Immigration and customs formalities are fairly straightforward, though you'll want to be sure to have your visa in order if you're from a country (like the USA, Canada or Australia) that needs it.
Travelers entering Brazil can bring in 2L of alcohol, 400 cigarettes, and one personal computer, video camera and still camera. Newly purchased goods worth up to US$500 are permitted duty-free. Meat and cheese products are not allowed.
By law you must carry a passport with you at all times, but many travelers opt to carry a photocopy (preferably certified) when traveling about town and to leave their passport securely locked up at their hotel.
Brazil has a reciprocal visa system, so if your home country requires Brazilian nationals to secure a visa, then you’ll need one to enter Brazil. US, Canadian and Australian citizens need visas, but UK, New Zealand, French and German citizens do not. You can check your status with the Brazilian embassy or consulate in your home country.
If you do need a visa, arrange it well in advance. Visas are not issued on arrival; and you won’t be permitted into the country without one. Applying for a visa got easier in 2018, however, when Brazil rolled out its new e-visa system, which is available to citizens from the US, Canada, Australia and Japan. The application fee is US$40, plus an online service fee of US$4.25. The service is valid for both tourists and business travelers.
To apply, visit the official website endorsed by Brazil's Ministry of Foreign Affairs: VFS Global (www.vfsglobal.com/Brazil-eVisa). You will need to upload a passport photograph and a scanned image of your passport bio page, and fill in other required details on the application. E-visas are valid for two years, for stays of up to 90 days per year.
Once all the documents have been submitted, the processing times for the visa is around five business days. Unfortunately, the online application process does not currently run very smoothly. Many applicants have had problems uploading photos – or having their photos rejected – experience website crashes. It's wise to apply well in advance of your departure.
After your visa has been approved, you will receive a pdf of your e-visa. Print this out and take it with you on your trip. Without the printed copy, you may not be allowed to board your flight, and may also be denied entry into the country.
Old-fashioned consular visas are also still available. These are pricier and you'll have to apply in person to a Brazilian consulate in your home country.
Applicants under 18 years of age wanting to travel to Brazil must also submit a notarized letter of authorization from a parent or legal guardian.
Entry & Exit Cards
On entering Brazil, all tourists must fill out a cartão de entrada/saida (entry/exit card); immigration officials will keep half, you keep the other. They will also stamp your passport and, if for some reason they are not granting you the usual 90-day stay in Brazil, the number of days you are allowed to stay will be written in your passport.
When you leave Brazil, the second half of the entry/exit card will be taken by immigration officials. Don’t lose your card while in Brazil, as it could cause hassles and needless delays when you leave.
Extensions to Entry & Exit Cards & Visas
Brazil’s Polícia Federal, who have offices in the state capitals and border towns, handle visa extensions for those nationalities allowed to extend (Schengen-region passport holders, for example, must leave for 90 days before reentering for a second 90-days – extending is not an option).