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.