Troubling: Brazil Says Americans Will Require A Visa, But The State Department Hasn’t Updated Its Website

Brazil has said that U.S. tourists will have to obtain a visa starting October 1, since the U.S. continues to require Brazilians to obtain a visa. The country scrapped the requirement in 2019 but it’s being re-imposed as a reciprocity measure.

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. It will reduce tourism, out of hassle as much as cost. And that’s bad news for tourism-dependent industries and localities in the country. But their decision.

What’s concerning for Americans is that the U.S. State Department website for travel to Brazil makes no mention of this impending change.

We’re well within the period of time during which Americans are likely to be buying airline tickets and making on the ground plans for travel in the fall. We’re about 2.5 months away from the change going into effect.

When researching travel requirements, U.S. citizens depend on the accuracy of information from their State Department. Going through a checklist of what’s required, they’ll see no visa is necessary, and… likely not think of this again until they show up at the airport and find themselves denied boarding by their airline.

Since it’s a requirement that has not yet started, TIMATIC (which airlines rely on) has not yet been updated either:

[Brazil – Destination Passport]
Passport required.

Document Validity

Passports and other documents accepted for entry must be valid for the period of intended stay.

Admission and Transit Restrictions

Passengers with a handwritten passport are not allowed to enter.

[Brazil – Destination Visa]
Visa required.

Visa Exemptions

Nationals of USA with a normal passport for a maximum stay of 90 days.

Additional Information

Extension of stay possible for visa exempt visitors.


Visitors not holding return/onward tickets could be refused entry.

Since Brazil’s Visa requirement – also for Australians, Canadians and Japanese – hasn’t gone into effect yet it’s possible it will be scrapped or delayed. Abandoning the policy seems politically difficult because Lula has been vocal on the issue.

The State Department doesn’t flag this, but anyone planning travel to Brazil should be aware of the potential need for a visa soon.

(HT: T.C.)

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, 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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  1. Gary, it will not be a visa, it will be a reciprocity payment on arrival
    They had that in the past

  2. In the early 2000s an actual tourist visa was required. I remember because I postponed a trip that I had got new visa for and when I actually went on the trip within the visa’s time period, AA at JFK realized that I hadn’t made the first trip using the visa in the stipulated time.

  3. @Doug – I’m not sure that is right. I travel to Brazil several times a year and what I have found is that you need to fill out and pay for the e-visa prior to departure. You don’t have to go to the consulate for an interview like you had to many years ago, but I don’t recommend showing up in Brazil expecting to pay for entry. It could lead to an uncomfortable situation or at the very least a significant time delay.

  4. @ben
    I have been going to brasil 3 times a year for the last 15 years
    I have 3 passports and use the israeli one to enter brasil since there was no payment required
    One of my trips I entered with US passport and paid about 120 usd and got the sticker for 10 years
    When you arrived they had separata line for us, canada, australia to pay before passport control
    They eliminated that about 6 years ago and now the 4 fingered criminal is reinstating it

  5. @Doug – Is the pay on arrival something you’ve experienced this year? My last trip was in May, so still under the old/current system for that trip. From what I’m reading, they’ll go to e-visa starting in October. But since there is so little useful information out there, maybe the sources I was reading are wrong. In general, I do think this could be yet another barrier that keeps American’s from visiting Brazil, which is a shame. For those who can make it all the way there, we are for sure a net positive for the Brazilian economy.

  6. I hope they do implement a full blown tourist visa policy. It’s the only thing that MIGHT get our incompetent bureaucrats off of their asses and modernize our own visa system.

  7. @ben
    No, the last time I saw that lane was at least 6 years ago, but I suspect come october they will reinstate the lane and the cashier booth…
    Argentina had the same but they eliminated that all together, even though usa still demands visa for argentineans

  8. American should be required to have a visa everywhere. With that said Brazil is an even bigger Sh*thole than the US. So its kind of comical to me.

  9. I just emailed the Brazilian consulate (DC) about this a few days ago and they just told me to follow their instructions on their Visitor Visas (VIVIS) page. It hasn’t been updated except for the announcement this spring. If nothing new comes out before then, I’m just going to follow this process and see what happens.

  10. @Doug me, too. I have a 10-year visa in my passport. Obtained it in 2016. If the official policy gets confirmed, I will just ask the Brazilian consulate here in NYC if the visa is still valid.

  11. Jeez what a one-sided take on the Brazilian President’s actions. Yes Tourism may fall some due to these changes but they will also get a revenue boost from $160 US dollars per Brazlians visa issued, including Japan, Australia, etc. Bolsonaro basically took money from Brazil’s Gov dropping the requirement. Some travelers don’t even spend $160 USD traveling in Brazil; the Real took a huge dive after the conservatives took power in Brazil. I’ve been traveling to Brazil for nearly a decade & have no issue renewing my Visa at a Brazlian consulate, there are 10 locations throughout the US. This Blog seems like Americans being Americans, being the most selfish travelers in the world.

  12. In less than three months, the new Brazil visa requirement law will become effective. As of today (two months and twelve days before the law is effective), there is conflicting information on the Brazilian consulate site regarding getting the visa.

    One thing that bothers me a lot is that I must mail my passport to the Brazilian Consulate.

    I also must submit a photo along with the application and payment. All this goes through the U.S. mail. Then in a week or so, our passport and visa will be mailed back to us, if we are lucky.

    It is my opinion that the new visa requirement will be a very expensive thing for Brazil in lost tourist money. Many potential tourists will not go through the nonsense to obtain a visa.

    I may sell my vacation home in Brazil and stop visiting Brazil where I spend a substantial amount of money on each trip (several trips each year).

    Brazil is already hurting for money. If their tourist traffic volume is cut materially because tourists do not want to go through the aggravation (and expense to buy the visa), I think any logical person realizes the new requirement is a big mistake and will hurt Brazil from future lost tourist money.

    When we enter Brazil, we submit our passports. The visa is merely a copy of the same information shown in our passports plus one extra photo taken to give to Brazil with the visa application.

    What a silly and stupid idea to resurrect the visa requirement.

    Sorry for the long post but I had to give my opinion on the “not so smart” idea of forcing tourists to temporarily lose custody of their passport for no logical reason.

  13. @dmg9 – It’s standard procedure to surrender your passport when obtaining any kind of visa. I have a 10-year tourist visa to China. You should have seen the lines in the Chinese consulate here in NYC. If anything, mailing it and applying online is a huge step up. If you’re worried about it getting there, then send it registered mail.

    Also, broader thought, this is what happens when you gut the State Department in the name of combating the “Deep State.” Thanks, MAGA. Government services that citizens actually rely on start breaking down when you fire career civil servants en masse. Shocking.

  14. If anyone can confirm if a 10 year Brazilian Visa from 2016 will suffice for a trip to São Paulo in October 2023, I’d love to know.

  15. Fair enough!. It is completely absurd that in the middle of 2023 Brazilians have so much bureaucracy to enter in the USA. Brazilians occupy the third position how tourists who spend the most in the United States, behind only the British and Japanese, according to the US Department of Commerce.

  16. @anna
    Because if there was no visa half of brasil would stay in orlando forever, while no american wants to move to brasil permanently

  17. I sure hope if this all goes through that it is just an e-visa situation. I’m in Argentina (a US citizen) and mailing my passport out for a visa really isn’t an option.

    Either way, October isn’t far off and it would be great if something official happened, one way or another. Because right now I’m teetering between canceling what I can and taking the financial loss, and crossing my fingers.

  18. I could care less about the 160.00 visa fee. Just get the system up and running we are now less than 60 days before the deadline and their is no way to apply..

  19. I emailed the U.S. embassy in Brasilia about what is going on. They basically said nothing is going on, and that Brazil hasn’t provided any information, and at this moment, the announcement of a required visa is, as it stands, just an announcement and not official (they also said to continually check the State Department website as that would be updated as soon as any information is updated).

    I would have to guess that if no additional information appears in the next two weeks, Brazil will either delay implementing this change, or they’ll just opt for an easy online e-visa.

  20. The new minister of tourism has said that he wants to bring in out side money I think it be hard to due that if brazil makes it hard for people to visit

  21. I am supposed to be in Rio for the last two weeks of October. Government bureaucrats are useless.

  22. I am supposed to enter Brazil ON the first day this goes into effect – October 1 – and there is still zero information about how it’s all going to work. We’re now past the window where I’m comfortable sending them my passport, so at this point I’m planning to show up at the border and hope everything works out.

  23. Scheduled to arrive the day before (Sept 30) this goes into effect, which still has us a bit nervous. Also amazed at the lack of info. Various “sources” say that e-visa will be available – but no real details regarding how this may work.

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