A Meeting in Brazil: Handling Brazilian Visa Issues

92_santa_catarina_island-eyeflare

From eyeflare.com

Once again I had the opportunity to attend an international conference to present my nerdy science research. This time I traveled to exotic Brazil! My meeting was in Florianopolis, Brazil in Santa Catarina in the southern part of the country. It was for a glorious week and then I stayed for an extra glorious week of traveling.

What luck. How awesome! But also, oh crap, I gotta get a visa.

As an American going to Brazil, I had to get a visa. The process was costly since Americans are required to pay dearly for the visa since we make the Brazilians pay dearly to come to our country. It is a reciprocal relationship that I understand is only fair since my government requires them to pay so much to come to our country. I was prepared for the process, but I am still glad I allowed a good amount of time to get the visa and I am glad I used a service. I paid a lot to use the service, but at least I got my visa in a timely manner.

Flag_of_Brazil.svgThere are a few different companies that help Americans get visas to Brazil including Travisa and CIBT. I used CIBT and I will warn you it is expensive and they sneak in extra charges. They will get you your visa in just a few short weeks though. Without the service I needed to fill out paperwork, set up an appointment, fly to SF, then await the outcome of my visa. I needed to allow 45 days to get the visa and there were no guarantees. The visa company handles a lot of stuff so you just pay them and wait for you passport to come back in the mail.

Check out the websites for the specific information you will need to provide since each region is different. Some regions require notarized paperwork. Thankfully mine did not.

I submitted:

  • Visa application for Brazil
  • Passport
  • Additional Passport photo
  • Copy of my driver’s license
  • Proof of travel arrangements (flight itinerary)

I got my visa back in time and my visa is good for 10 years, so I’ll be sure to use it again before it expires. I wonder how American backpackers solve the issue of the Brazilian visa. Maybe they can get it cheaper when securing it in South America like when I obtained my Vietnam visa in Cambodia and paid a fraction of the cost I would have paid if I secure my visa in the USA prior to my trip. I have to idea, but when we require them to pay so much to get into our country I can see the price being fixed anywhere in the world.

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