Brazilian Senate Embraces "Visa by Internet" Bill
The Brazilian Federal Senate announced last week that it has approved a bill (PLC4/2014) that will enable foreign visitors to submit Visa Applications, documents and payment over the internet.
This simplification of procedures has the objective of reducing costs and wait
time for Visa Applicants, and ultimately should result in increased tourism to Brazil. This comes as welcome news to the 600,000 foreign visitors that are expected to descend on Brazil this June for the FIFA World Cup, and the one
million visitors expected in Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Summer
Olympics. Though still awaiting final approval from President Dilma Rousseff, the Ministry of Tourism expects that the bill will become law soon enough to benefit the first wave of sports travelers this summer.
Applicants using the proposed new system should be aware that the system will be "partially" electronic, meaning that after submitting document copies on-line, originals will still need to be presented at a consulate or embassy. Subsequently, the Brazilian government also reserves the right to request the original documents on a case by case basis should security concerns arise. Click here to begin the on-line Visa Application process.
Brazilian law makes exceptions for certain types of visitors, allowing them to travel without a Visa. Athletes, artists, and business travelers do not require Visas, provided that their country of Origin has a reciprocal policy for Brazil's citizens. Currently, Visas are required for American and Canadian visitors. Many European and South American visitors may enter Brazil for up 90 days without a Visa. For a detailed list of countries and their specific requirements, click here.
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