When researching a vacation, it is much more fun to read about the beaches, national parks, and festivals than the practical stuff. But when it comes to visas, you definitely want to do some thorough research. Many travelers don’t even know that a Brazilian visa is required to enter the country, but this is indeed the case for citizens of many countries, including the US and many nations in the EU. It is easy to figure out if you need one, however—Brazil has a reciprocal policy, so whatever restrictions are applied to Brazilians visiting your country of origin are applied to you when you visit Brazil. Once you know, don’t wait until the last minute to read up on how to get a visa to Brazil, or you might wind up having to postpone your trip. Remember, it takes time to have a visa processed, and you can’t get one in a single day.
Before you start worrying about a Brazilian visa, here are the basics. There are several requirements that make a complete visa application package, and it is essential to have everything on the list. The first step, and one that many travelers neglect to notice, is that your passport must be valid for six months after your scheduled departure from Brazil. That means that even though you have a valid passport up until a certain date, it will not be valid for a Brazilian visa if it expires less than six months after your vacation ends. If you’re in a gray area at all regarding dates, it might be wise to get a new passport before your trip.
The next step for how to get a visa to Brazil is filling out the application form. One needs to be filled out per applicant (as opposed to one per family) and be sure to write legibly. A signature is also required on these forms. If you fail to complete these steps, your Brazilian visa will most likely be delayed. Up next is the photo requirement. With your application you must submit a 2 x 2 passport style photo, in color, with a plain background. Visa applications can be rejected because of photos that don’t follow these requirements, so be sure to follow instructions carefully.
After these basics, there are a few more requirements. If you have a driver’s license, make a copy of it to include with your package. If you are staying in a hotel, you don’t need an official invitation, but if you aren’t staying in a hotel, enquire about this further at your local embassy. A complete visa package will also include proof of departure, such as a plane ticket or train ticket outside of Brazil. Each visa grants a stay of up to 90 days in Brazil. If you want to stay longer, you are going to need to apply for another visa. Keep in mind that each application has a fee, and if your application is rejected, you must pay the fee again. This is another reason to do your research thoroughly.
The last piece of the puzzle for how to get a visa to Brazil is the location. There are embassies across the United States, including in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. The wait time on your visa will depend on the location of the embassy. For example in New York, visa applications are processed in 6 to 7 business days, but in Atlanta, the wait time can be from 20 to 23 business days. This is yet another reason why it is essential to plan in advance for applying for a Brazilian visa. Once you have the practical matters out of the way, you can go back to the fun of researching the Carnival celebrations, the Amazon rainforest, and the beaches of Rio de Janeiro.