Brazil extends visa-free entry to boost visitor growth

Latin America's total hotel construction pipeline dropped to its lowest number of projects since the fourth quarter of 2013.
Novotel Marumbi Hotel in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Photo credit: Accor

This week, the Brazilian government announced that the country would allow visa-free entry for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan—four targeted countries considered strategic for the development of tourism in Brazil—effective June 17.

Citizens of those countries wishing to visit Brazil will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa, and will be able to stay in Brazil for 90 days from the date of first entry in the country, extendable for an equal period, provided that it does not exceed 180 days, every 12 months.
 
These developments come as part of a series of measures that Brazil has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country. Last year, the government launched an e-visa platform to facilitate applications. Since then, the country has reported an increase in visa applications of about 35 percent.

According to the Foreign Ministry, 169,910 visas (either for business, tourism or transit) were issued to citizens of the four countries in 2017. With the implementation of the e-visa in 2018, the number rose to 229,767.
 
“This is one of the most important achievements of the Brazilian tourism industry in the last 15 years and we are confident that it will be extremely beneficial to the country," Minister of Tourism Marcelo Alvaro Antônio said in a statement. "This decision of the Brazilian government proves that we are living a new moment and that tourism is being seen as a vector of economic and social growth of the entire nation. This is the first step.” 
 
"The United States was very receptive to the issuance of electronic visas. The World Tourism Organization says that when adopting an electronic visa, visa issuance increases by 25 percent, so we have exceeded that mark," said Teté Bezerra, president of Embratur (Brazil’s tourism board, a federal agency and part of the Ministry of Tourism).

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Until mid-June, the current e-visa will be required for entry into Brazil. 

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