An executive order issued by President Jair Bolsonaro will enter into force on June 17, 2019 and is expected to increase the foreign tourist flow into Brazil. The visa exemption for citizens of the United States of America, Australia, Canada and Japan who wish to travel to Brazil was enacted on March 18th, 2019. This will enable visitors from these four countries to enter Brazil without a visa. The order was signed by President Jair Bolsonaro, Foreign Minister Ernesto Araújo, Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio and Justice Minister Sérgio Moro.

The measure benefits holders of a valid passport traveling for tourism, business, artistic or sports activities or in exceptional situations of national interest. The initiative also covers travelers transiting through Brazil. Visitors will be granted a stay of up to 90 days, which can be extended once for the same period, as long as they do not exceed 180 days within a 12-month period, counted from the date of the first entry. If the regular stay is exceeded, the visitor will be considered an illegal alien subject to the applicable measures by the Brazilian government.

“This is a historical day for Brazilian tourism and we are certain it means a new level for our country among the main tourist destinations around the world. Our sector is able to contribute to the national economic growth by creating jobs and income and soon we will have positive results to share” stressed Tourism Minister Marcelo Álvaro Antônio.

The four countries covered by the visa exemption announced on Monday were part of a pilot project that began in 2017 and introduced the electronic visa for visitors who wished to travel to Brazil. The Tourism Ministry expects that the new measure will help the country reach 12 million foreign visitors by 2020, in comparison with 6.6 million current visitors.

Higher Demand

Brazil’s decision to drop visa requirements for travelers from the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, are already building demand for travel to the country, according to new statistics from the Rio Convention & Visitors Bureau and Kayak.

According to the data, travel demand for Brazil has jumped by 36 percent in Australia, 31 percent in the U.S., 19 percent in Canada and 4 percent in Japan. The Kayak survey was based on information collected from March 2st1, comparing the daily average of searches from March 1st – 15th and from March 18th – 20th for trips from April 1st to December 31st, 2019.

Tourist Boost

The current administration has other plans to overhaul tourism policy including doubling the country spending on foreign tourism advertisements to more than $34 million by 2023. An existing target of doubling international visits to 12 million annually by 2022 remains in place.

The government is also seeking to convert its national tourism board into an agency, allowing it to partner with private enterprises like airlines, which is currently forbidden.

For more information regarding traveling requirements to Brazil, please contact the Brazilian Consulate in your jurisdiction.