According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) 2016 study (pdf) 75% of the world’s population needed a visa to travel internationally in 1980 versus 61% in 2015. This steady decrease in required visas boosted international travel and tourism dollars spent in the countries that relaxed their visa policy. This economic reality recently encouraged Brazil to suspend its visa requirements to several countries including the US for a few months this summer.
From June 1st to September 18th, 2016, tourists entering Brazil from the United States will not need a visa. Coincidentally, those dates cover the 2016 Summer Olympics, in which more than 10,000 athletes from more than 200 countries will compete, and the Paralympics, in which more than 4,000 athletes from more than 160 nations will compete. Brazil expects to boost overall tourism during these summer events by as much as 20%, infusing 100s of millions of additional dollars into their weakened economy.
Normally, a Brazilian visa is applied for in person at the nearest embassy or consulate on designated visa days. Applicants wait in a long line snaking out into the corridor only to enter and find a room filled with people waiting to be called to the visa window. Applicants need a completed form (available online) a passport valid for at least six months, a photo and a photo ID. Payment for that service must be in the form of a money order. There are companies that will procure a visa for you. Follow the links for more information.
So what’s the deal with Brazil normally requiring a visa anyway? Brazil offers a reciprocal visa policy. Because the US requires a visa of visiting Brazilians, Brazil requires a visa of visiting Americans. Brazil’s relaxed visa policy for the United States during the sport-filled summer months also includes the countries of Japan, Australia and Canada. Tickets to the events are not required, and people who enter without a visa between June 1 and Sept 18 can stay as long as 90 days. Normally a visa is valid for 90 days within 12 months of the issue date, meaning one could leave and come back many times so long as the total time in Brazil does not exceed 90 days in that period.
Ready to take advantage of this great deal? With no hassle, no bureaucratic nightmares, and no wasted time and expense of applying, now is the time to make your plans. Check out Latin America’s leading airline, LANTAM. Non-stop flights from New York to Rio de Janeiro take about 10 hours and can cost from about $500 on up, RT. This and other options, deals and incentives can be searched here.