If you are planning a trip to Brazil or even better if you are joining my Jaguars and Wildlife of the Pantanal Photo Tour, you will need to obtain a travel visa before your arrival in Brazil. It’s not difficult or expensive, but the process is complicated, and it’s peculiar.
Process for Obtaining a Brazilian Visa
The first thing that you need to know is that a human must deliver the application in person to the Brazilian Consulate in your region. I use the word human because that human does not have to be you. You can send a representative which can be a friend or relative or a paid concierge service. The vital bit of information is that it is not possible to complete the Brazil Visa process online or by mail.
You must use the Brazilian Consulate that is responsible for your region. This article relates my experience in San Francisco; you will need to double check your regions consulate for your particular process. For example, some will send you your visa and others will not.
Brazil Consular Jurisdictions
Atlanta, Georgia: 3500 Lenox Road, Suite 800, Atlanta, GA 30326
Assists residents from states of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Tennessee.Boston, Massachusetts: 20 Park Plaza, Suite 810, Boston, MA 02116
Assists residents from states of Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.Chicago, Illinois: 401 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 1850
Chicago, IL 60611. Assists residents from states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.Hartford, Connecticut: Constitution Plaza Hartford, Connecticut 06103. Assists residents from states of Connecticut and Rhode Island.Houston, Texas: 1233 West Loop South Park Tower North, Suite 1150 Houston, TX 77027. Assists residents from states of Arkansas, Colorado, Kansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas.
Los Angeles, California: 484 Wilshire Blvd., Suites 711/730, Beverly Hills, CA 90211. Assists residents from states of Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, and in California, the counties of Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Ventura.
Miami, Florida: 80 SW 8th Street, Suite 2600, Miami, FL 33130-3004. Assists residents from states of Florida, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Bahamas.
New York, New York: 1185 Avenue of the Americas (Sixth Avenue), 21st Floor New York, NY 10036. Assists residents from states of New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and the Bermuda Islands.
San Francisco, California: 300 Montgomery Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA, 94104. Assists residents from states of Oregon, Washington, Alaska and in the state of California, the counties of Alameda, Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Fresno, Glenn, Humboldt, Inyo, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Madera, Marin, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Monterey, Napa, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba.
Washington, DC: 1030 15th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20005. Assists residents from states of District of Columbia, states of Delaware, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and North American bases (excepting Guam).
You can choose to hire a service, and they will do all of the legwork for you. The fee for this is generally between $100 and $200. There is no advantage to using a service other than of course you don’t have to travel to the consulate to deliver your passport and application. When I was there with my application, I saw several of these agents, and while they did “know” the delegate at the consulate, they stood in the same line and did not seem to receive any special treatment. If you do not live near the Brazilian Consulate using an agent is probably less expensive than traveling to deliver the documents in person.
If you choose are planning to hire a service, you should get them involved as soon as you know you are going to Brazil. The embassy has a limited number of appointments for these agencies, and they will fill up especially during the peak travel month of August. If there are no slots for the company, then you or your representative will have to go to the embassy yourself.
Brazil Visa Application Service Recommendation
If you want to hire a service, I can recommend A. Briggs. Clients and friends have used them and were pleased with the process and customer service.
Self Service Brazil Visa Application Process
Many websites created by service companies look like an official Brazilian website which makes it tricky to find the actual Brazilian website to make your application. Here is a link to the embassy website.
Each person traveling needs to complete the entire process, and each person will need an appointment at the embassy. In other words, a couple traveling together will need two applications and two appointments at the embassy.
The San Francisco process had me bring or upload the following items:
- A US passport that is valid for at least six months after your trip to Brazil. There must be at least one open page empty for the visa, and the visa must be signed.
- Valid drivers license or state ID*
- A “passport” photo*
- Your Signature*
- A copy of your flight itinerary
- Your parent’s date of birth and nationality
- Items to Bring With You to the Embassy (San Francisco)
- A money order from the US Post Office for visa fee which in 2017 is $160. No other method of payment is allowed
- A copy of the application
- A copy of your appointment confirmation
- A stamped self-addressed USPS Priority or Express Mail envelope. FedEx etc. is not accepted. If you are coming back to pick up the visa, you can skip this step. FYI, it normally is five days for your visa to be ready for pickup.
If you were not able to upload digital copies of the items with an asterisk above, you would need to bring them with you. I advise you to take them anyway.
Brazilian Consulate Appointment
According to the Brazilian Embassy website, each consulate has a different workflow. I cannot imagine that they are drastically different, but this is what my meeting was like in San Francisco.
You will meet a receptionist and will ask to see your completed application confirmation number and a copy of the appointment confirmation for the meeting. You will be directed you to a seating area, and you’ll receive an appointment number. Take your seat and then watch the TV screen by the windows for your number. They did not make any announcements about which number should come up for the meeting.
The meeting took a couple of minutes and was all quite simple. I was in and out in about 10 minutes. I also got my visa in the mail via priority mail in 4 days.
Getting Your Brazil Visa Conclusions
The simplest way to get your visa for your travel to Brazil is to hire an agency. You will still have to do the work online to fill out the application, but then the concierge will take care of things from there. Remember to make your appointment well in advance,
If you have easy access to the Brazilian Embassy, the process is pretty simple, and you would save some money.
I received conflicting information from the embassy about when I could apply for the tourist visa. At one point I was told that the new visa must be issued no more than 90 days before travel. Another source informed that I had a year to use the visa once you got it back. Again, check your regions embassy!
Let me know what your experience was like with your Brazil Travel Visa.