Tourist Visa for Brazil
Credit: mjpyro

If you are a citizen of the United States and plan on traveling to Brazil, you will need to obtain a tourist visa before you are allowed to enter the country. In fact, you will need one before you are allowed to leave the US for Brazil because the airlines check your passport before you are allowed to board. They have a vested interest in insuring you are properly documented because the airlines themselves are fined by the Brazilian government if they deliver Americans to their doorstep without a proper visa.

The good news is that for most American citizens, they are very easy to obtain. In most cases it is simply a formality if you follow the correct process.

Do I Need to Use a Passport or Visa Service?

Brazilian Tourist Visa
Credit: mjpyro

No. Well, it depends. If you are pressed for time and need an expedited visa, you will have to go through one of the commercially paid services. There is a fee outside of the Brazilian visa and processing fee of course.

However, I would only recommend this approach if time is an issue. If you have planned your vacation or expected trip in advance, you will have plenty of time to obtain a visa, particularly if you are fortunate enough to live in an American city that has a Brazilian consulate. There, you can apply in person and typically receive your visa on the same day if you brought the proper documents and forms with you.

Additionally, hiring a 3rd party to apply for your visa will add to the total cost, usually doubling the cost. But more importantly, it gets you no advantage with some consulates because they do not offer an expedited or rush service, so my advice is to plan in advance and do it yourself.

How long does it take to receive my Visa?

Normally, the processing is done in about a week, however, during busy times such as spring break, North American summer months and South American summer months, it is recommended that the application be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the intended departure date.

Most consulates do not offer “Rush Services” so agencies advertising this may simply be taking your money for nothing.

What if I don't have a Brazilian Consulate in my city?

Brazilian Consulates are geographically spread out within the USA in major cities. Each has a jurisdiction that it covers, typically several states in the region.

If you do not live in a city with a Brazilian Consulate, you can mail your application and all of your documents to the right office and they will process your request and return it to you in about a week. It is recommended that you use FedEx or UPS and track your package to the consulate.

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What do I Need to Apply?

Brazilian Visa Requirements
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There are several documents you will need to apply for a Brazilian visa.

  • A Valid US Passport with at least 6 months of eligibility and 2 blank pages left open
  • A signed Visa Application Form available any consulate’s website
  • 1 recent 2" x 2" color passport-type photo showing the full front view of your face
  • Copy of your driver's license or utility bill to prove state residency
  • Copy of your airline tickets
  • US Postal Service Money Order for Consular fees

Do not attempt to take a selfie and send that in with your application. It needs to be a professional looking photo typically obtained at Walmart, UPS stores, mailbox stores or most US Post Offices. There is a specific measurement of your head and shoulders in these photos so go and pay to do it right or your application is likely to be denied because of an incorrect photo submission. Typically passport photos cost between $10 - $20.

Non-Typical Situations

  • If you have traveled to the following countries in the last 90 days, you will need a certificate of immunization for Yellow Fever:

Angola, Benin, Bissau Guinea, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guiana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda or Venezuela

  • If you are staying with a friend or family member in Brazil, or participating in a conference or seminar, you will need a notarized letter from the individual or the organization. However, this is not a typical situation for most.
  • If you will be staying in Brazil for longer than a month, your visa application may come under increased scrutiny so you may be asked to provide additional documents such as financial documents as well as an explanation for why you will be in the country so long. However, relax because it is not an interrogation.  

How do I Apply?

In-person – If you are applying to a local consulate, you will need to setup an appointment and take all of your documentation with you.

By mail – If you do not have a consulate in your city, you will have to send your actual passport with all supporting documents to your regional consulate. The Brazilian visa is permanently stamped into your passport on one of your blank pages. It is recommended that you send via FedEx or UPS or another courier with traceable packages.

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When does the visa expire?

Brazilian tourist visas are typically valid for up to 10 years from the date of issue. You are allowed to stay up to 90 days per visit to Brazil and a total of 180 days per year in the country as a tourist.

However, once your visa is issued, you have 90 days to enter the country or the visa is void. So make sure when you apply, your airlines tickets and hotel reservations are within that time frame.

Types of Visas

How to get a Brazilian Visa
Credit: mjpyro

In addition to tourist visas, there are several other types of visas that allow you to work or stay in the country longer. However, these will require additional documentation and are much harder to obtain.

  • VITUR - Tourists visiting friends/relatives, sightseeing or unpaid participants in conference/competition
  • VITEM I  - Researchers, Scientists, Exchange Students, Volunteers and to receive medical treatment
  • VITEM II - Business visa to participate in business meetings, represent your company in a trade expo or to adopt a Brazilian minor
  • VITEM III - Professional Athletes and Artists performing at an event or competition
  • VITEM IV - Students and Interns
  • VITEM V - Workers and Trainees
  • VITEM VI - Media correspondents
  • VITEM VII - Missionaries and Clergymen
  • VIPER - Permanent Resident Visa
  • VIRET - Temporary Resident Visa for Nationals of Mercosul
  • TE - Temporary Special Visas (for those going to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup 2014
  • VIDIP/VISOF/VICOR - Diplomatic, Official and Courtesy Visas

How much does a tourist visa to Brazil cost?

The processing fee for an American citizen is $160. If submitted by a 3rd party, there is a $20 processing fee on top of whatever you are paying the service.

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Location of Regional Brazilian Consulates in the USA

Washington, D.C. Brazilian Embassy
3006 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20008-3634
(202) 238-2700

Consular Service
3009 Whitehaven Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20008-3634
(202) 238-2828
Jurisdiction: District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia

Consulate General of Brazil in Boston
The Statler Building
20 Park Plaza, Suite 810
Boston, MA 02116 
(617) 542-4000
Jurisdiction:_Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont

Consulate General of Brazil in Chicago 
401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 3050
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 464-0244
Jurisdiction: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin

Consulate General of Brazil in Houston
1233 West Loop South,
Park Tower North, Suite 1150
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 961-3063/64/65
Jurisdiction: Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas

Consulate General of Brazil In Los Angeles
8484 Willshire Blvd., Suite 730 / 711
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Phone # (323) 651-2664
Jurisdiction: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, U.S. Pacific Islands (Johnston, Midway, Wake, Howland, Jarvis, Baker, Palmyra & Kingman), California counties of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis 
Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura

Consulate General of Brazil in Miami
80 SW 8th Street
26th Floor
Miami, FL 33130-3004
(305) 285 6200
Jurisdiction: Florida,  Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands and the Bahamas

Consulate General of Brazil in New York
1185 Avenue of the Americas
21st Floor
New York, NY 10036-2601
(917) 777-7777
Jurisdiction: Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Bermuda

Consulate General of Brazil in San Francisco
300 Montgomery Street, Suite 900
San Francisco, CA 94104 
(415) 981-8170 
Jurisdiction: Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and California counties of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Ladera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benedito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislau, Sutter,Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolunme, Yolo and Yuma 

Brazilian Consulate General in Atlanta
3500 Lenox Road, Suite 800
Atlanta, GA 30326
Phone: (404) 949-2400
Jurisdiction: States of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee.