In terms of foreigners entering the country, Brazil practices a policy of reciprocity. This means that if your country requires Brazilians to have travel visas, you will have to get a visa from the nearest Brazilian consulate before entering Brazil. To date, citizens of Canada, the United States, and Australia require visas. Citizens of the United Kingdom (and other European Union countries) and New Zealand don’t need visas, but do need a passport that is valid for six months and a return ticket. Upon arrival, you’ll be given a 90-day tourist visa, if the trip does not exceed 90 days. Further information is found on the Brazilian Foreign Ministry,MRE.
Citizens from Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay and Venezuela may enter the country with a valid ID card and stay up to 90 days,because they all make part of Mercosur.
Various types of visas are available. What differs is the cost, processing time, and documentation. Currently, a single-entry tourist visa that has validity of 90 days costs US$140 for Americans, US$60 for Canadians, and US$35 for Australians (prices September 2011). Count on 1–2 weeks for processing. You’ll need to submit a passport photo, show proof of a return ticket, and additional documentation depending on the type of your visa.
Getting your VISA application (For those who need a tourist visa)
This procedure is requested in every consulate and embassy, you’ll need for fill up an online form. Once you are on the Brazilian webiste, click on the “Visa Request”. It will step you through, asking for your personal information, passport info and employment details.
Once you are finished, your application will be submitted electronically. This is very important,you need to click the submit button to generate a bar coded page. You will need to take this bar coded page to the Brazil Consulate. They scan the bar code to match your electronically submitted application.
The Brazil Embassy fee is payable by USPS money order. Then head to the consulate of your jurisdiction with the printed form of your application ( make sure it’s signed), if you can’t attend , you can send a friend, relative or a visa agency although an additional fee will be charged, they don’t accept applications via mail. Processing times vary from 5 business day or more.
According to the page of the Brazilian consulate in New York here are some additional info:
- “The visa fee must be paid with U.S. Post Office Money Order only, made out to the Brazilian Consulate (bring the money order to the Consulate with your other documents). Cash, cards and non-USPS money orders are not accepted. Different fees related to the same application or to the same family or group can be combined in a single Money Order. ..”
- “If you cannot come to the Consulate in person, the application can be submitted by a third party, such as a friend, a relative or a visa agency. An additional absentee fee is charged if you do not bring your application in person (more information in the links below). Such fee is waived if you are applying on behalf of your father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister“.
- “The Consulate does not recommend or endorse any visa agency. The Consulate is not responsible for the services of visa agencies. In order for you to use the services of a visa agency when applying for a visa with the Consulate General of Brazil in New York, you must be a resident of our consular jurisdiction.”
Who can apply
- Tourists, for leisure, or visiting friends or relatives;
- Unpaid participation in athletic or artistic event or competition. An invitation letter from the sponsoring organization in Brazil is required.
- Unpaid participation in a scientific/academic seminar or conference sponsored by a research or academic institution. An invitation letter from the sponsoring organization in Brazil is required.
Terms and Conditions
- Tourist visa holders are prohibited from engaging in business, paid work, or paid academic activities in Brazil.
- For citizens of some countries, the first arrival in Brazil must take place within 90 days from the date the visa was issued.
- This visa is good for multiple entries within the visa’s duration. Even when the validity of the visa exceeds 90 days, authorized stays are for a maximum of a 90 day period per visit. If necessary, an extension may be submitted to the Federal Police in Brazil, if requested prior to the expiration of the authorized stay (special requirements apply).
- Tourist visa holders are allowed to stay in the Brazilian territory a maximum of 180 days over a 12-month period.
Who can apply
- Students persuing technical short-term studies (such as Portuguese and Brazilian Culture classes. Must take at least 15 hours of classes per week);
- Students pursuing undergraduate, graduate or post-graduate academic or theological studies;
- Unpaid student interns.
Terms and Conditions:
- Visa holders are prohibited from holding any paid job in Brazil;
- For extended stays, of at least 6 months, the same type of visa may be issued to immediate family members. However, family members are prohibited from engaging in any paid activity in Brazil.
Foreign citizens travelling to do business (but not to seek employment) in Brazil are generally required to have this type of visa. First entry into Brazil must be within 90 days from the date the visa is issued. The original visa allows for a stay of up to 90 days, although one single extension of up to 90 additional days is possible, at the discretion of the Brazilian Immigration Authorities. Length of stay in Brazil on a Brazil business visa can be a maximum of 180 days in any 12 month period.
Temporary residence visa/work visa
Foreigners wishing to live and work in Brazil are required to apply for a temporary residence visa. To obtain a temporary visa for employment purposes, the worker needs to secure a job offer from a Brazilian company or government department, or a foreign company based in Brazil, and the company is required to apply to the Immigration Division of the Ministry of Labor on the worker’s behalf. The criteria for approval of an employment visa include suitable educational qualifications or work experience, a secured employment contract in Brazil, proof of adequate means of subsistence in Brazil, police confirmation that the worker has no criminal record, and a satisfactory medical examination. All official documents must be translated into Portuguese and ‘legalized’ by the consulate. The application processing period is normally around 2-3 months. Employment visas are issued for a specific job, and are not transferable between employers in Brazil without permission. Visas are also issued to the employment visa holder’s spouse and children.
Business people and professionals
Permanent visas are issued to administrators, managers and directors of professional or business corporations, who are already employed by the company and are moving to Brazil on intra-company transfer. There is a minimum requirement for the parent company to invest at least US$ 200,000 per visa in the Brazil-based subsidiary, and to provide evidence that they are bringing value to Brazil in the form of increased productivity, technology transfer or social benefits. Visas are also issued to administrators, managers or directors of start-up companies, who are not required to meet the minimum investment or job creation criteria which apply to established companies. Researchers or other high-level specialists employed by Brazilian research institutions may also be granted a permanent visa.
Resident investor status may be granted to foreign nationals wishing to invest a minimum of US$ 50,000 in a Brazilian business or productive activity. There is a requirement to demonstrate a good knowledge of Portuguese. Investment funds must be submitted through the Central Bank of Brazil. Investor visas are issued for an initial 5 years, renewable on approval of a satisfactory investment plan and on confirmation that the investor has created jobs for at least 10 Brazilian nationals. Resident investors can apply for Brazilian citizenship after 4 years; prior to this they have many of the rights of citizens, except for voting rights.
Foreign nationals aged over 50 can apply for a permanent visa if they will be transferring the equivalent of at least US$ 2,000 to Brazil every month. Visas are also issued to up to two dependants, but there is a requirement to transfer an additional US$1,000 per dependant per month. Documentary proof of income and a bank declaration authorizing the monthly transfer are required. Applicants for permanent residence visas are required to submit their passport, birth certificate, marriage certificate (if applicable) and a police certificate of no criminal record, issued within the last 90 days.
There are seven categories of application for a permanent visa to live and work in Brazil. These include marriage and family unification categories, as well as categories covering business executives and entrepreneurs, high level specialists, investors and retired people.
Foreign nationals can apply for Brazilian nationality by naturalization if they have lived in Brazil for a continuous period of at least four years, have no criminal record, and can read and write Portuguese, among other requirements. The residency period can be reduced to only one, two or three years in some cases, and there are fewer requirements for those who have lived in Brazil for at least fifteen years.
The processing time for a Brazil visa can take as long as 10 working days, but this is subject to change. A Brazil visa’s processing time depends majorly on the type of visa, the nationality of the person applying, the time of the year and other variables. Therefore, it is advised that applicants start the application process well in advance of their scheduled trip.
At immigration, non-Brazilians must have their passport, visa (if required) and any other immigration formalities checked.
Like most airports, the airports in Brazil have different lines for national passport holders and foreign visitors. Foreign passport holders should make sure they get their passports stamped and that they retain half of the immigration form they fill in on arrival. You’ll need to hand it back to the Polícia Federal (federal police) when leaving the country.Visitors who miss getting their passport stamped or who lose the form will have to get clearance from the Federal Police to leave the country and may have to pay a fine.
If you want to extend your stay, you can renew your visa, 15 days before it expires, at the visa section of the Polícia Federal headquarters in any major city. The fee for renewal is the equivalent of US$10. If you over extend the 180-day limit, you won’t be deported, but you will pay a fine. The federal police headquarters is also where you should head if your passport is lost or stolen. You’ll need to make a report in order to get a temporary travel document from your consulate. Then you’ll need to return once again to the Polícia Federal to receive an official stamp.
At Brazilian customs (alfândega), officials are generally more interested in Brazilians who went on major shopping attractions abroad than foreign visitors, I can tell that from my own experience. However, since checks are random, you might find your luggage being inspected. Visitors can bring in objects for their own personal use, including cameras and laptop. If they are new, you may be asked to register the item to make sure you take it with you when you leave. (It’s a good idea to bring receipts for new items.) If you’re bringing things for Brazilian friends, keep them to a minimum. If you come with 5 ipads , 3 computers and they find out in the inspection, you will end up paying duty on them. Gifts purchased overseas that are worth more than US$500 should be declared. Before heading to customs, you might want to start shopping at the airport duty-free shops (yes, you can purchase duty-free upon arrival as well as prior to departure), where you can indulge in up to US$500 of purchases. Prices are quite competitive, particularly items such as alcohol and perfume.
Brazilian Embassies and Consulates
The Brazilian Embassy in the United States is in Washington, D.C. (www.brasilemb.org). You’ll also find main consulates in San Francisco (www.brazilsf.org),New York (http://novayork.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/), Miami (www.brazilmiami.org), and Los Angeles (www.brazilianconsulate.org). In Canada, the Brazilian Embassy is in Ottawa (www.brasembottawa.com) and the main consulate is in Toronto (www.consbrastoronto.org). In Britain, the embassy ( www.brazil.org.uk) and the General Consulate is in London (http://cglondres.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us). Australia, it is in Canberra ( www.brazil.org.au). In Ireland, the embassy is in Dublin (http://dublin.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/).
Foreign Consulates and Embassies in Brazil
Foreign embassies are all located in Brasília, while major consulates are found in both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo. Smaller consulates can be found in state capitals such as Porto Alegre, Recife,Fortaleza, Salvador, and Manaus.
Consulate General of Brazil in New York
Consulate General of Brazil in London
General and Comprehensive Information for Foreigners in Brazil ( Portuguese)
Consulate General of Brazil in Boston
Consulate General of Brazil in Houston
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