News that Brazil is re-introducing visa requirements for American citizens for the first time has been circulating online since the Latin American giant elected its new President last year, but after conflicting information, more details have finally been divulged.
Unlike what was previously reported, Americans will not need a full visa – the one that must be obtained via a Consulate and it’s stamped on a passport – in order to enter Brazil. Instead, they will be eligible to apply for an online visa.
Here is all we know so far:
Americans Will Need A Digital Visa To Enter Brazil From October
From October 1, U.S. passport holders traveling to Brazil will require a ‘Visto de Visita’, or ‘VIVIS’, which stands for ‘Visitor Visa’ in Portuguese.
This is due to the reinstatement of Brazil’s reciprocity policy, which was suppressed during Jair Bolsonaro’s Government as the country sought to boost international tourism. Now that the Lula da Silva administration is once again in power, that unilateral decision was reversed.
Come October, countries that have not signed visa-waiver agreements allowing Brazilians to enter visa-free will suffer new visa requirements. This includes the United States, Canada, and Australia.
Previously, Japan was also set to be included in the non-visa-exempt list, but as of this week, Brazil and Japan have signed a visa-waver deal enabling Brazilians and Japanese citizens to travel between both countries without applying for tourist visas, thus exempting Japan from the change.
U.S. citizens haven’t been as lucky, as the United States continues to require Brazilians to ask for a tourist visa to enter, so from October, the same will apply to them.
How Will The Digital Visa Work?
It will enable them to stay in Brazilian territory for up to 90 days as tourists or on business trips. According to the Brazilian Government, ‘the modality of the electronic visa, which was in force before the unilateral exemption, will be adopted‘.
This means the process can be fully completed online without the need to submit an application at a Brazilian consulate, attend interviews, take fingerprints, or have an actual visa sticker affixed to your passport.
As long as Americans fulfill the visa requirements, such as submitting a return or outbound ticket to be redeemed within 90 days of their intended entry into Brazil and paying the visa fee, they should be issued the document without any issues.
Based on other online visas Americans are subjected to, such as Turkiye’s or Vietnam’s, the questionnaire may include personal questions relating to the purpose of travel, occupation and/or financial resources.
How Much Will The Visa Cost And How Long Will It Last?
Unless the visa fee is reduced, Americans could be required to pay up to $160 online to get their visa approved, seeing that Brazilians must pay an equivalent fee to obtain visas to travel to the United States, as per pre-2019 rules, though that is yet to be fully established.
Additionally, Americans are reminded their passport must have 2 blank pages, regardless of online visa approval, or they may get denied entry arriving in Brazil, as per international travel rules.
They may be expensive to obtain, but online visas for Americans could be issued for up to 10 years, similar to American visas issued to Brazilians for tourism purposes. For now, this is speculation, but judging by Brazil’s current approach, the likelihood of visa duration reciprocity is high.
If you are an American national and you have a trip to Brazil booked between now and late September, visa-exemption rules still apply, as the VIVIS regulation is only being enforced from October 1.
From that date, unless you hold a valid online visa, you will not be allowed to board a Brazil-bound flight, even if it’s a short layover and Brazil is not your final destination.
At this minute, we do not have any information on processing times or how early in advance you should apply for a visa, but we recommend you do so up to a month in advance or even earlier if you’re due to fly to Brazil after the implementation date.
Measure Only Applies To Americans, Canadians, Australians
Mexican, Japanese, European Union, United Kingdom, and New Zealand nationals, as well as much of the Western World, Asia, and the Global South, are not affected by the VIVIS requirement.
Once again, only U.S., Canadian, and Australian citizens are impacted by the change.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com