Iguazu Falls Brazil
For a limited time this summer, you can visit places in Brazil — such as Iguaçu Falls — without having to pay for any fees associated with obtaining a visa. Photograph ©2005 by Brian Cohen.

Are These Visa Requirements Ridiculous Just to Enter Brazil?

Are they really necessary — or a step in the wrong direction?

Back on Thursday, August 31, 2023, this updated article pertaining to the reintroduction of the requirement for a visa to enter Brazil effective as of Wednesday, January 10 2024 was published at The Gate With Brian Cohen — but are at least a couple of the latest visa requirements ridiculous just to enter Brazil?

Are These Visa Requirements Ridiculous Just to Enter Brazil?

Iguazu Falls
Iguazu Falls in Argentina, as seen from Brazil. Photograph ©2005 by Brian Cohen.

The official requirements to obtain an electronic visa — or eVisa — for the purposes of either tourism or business to enter Brazil for stays of up to 90 days are as follows, with three specific requirements highlighted in bold red text:


  • Passport (signed, valid up to end of Brazil trip, 2 visa pages free).
  • Visa application form (completed online).
  • Passport-style photo (2″ x 2″, white background). Please click here to view the guidelines for the photograph to be uploaded.
  • eVisa fee payment (US$ 80.90).
  • Confirmation of round trip reservation (flight, ship, or bus reservation showing entrance by air, sea or land into Brazil and exit from Brazil).
  • Printed bank statement showing transactions for the last 30 days and showing at least US$ 2,000.00 for travel.Only for Tourism & Transit purposes.(For family process: signed sponsorship letter and bank statement from the main applicant).


  • In addition to the materials listed above, applicants traveling to Brazil for business (company meetings, consulting, auditing, site visits, signing of contracts, journalistic activities, cruise or airline crew members.) must present a letter from either their U.S. or Brazilian company. The letter should be on company stationery and signed by a manager/director/supervisor, stating the following information:
  • Nature of company’s/organization’s business or activities in Brazil.
  • Applicant’s title, job description and monthly salary.
  • Nature of business and activities to be conducted by applicant in Brazil.
  • Name(s) and address(es) of Brazilian company(ies) with which applicant will conduct business.
  • Contact(s) in Brazil: name(s), phone number(s) and corresponding position(s).
  • Expected travel dates.
  • Affirmation of company’s financial support of applicant while in Brazil.
  • Affirmation that applicant will not provide any technical assistance or perform any salaried work while in Brazil (such activities require a VITEM V temporary work visa).


  • In addition to the visa application requirements stated above, applicants who are younger than 18 years of age at the time of application must present the following additional materials:
  • Original birth certificate and one copy
  • Authorization for Issuance of Brazilian Visa for a Minor,signed by both parents
  • For children of Brazilian parent(s): Statement of Non-Citizenship declaring that the applicant is not a Brazilian citizen (does not hold a Brazilian Birth Certificate), signed by Brazilian parent(s).
  • If only one parent is listed on birth certificate, only that parent’s signature is required.
  • If one parent has sole custody of applicant, a notarized copy of the court order awarding sole custody and exclusive parental rights must be presented.
  • If one parent is deceased, a death certificate must be presented.
  • Copy of passports or other form of photo ID for both parents.
  • The name on the parent’s photo ID must match parent’s name on the child’s birth certificate. If said parent has changed his or her name since the issuance of the birth certificate, the parent must present documentation showing proof of the name change (e.g. marriage certificate or court order). Even if they are not minors,adults also need to present the Court Order in case of change of name.
  • Airline crew members who hold valid International Air Crew Card or Seafarers who hold valid International Seafarer Card issued under Term 185 of the International Labor Organization (ILO) are exempt from eVisa. Air crew members and Seafarers who do not hold the above mentioned cards need the eVisa.

Why would official representatives of a country need to look at sensitive information such as a bank statement? A major credit card should be all that is needed to ensure that the host country would receive the necessary funds for a person to enter, visit, and then leave a country. The country would receive the required funds from the credit card company, who would then in turn collect the funds from the holder of the credit card that was used.

FlyerTalk member ysolde recently expressed her concerns pertaining to this specific requirement:

My husband and I are due to fly down to Rio in March for a Brazil to Lisbon cruise. The cruise is with Regent Seven Seas Cruises, which is all-inclusive (meaning they arranged all the flights and hotels for us). Not only does Brazil’s new e-visa require proof of financial solvency (banking statements) which must be uploaded to their website, along with the more usual paperwork (passport page with ID, passport-type photo on white background), but we have to upload copies of our round trip plane tickets to Brazil. Not only are these requirements onerous and intrusive (do they truly expect us to upload our banking statements, complete with account numbers, onto some website we know nothing about?), but we are on a Transatlantic cruise. We do not have round trip plane tickets. We have one-way plane tickets to Brazil, and are taking a cruise ship out of the country. Their website seems ill-equipped to understand this notion. I am going to try the local consulate on Monday, but given that the website just went live on Saturday, I doubt the consulate will know how to handle this particular issue.

At this point, our options seem to be cancel, and lose five figures, in the hopes that trip insurance will cover this; beg the cruise company to purchase return tickets for everyone on the cruise in hopes that we will all be able to navigate the shiny new electronic visa system (and hope that the cruise company will be able to recoup its money), or hope that the Brazilian government will figure this one out in the midst of the holiday season in time for all of us to get our visas and make our cruise.

Asking for an original copy of a birth certificate is unreasonable, as it could get lost, stolen, or damaged while traveling. If the original birth certificate is to be submitted electronically, then why is a copy also needed? What is to prevent someone from submitting a fraudulent birth certificate if it is submitted electronically?

Why would a country need to know if one of the parents of a minor child is deceased — and why must a death certificate be provided?

Citizens of the United States were initially once again expected to be required to pay $160.00 for a visa for the privilege of entering Brazil; but the good news is that the cost for an eVisa will instead be $80.90.

A Brief History of Visas Issued By Brazil

South American Coatis Iguaçu Falls Brazil
Photograph ©2005 by Brian Cohen.

Dilma Rousseff — who was the president of Brazil until she was impeached and removed from office on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 — agreed to suspend the requirements for visas between Wednesday, June 1, 2016 and Sunday, September 18, 2016 in what was known as the “exceptional, unilateral visa waiver” for visitors from certain other countries and regions which purportedly have “a strong Olympic tradition, which have hosted the Games in the past and pose no migration risk or national security risks” for the 2016 Olympic Games in the city of Rio de Janeiro, which occurred from Friday, August 5, 2016 through Sunday, August 21, 2016; and for the Paralympic Games, which occurred between Wednesday, September 7, 2016 and Sunday, September 18, 2016.

Effective as of Thursday, January 25, 2018, the fee which citizens of the United States were required to pay in order to visit Brazil had been significantly reduced to $44.24; and the service fee of $4.24 — which was included in the reduced visa fee — was for the convenience of processing the visa application electronically in three simple steps, which substantially reduced the amount of time needed to apply and receive the visa. Electronic visas were implemented by Brazil at that time, which meant that visitors from the United States, Canada and Japan can apply for electronic visas from the comfort of their own homes and no longer needed to travel to the Brazilian consulate nearest to them and wait in long lines.

The government of Brazil permitted citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan to enter the country without applying for or paying for a visa in order to increase the number of visitors between destinations by as much as 25 percent effective as of Monday, June 17, 2019.

In a reversal of a policy of allowing entry with no visa which was implemented on Monday, June 17, 2019, Brazil reintroduced the requirement for an eVisa effective as of Wednesday, January 10 2024 for citizens of the United States, Australia, and Canada “in compliance with the principle of reciprocity.”

The original date for the reintroduction of the visa requirements was Sunday, October 1, 2023; and they also initially included Japan.

Final Boarding Call

passport stamps
Photograph ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

Although I can understand why a country would want to impose restrictive visas on visitors for various reasons — keeping track of them while they are in that country; as well as to have a revenue stream — they do stand the chance of losing out on the economic benefits of the funds of tourists and business people when the process of securing that visa is unnecessarily complicated and prohibitively expensive. North Korea and Russia are two countries which immediately come to my mind when it comes to the hassle of getting a visa — but Brazil has not exactly been known to have the easiest or least-expensive process either.

For me, countries which have such restrictive visa policies indicate to me that they are not friendly countries; or perhaps they just do not want for you or me to visit for whatever reasons. Yes, I do understand that there are people who view the United States similarly, as I agree that the United States is just as culpable in perpetuating a policy which is unfriendly to visitors as Brazil. In today’s “shrinking” world primarily due to technology, that is a potentially costly mistake, in my opinion. Restrictive visa policies may scratch the “tip of the iceberg” pertaining to greater issues within certain countries; but they do not help in promoting being part of what should be a peaceful global community.

By reducing — or, better yet, eliminating — the fees to secure a visa for a visitor, I believe that the economic benefits would more than make up for it. That $80.90 per person for a visa to visit Brazil could instead go towards patronizing businesses and other areas of the general economy, which in turn would increase tax revenues for the government as one of many benefits. I am by no means an expert on economic policies in global economies; but I believe that charging exorbitant visa fees actually does more harm to countries economically in the long term than helps them.

At the very least, countries should do whatever is possible to strike a realistic balance in ensuring their security and charging fees to visitors: attempt to have the visa process as easy as possible for visitors to enter countries without compromising on smart security; and lower the visa fees as much as possible — or even consider eliminating them. Entering Bahrain and Mozambique are two examples of costly visas and unnecessary harassment which soured my experiences in those two countries enough to the point of where I would be just fine if I never visited them again.

Idealistically, I would really like to see the day where you and I can travel anywhere in the world with few to no impediments; but with human nature being the way it is, I know that will not happen anytime soon — if at all…

All photographs ©2005 and ©2016 by Brian Cohen.

    1. I do not know if they still do this, Bill; but a driver could be hired for the day on the Argentina side of Iguana Falls and drive their passengers into Brazil for the day to see the other side of the falls.

      I suppose the passengers are technically illegal aliens because they did not have the appropriate visas to enter Brazil — let alone pay for those visas — but the drivers would take the passengers to Parque das Aves, which is a bird park on the Brazil side prior to park to enter Iguaçu Falls opening at 1:00 in the afternoon. The bird park has a modest entrance fee: 80.00 Brazilian Reais or $16.20 in United States dollars. https://www.parquedasaves.com.br/en/

  1. Try applying for a US visa from one of the third world countries, better yet, try to even secure a visa appointment. That’s exactly how others feel about US. In this age especially when we allows millions of illegals, we make it so hard to legal visitors to come here legally

    1. …and people who visit or immigrate to the United States legally should be outraged by illegal aliens, Black Hill.

      Believe me, I am not excusing the United States for the difficulty and expense of foreigners wanting to visit the country…

  2. Asking for bank statements is ridiculous.

    Brazil, of course, is a sovereign nation and thus has every right to set whatever requirements they want for entry to their country. And I have the right to not go there while they pull crap like this.

  3. Brazil is doing this for retaliation or reciprocity.

    Indonesia is planning to go the other way, dropping visa requirements for 20 major countries, citing more tourism and business traffic.

    Visas will inhibit some travel but not others. It will inhibit last minute award travel. I recommend Chile or Paraguay instead of Brazil.

  4. The requirement for a death certificate in case of a deceased parent is related to the requirement that both parents must consent to a minor child traveling internationally. To prevent one disgruntled parent from bypassing this requirement by claiming the other parent had died, they require a death certificate.

    1. Thank you for clarifying that, g-flyer.

      That can help prevent a parent who is involved in a dispute with the other parent — such as divorce — from avoiding child custody orders in a local jurisdiction by running off to Brazil with the minor child.

  5. I’ve just finished two months of travel in South America…my second trip there…I have no desire to go to Brazil and the onerous and expensive visa requirements are ensuring I don’t change my mind.
    It’s their loss.

    1. I should add……..As an Australian.

      Also Chile requires Australians to provide a bank statement and letter of invitation from the hotel etc where you are staying…therefore I didn’t go to Chile either on this last trip.

      1. When I went to Chile in 2019, Steve Sinclair, I honestly do not remember being required to provide a bank statement.

        Why would Chile require a bank statement from Australian citizens and not from citizens of the United States?

  6. I understand your frustration. Pretty much mirrors the frustration of many when applying for a US visa. In the case of Brazil, US issues a 1 year visa with a $185 USD fee. So Brazil asking for less than 50% of this seems pretty friendly to me.

    Additionally US requires proof of funds for Brazilians. Yeah maybe its a bit too much to show a bank statement but this can be also asked to Brazilians from the US Embassy or Consulate.

    I have heard so many stories of the US Consulate/Embassy granting visas to a whole family except one of the kids, putting to a halt the joy of a whole family travelling to i.e Disney.

    And if US visas or Brazilian visas are a bit too much hassle, don’t even start with Australian visas.

    Anyway, anyone that loves travelling knows that every now and then will need to face the nuisances of visa applications. Just chill and think of how awesome travelling can be…

    1. I completely agree that traveling is awesome, Eddie Lu. It is my passion…

      …but when countries purposely try ways in which traveling is more difficult for visitors, do they really want those visitors in the first place?

      They would be better off getting money from visitors through sales taxes from purchases of goods and services, which would distribute the funds throughout more of the economy…

    1. I mentioned in the article that “Yes, I do understand that there are people who view the United States similarly, as I agree that the United States is just as culpable in perpetuating a policy which is unfriendly to visitors as Brazil”, Quita.

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