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. Cuba had zero cases of kidnapping but visiting would support the regime’s repression of the Cuban people.

  2. Ah, as if America’s process for people to visit or move isn’t any easier? America by and far is a joke as it pertains to the overly complex, expensive and nuanced process for someone to visit here from Brazil.

    I’m a US Born citizen and make no mistakes, living in Brazil is far better than the United States in nearly every way but cuck on, Gary. Stick to bitching about upgrades you aren’t entitled to anyway.

  3. OMG. The visa is intended, above all, to avoid prejudiced and ignorant people like the one who wrote this article and those who agree with him. Brazil has one of the largest information and data systems in the world, interconnected with systems from different countries, do you really think they want your bank statement to sell data? Spare me, please I beg you, don’t go to Brazil and it will be a favor to them and the Americans (or British like me) who like to visit there.

  4. I have lived here in Brazil for the last year, and I am a permanent resident. Love Brazil. It has its positives and negatives the responses by Brazilians. I am not surprised every Brazilian that I talk to complain about the government about the crime about the prices about the taxes, etc., but they do not like foreigners to say anything at all negative about their country. I’ve learned that. So there cannot be a conversation about the negatives of Brazil with a Brazilian because automatically they will become defensive but if you are here and you’re having a conversation they would agree with almost everything you said , it’s very strange again I love Brazil as I love the United States both have their problems but let’s be realistic what country in the world do most people try to immigrate to to work and live it’s not Brazil. It’s the United States. Yes there are people from other countries that come here because it is better than a lot of other countries, but in general, I can tell you, and if we’re being honest and realistic Not all countries are equal people are not immigrating to Afghanistan or Iran from around the world because they want a profitable and happy life in general. They are the United States though, so it would make sense that the United States would have stricter rules in order to try to limit those that do not plan to return to their country And to work under the table but for some reason we want to pretend that all countries are equal and all countries should have the same laws and rules that’s unrealistic and that’s not correct yes, it’s frustrating for me that Brazil is reinstating the rules or the visa I should say But in the end I have no problem with it but I would say that I don’t know too many Americans coming to Brazil that want to move here because they think it’s a place where they can finally live the Brazilian dream. Meaning they’re going to work under the table. The rules in the United States are for just that to prove that you are a tourist, and that you plan to return and not Work without paying taxes not too many Americans are doing that here in Brazil. One of the things that I do say about Brazilians often is that they shoot themselves in the foot all the time they throw the baby out with the bathwater and even though I have a doctorate in sociology, this is one of the most complex And difficult cultures and societies to understand why they do what they do with that said I’m not saying anything negative I’m just saying my observations because I live in Brazil not because I have to not because it’s profitable to me because it’s actually very expensive to live here. The taxes are Extreme the banking system charges the highest interest rates and worst service in the world in the bureaucracy is absolutely breathtaking but I love Brazil and I love this country and I love the people just like whenever you complain to your child that you love very much that they did something wrong doesn’t mean that you don’t love them anymore because you’re telling them of their fault. That’s the way I’m talking about Brazil , I have no problem with the visa being reinstated but I think the bank statements are a little bit ridiculous being that like I said there’s very little if any Americans coming here with no plans to return and that would be the only reason to do that other than to Punish Americans because Americ requires Brazil to do this Brazilians to do the same again not all countries are the same not all countries, financial position, or whatever is the same and I’ll repeat people from all over the world try to get into the United States to work under the table far more than Brazil Brazilians, go to America to work I get asked almost every day about how the situation is for working under the table in the US, but I know of no Americans here working under the Table I’m sure there are but I know of none and it’s not a pervasive problem just my two. Cents.

  5. “ My transactions for the last 30 days are none of Brazil’s business. ” Dude, the US literally asks Brazilians the transactions for the last 90 DAYS. What do you think US people are soooo awesome that they won’t give a bank statement ? Wake the hell up

  6. Reciprocal only, also, Brazil don’t live with north american tourism money, so don’t worry, they won’t feel anything if americans stop going there.

  7. we as brazilians have to pay 185USD to get the visa.
    so they should charge the exact same amount too.
    I agree some people just wanna travel to the USA to work and get money to send over to brazil.
    but they are working hard and they deserve the money they earn.
    I am a tour guide and unfortunately I have little work because I don’t wanna live in a big city and here in my hometown we don’t get many foreigners.

  8. Could you share the source of the kidnapping information? Also reciprocity policies for visas are fairly common in the world so not sure why you’re admonishing Brasil for it. The visa was revoked for a period of time following the Olympics and World Cup and then covid but it is nothing “new”. Overall this article comes across as highly biased and prejudicial.

  9. Hilarious reading about how difficult it is to get into the US, with about 30 million illegals now here and thousands more arriving daily.

  10. I have little doubt you could simply black out part of your account number and the document would still be accepted. I don’t know what all’s the fuss about
    And if u r that worried just visit a Consulate and get ur visa there.

  11. Amateurly written article! Did you know that Brazilian laws provide for reciprocity in countries’ entry agreements? And not just Brazil but several other countries? Dumb! Why should the rules for Americans be easier and the rules for Brazilians should be stricter? Congratulations Brazil, don’t depend on stupid Americans!

  12. The difference is that I doubt Americans will be coming to Brazil to look for jobs, contrary to Brazilians that come to America (illegally) hoping against hope that they’ll be able to stay and have a better life than back home. I believe they’re successful since countless stay for good and try to bring their families. And many stay working illegally, hiding from authorities. But the US bordering Mexico, has an invasion of south Americans that without control, there wouldn’t be many people left, south of the border. So, in that comparing Brazil with America is absolutely ridiculous because the only people who try to “invade” Brazil are the poor Venezuelans running away from terrible misery and dictatorship. What will happen is Americans will be upset enough to tell Brazil ” to get lost” because there are MANY beautiful options in other countries.

  13. Hilarious thread. If you think that US visa rules are comparable to Brazil’s you’re disillusioned at best. No one goes to Brazil to stay illegally, Brazil is not in the visa waiver programs for obvious reasons. It’s of course a requirement to prove that you can financially support yourself to go to a first world country and you’re not required to if you’re from a first world country visiting anywhere.

    If you don’t understand why, you’re a moron.

    Brazil can grandstand all they want, Gary is completely right: Giving financial information to a third world country for going on vacation should be a hard pass

  14. Wow, worse than the wretched India e-visa. While India is a lovely cultural destination, its tourist board leaves much to desired. What Brazil is doing here is disgusting, and worse than India.

    I remember the French visa debacle, pre-internet year.

    I think that I’ll put off touring Brazil for yet another year. Many other lovely South American destinagtions.

  15. If Brazil isn’t smart enough to realize that being as accepting and working as hard as possible to encourage outside investment and tourism isn’t the best legitimate way to climb up the economic ladder in the world and claim their place as a first world nation, one just like the places they regularly leave Brazil for legally or not, they will be damned to continue on forever with everything necessary to accomplish more and the complete inability to pull themselves together and make it happen. I was here 90 days beginning in August and again beginning early December. I see the average Brazilian needlessly suffering because of greed, shortsightedness, classism, corruption, laziness, selfishness, delusion, lack of cohesion, lack.of clarity and the poor utilization of all the resources they have literally falling from the trees. I know LOT regular people and the rich will.suffer big time once 1/3 as many tourists come here and contribute many hundreds of millions, if not more, to the economy, if they had a system in place that allowed more in the way of personal rights and the system was operated in a way that lends Itself to giving investors a feeling of stability, billions could easily come in from investors, Brazil could be the ultimate destination for.millions.of people who want to escape the insane cost of living in the USA and many other countries who are capable of spending hundreds of thousands or real.each per yeqr if they were allowed to.cpme.here the way the Philippines allows people to fo.with verynlittle.red.tape.or restrictions, make it veryneasy amd friwndlynfor us tomcome and gomaswe.need to do and stop.pretending that Brazilians are not going to break the terms of a US tourist Visa, if you want get more Brazilians the ability to live in more prosperous places letting them.have more contact with people from outside is good, if everyone in the world moved to the USA that will.remove the reason for living in the USA. Brazil doesn’t grow as a nation because it’s like crabs in a bucket, people pull each other down… that’s according to my fiancee, this rule is going to be nice for the exchange rate though, Brazil will.be doing much less exchanging for Dollars, hopefully the exchange rate will.go.back to.6 Real a USD again, I.will.be very happy about that it will make my retirement income go much further and keep the cost of living here cheap because there won’t be so much outside money floating around in the economy. Shoot yourself in the leg Brazil and make sure all the passport bros like me choose somewhere else to enrich and invigorate. Don’t address the fact that criminal gangs terrorize everyone and make them want to leave by allowing people the right to self defense and ditch racist drug laws from 100 years ago that put cartels in business. Don’t encourage your people to own property and build real wealth. Don’t put a stop to shortsightedness, petty corruption and banish the communists that incessantly lie and never fix the problems that make everyone want to leave in the first place. I love my new family and I can live in a place where many luxuries aren’t available. I can also defend myself and now how to never have the need as well. I have nothing against average Brazilians, I have a problem with you “leaders” I see a civil war on the horizon here before the USA because life is getting that bad for people here, when your people have nothing left to lose you better be scared and if the US military can’t win an insurgency war what makes you think you can?

  16. Frank says “Hilarious reading about how difficult it is to get into the US, with about 30 million illegals now here and thousands more arriving daily.”

    Couldn’t agree more yet Sleepy Joe continues to allow our borders to remain unsecured and welcomes illegals with open arms. What a slap in the face for those persons patiently waiting to emigrate here legally.

  17. Just FYI. Here you can find the visa requirements for Brazilian citizens visiting the US: https://ais.usvisa-info.com/en-br/niv/information/required_docs

    They include:

    Your ability to pay all the costs of your trip.
    Evidence of your employment and/or family ties may be sufficient to show the purpose of your trip and your intent to return to your home country.

    What Brazil seems to be doing is applying something called “reciprocity”.

  18. I have visited Sao Paolo a couple of times, this time wanted to visit for 2 weeks in Jan, just happened to see this article, thank you! I was able to apply for the evisa. Seemed straightforward – the application clearly stated flight itinerary was OPTIONAL and to NOT book the tickets. But then after submitting the docs with bank statement ending Nov 15 (I am writing this on Dec 10), they are asking for statement until Nov 30 and also flight itinerary! Also, I have to submit within 12 hours (per email). I called to let them know that banks only provide statement every 30 days. They said to wait and then submit within 10 days.
    Now I understand reciprocity etc. but this is not a good way to treat tourists. Since I have already booked the ticket, I will probably end up going, but will not take my family anymore due to all the minor child regulations and evisa requirement difficulties (bank statements for each family member?).
    Hopefully the Brazilian govt will make it easier and not be as bureaucratic. Well, there are other countries I can visit – planning to go to Chile (Easter Island) and was just in Bogota – beautiful city. None of this e-visa formalities and challenges with latest bank statements, minor notaries etc. with either Colombia, Chile or Argentina for that matter.

  19. I know the author meant well and he did give one important tip: don’t give anyone you don’t trust a copy of your bank statement showing $50k cash readily convertible to Bitcoin ransom.

    BUT – the article title gives an air of entitled pettiness. Don’t tell people not to go to a country just because they decided to exercise visa reciprocity. Armed with the right information and exercise of common sense caution, a trip to Brazil can be as safe as your next road trip in the US (which has the highest traffic death among all developed countries – 3x the rate of western EU).

  20. It’s very nice how U.S. citizens live in a bubble and think that they are the most amazing and important people in the world. Like, wake up, you are not that important for government to want to sell your information! Take this 2k in your bank statement and go buy a geography book, maybe you learn how to pop the bubble you live in!

  21. The data I saw is a couple years old but the total number of visa overstays is highest among Brazilians. As a percentage of visas or of the population it is not highest, but still high. That is the reason for the US visa requirement.

    You might remember the US added S. Korea to the visa waiver program, making everything much easier. I know a S. Korea who was ecstatic about this. The reason for the change was very low overstay numbers.

    Please stop with the comments that the US does this out of delusion, self-importance, and unawareness. Even if all those things are true that’s not the reason. On the other hand, it is sort of refreshing to see Brazil stick up for its people. Brazil first.

  22. The requirements are rather difficult to deal with, mainly because they provide inadequate guidance as to what is required.

    If crossing at a land border, they decided to require a letter of some sort. They dont understand that the 1MB limit makes it impossible to add documents.

    You need a bank statement less than 15 days old and it cant be more than 3 pages because it wont fit in the 1MB limit.

    The Passport photo must be uploaded as a .png file ONLY (even though they say jpg is allowed) Theres a bug in the vfs site.

  23. Not sure if this is the right place to post this, but there is currently (as of December 27, 2023) a serious problem with getting Brazilian visas. The third-part website that you use to apply (and where you upload all your documents) doesn’t work right. And once you have completed the application, and received a receipt, nothing further happens. We are leaving for a cruise that includes Brazil in 10 days, having spent three weeks trying to apply, and we still haven’t heard. There are probably hundreds of people just on our Regent cruise who won’t be able to get into Brazil. There’s frantic posting on the Regent fans’ website, and we’ve received two frantic emails from Regent itself. I feel there ought to be a story here. Not sure whether Regent will cancel the cruise, or reroute it away from Brazil.

  24. We love visiting Brazil as a tourist from the U.S. We also frequent Argentina and Chile. On our last cruise, Brazil taxed our beverages purchased and also the free ones on the ship upon entering Brazilian waters. We don’t care about the money but it seems a little childish. Now the Visa process which is unworkable as Steven said in his post. So Brazil will force the cruise line to reroute or cancel. So we spend the money on the cruise, and cannot get the VISA from Brazil because they can’t figure out how to implement it and their approval process computing has crashed. If anyone has a site where they were successful, please post. Thank you.

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