Our Fabulous Friday topic this week is based on a fresh announcement of the new Brazilian government that the costly visa requirement U.S. citizens visiting Brazil would soon be dropped.
The visa fees countries levy for citizens of other nations are reciprocal which means that their own (Brazilian) nationals have to pay about the same fee for visas to the United States in this case.
Generally speaking this makes sense and is only fair. Countries often step away from the reciprocity concept if there is a higher interest of letting visitors into the country free of charge, for example siphoning off tourism dollars which contributes largely to the local economy.
EuroNews / Reuters just reported about the statement of the new Bolsonaro government which is much closer to the current U.S. government compared to all their predecessors.
Brazil plans to eliminate visitor visas for Americans, the country’s tourism minister said on Wednesday, as President Jair Bolsonaro seeks to turn around the lagging tourism sector and engineer cozier relations with the United States.
The visa initiative is part of the Foreign Ministry’s plan for the first 100 days in power of Bolsonaro, who assumed office on Jan. 1, Tourism Minister Marcelo Alvaro Antonio told Reuters in an interview.
“Our intention is really to eliminate visa applications for Americans,” Antonio said. …
“The left has treated the United States as an adversary, but not our government,” Antonio said. “President Bolsonaro wants to embrace the United States as a partner of Brazil.”
Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy but has long punched below its weight in tourism. The country currently receives 6.6 million foreign tourists a year, roughly half that of New York City alone.
Brazil will also seek to eliminate visas for Canadians, Japanese and Australians but the timeline is up to the Foreign Ministry, Antonio said. A Foreign Ministry spokeswoman declined to comment.
Currently, U.S. citizens pay $44 for a two-year visa, or $160 for a 10-year one.
It’s quite surprising how many countries are still levied visa fees against by Brazil at this moment. I’ve visited the country about a dozen or so times using my German passport which is exempt from the visa requirement or fees.
I’m surprised that Japan is affected as there is a large Japanese-Brazilian community in Brazil and likewise in Japan where you often find people with Japanese family names but who are actually Brazilian.
While there is no definitive date set when this will come into effect it can be expected that it’s going to happen soon within the next couple of months. If you’re planning a trip to Brazil it’s probably better to just avail yourself to the two year eVisa option that costs US$44 instead of the costly 10 year version.
Being able to visit countries visa free and without having to purchase a visa on arrival is great and takes away the hassle which often makes me think twice if I really want to visit a country if I need to get a visa in advance.