Did you know that US citizens visiting Brazil will need to get a Brazil visa before they travel? Whether you’re heading down for Carnaval in Rio, touring the natural wonder of the Iguazu Falls, heading up the Amazon or just chilling on the beach in Copacabana, you’ll need to plan ahead to get your Brazil visa.
Read on for our complete guide to Brazil visas. We’ll review where your visa will need to process, when you should apply, how long your visa will be valid, and more!
Where to Apply for Your Brazil Visa
The Consulates of Brazil in the US enforce what’s known as “consular jurisdiction.” Brazil has one embassy in Washington, DC and nine other consulates across the country. You’ll need to apply for your visa through the consulate that is in charge of your state of residence. To prove where you live, you’ll have to submit a copy of your driver’s license!
The consular jurisdictions are:
- Atlanta Consulate: Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee
- Boston Consulate: Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont
- Chicago Consulate: Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin,
- Hartford, CT Consulate: Connecticut, Rhode Island
- Houston Consulate: Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Texas
- Los Angeles Consulate: Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, US Pacific Islands and Southern California (Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura counties; zip codes starting with 90, 91, 92, 93)
- Miami Consulate: Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands
- New York Consulate: New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Bermuda
- San Francisco Consulate: Alaska, Oregon, Washington, Northern and Central California (all counties except those listed for Los Angeles; zip codes starting with 94 or 95)
- Washington, DC Embassy: Washington, DC, Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia
Types of Brazil Visa
Brazil has a lot of different types of visa available! These are the most popular types:
- Tourist Visa (“VITUR”) – Tourist visas are issued to anyone going to Brazil for leisure purposes. This can include sightseeing, eco-tours, visiting friends and family, participating in amateur competitions, or taking classes or workshops that are not for educational credit.
- Business Visa Type II (“VITEM II”) – Brazil breaks business visas down into five different classes, but what we normally think of as a “business visa” is classed as a Type II visa. These are issued to travelers going to Brazil on behalf of their employers. You’ll need a Business Type II Brazil visa if you are going to attend meetings or conferences, do site visits, or conduct other general business.
- Business Visa Type I (“VITEM I”) – Type I Brazil visas are for temporary visits for researchers, scientists, and exchange students. They are also issued to people going to Brazil for medical treatment.
- Business Visa Type V (“VITEM V”) – Type V visas are issued for business travelers who will be offering “technical support” in Brazil. They’re almost a combination between a business visa and a work visa. Type V Brazil visas allow travelers to temporarily work on technical projects like installing equipment or doing maintenance work on airplanes.
How Long are Brazil Visas Valid?
Visas for US citizens are typically issued valid for 10 years with multiple entries. You can stay in Brazil for up to 90 days at a time, for a maximum of 180 days per year.
Your visa will be valid starting on the day it is issued, and you can enter Brazil anytime within the next ten years!
When to Apply for Your Brazil Visa
Our best advice is to apply early! Some Brazil consulates can take several weeks to issue visas. One of the slowest consulates (as of December 2016) is San Francisco, which requires applicants to make an appointment to submit their application. You’re likely to have to wait several weeks for your appointment, and then wait another two weeks before your visa is issued.
Since your visa will be valid for 10 years, and there’s no restriction on how long you wait to make your first trip, there’s no such thing as applying “too early.”
Keep in mind that Brazil consulates tend to get the most visa applications in the winter, as travelers get visas to go to Brazil for the famous Carnival before Lent.
What Happens if Your Passport Expires Before Your Visa Does?
Since your Brazil visa will be valid for 10 years, it’s inevitable that you’ll need to renew your passport before your visa expires. The good news is that the visa on your old passport remains valid! You can keep traveling to Brazil, carrying both passports.
Brazil Visa Application Tips
You’ll need to fill out an online application for your Brazil visa. Although the application is completed through a web form, this is not an electronic visa! You’ll still need to print out and sign your application. Your hard-copy application must be submitted to the appropriate consulate along with your passport, photograph, and supporting documents. Don’t wait too long to submit your application! Your visa application will list an expiration date (“Data de Validade” in Portuguese). If you don’t get your application in to the consulate before the expiration date, you’ll need to fill out the application again.
Here are some tips on completing the application:
- You’ll need to have a sponsor in Brazil. This can be a tour operator, hotel, or business contact. You will need to fill in their full name and mailing address.
- You will need to upload a passport-style photograph, and you’ll need to submit a hard copy of the same photograph. You can scan or photograph a hard-copy photo, or you can take a digital photo and get it printed out onto photo paper. The online application will help you format the photo to the right dimensions.
- You’ll also need to upload a digital image of your signature. Sign a blank piece of paper, and then take a photo of it or scan it.
- Your printed application will be just one page long, and will not include all the answers to the questions. It is more of a receipt than a full application! It will have a barcode and a place for your hard-copy photo.
- You’ll need to sign the printed application in blue or black ink. Sign with your full name as listed in your passport.
Having trouble with the online application? Contact G3 Global Services and request their Concierge Service for Brazil. They’ll fill out the application for you and email it to you, so all you need to do is print and sign!
Now, who’s ready for a caipirinha?