New Rules For Americans Traveling To Brazil Mean You Shouldn’t Go

Starting January 10, 2024 Brazil will require Americans, Canadians, and Australians to obtain a visa for entry to the country. The cost will be approximately $80 and allow multiple entry for 10 years (Canadians and Australians only get 5 years).

To apply electronically you’ll need:

  • a flight reservation showing arrival and departure
  • two free visa pages
  • a bank statement showing a balance of at least $2,000 and the most recent 30 days of transactions

Brazil had warned of a reinstated visa requirement that was supposed to start October 1 but was pushed off.

It’s a move by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (“Lula”) reminiscent of Cleavon Little holding a gun to his own head in Blazing Saddles. The U.S. didn’t eliminate visa requirements for Brazilians, so he’ll… reduce tourism and business travel to his own country in response. There’s no question that the U.S. makes it irrationally difficult to visit legally, so Brazil will make it irrationally difficult (but not as difficult) in response.

However the hassle and cost of the visa isn’t the real problem for Americans. It’s the requirement to send a bank statement.

  • My transactions for the last 30 days are none of Brazil’s business. Sharing that data alone is reason enough to prefer avoiding the country.

  • But providing financial details, including account balance, seems like an invitation for a member of the Brazilian civil service to sell that information to kidnap and ransom gangs.

Here are 2021 incidents of kidnapping, and note that Brazil’s population isn’t quite double Mexico yet had four times the kidnappings. And Mexico isn’t a place immune to them.

Some of you will surely respond by pointing out the amount of personal information that the U.S. collects both as part of its visa process and through covert and sometimes illegal means. That’s fair, but not really on point. I am not comfortable providing bank records to the Brazilian government as a condition of entry.

Anyone choosing to do so might be advised to use an account with limited funds (don’t have much more than the required $2,000 in it) and that isn’t your primary account for transacting.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Comments

  1. On the one hand, it’s Lula – he’s a leftist with bad ideas that don’t yield any success or growth (just as any of the left’s ideas), and he’s also pandering to anti-American sentiments with some.
    On the other hand, since the US seems to be letting anyone and everyone in through their land border it does make one think – what is the point of having a large, expensive apparatus for visa requests, handling, approval etc? Just let anyone in via airports as well (and “terrorism” prevention isn’t valid in my opinion since the US really has little clue who are the millions that have come in to it’s soil via land and not via air)

  2. There’s a reason the US requires a visa. The number of overstays is at least an order of magnitude greater for Brazilians visiting the US versus Americans visiting Brazil.

  3. I actually agree that u don’t want to provide data to brazil. But here what I’d do. I would transfer exactly $2000 into an account I don’t use and send in my 30 day transaction history 🙂

    Nothing.worse for any economy than leftist ideas. Anything with the word social in if (except for bars ) is bound for certain failure.

  4. Brazil’s policies are ridiculous and I agree the U.S. has made it absurdly difficult to have a normal visit. But regarding “social”–ah yes, those awful socialist democracies like Norway, Sweden and Denmark where people go bankrupt with paying into a private health care system, where student debt destroys the possibility of a good education for many, where corporations are treated like people who can buy politicians…oh wait, I must have them mixed up with another country.

  5. The U.S. didn’t eliminate visa requirements for Brazilians, so he’ll … ask Americans to do exactly the same as what Brazilians have to do for US entry.

  6. Thank you, Gary for this info! I had a trip to São Paulo scheduled for January 12. Just cancelled it. I will not give them my bank statement! And just gave the info to the Key desk!

  7. I remember back in 2013 I had to apply for a Brazilian tourist visa and I don’t recall them asking for bank details. Brazil got rid of the visa requirement for Americans around 2016 or 2017 to increase tourism but I’m guessing they miss the cash cow from visa fees?

  8. With the rise in cost of living I don’t think I maintain a $2000 average. Guess I’ll be going Destin vs Brazil.

  9. The world’s premier shitholes require visas of the one country their residents want to move to and politicians want to hide money in.

    Speaking of which, on a dating app in any U.S. city it’s as if there are no Brazilian, Mexican, Colombian, Korean, Indian, or Chinese women left in their respective countries.
    Works for me, as dipping my stick in the locally-sourced tattooed soup is depressing.

  10. You realize the US requires this same information… And agreed, it’s none of their darn business just like the US has no right to look at bank statements, social media posts, etc. But that’s why it’s reciprocity. Calling out one side is pure hypocrisy.

  11. I respectfully disagree with the notion that expressing concerns about trusting the Brazilian government equates to discrimination. Similarly, when applying for a US B1 B2 visa, Brazilian citizens are expected to provide a bank statement, ensuring they can cover travel and living expenses. This practice is reciprocal and aims to maintain the integrity of visa processes globally, emphasizing financial responsibility and ties to one’s home country.

  12. Plenty of other countries. No need to go to Brazil for me. Most other countries are much safer when it comes to street crime.

  13. I have idea why the US even has Passport control and hassles alot of folks to spend alot of time and money to get a Visa

    The other week at JFK it looked like a 10 mile line for CBP, yet we are letting in Millions over the Mex border w/o Visas, Passport or any $$$ in their pockets who will be relying on The US to provide for them.

    So we hassle those who can afford to come here and spend good money and welcome with open arms who knows who

    Just happy with went to Iguazu in Aug, but it was a crap shoot if they would let you into the Brazil side w/o a Visa when they had a Visa requirement yrs ago

  14. FYI to ‘drrichard’ above: “Socialist” Denmark (9th), Sweden (10th), Norway (11th) and Finland (12th) rank very high on the conservative Heritage Foundation’s 2023 Index of Economic Freedom {link below) – the US comes in at 25th; even the former Soviet vassal states of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania rank higher on this index than the US. Various of the Nordics have no minimum wage, they’ve school choice (vouchers), no inheritance/gift taxes, and privatized public services. Most all of the aforementioned seven countries even have lower corporate tax rates than the US (although individual tax rates in some are very high); all of them are considered very market – oriented and “pro – capitalist”. Those who call the Nordics “socialist” need to stop listening to Bernie Sanders, lol…

    https://www.heritage.org/index/ranking

  15. This is nothing new, Brazil has required a credit card statement showing that you have the required funds available whenever extending your 90 day entry stamp. Believing that the police are going to sell your credit card info to kidnappers makes me think you have some mental illness, you should consider taking a beach day or talking to a mental health specialist. With the average apartment cost in Ipanema starting at $500,000 USD your credit card statement isn’t going to look very appealing to these imagined kidnappers. I like a idea of less foreigners coming to Brazil because they are usually annoying delusional and entitled people but this article is just ridiculous.

  16. Stupid, but not a big deal. As you say, if you’re paranoid, set up a separate travel expenses account.
    First time I went to Brazil I had to apply by “snail mail” and get a visa attached to my US passport.
    If Brazil wants the revenue, just collect the fee at the airport!
    If you can’t scrape together US$ 2000 you probably shouldn’t be vacationing in Brazil. If it’s a family matter, yes Brazil should allow that exception. But yes, infamous stupidity of Brazilian bureaucracy…
    I am now a legal resident of Brazil, so I am familiar with some of this.

  17. For some strange reason Brazil thought that by eliminating the visa requirement for Americans we (USA) would eliminate it for Brazilians. Yeah right. The number of overstays by Brazilians is so high Brazil will never qualify for visa free status. That is their own fault. If they would start obeying the visa rules and not overstaying their visas they would get visa free status but that will never happen.
    Due to family reasons I have to travel to Brazil but I did what Gary suggested. Opened an account. Placed 2,000 there. Left it alone. As soon as my visa is approved I’ll close the account. I don’t trust Brazil with my information.

  18. I see an opportunity for some enterprising teenager with basic technical skills to start up a “Brazil visa bank statement” service to provide statements for anyone not savvy enough to create their own fake bank statement

  19. Thank you, Gary, for staying away from Brazil! Please spend your vacations in Saudia Arabia, or Guantanamo Bay, or wherever you feel more welcome.

  20. Lula never thought that instituting visas would convince the USA to eliminate the requirement of visas for Brazilians. It’s purely a sop to his leftist constituency who will get a charge out of sticking it to Americans, even knowing that it will harm Brazil far more than it will ever harm Americans.

    Lula is a criminal who was jailed for bribery – freed only on a technicality by politically activist judges from his own Party – and his leftist clique are a bunch of evil kleptomaniacs too, so the welfare of the average Brazilian means nothing to them. This is purely about Brazilian domestic politics, and not it’s foreign relations.

    Brazil in my opinion is in the top three most interesting countries to travel to, and by margin the most beautiful country in the world, but I wouldn’t blame anybody for giving it a miss until Lula is gone.

  21. As a US citizen who is a frequent traveler to Brazil, this is no surprise. Except for the last four years, when it was briefly waived, Brazil has always required a visa for travel from the US. What’s new is the financial disclosure and that is, indeed, very dangerous. The numbers in the chart are vastly underreported. Most families do not report a kidnapping. They haggle with the kidnappers and then pay. This can take months. Kidnapping is such a real possibility there that my wealthy friends will not let me go out without the chauffeur driving, a bodyguard and an “auntie.” The chauffeur of this family never stops at traffic lights, just blasts the horn and goes through because of the risk of stopping. They’ve had far too many attempted and successful kidnappings. I’m sure there will be “Rich Americans Incoming” files for sale. It’s a very good idea to use a credit union or small bank account for the purpose of this visa.

  22. This is a really crazy article. I have lived in Brazil for five years as an ExPat. It is a wonderful and beautiful country. If you want to experience bureaucracy, the US puts such stringent rules on banks and the information they must share back to the US to move even modest amounts of money abroad. And you are not going to be kidnapped here. You are just going to enjoy better weather, eat really healthy food close to the source, and your money will go 3 times farther. I was in shock visiting Starbucks in the US. It costs more than a lobster dinner here to get a quase natural mango syrup lemonade. Don’t get me started.

  23. @Karl Schieneman – (1) I have much enjoyed my time in Brazil over the years (2) comparing to the U.S., which I point out is pretty bad in this regard, is irrelevant for Americans considering whether they wish to submit to these requirements.

  24. We have to pay hundreds and hundreds for a VISA so we can spend money in your country, answer questions such as “have you ever been a part of a terrorist cell” and you can’t provide a $2,000 bank statement?

    We don’t need you,.don’t come.

  25. We will be at the Iguazú Falls, Argentinian side, in June, and had hoped to see the Brazilian side also. If Brazil enforces this at land borders, we will not cross into Brazil.

  26. Presenting a bank statement is a standard requirement for visa requests in most countries, to prove you have means to return to your own country. You are not as important as to assume your information would be sold to gangs; and the brazilian civil service is not as criminal as to assume they have connections with said gangs (they are actually quite professional).

    While there can be a discussion whether its a good policy to apply reciprocity in international relations, stating that americans can apply certain standards that brazilians cannot, just reeks of imperialist prejudice.

    As they say in Brazil: ‘o choro é livre’

  27. I have a Visa from before it was waived that doesn’t expire until 2025.
    Does anybody know if I can still only use that until it expires?

  28. “There’s no question that the U.S. makes it irrationally difficult to visit legally, so Brazil will make it irrationally difficult (but not as difficult) in response.”

    To quote the great Walter Williams.
    “If you and I are at sea in a rowboat and I commit the foolish act of shooting a hole in my end of the boat, would it be intelligent for you to retaliate by shooting a hole in your end of the boat?”

  29. I enjoy your blog, but are deeply disturbed about your comments about Brazil that have no context. There is no evidence EVER that Brazil Immigration or Customs Officials have been partners with drug dealers and criminals nor have the sold information about Americans to them. Also, Brazil is a very large country with 26 states and over 200 million people; it is wrong, and I would say prejudiced to paint the whole country as dangerous and crime ravaged especially since you haven not visited the country. It is incorrect to imply that the kidnappings are happening everywhere and put tourists at risk. Brazil is geographic and demographically as diverse as the United States. Would you stereotype Baltimore, D.C. the South Side of Chicago or parts of New York as representative of the entire country because of their crime rates? Of course not. Please don’t do that to Brazil that has some of the most beautiful and safe beaches in the world with wonderful resorts. and dynamic and safe cities such as Curitiba, Florianopolis and yes Sao Paulo.

  30. The Visa processing is done by VFS Global. Which is a Dubai/Indian operation. They have a their share of data theft scandals. But Brazil won’t be processing your bank statement and not sure if Ragiv at VFS will be in cahoots with Rio gangsters (who tend not to be the smartest).

  31. That being said, I’m unlikely to apply for a visa because of the many countries where I don’t have to. And because virtually all my brazilian friends now live in Europe. So your point is still correct.

  32. I will not be applying if I have to send my physical passport to any agency of any country to which my traveling is a choice, which means all countries that I am aware of – in this day and age electronic visas are the norm. Too much anxiety awaiting the safe return of the PPT. Not too worried about sending a statement from a checking account containing just over $2k, which is easily arranged with online transfers.

  33. I wonder if the author of this article, who is uncomfortable providing to Brazilian authorities *one* bank statement during a *ten*-year period, is also a defender of FATCA. Under FATCA, people who do not live in the United States and may not ever wish to travel there are required to provide to US authorities *each year* detailed information about *ALL* their financial accounts outside the United States, subject to draconian penalties. Their financial institutions outside the United States who do not also provide such information *each year* are also subject to draconian penalties. I wonder how the author of this article would defend FATCA all while objecting to Brazil merely wanting confirmation that the people coming to their country can support themselves while they are there.

  34. Why does the US need your entire bank history and so much more when you apply for a visa then? It’s the reciprocation that Brazil is doing.

  35. 5 more reasons to not visit Brazil;
    1. The incomprehensible language.
    2. Less than 5% of the population speak any degree of English, comparable to Russia, China and Laos.
    3. You cannot get a prepaid SIM card without a CPF, a Brazilian Tax Number, comparable to a US Social Security Number.
    4. They eat boiled hot dogs with their eggs for breakfast.
    5. They are cozying up to Iran, letting them dock their ships and refuel there.
    On the other hand, I feel safer there than in my hometown of San Francisco. Of course, I don’t buy drugs, drink excessively or partake in their legalized prostitution. (Or eat the hot dogs).
    PS, on average, the police kill 6 scumbags a day, without repercussion.

  36. I don’t know why people get so butthurt with some reciprocity, then just don’t go. It has always been that way before 2016 and guess what, there were flights to Brazil every single day full of americans. Just show your cashapp statement and it’s cool or a savings accnt you don’t use much, they are not asking to see your 401k statement. The problem is that the average american don’t have 2k in a bank. As for the person who complained about how dangerous Brazil is, have you been to parts of Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago or LA lately?

  37. I’m currently in another country on a one year visa where the Immigration Police sent someone to our house to interview a neighbor. Oh, I had to deposit $11K in a local bank account for 6 months prior. Boo Hoo Hoo. I’m saving more money in my life, going on cheap vacations to islands with white sands beaches, food is great, no snow ever. If you can’t stand the heat, stay home and watch TV.

  38. So in USA you have a criminal President about to spend a lot of time in jail and in Brazil you have a crazy left-wing dictator who is a criminal having spent time in jail, all wanting to know how I spend my money before I enter. Yeah, right, that’s going to happen LOL.

    What a pair of clowns. But both were voted for by the people “Apparently” so the people of the USA and Brazil need to suck it up. Crazy lunatics running the joints and tourists will stop coming.

    But here’s an idea Brazilians, head to the US-Mexican border, you can cross over for free and be set free to do what illegal activities you want, and even get aid from the crazy lunatic running the joint. But best do it in 2024, because in 2025 when President Trump, a real leader, gains power, the r to the USA will be shut and shut hard to stop illegals coming in.

    What has happened to USA and Brazil. Used to be such great countries to visit, people are great…. but under radical left wing lunatics both of them can kiss my fat ass

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