Bossa Nova playing throughout the streets. 2,000+ beaches that stretch the shoreline. Iguaçu Falls. Brazilian Cuisine. The Amazon River and Rainforest. Travel-Friendly weather. African-Brazilian Culture. 62 National Parks. Hundreds of conservation areas. Do I need to continue?
Despite all of these phenomenal reasons to visit, I have had NO intention to travel to Brazil.
Why I haven’t Traveled To Brazil
The United States has one of the most powerful passports in the world, granting access to 186 countries. However, historically, Brazil is a country that has made it difficult for Americans to visit. The process of obtaining a visa was, both, expensive and complicated, and included going to a consulate (Yes…go to the physical location!) to pay for the $160 visa. You can imagine the time and effort this process required if you did not live in a city where a Brazilian Consulate was located.
Personally, I feel paying $160 is a lot of money to visit a country particularly if there are hundreds of other countries I can visit for free. I would also argue that if you have to pay an “entrance fee,” countries should make it easy for me to pay and not require me to fly to another city that has a consulate.
Fortunately, in 2018, Brazil began issuing electronic visas for US citizens thus making the process a bit easier. In addition, the price also decreased to $40 (rather than $160).
IT GETS BETTER….
Brazil’s Foreign Ministry announced that the country will soon eliminate visa requirements for visitors from the United States (as well as from Canada, Japan, and Australia). However, timelines for this change have not yet been announced, which means that until further notice, U.S. passport holders must still obtain travel visas prior to arrival in Brazil.
On January 1, 2019, Brazil’s new President came into power and this is part of his plan to boost the country’s tourism sector, which has been lagging for years. This initiative is part of his plan for the first 100 days in office, so hopefully it will be implemented soon.
Currently, Brazil receives about 6.5 million foreign tourists per year, and by 2022 they are hoping to increase that number to 12 million tourists annually.
I appreciate when a country implements initiatives to eliminate barriers to visiting the country and making the travel experience easier.
Although doubling the number of tourists in 3 years is an audacious plan, I trust this initiative will definitely increase the numbers. I can assure you that if they eliminate the visa costs, they’ll have at least one more tourist. 🙂
Have you been to Brazil? What was your experience with obtaining a visa? If you haven’t traveled to Brazil, does this development increase your desire to go?