Update: You can now visit Brazil with no visa required!
Originally posted on 3/19:
Getting to Brazil as an American citizen has long been a huge pain due to their cumbersome visa process.
I started this website in 2004 while volunteering for the year in Sao Paulo on bochur shlichus, mentoring and studying with younger students and organizing community activities.
And doing some crazy stuff while touring the country:
I was there on a student visa and Brazil caused all kinds of trouble because they didn’t like that my legal middle name is just an initial, though eventually that was sorted out.
In 2007 while I was studying to earn an MBA I returned to Brazil on a school trip and had a terrifying near-death experience.
But that didn’t stop me from taking advantage of the short-lived ability to book out the entire 4 seat TAM first class cabin to visit Brazil with my family in 2014:
And we had a great time there:
- Trip Notes Brazil Part 1: 10 Years Of Travel And Deal Blogging And A Return To Where It All Began (Published 11/23/14)
- Trip Notes Brazil Part 2: Flying “Private” To Sao Paulo With Miles (Published 2/7/16)
- Trip Notes Brazil Part 3: Iguaçu Falls (Published 4/17/16)
- Trip Notes Brazil Part 4: Rio de Janeiro (Published 5/1/16)
The major pain point for visiting Brazil has always been the visa. In my case I would have had to fly to Washington DC with money orders in order to obtain a tourist visa. In the end we used a service to do that for us, but we still had to go back and forth a few times with notarized documents in order to get visas for our kids. The tourist visa cost $160 for 10 years.
Last year Brazil finally launched the ability to apply for a visa online. The online visa cost is $44.24, though the visa is only valid for 2 years.
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Brazil’s new right wing president is eliminating all visa requirements for US, Canada, Japan, and Australian citizens as of June 17th. That’s amazing news!
I’ve been to the beautiful island of Florianopolis, the stunning city of Rio, the breathtaking rainforest and waterfall in Iguaçu, the urban planning laboratory of Curitiba, and the warm Jewish community and excellent restaurants in Sao Paulo. But I still have bucket list items in Brazil like the Amazon Rainforest in Manaus, where a friend of mine is the Chabad Shliach, the Panantal, and the archipelago of Fernando de Noronha.
As of June, visiting Iguazu Falls will have gone from requiring 2 visas of $160 each from Argentina and Brazil to no visas at all as both countries have eliminated visa requirements for US citizens. It’s one of the most beautiful places on this planet!
Will you visit Brazil when they drop their visa requirement?