Attractions of South America e-Book

Argentina Bolivia Brazil Chile Colombia Ecuador Peru Venezuela

Brazil Visa Information

Citizens of most Western European nations, including the UK and Ireland, only need a valid passport and either a return or onward ticket, or evidence of funds to pay for one, to enter Brazil. You fill in an entry card on arrival and get a tourist visa allowing you to stay for ninety days. Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens need visas in advance, available from Brazilian consulates abroad; a return or onward ticket is usually a requirement.

Do not lose the carbon copy of the entry card the police staple into your passport on arrival, as you may be fined when you leave if you don't present it. A sensible precaution is to photocopy it and also keep a record of your passport number in case it is lost or stolen. If you do lose your passport, report to the Polícia Federal and then obtain a replacement travel document from your nearest consulate. You'll then have to return to the Polícia Federal who will put an endorsement in your passport giving you 72 hours either to return to your original point of entry into Brazil for a replacement entry card or to leave the country altogether. So, for example, if you lose your documents in Rio and entered Brazil here, the formalities don't present too much of a problem. However, you may be hundreds of kilometers from your point of entry and far from a land border, in which case you'll have to decide whether to remain in Brazil illegally or leave the country earlier than planned.

A tourist visa can be extended for another ninety days if you apply at least fifteen days before it expires, but it will only be extended once; if you want to stay longer you'll have to leave the country and re-enter. There's nothing in the rule book to stop you re-entering immediately, but it's advisable to wait at least a day. For anything to do with visas you deal with the federal police, the Polícia Federal. Every state capital has a federal police station with a visa section: ask for the delegacia federal. A $10 charge, payable in local currency, is made on tourist visa extensions.


Foreign countries are represented at embassy level in Brasília and most also maintain consulates in Rio and São Paulo. Elsewhere in this vast country, consulates, vice-consulates or honorary consulates are found in many major cities, from Manaus to Porto Alegre. Levels of service will vary depending on the nature of the particular post, but at the very least you can count on some immediate advice. Addresses and telephone numbers of embassies and consulates can be found in the "Listings" section of the cities in the guide. Where their country doesn't have a representative, a Commonwealth national can seek help at a British mission, and a European Union citizen at another EU mission.

Longer stays: Academic visits

Academic visitors and researchers making a short trip or attending a conference are best advised to enter on a tourist visa, which cuts down on the bureaucracy. If you're staying for a longer period, or intend to do research, you need to get a special visa, known as an " Item IV " before you leave home. To obtain this, you'll need to present a letter from a Brazilian institution of higher education saying it knows about, and approves, your research, and you will be formally affiliated to the institution while you do it. Visas are issued for six months, a year or two years; if in any doubt about exactly how long you're going to stay, apply for the two-year visa. One-year visas can be extended for a further year inside Brazil, but only after months of chasing up the police, and often involving a trip to the Ministry of Justice in Brasília.

On arrival on an "Item IV", you must register at the seção dos estrangeiros office in the nearest federal police station to where you are based. Take some passport photographs, and you will be issued with an identity card; you can expect registering and getting the card to take at least a day of mindless drudgery, sitting in lines and chasing around, but it has to be done. If your work involves taking samples out of Brazil, a whole new bureaucratic ball game begins; you will need to get in touch well in advance with the Brazilian Embassy and with the Brazilian institution in question.

Source: TravelNow Destination Guides

© Copyright Rough Guides Ltd as trustee for its authors. Published by Rough Guides. All rights reserved.
The Rough Guides name is a trademark of Rough Guides Ltd.