São Paulo, Brazil – Brazil has postponed new visa requirements for tourists from the United States, Canada and Australia until April 10, 2024. Initially, the visa was supposed to be required from January 10, 2024 onward.
The Ministry of Tourism said the change in date is to prevent visa implementation during the high season of tourism. “The intention is to ensure a safe introduction of the measure, without consequences for the tourism sector,” said the ministry.
The Minister of Tourism, Celso Sabino, said that the decision to extend the date was made by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. The postponement, according to Sabino, is necessary to adapt the electronic visa issuance system, which allows tourists to acquire the visa online.
“The government, by decision of President Lula, decided to postpone the requirement for these visas until April 10. So, we will have another three months to deliver a system that works quickly, efficiently for issuing electronic visas,” said the minister in a video posted on his social media.
The visa fee is US $80.90 and is valid for 10 years for U.S. citizens and five years for Canadians and Australians. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the U.S. is second only to Argentina in terms of foreign visitors to Brazil.
Between January and October 2023, more than 530,000 Americans visited Brazil, which represents 11% of total tourists. In the same period, the country received 66,000 Canadians and 38,000 Australians.
The decision to require visas from tourists from these three countries was taken in September 2023 by Lula’s government, based on the reciprocity policy. To enter the United States, Canada and Australia, Brazilians need a visa.
Former president Jair Bolsonaro had exempted visas for Americans, Canadians and Australians in 2019, arguing that it encouraged tourism.
“In the previous government, the visa requirement for Americans, Canadians, Australians and Japanese was suspended. It was given for free, without any reciprocity,” said Minister of Foreign Affairs Mauro Vieira, justifying the measure.
The government reached an agreement to exempt Brazilians entering Japan from needing visas, but the United States, Canada and Australia have not come to an agreement with Brazil.
According to Vieira, the federal government is still willing to negotiate visa exemptions on the basis of reciprocity: “The country that accepts Brazilians to travel without a physical visa, we will give them the same advantage.”