Lonely Planet Writer

Brazil considers extension of visa waiver programme after Olympics

In the wake of the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro  tourism ministry is considering a visa waiver programme for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan.

Closing ceremony at the Rio Olympics.
Closing ceremony at the Rio Olympics. Image by Getty Images

Tourism Minister Marx Beltrão said Brazil needs to take advantage of the legacy of the Games and that the ministry is also considering adding other nations, including China. Visitors from many countries in Central and South America, Portugal, Spain, Russia and Switzerland do not need a tourist visa to visit the country.

The proposed plan is similar to the one that was instituted earlier this year to ease travel to the Games – which brought 156,000 visitors from these countries to the Brazil between 1 June and 12 September – and would span a 12-month trial period in order to give the government an idea of the programme’s impact on tourism before determining whether it should be made permanent. Beltrão said a final decision will be reached by the end of the year.

Tourists on a Rio beach.
Tourists on a Rio beach: Brazil considers extension of visa waiver programme. Image by Luiz Souza/NurPhoto/Getty Images

Citizens from countries that require a visa to Brazil currently have to meet several requirements to obtain one, including proof of confirmed transport in and out of the country and a US$160 fee, which is what the United States charges Brazilians for a US visa.