t plan on exempting Brazilians from the tourist visa requirement for visiting the US, though.
I’m thrilled to see Brazil make it easier for those from the US (and other countries) to visit. 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.
(This is an update to the previous post from January when this was first announced, given that an official date has now been provided for this being implemented)