Do I need one?
In Brazil visa regimes can change without warning, often following global recriprocity rules that means if your country of nationality imposes restrictions on Brazilians, they will do the same and charge accordingly. In general Brazilian immigration rules are in theory less complex than many developed countries but in practice are very bureaucratic. Whilst we believe this advice is correct upon writing, and we make our best efforts to update it whenever we become aware of changes, we cannot guarantee accuracy.
There are many different kinds of visas for entry into Brazil, depending on what you want to do here so check well before you plan to arrive. The most common visas emitted at those that are for tourism and short term business purposes.
In recent years, with Brazil's growing economy and a poor job market in Europe and the USA, more foreigners have been applying for work visas and permanent resident visas. These are a little bit more difficult to obtain, being they are more case specific, so check with your nearest Brazilian consulate to ask about these visas.
Below, we’ve outlined the basics of how to go about getting a tourist or business visa… so you can stay for longer, since you probably won’t want to leave!
Many countries’ residents do not need to worry about obtaining a visa for entry into Brazil. Some don’t require tourist visas, but require business visas. This exemption is valid for a stay of up to 90 days straight, and can usually be renewed for a further 90 days, prior to expiry of the initial period at the Federal Police.
If you overstay, deliberately or otherwise, without permission, a fine needs to be paid upon leaving the country to the Brazilian authorities - the Federal Police.
Those who do not need visas, please be aware your passports must be valid for at least another 60 days at port of entry, and if you are coming from, or having visited certain countries recently, you will need a yellow fever vaccination and certificate.
Citizens from the follow countries do NOT need to apply for TOURIST visas:
Andorra- Argentina - Austria - Bahamas - Barbados - Belgium - Bermuda -Bolivia - Bulgaria - Chile- Colombia - Costa Rica - Czech Republic - Denmark - Ecuador- Finland - France -Germany - Great Britain - Greece - Hong Kong - Hungary - Iceland -Ireland - Italy - Israel - Liechtenstein - Luxembourg - Macau SAR - Malaysia - Malta - Monaco - Morocco - Namibia - Netherlands - New Zealand - Norway - Paraguay - Peru -Philippines - Poland - Portugal - San Marino - Slovenia - South Africa - South Korea - Spain - Surinam - Sweden - Switzerland - Thailand - Trinidad & Tobago - Tunis - Turkey - Uruguay - Vatican
Those who do not need tourist visas but do need BUSINESS visas:
Andorra – Bahamas – Barbados – Guyana – Liechtenstein – Malaysia – Namibia – Panama – Venezuela*
*Venezuela exempted for a stay of up to 60 days.
The rest of you, please read on!
Applying for a Tourist or Business Visa
Applying for a Brazilian Visa is quite simple if your documentation is all in order.
- Have a valid passport that will be valid for at least another 6 months upon date of travel to Brazil and apply well ahead of that date.
- Find out where your local consulate is. The Brazilian Consular website has a handy map: Brazilian Consulates & Embassies
- Fill out a visa request form online – usually found on these Consulates & Embassy websites - which will tell you which documents you will require.
- A protocol will be generated for you to bring with you to the consulate along with a 3x4 cm portrait photo, and your original passport.
- Pay any fee required by the Consulate for your country. Currently, US Citizens must pay a $160 fee, Canadian $107, but EU citizens nothing.
- Pay attention to the Cross your fingers!
Business visas will usually require proof of visiting for business purposes. Tourist visas, depending on the country you are a citizen of, may or may not require further information on reasons for visiting Brazil, so it is a recommended you consider a plan beforehand - using My Guide of course!
Having obtained your visa and are in Brazil, you have up to 90 consecutive days to stay. After this time, you may travel back and forth for the amount allotted on your visa, not exceeding 6 months stay in Brazil in one year.
If you’d like to stay for more than 90 days, before this time is up, you must find a Federal Police station (at the Airport) and request to remain for up to another 90 days.
In order to apply for permanent residency, you will have to fill one of the following requirements:
- Be married to a Brazilian citizen
- Have a child born in Brazil
- Have first degree relatives who are Brazilian citizens or permanent residents, live in Brazil and are prepared to declare responsibility for you
- Be a declared investor, with partnership in a Brazilian business and have significant monetary investments in the country
- Be at least 50 years old and retired, with a monthly income of at least US$2,000
- Have lived in Brazil for at least four consecutive years
All of the above require the foreign citizen to prove they are free of a criminal record in Brazil and home country. The process can sometimes be lengthy but if you apply for resident status after arriving in Brazil, depending on your circumstances, the authorities may allow you to stay during the process.
As we have indicated, there has been a large increase in recent years in applications for resident visas, so it is a good idea to find out all the requirements and the approximate length of the process well before we require resident status. This is particularly true if you need a work permit, as you will not be allowed to be registered under Brazilian labour law without the correct documentation.
Opening a Bank account
You need a valid permanent visa to open a bank account in Brazil, even if you are an account holder of a multinational bank on your native country of residence.