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Brazil Delays Start Date of New Visa Requirement for U.S. Travelers

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Brazil’s government has once again postponed the start date for tourist visa requirements.

For the past five years Brazil has waived visa requirements for some travelers, including those from the United States, as a means to boost tourism to the country. However, in mid-2023, the South American nation announced it was changing course and would soon require nationals from the United States, Canada, and Australia to come equipped with an e-visa to enter Brazil.

Originally, the newly reinstated visa requirement was scheduled to go into effect on October 1, 2023, but it was pushed back until January 10, 2024, then until April 10, 2024, and now again until April 10, 2025.

The Brazilian Tourist Board said the reason for the postponement was due to needing additional time to “complete the process of implementing the requirement system e-visa and prevent the change from interfering with the flow of tourists from these countries to Brazil during the high season.”

When it goes into effect, the e-visa will cost $81 per person and will be available online at brazil.vfsevisa.com. Once obtained, the electronic visa will be valid for 10 years for U.S. citizens and for 5 years for Canadian and Australian visitors, allowing for multiple entries within that time frame.

According to Brazilian authorities, the processing time for the new e-visa will be up to five business days. However, “we strongly recommend that you apply for your e-visa two months before your travel to Brazil,” authorities advise in the FAQ portion of the e-visa website, noting that applying two months in advance will allow for adequate time to complete the application and correct it, if needed.

To obtain the e-visa, you will simply go to the website and register. You will need to provide the required personal information and passport details. For minors, an e-visa application will need to be completed by one or both parents. Then you will be prompted to pay the fee. After, an email will be sent confirming whether your application was approved, rejected, or if additional documents are needed. If approved, a pdf file containing your e-visa will be emailed to you. Travelers should download and print their Brazil e-visa to present to authorities during boarding and upon arrival in Brazil.

Brazil authorities advise printing two physical copies of your e-visa and also capturing a screenshot of it on your mobile device.

Unlike a consular visa that requires an in-person visit to an embassy or consulate, the e-visa process will be entirely online and will not require an in-person appointment.

In a press release, the government said the reason for implementing the visa requirement is that the United States, Canada, and Australia don’t currently offer reciprocity, meaning that Brazilian nationals have to apply and pay for visas to enter those three countries. In the United States, that means Brazilian travelers are required to make an appointment at their nearest embassy, prove they have the means to pay for their trip, and pay $185 for a U.S. visa, even if they are just transiting through the country.

Since 2019, citizens from those three countries, as well as Japan, have been allowed to visit Brazil for business or pleasure without a visa, provided they stay less than 90 days, with the possibility of an extension of up to 180 days. (In 2016, Brazil temporarily waived visa requirements to encourage travelers to visit around the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.) Between November 2017 and June 2019, travelers from those countries needed to apply online for a tourist visa, which cost $40 plus a $4 service fee. (Prior to November 2017, the cost was $160 and required a visit to a Brazilian consulate or visa center.)

In a statement, the Brazilian government said it would continue “negotiating visa exemption agreements with these three countries, based on principles of reciprocity and equality between states,” so there is a possibility that the new visa requirement would be waived if the United States, Australia, and Canada were to throw out their visa requirements for Brazilians.

Brazil and Japan have already reached an agreement: Japanese tourists can continue to travel to Brazil without a visa, and Brazilian visitors will be able to go to Japan visa-free.

Last year, the European Union also decided to postpone its pretravel registration program, also known as the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), after hitting several roadblocks. It is now slated for sometime in the first half of 2025, at which time any U.S. citizen who wants to travel to the 27 member countries of Europe’s Schengen Area will need to register with ETIAS ahead of time or risk being turned away at the border.

This story was originally published in September 2023 and was updated on April 23, 2024, to include current information.

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