Canada travel requirement: Brazil resumes visa requirement for tourists starting Oct. 1, 2023
United States, Australia and Japan are also part of the reinstated rules to visit the country
Brazil is reintroducing the requirement to obtain tourist visas for the citizens of Canada, the United States, Australia, and Japan starting Oct. 1 this year, the Brazil foreign ministry, Itamaraty, has announced.
"The Brazilian Government has decided to resume the requirement of visitor visas for citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States," the press release said.
"The decision followed consultations with these four countries on the possibility of granting visa exemption to Brazilian nationals, in compliance with the principle of reciprocity."
According to Brazil's Foreigners Act (Law 6.815), Brazil follows the principle of reciprocity and requires visas from people of countries. that also require visas from Brazilian citizens.
Former president Jair Bolsonaro had scrapped the visa requirements in 2019 to bolster the country’s tourism industry, but the four countries since have continued to demand visas from Brazilians.
According to the release, the visa exemption was a "breach of the pattern of Brazil's migration policy, historically based on the principles of reciprocity and equal treatment."
"Brazil does not grant unilateral visitor visa exemption to other countries without reciprocity," it also said.
However, the government also said that it would be willing to negotiate visa exemption agreements "on mutual bases with the four mentioned countries".
Brazil eliminated tourist visa requirements for visitors from the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan in June 2020 and was planning to do the same for India and China to boost tourism.
Following the visa waivers, the number of Americans booking flights to Brazil jumped 39%.
However, safety concerns, inconvenient flights, and poor infrastructure have been holding back Brazil's tourism industry.
According to Reuters, international tourism represents just 2.5% of Brazilian export revenue — compared with 7.5% in Argentina and nearly 17% in Uruguay, according to World Bank data and the United Nations World Tourism Organization.
Visa process for Canadians visiting Brazil
According to the release, nationals from the four countries will need to apply for a visitor visa (e-visa) online prior to traveling to Brazil.
Details on the validities, restrictions and processing times of the new e-visa have yet to be announced but will be released by the ministry soon.
Prior to the 2019 visa waiver, the e-visa was valid for up to two years and allowed for a stay of up to 90 days per entry. Foreign nationals on e-visas who were traveling to Brazil for sports and artistic performances could only stay in Brazil for 90 cumulative days per year and could not extend their stay in country.
Current travel advisories for Canadians visiting Brazil
Visitors from Canada are told to exercise a 'high degree of caution' in Brazil due to high crime rates, gang-related incidents and violence in certain urban areas such as Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasilia, and Salvador.
Tourists are a high target for petty street crime including pickpocketing, purse snatching and theft from cars.
Flash mob robberies also occur often on Rio's city beaches and crowded tourist areas. Flash mob robberies involves a group of thieves that swarm an area and snatch valuable items such as cash, jewellery and cell phones.
Another common ruse used by criminals is the 'Good Samaritan scam', where a criminal offers to help a tourist who looks lost.
Violent crime and ATM fraud is also common in Brazil. For more information, visitors can refer to the Government of Canada website.