Do you need a Brazil tourist visa? If so, how long does it take to get one? Do you have to apply? How much does it cost? How long is it valid for? Can you extend it? How?
These are all stressful questions that may or may not cross your mind before flying out for your dream vacation.
Stress no more! I shall ease your troubled mind and answer all of the above.
(***FYI*** This guide is only for passport holders from the UK wanting to extend their Brazil tourist visa)
(***FYI*** Updated May 2019 after my second successful extension)
(***FYI*** Updated April 2020 – If you’re in Brazil during quarantine check out this post)
The British passport is pretty strong. According to the Global Visa Power Index (how cool does THAT sound!?!) it ranks 4th, granting visa-free access to 186 countries… including Brazil! Whoop whoop!
That means for 90 days you can wander between the beaches, mountains, jungle and desert, all for free! All they require is proof that you’ll depart their fine shores when your time is up – an onward flight/bus ticket is sufficient.
How do you get the initial Brazil tourist visa? There’s no need to apply. As long as you have the proof that you’ll be moving on, you’ll be able to board the plane
and just fill in a short form (Cartão de Entrada e Saída) before landing. (No longer required or checked at Immigration Control)
A note about onward tickets
In my experience, onward tickets are rarely asked for. I’ve spent 3 years bouncing around South America and I’ve only ever been asked for proof of onward travel once. Some say it’s a waste of money, but I always book something just in case. A $10 bus from Iguazu to Asuncion is sufficient (book a cheap ticket through Busbud/NSA), and it saved me a lot of tears.
So you have your onward ticket, you’re wandering around Brazil, you realise that IT’S JUST TOO BEAUTIFUL and you need more time to take it all in. What do you do?
It is possible to extend your Brazil tourist visa from 3 months up to 6, but this is where it can get tricky.
Are you sitting comfortably? Then let us begin.
The business of extending visas in Brazil is not so straightforward. Although the general information is the same (all the information below is tried and tested twice over), the actual procedure or requirements may vary. Some offices require you to make an appointment, others don’t and you just walk in. Some have a dress code, some don’t. If in doubt, check first.
If you know any Brazilian citizens or friend, I’d recommend bringing them. Not all the offices will have English speakers, and the language/questions they use may be beyond the average visitor. (Brush up on your Portuguese with some of the best language learning apps of 2019 here).
To extend your Brazilian tourist visa you will need:
Your Cartão de Entrada e Saída (the little form you filled in on the plane)No longer required.
- Go to the Brazilian Federal Police website and generate an invoice
- Proof of residency (A bill containing the name, address and CPF number of a Brazilian resident – If you have a Brazilian partner, awesome. If not, then something from your hostel or Airbnb host should suffice)
- Proof of sufficient funds (I just took a photocopy of my credit card and not a statement, but they never even looked at it)
- Proof of onward travel
- A photocopy of your passport – The photo ID page plus any pages containing stamps
How to renew it – From start to finish
When you go to the Brazilian Federal Police website you’ll need to go to the section for Imigração / Estrangeiros. Before selecting Pessoas e entidades estrangeiras (option 3), scroll down to the Atenção!
Did I also mention that you should do this in plenty of time, as it’s not a simple process?
The instructions for installing the security certificate vary depending on your browser, but at least it provides them when you click on that link.
Once you’ve installed the certificate, then you’ll want to click on Pessoas e entidades estrangeiras (option 3), and fill in the form.
When you get to the section below, STOP! (for 2 reasons)
The Unidade Arrecadadora is the exact Federal station that you’ll be going to. If you choose one and then try and apply at another station, you will be turned away. Also, not all stations provide the visa extension service, so it’s best to choose the one in your State starting with “SUPERINTENDENCIA…” (the main Office).
***Additional note: Check with the Federal station before printing/paying. The second time I applied was in Rio de Janeiro, the office had moved and they hadn’t updated the website.***
The Codigo Receita STN is the code for the service you are requesting. Whichever code you enter will generate the Valor Total below. The code for extending your travel visa is 140090 (Price accurate as of June 2018).
If the form fails to submit, or you receive an error message, or some of the fields don’t auto-populate… DON’T GIVE UP! It took over an hour of constantly resubmitting, refreshing and resubmitting before it finally went through.
Once you’ve generated your invoice, take it to the nearest Caixa, Banco do Brasil or Caixa Loterias to pay.
So you have all the documents. Surely my Brazil tourist visa is all sorted, right? Wrong… now the fun begins!
Be firm and wear long pants.
Those 6 words will keep you sane, trust me.
You will not be allowed into the Federal building if your legs are exposed. Obviously I learned the hard way and was turned away at my first attempt (wearing some snazzy shorts).
The second time I applied was in Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro. It was much more relaxed, but I believe it’s because it’s not a Federal building. If in doubt, cover your legs.
Once inside, be firm!
If your Portuguese is not so strong, try and take a native speaker. Depending on the mood of the Officer, you may get a variety of responses. They may try and turn you away, claiming you needed to book an appointment. It’s possible they might claim your visa has expired due to the poor quality of the passport stamp. They may even take your passport away 5 separate times to show the supervisor.
All of these were hurdles I would have stumbled over with my poor Portuguese, but easily countered with a majestically stern performance from my Brazilian girlfriend.
And then suddenly it was all over. The passport was handed back with the new extended Brazil tourist visa stamp inside, and we were free to go explore Brazil for another 3 months!
It’s just a shame I have to leave and cannot return for 6 months once the extension passes. You can only stay in Brazil for 180 days out of the year. There are other visas you can apply for – Business, Student etc, but they each have their own rules, complications and costs involved.
Will this information change if/when Brexit kicks in? Who knows? I imagine that British citizens travelling to Brazil for vacation will be fine. Unless the UK Government decide to charge Brazilians then I imagine the 90 day stay will remain free of charge.
There’s still no news of an E-visa for British folk. It’s currently only for Nationals of Australia, Japan, Canada and USA (and then only valid for 90 days in 1 year so we’re still winning).
While the services and processing time vary slightly between cities, if you follow the above information and bring the correct documentation you’ll be fine. If your passport is clean then you’ll be able to extend your stay, have more time to practice your Portuguese and really get a feel for living in Brazil.
If, like me, 6 months just isn’t enough then you’ll to head elsewhere until you’re valid to enter again. Paraguay is always fun, there’s plenty to do in Argentina and Uruguay, or you can go further afield to Colombia etc Hopefully the switch from Portuguese to Spanish isn’t as difficult for you like it was for me. If you need to brish up on your Spanish then check out my review of the best language learning apps of 2019.
Was this helpful? Did it make sense? I hope I didn’t put you off applying to extend your Brazil tourist visa with all the requirements, but I wanted to give you a step by step, foolproof plan.
If I missed anything, or you have any questions then please drop a comment below and I’ll get back to you.
I’ve extended my visa twice now, once in Fortaleza (2018) and then again in Rio de Janeiro (2019). The second time in Rio was much quicker and less stressful. I just handed over all the documents listed above and then sat in the waiting area for an hour until I was called and it was handed back to me.
Good luck and happy holidays.