Brazil is a vast country, home to a treasure trove of diverse travel experiences. Enchanting rainforests, sprawling wetlands, buzzing cities and perfect beaches all make for spectacular stops on your itinerary. 

But before you go, make sure you have your visa paperwork sorted. Here are the essentials on Brazil’s visa policies.

What you need to know about visas for Brazil

Brazil offers different visas depending on the purpose of your travel and your country of origin. The country’s visa system is largely based on reciprocity: if Brazilian citizens can travel to the country in question without a visa, those citizens can travel to Brazil without a visa for any reason as well. The only exceptions to this rule are the United States, Australia, Canada and Japan; travelers from these countries can now visit Brazil for tourism without a visa, thanks to a policy change in July 2019. 

But citizens of dozens of other countries can also travel to Brazil without a visa; check this Brazilian consulate general website for a comprehensive list. Visitors who don’t require visas can stay in Brazil for up to 90 days per entry, and they can’t exceed 180 days within 12 months. Travelers need to have a valid passport with at least two blank pages left.

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Colorful buildings along a street in Salvador, Brazil
Those who need tourist visas in Brazil generally use the VIVIS © Emiliano ​​​/ 500px

Types of tourist visas for Brazil

For citizens of countries who do need a visa to enter Brazil, the primary tourist visa is the VIVIS, which covers tourism and business travel. Traveling for business does require some additional paperwork, including a letter from the applicant’s employer on company letterhead detailing the applicant’s job, the purpose of the trip, the length of the trip and other employment details. Check your nearest consulate’s website for a full list of business letter requirements.

Visa costs vary depending on the traveler’s country of origin. The visa costs US$180 for Angolan citizens, $85 for Algerian citizens, and $115 for Chinese citizens. The cost for travelers from all other countries is $80. As of September 2021, applications for visas can be completed only through Brazil’s E-consular platform. Apply for your visa well in advance of your trip in case there are system delays.

Visas for working are known as VITEM VI visas, and they allow visa holders to work and study in Brazil for up to 90 days in a 12-month period. The following countries are exempt from having to apply for the VITEM visa: Austria, Chile, Colombia, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Paraguay, Philippines, Poland, Spain, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, and the United Kingdom.

Can I extend my visa for Brazil?

Extensions aren’t available for every country – check with your local Brazilian consulate. If an extension is available to you, it will be granted by the Federal Police Department in Brazil. Note that your total stay still can’t exceed 180 days in 12 months. 

Do I need a yellow fever vaccine to enter Brazil?

Brazil doesn’t require a yellow fever vaccination to enter, but it does recommend getting the vaccine if you are headed to any of the following states: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Minas Gerais, Pará, Rondonia, Roraima and Tocantins.

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