But that officially changed with the Olympics back in 2016! The beaches, the samba, and the cities filled with young, creative energy (we’re looking at you, São Paulo) are all a few clicks away, thanks to the new e-visa program. Plus, it’s 75 percent off the cost of a regular Brazilian visa ($160), required by U.S. citizens for any visit to the South American nation and you won’t have to stand in a single line. Just two Jacksons, 72 hours of waiting, and a little paperwork on the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’s application site will get you that (electronically) issued visa.
Previously, travelers with an interest in flying south had to make an appointment at their nearest Brazilian consulate (and bring a valid passport, an extra phaimoto, an application, and copy of a round-trip ticket) to apply for said visa. But then, Brazil began issuing e-visas, expediting the process for travelers from Australia; later on, the system expands to citizens from Canada, Japan, and the U.S.
The facilitation of visas aims to reduce bureaucracy and, above all, to boost the entry of foreign tourists into Brazil,” Tourism Minister Marx Beltrão told the official news site of the Brazilian government. The easier application process is part of the Tourism + Brazil Plan, which was launched by the Ministry of Tourism aims to boost the number of visitors. According to the World Tourism Organization, this change—moving toward e-visas—could increase international tourism to the country by as much as 25 percent.
And while this isn’t a full visa waive—it still costs $40, plus consular fees—if getting a visa comes without traffic, waiting rooms, and pre-trip stress, we’ll take it. By the way, passengers coming from Schengen area don´t need a Visa to visit Brazil.
Additional reporting by Meredith Carey. This article was originally published in October 2017 and has been updated.