The U.S. passport is one of the most powerful travel documents worldwide, granting its holders hassle-free entry to 189 countries.

This means that, across most countries, American citizens do not need to request a tourist visa prior to arrival.

It keeps getting stronger, with new visa-free arrangements having been signed with Turkiye and Kenya, and other countries like Vietnam and Indonesia relaxing visa requirements further, but on the other hand, there is one popular country that’s in fact making it harder for Americans to visit.

From April 10, if you’re a U.S. traveler, you will no longer be eligible for visa-free entry to Brazil, and you’ll have to pay a significant fee:

Americans Are Now Ineligible For Visa-Free Travel To Brazil

Blue And Yellow Macaw Perched On A Clifftop Overlooking Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

Home to Rio, the ‘Marvellous City’, combining sea, mountains and modern high-rises, long miles of Atlantic coast, interspersed with golden-sand beaches and colonial towns, and of course, the Amazon rainforest, Brazil is one of the leading tourist destinations in South America.

Not only does it boast an invaluable cultural offer and boundless natural wealth, but it’s always been rather welcoming to Americans, at least since 2019, when a decades-long visa requirement was abolished, thus facilitating travel.

Pelourinho In The Colonial Historic Center In Salvador de Bahia, Northeastern State Of Bahia, Brazil, South America

From April 10, that decision is being rolled back, as Americans who do not hold a valid visa to enter Brazil ahead of flying will not be permitted to board Brazil-bound planes.

Similarly, those who attempt to cross a land border without visas will be turned away unceremoniously by border officers.

On the brightside, contrary to what had been reported before, Americans do not necessarily need to apply for a regular visa at consular posts in the U.S.

Though any additional bureaucracy is never not a pain, at least it’s an e-Visa they’re being subjected to.

How Does The New Brazilian Visa Work?

People Swimming In Copacabana Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, South America

According to the U.S. Embassy in Brazil, the visa is fully digital, which means you do not need to travel to a Brazilian Consulate, undergo the gruelling process of a typical visa application, which involves getting interviewed, and in most cases, temporarily surrending your passport.

Based on the official information made available by Brazilian officials, this new visa can be applied for online.

Essentially, you’ll be required to create an account at the official Brazil e-Visa platform and follow three steps:

  • Fill out the application form (it may include questions related to your identity and private life)
  • Upload the necessary documents that support your application (typically a passport-style photo of yourself, a copy of your passport, and any reservations you have already made, such as hotel stays and/or flights)
  • Pay the $80.90 fee

You read that right.

The Brazilian e-Visa costs $80.90 to apply.

The good news is, once/if your Brazilian e-Visa is approved, it will remain valid for a whole 10 years.

You can use to travel to Brazil for as many times as you want within the next decade, as long as each visit does not exceed three months.

Sounds easy enough, however, if you’re traveling with minors, you should be prepared to add further documents, such as original birth certificates, notarized copies of court orders awarding sole or partial custody if one of the child’s parents is not present in the traveling party, and so on.

More information can be found on the official e-Visa application website.

Why Is Brazil Targeting Americans In Particular?

After all this, we know what you’re thinking: why is Brazil doing this?

brazil flag on beach in rio

If you’ve traveled to Brazil in the last five years, you’re probably wondering why authorities have imposed such drastic measures on American tourists when you’ve been able to fly there previously, no questions asked, and only by presenting a valid passport.

In reality, things have not always been that smooth, as prior to 2019, Brazil did already request a tourist visa of American travelers.

The lifting of the requirement was an initiative of the Bolsonaro Administration, which is no longer in charge.

Woman in Rio in Brazil

Since new President Lula was elected in 2022, Brazil’s taken a complete U-turn on visa policies: while the previous Government’s goal was to boost tourism through the implementation of simpler entry rules the current Administration is re-instating 2019 guidelines.

Brazil has historically not granted visa-free entry to foreigners unless their home countries have signed visa waiver agreements with Brazil. As of 2023, Brazilians can travel visa-free to 172 countries, including all of Europe, Russia, Japan, and most countries in Asia and New Zealand.

Regrettably, visa-free travel between Brazil and the United States has not yet been signed off on, and as reciprocity has been reinstated, Americans are once again being stripped of the seamless travel privilege, which they have enjoyed for five years now.

The same applies to Canadians and Australians, as neither Canada nor Australia have visa-free agreements with Brazil in place.

The Visa Fee Is Not Refundable If The Visa Gets Denied

Additionally, you should know that no application will result in automatic approval.

While the vast majority of Americans can expect to get approved, if you get flagged for any reason and somehow authorities judge you don’t qualify for an e-Visa, the visa fee is not returned.

This policy is a (somewhat softer) tit-for-tat move, as the United States requires that Brazilian applicants pay a whopping $180 for a U.S. tourist visa application, present themselves for an interview and further screening, and should their request be denied, there is no reimbursement, either.

Tourists will be notified of a successful application via the platform, as well as the email they used to sign up, and it will come in the form of a downloadable document.

It does not need to be affixed to your passport like a regular visa, so don’t try to glue it to a passport page as it will only lead to damage.

Speaking of passports, Brazilian law states that, in order to enter the national territory, foreigners need to have at least two blank pages left on their travel document, so make sure you comply with the rule or you may get denied entry, even following a successful e-Visa application.

Mother And Son Checking Something In The Computer While Waiting For A Flight At The Airport

At this point in time, we do not know if obtaining a new passport renders a current Brazilian e-Visa invalid, nor how long it takes to be issued.

What we do know is that e-Visa processing can take a while, from two days to a couple of weeks, so make sure you apply well in advance if you’re planning on traveling to Brazil from April 10.

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