Brazil Restores Visa Requirement for Travelers from US, Canada, Australia, and Japan:
Effective October 1, 2023, Brazil will reinstate the mandatory visa requirement for travelers from the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan. This decision marks a significant departure from the visa-free policy implemented in 2019 by former president Jair Bolsonaro, which aimed to boost tourism. However, according to reports from Reuters, the exemption weakened Brazil’s negotiating power with these countries, leading to the reinstatement of the visa requirement.
Interestingly, the initial visa-free policy failed to yield the anticipated increase in tourism, potentially due to the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2022, the number of U.S. tourists visiting Brazil remained lower than in 2018, as highlighted in the Reuters report. The United Nations’ World Tourism Organization revealed that Brazil received only 6.4 million tourists in 2019, significantly trailing behind South American competitor Argentina and Mexico, which welcomed 45 million tourists during the same period.
The decision to revert to the previous visa requirement was attributed to President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, who stated that the exemption violated Brazil’s long-standing migration policy principles of reciprocity and equal treatment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Brazil emphasized this point in a statement.
Once the measure comes into effect, the Brazilian government will reintroduce the electronic visa system, which was previously utilized before the visa exemption was implemented.