Here’s some fantastic news for those looking to visit Brazil. While several countries in Latin America have charged high fees for Americans visiting (this is largely a matter of reciprocity), for many countries this simply came in the form of them charging you a hefty sum of money on arrival. Some countries have even undone that — for example, last year Argentina suspended their $160 visa reciprocity fee for US citizens.
Brazil is one of the few countries in the region that has required US citizens to get a full-on visa prior to their arrival. Not only that, but it’s pricey, at $160.
The great news is that this is finally changing. Starting in January 2018, Brazil will begin issuing electronic visas for US citizens (as well as Australian, Canadian, and Japanese citizens). The new process is valid both for tourist and business visas, and must be requested at least 72 hours in advance.
Here’s what Brazil’s tourism minister has to say about the change, per BrazilGovNews:
“The facilitation of visas aims to reduce bureaucracy and, above all, to boost the entry of foreign tourists into Brazil,” said Tourism Minister Marx Beltrão. The expectation by the Tourism Ministry, based on data from the World Tourism Organization, is that the measure will increase foreign tourist inflows to Brazil by up to 25%.
Brazil also plans to make it easier for citizens of other countries to get visas. For example, Chinese citizens still need to get five year tourist and business visas, though Brazil is expanding the number of visa centers in China from three to 12 at the beginning of next year.
I’ve been fortunate when it comes to Brazil up until now. Because I have a German passport, I’ve been able to visit Brazil without needing a visa. However, this is fantastic news for US citizens, given that you previously had to visit a consulate or use a service to get your visa in advance of your trip.
Here’s to hoping that Brazil sticks to their timeline here with implementing this, given that it’s not all that uncommon for there to be major delays when it comes to this kind of stuff, or even to see government officials change their minds.
Will Brazil issuing e-visas make you more likely to visit the country?
(Tip of the hat to No Name)