Getting a Brazilian Visa (from the USA)
March 6, 2006 10:38 AM   Subscribe

Getting a Visa to Brazil.

I'm a US Citizen that will be traveling to Brazil (stopping there for a week or so, before going to Bolivia for 2.5-3 months) or so. Two issues:1) getting the visa, 2) departing out through Brazil three months later.
Please help.

1) Brazil, in addition to the regular $100 fee, requires that you now get the visa IN PERSON. The website says that no mail submissions are now for anyone that has waited in line at the consulate in NYC - how long should i expect this to take? is there a chance that i won't get it? how early should i show up?

2) If I fly from NYC in early June, stay in Brazil for a week, then go to Bolivia for 2.5, will i have problems if I fly back out through Brazil later in late August? Is this permissible? I would be going through different local airlines.
posted by jare2003 to Travel & Transportation around Brazil (14 answers total)
1) For real? The Boston consulate page says Apply by mail whenever possible. And you do want to - one of my friends had to show up at 6:30 AM for their 10AM opening time this winter.

2) No problems in general - tourist visas are multiple entry over 5 years. In January I went in and out of Brazil 4 or 5 times. The only problem I see is you're only spending a week there!
posted by whatzit at 10:44 AM on March 6, 2006

Just looked at the NY Consulate site - crapola. Call up Boston and do it by mail if their information is still current!

ah - one other note - keep in mind that you have to have proof of your itinerary when you apply for the visa. There may also have been something about using it within 90 days of issuance. Turn-around time on the visa is pretty quick - 2 days to a week from my experience and that of others around me.
posted by whatzit at 10:49 AM on March 6, 2006

Is there any chance that Brazil grants visas at the airport? This is what happened to me in Turkey. The Turkish consulate in Budapest wouldn't issue me the visa in mail or in person; they told me to just apply at the airport.

I got off the plane, went to a booth and paid my $45, and they issued me my visa.
posted by lunalaguna at 10:52 AM on March 6, 2006

1) This is diplomatic "pay-back" at work. The American consulates in Brazil are probably the most hideous and inefficient foreign government representation we have here. I am talking not only about no mail submission, I am talking about 4-6 hours in a line to apply for an interview and then more hours in another line and a standing interview. So, we are just doing unto others as they do unto us. I wouldn't know how early you should arrive, but unless you have very prominent issues there is no chance your visa will be refused. I think we don't even maintain a "no-entry" list, except for known international criminals.

2) There will be no problem there, too. Brazil maintains full-fledged diplomatic relations with Bolivia (even more so now, that Evo Morales is President - our own President and the party in power are quite leftist). Our state oil company is also the largest company and the largest taxpayer in Bolivia, so they sort of like us. So, if you have your visas to visit both countries you're good.
posted by nkyad at 10:54 AM on March 6, 2006

lunalaguna: Brazil does not do this. In fact the airline you leave with from the US will make sure your visa is in order before you check in for the flight.
posted by whatzit at 10:55 AM on March 6, 2006

When I went to Brazil in 2002, it took about 1-2 hours at the San Francisco consulate. There wasn't much of a line that day. Bring a passport photo. From what I understand what nkyad said is correct -- because we charge Brazilians for visas, they charge us.
posted by fishfucker at 12:10 PM on March 6, 2006

Hi, I was in a similar situation a little while ago. I was in Redmond, WA and the nearest consulate was somewhere in California! I had to get a visa to Brazil in about 1 week.

I don't know the exact details of what happened, but I was working for at the time and they told me to send my documents to American Express who somehow was able to get the visa set up for me and mailed back my documents and visa. It cost them a few hundred dollars, but it was fast and easy. From what I remember, there are 2 types of visa - tourist and business. I think I got the business one.

So maybe you can hire someone from American Express to "line up" for you.
posted by lpctstr; at 12:11 PM on March 6, 2006

From the NY Consulate website: "The Brazilian Consulates will process tourist visa applications regardless of the place of residence of the applicant, provided that he or she comes in person to one of our Consulates. If you need a tourist visa but cannot come in person to a Brazilian Consulate, you will have to direct your application to a visa or a travel agency service which will direct your documents to the Brazilian Consulate of your jurisdiction."

There are tons of visa agencies, just look up one for your appropriate consulate (easy on Google). These people are used to working with the consulate and will be able to get the done smoothly and efficiently, ironing out any hiccups that may occur. You pay a little for their services, but they are well worth it if you have any trouble.

As far as the second part of your question, my last tourist visa (two years ago) and the visas of all my recent visitors have been good for as many visits of up to ninety days as you want within a period of five years. Using an agency can help make sure you get the right visa.

If you have any more questions about your trip, feel free to email me (check the profile).
posted by wallaby at 12:49 PM on March 6, 2006

Response by poster: i'm a student in upstate NY, but since I have residency in Virginia, i'm gonna do it through mail at the DC embassy. That seems easiest, sicne NY only lets you go in person.

Though it's expensive (its only fair that we get charged as much as we charge them) i really dont mind that as much as the fact that you have to *go in person* to the New York City consulate, and then pick it up in *person* a day later only during the middle of the day. Man, what a pain in the ass. (I totally understand the reciprocity thing though...)
posted by jare2003 at 12:50 PM on March 6, 2006

just wanted to add that this is nothing compared to what people in s america have to do to get a visa to come to the states. american visas are generally refused, even after the (required) personal interview (i know personally people who have been refused trips to see other memebrs of their family; a collaboration between american and chilean school teachers manged by the american observatory i work for resulted in the american teachers coming here, but the return visit of the chileans being refused visas, etc etc).

i know it's not an answer, but perhaps a more informed persepective will you help understand the viewpoint of the officials you'll be deadling with...

also $100 is worth a lot more here than in the usa.
posted by andrew cooke at 1:08 PM on March 6, 2006

As you said, in New York it's a two-part process. You have to apply for a visa, leave your passport at the consulate, and then go back to pick it up. When I went to the consulate in March 2004, I showed up a few minutes before the doors opened and was through in less than half an hour. But when I went back to pick up my passport the next day, I had to wait on line for almost ninety minutes.

With that said, it's kind of fun: a sort of third-world DMV right on Sixth Avenue (not called the Avenue of the Americas for nothing). They had Brazilian MTV on television, which is vastly superior to 101.9 or 106.7 pumped in to most government offices here.

By the way, when you get to the airport in Brazil (almost certainly Sao Paulo), you have to get fingerprinted. It's for Americans only; they weeded us out of the line and put us in a special section. It's a little discomfiting, but literally every American there thought that it was what we deserved, and besides, we were on Ipanema by the end of the day.
posted by j.s.f. at 3:15 PM on March 6, 2006

Response by poster: andrew cooke, i typed my answer really quick at work because I shouldnt have been on AskMe at all. Sorry if it was a bit more incomplete than i intended.

I didn't mean to come off as unaware or ignorant of that issue. Ive had friends from s. america, and family from the caribbean that have had the exact problem that you mention.

The frustration from my end was figuring out how i was going to miss two days of school and work (that I need for paying for food, bills, etc) to get down to NYC just to pick up a visa - so i'm glad i asked and found out there were ways to do it by proxy, as many posters mentioned. The frustration had nothing to do with the price at all.

however, ive never been able to travel much before in my life (i'm going through Brazil on school funding) and this is the first time i've been on the other end. So I apologize if i came off as seeming snooty about the whole process.
posted by jare2003 at 4:53 PM on March 6, 2006

It's pretty simple, you just go through a third party (visa consulate). It's usually about $50 in addition to regular visa fees ($110).
posted by iamck at 1:14 PM on March 7, 2006

Not to hijack the thread, but does anyone have any info on getting a Visa to Brazil with a one way ticket?
posted by iamck at 1:30 PM on March 7, 2006

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