Visa application requirements for BrazilAre you planning to visit the beautiful country of Brazil in the upcoming future, either for an extended holiday, family getaway or to pursue an educational or employment opportunity in the country? If so, you probably have questions about the various types of documents you’ll need to legally enter the country and the process for obtaining those documents. To help get you prepared for your looming trip to this picturesque South American jewel, below we have put together some useful and very detailed information regarding the Brazilian visa process, including some facts pertaining to the assortment of rules and regulations governing these types of documents.
What Is a Brazilian Visa?A Brazilian visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials of Brazil on a passport that allows the bearer to visit Brazil. Visas are obtained from the Embassy or consulates of Brazil for your visit. "Visit" is further defined as the reason for entry, usually business, tourist or transitory. There are over 270 countries that offer visas and literally thousands of different types of visas available based upon country, type of visit, and length of visit.
What Is the Difference between a Passport and a Brazilian Visa?A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The passport serves two purposes; to regain entry to the country of citizenship (i.e. the United States) and is a requirement by many countries to gain entry to the country you are visiting.
A Brazilian visa is an official government document that temporarily authorizes you to be in the country. Many countries require a visa to gain entry. The Brazilian visa is in the form of a stamp/sticker IN the passport and is obtained from a Brazilian Embassy in Washington DC or consulates around the country. Passport services are available throughout the country, many of which will hand-carry your application for you and then overnight the passport back when it is completed.
Do I Need a Visa to Enter Brazil?The majority of foreign nationals do need both a Brazilian visa and passport to enter the country of Brazil, including all citizens of the United States. There are, however, 74 jurisdictions (representing over 100 countries) that do not require a visa to visit Brazil for up to 90 days, either for the purpose of tourism or for business travel. The jurisdictions that are exempt for up to 90 days of travel include:
|Costa Rica||Ecuador||El Salvador||Guatemala|
|Serbia||South Africa||South Korea||Malta|
In addition to the 46 countries listed above, all of the countries that form the European Union are also exempt from the Brazilian visa requirement for travel up to 90 days. This includes foreign nationals from Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Croatia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.
Most people from these 74 jurisdictions do need a passport to travel to Brazil, although in some cases an identity document is accepted in lieu of a passport.
Although foreign nationals from the above mentioned jurisdictions may travel to Brazil for up to 90 days without a visa, most individuals who plan to be in the country for more than three months are required to secure some type of extended stay visa. Students from these jurisdictions, for example, who are planning to study in Brazil for an extended period of time, will almost always need to obtain a Brazilian Student Visa prior to entering the country, although citizens of some South American nations are exempted from this rule.
What Is the Difference between a Brazilian Tourist Visa, Business Visa and Student Visa?Brazilian visas are issued according to the purpose of the trip. As such, there are several types of visas available, the most popular being the tourist visa, business visa and student visa.
A tourist visa is a travel document that allows foreign nationals to visit Brazil for a period of 90 days or less. While in the country, these individuals are not allowed to pursue any extended educational or employment pursuit, and are not permitted to engage in any paid activity while in Brazil. Some of the activities that are typically covered by a Brazilian Tourist Visa include:
Tourism/sightseeing; visits to friends and/or relatives; scientists, professors or researchers attending cultural, technological or scientific conferences, seminars or meetings (services provided must not be paid by organizations/corporations in Brazil, except reimbursement for expenses or per diem allowances); unpaid participation in athletic or performing arts events or competitions.
There are actually two types of Brazilian business visas, known locally as “Vitem II” and “Vitem V.” The activities that require a Brazilian Vitem II include:
Business trips, except when the trip involves the provision of technical assistance services of any nature (in which case a Vitem V is mandatory); travel for media coverage or filming; flight/ship crew members not holding an international crew card. Business visa holders are not allowed to engage in any activity under employment contract with a Brazilian organization/corporation.
All other business-related activities within the country of Brazil require a Brazilian Vitem V. Naturally, obtaining this type of visa is a bit more difficult than obtaining a Vitem II—a process that includes, among other things, a signed and notarized letter from the Brazilian company for which one plans to work inviting the individual to the country. Some of the activities that are covered by a Brazilian Vitem V include:
- Provision of services to the Brazilian Government, arising from an international agreement, contract, or undertaking to which Brazil is a party;
- Employment contract with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil;
Technical assistance services arising from a contract, cooperation agreement, services agreement, or similar instrument signed with a foreign corporation or other legal entity;
Professional training, without an employment relationship, immediately after the completion of vocational training or university education;
Medical residency in an educational institution accredited by the Ministry of Education and Recreation;
Employees of foreign companies admitted to work in Brazil as trainees or interns at a subsidiary or Brazilian branch of the foreign company, provided that they are paid exclusively outside of Brazil by that foreign company;
Foreign instructors or professors who intend to travel to Brazil for a period of training in foreign language instruction;
Crew members of foreign vessels traveling to Brazil to operate in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction, as required under a charter, services, or risk contract entered into with a Brazilian company;
Crew members of foreign fishing vessels leased by Brazilian companies;
Crew members or other professionals who perform paid activities aboard cruise vessels along the Brazilian coast, in the Amazon River basin, or in other inland waters;
- Provision of services to a religious or social assistance entity, without employment relationship with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil
In general, "tourist" visas are issued specifically for the purpose of travel for pleasure, while a "business" visa generally permits a traveler to engage in regular business-related activities (sales meetings, visiting a factory, etc.).
The Brazilian Student Visa, known as Brazil Vitem IV, must be obtained by foreign students who plan to study abroad in Brazil, whether for a semester, year, or just for some type of summer enrichment program.
To qualify for a Brazilian Student Visa (Vitem IV), the student candidate must, among other things, show:
- Proof of a non-criminal record; a document obtained from the primary law enforcement agency in their country, state or city of residence;
- A copy of scholarship documentation or proof of financial capability to pay for the stay while living and studying in Brazil;
- Documented proof of enrollment, legalized by a notary public in Brazil, indicating the intended duration of studies at a Brazilian educational institution.
How Do I Apply for a Brazilian Visa?Although the application process varies slightly depending on the type of visa you are seeking, there are many steps that are common for each type of visa. Below we have described, in detail, the process for obtaining a Brazilian tourist visa. Keep in mind that the various steps required in this process are also required when applying for other visa types as well.
If you are traveling to Brazil from a country not mentioned above on the exempted list, you must have both a valid passport and a Brazilian visa.
All visitors to Brazil must possess an original, signed passport valid for 6 months beyond their stay in Brazil, and with at least one blank visa page available for the Brazilian visa stamp. Amendment pages in the back of the passport are not suitable for visa stamps. Visitors from certain jurisdictions within the United States, including Houston, Texas and residents of Connecticut and Rhode Island must have a passport that contains two blank visa pages side by side.
The Visa Application Form
The visa application form is required for all types of Brazilian visas. Individuals can pick up a copy of the Brazilian visa application at any number of consulates within their home country, including the Brazilian consulate in their country of residence or one of the many satellite consulates located throughout the country. In many cases, applicants can even download the form from their computer.
The visa application form is used in conjunction with other items to confirm your identity. Visa application forms that are improperly completed or not completely filled out and signed may significantly delay the processing of that visa. If you choose to fill in the online visa form, which is available on many websites, simply select "Visa Request" and follow the guided instructions. Every question must be answered. The signature must be inside the signature box on the receipt page.
As with the passport requirements, people from certain jurisdictions may need to take additional steps to fully complete their application. Residents of Connecticut and Rhode Island, for example, must have the signature on their application receipt notarized prior to submitting the form.
Brazilian visa applicants must submit a current passport-type photograph, measuring 2 inches by 2 inches. The photo must be: in color; a front view; full face; with a light background. Snapshots, in this case, are not acceptable. Applicants can also upload a passport photo when placing their visa order online, an option that is becoming more and more popular thanks to improved technology.
Other Form Required
Applicants must submit a copy of their driver’s license or state identification card. This serves as proof of residence and should be enlarged for clarity.
Visa candidates in Houston, Connecticut and Rhode Island must have the copy of their driver’s license or identification card notarized prior to submitting it. They must also obtain a letter of authorization from their home state.
Visitors from Miami, Florida, must obtain an original, signed and dated letter from the applicant addressed to the Consulate of Brazil, explaining in detail, the purpose of the trip and everything related to it. The letter must be typed and include information such as: cities to visit, lodging, health insurance, any domestic flights, friends information if visiting any, and any additional information regarding their specific trip to Brazil.
Proof of Departure
Prior to being granted a Brazilian visa, applicants must demonstrate proof of their departure. This can be accomplished by producing a computer generated flight itinerary from the airline or travel agency or a copy of the airline or cruise tickets for the trip.
Minors, or anyone under the age of 18, who will be traveling to Brazil must submit a notarized copy of their birth certificate and a Letter of Consent signed by each parent listed on the birth certificate (or legal guardian). A copy of this letter must also be carried with the passport.
Although there are no general medical or vaccination requirements in the Brazilian visa application process, a yellow fever vaccination is required by any applicant who has traveled to an endemic area, including Angola, Benin, Bolivia, Cameroon, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Peru, Sierra Leone, Sudan or Venezuela.
Applicants must demonstrate that they have the financial resources or ability to pay for their stay in Brazil. Certain jurisdictions have special requirements with regard to finances, such as residents of Connecticut and Rhode Island, who must submit their most recent bank statement showing a minimum balance of $100 per every day they plan to be in Brazil. Boston residents must show at least $50 per every day of their intended stay, while residents of Miami, Florida must submit their three most recent bank statements showing a minimum balance of one-thousand dollars.
The above-listed requirements apply to all Brazilian visa types. Those pursuing one of the business visas or the student visa the country offers may have additional requirements related to their specific educational or employment goal.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Brazilian Visa?Normally, a Brazilian visa takes anywhere from 2 days to 30 days to process in the Brazilian Embassy/Consulate depending on the consulate to which the application is sent. However; during the busy season (during the fall-winter) visas may take longer to process because of the great demand for Brazilian visas. To be safe, it is recommended that you submit your visa application at least 60 days prior to your planned departure date.