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Americans Will Need Visas To Enter Brazil Following Government Decision

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In a major overhaul of its immigration system, Brazil has decided to re-impose visa requirements on American tourists seeking entry to the country. The decision comes on the heels of Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, the country's new left-leaning President, taking office.

Panoramic View Of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

Americans had been exempt from requesting a pre-departure visa ahead of boarding a Brazil-bound flight since 2019, when former President Jair Bolsonaro formally revoked the country's reciprocity policy and allowed Americans – and on extent Canadians, Australians and the Japanese – to visit hassle-free.

Now, citizens of these four countries will no longer enjoy visa-free entry to Brazil:

Brazil Reinstates Visa Reciprocity

Close Up Of An American Passport Open On A Page With Several Entry Stamps, International Travel

Historically, Brazil has always applied reciprocity when it comes to visa issuance. This means that, as long as foreign countries grant visa waivers to Brazilian nationals, their own citizens would, in theory, be automatically entitled to visiting Brazil without applying for a visa.

Similarly to Mexican citizens, Brazilians need pre-issued tourist visas to enter or transit the United States, a measure that had led the Brazilian Government to impose a similar requirement on U.S. passport holders until 2019. Due to a political decision, this policy was then overturned in 2019:

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American Citizen Holding A U.S. Passport American Passport As They Wait In A Queue At The Airport

In a bid to boost the country's slow-developing travel industry, which hosts on average between 3.6 million and 5 million tourists per year only, former President Jair Bolsonaro ignored the reciprocation rule and enabled U.S. citizens to cross any Brazilian external border by presenting a valid biometric passport.

For the last three years, Americans enjoyed unrestricted access to South America's largest and most economically important nation, being granted a three-month stay upon arrival, which could then be extended for a further three months if the applicant so wished.

woman upset at airport

From 2023, the privilege is expected to be scrapped.

When Is The Visa Requirement Coming Into Force?

We don't know yet.

So far, the Brazilian Government has not yet established a date for the implementation of the new visa requirement, though based on local news outlets, it could happen at any point in the next few weeks or months. The absence of a precise date is already leading to widespread uncertainty.

Ipanema Beach In Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

Americans – and Canadians – who have booked vacations in Brazil to be undertaken this year now are unsure whether they'll be eligible for a visa waiver prior to departure, as the reciprocity rule could be re-applied with little warning. To add to their woes, Brazil is yet to lift pandemic-era border rules, continuing to mandate that non-vaccinated Americans get tested.

As we have stated previously, these factors contribute to its classification as South America's least tourist-friendly destination – not to mention a lacking infrastructure and exceedingly high crime levels across a majority of densely-populated urban centers, including tourist hotspots like Rio, Sao Paulo, and Salvador.

Panoramic View Of The Lacerca Lift Viewpoint Overlooking The Atlantic Ocean In Salvador De Bahia, Northeastern Coast Of Brazil

Brazil is still home to stunning nature, encompassing a pristine Atlantic coastline, humid Atlantic forests, epic waterfalls – think Iguazu, 1/7 of the wonders of nature, and of course, the Amazon rainforest. Brazilians are also some of the most kind-hearted and welcoming people in the world:

While you shouldn't let your guard down in big state capitals, you will find locals are genuinely interested in befriending and getting to know you and introducing you to their diverse culture, molded both by Portuguese-Iberian and African influences, and they will go out of their way to ensure you have a cracking time.

travelers drinking together

The only major downside, regrettably, is the way politics have been handled for years, regardless of the incumbent President. Brazil remains miles behind other far more developed tourist destinations in the Latin World, such as Chile or Mexico, and instead of opening up further, it is slamming doors shut.

In 2019, following the visa waiver announcement, the number of American tourists vacationing in Brazil increased by 12% compared to the previous year, proving the relaxed approach to borders has the potential to benefit the local tourism sector.

Panoramic View Of Ouro Preto, Minas Gerais, Brazil

How Will Visa Applications Be Handled?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has already warned Brazilian Embassies abroad that the reciprocation measure will be reinstated, requesting that they contact the relevant authorities in all four countries affected – the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan – to inform them about the decision.

Once the new requirement is in place, should the new visa policy be that of a physical visa, Americans will be expected to find a Brazilian Consulate that's nearest to them in order to submit an application formally. An extensive list of documents attesting to the purpose of their visit and a visa appointment will be required.

Visa application

At this point, we are not able to inform you how visa applications will be processed or whether e-Visas could be brought in instead to make the process smoother. It is worth reminding Americans continue to be subject to health restrictions entering Brazil. They must either be:

  • Fully vaccinated; or
  • Present a negative pre-departure test

European Union citizens (EU) and British nationals, and a vast majority of other nationalities are not affected by the new visa rule as Brazilian citizens can enter both the EU and the U.K. visa-free. In total, there are 171 countries (out of 195) Brazil has signed a visa-waiver agreement with, facilitating international travel for both Brazilians and nationals of those states.

Tourists Walking The Cobblestone Colonial Streets Of Pelourinho, In The City Of Salvador, Capital Of The Northeastern State Of Bahia, In Brazil, Latin America

In Australia's case, Brazilians are eligible to request a simpler visa that is issued digitally via e-mail, but we're not sure yet whether the Brazilian Government will allow Australians to submit applications via the same less-cumbersome route.

When it comes to visa-waiver agreements between Brazil and third parties, the United States is not of them.

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This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


Tuesday 14th of March 2023

Very good my president Lula! Before waiving visas is important to have a plan of flights to Brazil from USA. As a Brazilian and American is hard to find a good flight to Brazil or Buenos Aires. There are many destinations to choose from west coast to travel...Hawai, Asia, Europe, Caribe...most of this places with non-stop flight. Brazil must behave as well others countries treat Brazil.


Wednesday 19th of July 2023

@Davi, bad to impose visa to those countries. Leftist Lula messed up. The real reason is they want money.


Sunday 12th of March 2023

i don't think my country, Brazil, should ask for visas for these nationalities, even that we need visas to go to their countries. It's a totally different situation. Reciprocity would be if we all offer the same, and we dont. They actually come to brazil with the true purpose of their visa, while many Brazilians, not all, but enough, overstays their visa and immigrate instead... If no visa was required to Brazilians, it would be a caos. Plus, we dont have the same security, infrastructure and logistics, so, if it's not the same to offer, it's not reciprocity, and we will lose with that as these tourists contribute greatly to the local economies of Brazil, plus we have to compete with Caribbean countries, who doesn't require them a complicated visa. That's terrible for our tourism, and I strongly disagree with that. That is simply pride and arrogance, I am sorry guys.


Sunday 26th of March 2023

@raquel, I appreciate your honest and humble comment about your country's policy on this. My fiancé is Brazilian and this will greatly affect our ability to see each other as often as I have been able to fly over there. I agree with your statements and admire your humble assessment of the situation.


Saturday 11th of March 2023

Silly liberals, if you want to make it a hassle for tourists from wealthy nations to come to your country you're gonna lose far more of what they're spending in your country than you will ever make on visa fees.


Sunday 26th of March 2023

@Jon, I will certainly be backstopping for their economy and other things. Putting visa restrictions on US Citizens and those other countries will only filter out the many who used to be able to enter freely. I have been there 3 times to visit my fiancé. I wonder if they will filter me out because of our relationship just as they did her the two times she applied for a tourist visa to USA? Nobody knows for certain but that is my concern


Thursday 9th of March 2023

I'm going there on Sunday, if I knew about the stupid mask mandate I would have never booked!! The new left gov is going to destroy Brazil just like Biden has destroyed the US.


Friday 11th of August 2023

@Greg, last year I went to Brazil and a fiance there. You do not need to wear a mask anywhere. Just at the time it was mandated for to put a mask on from Houston to San Paulo. After that you can have the mask off totally in the airport when I made my way through San Paulo and then all the way to MCz


Thursday 20th of July 2023

@Ryan, the USA is DESTROYED? Bcuz of Joe Biden? REALLY??? Yet you have the freedom & opportunity to TRAVEL to BRAZIL....hmmmm!


Tuesday 18th of July 2023

@Tom, I was there in November had to wear a mask from passport control until you got out of the airport. I was there last month didn't have to wear a mask anywhere.


Sunday 26th of March 2023

@Ryan, Me and my two sons were there March 12-18 and no masked were required. When I was there in December, masks were required on the LATAM flight but that was it. Seems they have relaxed a bit. Also, nobody ever asked for proof of COVID vax or negative tests. This last time was like a free pass on everything. Event customs and immigration went by quickly


Sunday 12th of March 2023

@Ryan, Hi, welcome to Brazil! The masks are not going to be required everywhere, maybe in one place or other, and please take it off everytime you have a chance! I hate it too!


Thursday 9th of March 2023

You forgot the cost!


Sunday 12th of March 2023

@Dana, They have't formely announced yet, so it's unknown but most likely it will cost 160 dolars for Americans, and 80 dolars for other nations. Based on how much it costs for Brazilians to travel to your country. Don't take me wrong, I don't agree with that, I think its very stupid to ask these countries to do visas... Tourism is gonna feel it for sure, too sad.