HUGE (and Very Good) News for the Brazilian Tourist Visa Process!

Today we received some very preliminary but exciting news and wanted to share it with you all: it appears the Brazilian government has approved an online visa application system which will allow for immediate visa approval and will remove the need to either apply in person at the Brazilian Embassy or Consulates or use an expensive visa processing service.

As anyone who's ever traveled to Brazil before knows, the visa application process is less than pleasant. For decades the Brazilian government has required that US and Canadian citizens (along with various other countries) procure a tourist visa to enter Brazil as part of a reciprocity program. Translation? Any country that requires Brazilian citizens to apply and pay for a visa will have the same rules applied to its citizens.

For Americans and Canadians, that has meant paying $160 per person for a ten-year tourist visa. Up until recently, Argentina had the same requirements but following President Obama's 2016 visit to the country agreed to instate a visa waiver program. Even before the waiver program however, Argentina offered an online application process with immediate visa approval. Travelers could go online the night before their trip, fill out the application in less than 20 minutes, pay the $160 fee and print out their confirmation. This always left everyone asking: why can't Brazil do the same?

Sure, no one enjoys paying the $160 but for most people the real inconvenience has always been the application process itself. Unless you live in a major city, you most likely have to travel some distance to your nearest Brazilian Consulate and in some cases need to budget up to 4-6 weeks to receive your visa. A visa processing service can do it for you in less time, but that means spending an additional $100 to $200.

During the Olympics, the Brazilian government approved a temporary visa waiver for US and Canadian citizens and it was widely viewed as successful for tourism. There had been hope the waiver might become permanent (as was the case with Argentina) and there is still a chance that it may in the future. But for now, we are thrilled we can at least apply for visas from the comfort of our own homes and never have to worry about restrictions when planning a last minute trip to Brazil!