Visas and Passports in Brazil

Author: Jim Newham
Submitted: June 2014


To enter Brazil, citizens of most countries will need a valid passport, or an equivalent travel document if they are a stateless person or refugee. All passports and other entry clearance documents must be valid for six months after the date of entry into the country. Ensure that your passport is stamped on arrival and that you retain your immigration landing card, else you may be fined on departure. Note that, in Brazil, it is important to carry a passport or other means of picture ID whenever you are out in public.

As an additional requirement to a passport, Central African, Comoran, North Korean and Taiwanese citizens need a specially issued laissez-passer to gain entry into Brazil. Conversely, citizens of all the other large South American countries (Argentines, Bolivians, Chileans, Colombians, Ecuadoreans, Paraguayans, Peruvians, Uruguayans and Venezuelans) may use a valid ID card instead to enter Brazil, if they are travelling direct from their home country.

Citizens of most countries will also need a visa to immigrate into Brazil. In addition, immigrants from some tropical countries will need to produce a medical certificate to prove they have been immunised against yellow fever. A full list of affected countries affected is given here:

However, since all parts of Brazil except the coastal states are yellow fever risk areas, it is wise to ensure you are vaccinated before you leave your home country whatever it is.

No Visa Required

No visa is required to enter Brazil if you are a citizen of one of approximately 70 countries, provided your stay is for business or tourism. A full list of visa and passport requirements is given below:

You will need to read the ‘Caption’ (key) at the top of the document to understand it. Basically, citizens of the countries listed which have an ‘8’ in the two right-hand columns are generally permitted to stay in Brazil without a visa for up to 90 days. An extension of this period is possible for a few countries, but this will only last for a further 90 days.

Those intending to stay in Brazil for more than 90 days will always need a visa, regardless of what country they are from. It may be possible to apply for a visa to further your stay while you are in Brazil, but this will be at the authorities’ discretion and cannot be relied on. In all cases, visa status cannot be change while you remain in the country.

Visa Types

There are a great number of types of visa issued by the Brazilian authorities, including tourist, business, student and work visas. The visas fall into two categories – temporary and permanent. Temporary visas will suit you if your stay in Brazil is for a year or two. For example, student and internship visas are valid for one year, temporary work visas for two. For a longer-term stay, you will need to apply for a permanent visa. For more information on these, see Settlement, Residence and Citizenship. Note that visa fees vary widely depending on which country you come from.

Visa Application

You must apply for a Brazilian visa before leaving your home country. Visa application forms are usually only available in Portuguese, so you may help completing them. Whichever visa you apply for, in addition to your visa application form filled out in duplicate, you will need the following documents as a minimum:

Be aware that applying for a long-term Brazilian visa is typically a lengthy and arduous process. It is best to apply at least two months before you intend to immigrate. Note that special arrangements have been made for the World Cup, and football fans travelling to Brazil should not encounter anything like this sort of delay.

Although Brazil has diplomatic representation in most the world’s countries, it does not in some smaller ones. If you do not have a Brazilian embassy or consulate in your country, diplomatic representation can generally be found at the nearest embassy in a neighbouring country.