It’s official: travelers from the United States are now able to travel to Brazil without a visa. The visa waiver program, which the government of Brazil announced in March, officially went into effect June 17. In addition to allowing U.S. travelers to visit visa-free, the program also applies to travelers from Canada, Australia and Japan.
Under the program, travelers can visit Brazil without a visa if they are traveling for leisure and business tourism, artistic or sporting activities or in exceptional situations for national interest, as well as travelers in transit in the country. Stays can last up to 90 days, extendable for the same period if stays do not exceed 180 days every 12 months, counted from the date of the first entry into the country.
The measure is a continuation of Brazil’s efforts to facilitate visitor access to the country, and recent studies have shown that it could already be boosting travel. In April, just one month after the program was announced, a study for Brazil Tourism by Amadeus showed confirmed trips from the United States up by 53 percent for the month of June, rising to an increase of 97 percent in July. For travelers from Canada, the increase was 86 percent for June, 54 percent for July and 135 percent for August.
That increase follows a record 2018 for Brazil tourism, which tourism officials in the country credit to the introduction of an e-visa program. That year U.S. arrivals to Brazil increased by 13.3 percent, rising from 475,232 to 538,532. The country set a record for the overall number of visitors, rising from approximately 6.5 million in 2017 to 6.6 million in 2018.
The other countries eligible for the e-visa program also contributed to the jump in tourists, Brazil Tourism said. Canada was the fastest growing, rising from 48,951 visitors in 2017 to 71,160 in 2018, up 45.4 percent. Australia was second, with a 24.7 percent increase, a jump from 33,862 to 42,235 and Japan had an increase of 5.6 percent, from 60,342 to 63,708.