|Photo by Freeimages.com/Marcelo dos Santos|
Ahead of the 2016 Summer Olympics, Brazil has announced a new visa waiver program for tourists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia. Travelers from these four countries visiting for the purpose of tourism will be exempted from visa requirements, and will only need a valid passport and completed entry card, Embratur said in a statement announcing the new program.
Under the new program tourists will be able to enter the country from June 1 through September 18 and stay there for up to 90 days from first entry without a visa. Following September 18, the usual visa requirements from the four countries will again be enforced. The new measure only applies to travelers who visit Brazil for tourism; visits for other purposes may still require a visa under existing rules. Tourists, however, do not need to show proof that they have tickets to attend any of the Olympic or Paralympic games to take advantage of visa-free travel.
Embratur said that it will communicate information on the new rule to the international tourist trade through the Brazilian Tourism Offices present in the United States, Canada and Japan, and through the Embassy of Brazil in Canberra and the Consulate General of Brazil in Sydney in Australia. The Brazilian government will also create a task force to work with airlines and the companies that manage airports in Brazil on the new rule.
The new visa waivers for this summer add to the existing visa waiver programs Brazil participates in, which offer visa-free travel to citizens of the European Union, South America, South Africa, Mexico and Russia.
Embratur also said that the new visa-free travel rule would not interfere with security preparations for the games, which will be carried out by the Special Security Office for Major Events of the Ministry of Justice, which will build on measures developed for the World Cup in 2014.