Have you ever dreamed about going to Brazil?
Its powdery white-sand beaches, fauna & flora, colonial heritage, festivals, night life... etc will build memories to last a life-time.
Still, as a foreigner you may have to apply for a tourist visa, in order to visit Brazil. As Brazil has a reciprocal visa policy, you will have to go through the same procedures Brazilians would have when visiting your home country. The same goes for visa fees. If your home country charges visa fees for Brazilian visitors, Brazil reciprocates with the same amount. US citizens, for example, require a tourist visa (and may apply for it electronically), whereas citizens of EU member states don't need a tourist visa when visiting Brazil.
Applying for your Tourist Visa
There are three ways to apply for a tourist visa, in person, through a visa agency/expeditor or by mail, and are granted to foreign individuals who plan to engage in the following activities while in Brazil:
- visiting friends or relatives
- participating in seminars, trainings...
- taking part in amateur sports competitions
When you apply for a tourist visa, usually the visa application form consists of four data sections.
- General Data: full name, sex, marital status, date/place of birth, nationality and parents' full names
- Documents: data about your passport *
- Occupation: profession, employer and work address (as a student you may include the address of your education facility)
- Addresses: permanent residence, current address and contact address while in Brazil (hotel)
* Make sure your passport has two blank visa pages side by side (excluding pages reserved for amendments and endorsements) and is valid for at least six months beyond the date of your intended arrival in Brazil.
Many a times the Brazilian Consulate also expects to see proof of onward/return travel with your visa application, like in the form of your airline reservation or return ticket. You will need one 1 recent passport photo for your application form.
When traveling with kids to Brazil certain additional rules apply. Any child under the age of 18 traveling with one parent only must have a notarized statement from the other parent. Kids traveling on their own, or a third-party, must have a written travel authorization signed by both parents (or legal guardian) to enter, leave or travel within Brazil.
Depending on your home country, the visa application procedure may take quite some time, which is why you should submit your visa application as early as possible. The fastest and hassle free method, if available in your home country, is through a professional visa agency.
Validity of Visa
Usually you are eligible for multiple entries during the first 12 months following the issuance of your tourist visa, up to the total amount of 90 days within the country. And remember, being a tourist visa you cannot engage in any paid activity, conduct any type of business...
Customs and Immigration
Upon entering the country you have to present the filled out cartão de entrada/saida (entry/exit card), also known as immigration form, which was given to you on the airplane. It will be stamped by an immigration official at the airport. Same goes for your passport.
Make sure it is stamped and that the rightmost number (next to the date of entry) is 1. 1 stands for entering the country whereas 2 means you're leaving it. If for some reason, you are not granted the usual 90 day period for your stay, the permitted number of days is written underneath the word prazo on your stamp.
Don't lose your immigration form, as you have to present it upon leaving the country. Visitors without this form will have to get clearance from the Brazilian Federal Police (Polícia Federal) in order to leave the country. At times you even have to pay a fine, though this is at the discretion of the local immigration official.
Legally you can stay in Brazil up to 180 days per year on a tourist visa. As issued tourist visas normally have a 90 day limit, you can apply for a one-time extension of 90 days, at the nearest Polícia Federal station (unless there is a restrictive note in your visa), while in Brazil. Make sure to apply for any extension request at least 30 days before your day-limit expires.
Usually there are several shops next to the local station of the Polícia Federal selling the required forms. Fill them out and present them at the Polícia Federal office with your passport, entry/exit card, proof of passage out of Brazil (like airline ticket) and proof of sufficient funds (credit card, traveler checks...).
Whenever a country changes their rules for Brazilian visitors, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs swiftly adjusts. This is why visa regulations change quite frequently. Check with the Brazilian Embassy and/or Consulates in your home country to determine the best approach for you, as applying for a tourist visa may be almost instant in some countries, while processing can take up to 15 business days at others.