Applying for a traditional Visa to visit Brazil is extremely difficult. To begin the application process you must first fill out an application online. After completing the application you must then print it out and affix a passport photo to the top left corner. Once that’s complete you then mail the completed application, several other personal documents, your valid passport, and a $160 money order to the Brazil Consulate.
There are also several visa services which assist in the application process, but obviously charge a service fee. These visa service fees range anywhere from a few extra dollars to several hundred dollars. Using a service may speed up the application process, but either way you will be without your passport for at least a few days.
Introducing The Brazil eVisa
In late 2017 the Brazilian government introduced a new Electronic Visa (“eVisa” for short). Electronic visas are becoming more and more common around the world and are usually significantly easier to obtain than traditional visas. As a result, the Brazilian Government expects tourism to increase as a result of the eVisa program. There are however a few key differences between an eVisa and a traditional visa.
For starters, as of now, Brazil eVisas are only valid for up to two years. By comparison Brazil currently offers traditional visas which are valid for up to either 5 or 10 years.
Brazil eVisas are also much cheaper to obtain than a traditional visa. Traditional visas require a $160 money order as payment while an eVisa only costs $40 + $4.25 service fee which is payable by Visa card or MasterCard.
Lastly, the Brazilian Consulate allows you to print out your approved eVisas at home. This means you are not required to send in your passport. With traditional visas the Consulate requires you to send in your passport and the Visa is subsequently affixed to a visa page within your passport.
Beginning January 25, 2017 US citizens became eligible to apply for a Brazil eVisa. As I have upcoming travel plans to visit Brazil I applied for an eVisa on the first day the service became available for those holding US passports.
Beginning The Brazil eVisa Application Process
I began the process by visiting the Brazilian Ministry Of Affairs website. This is the same site you must visit when applying for a traditional visa. On the homepage, there is now a button for e-visa applications.
Once you click on the e-Visa button displayed on the homepage you’ll be redirected to another webpage.
This page is the VFS.Global Ministry of Foreign Affairs Brazil homepage. This page explains everything you need to know about the Brazil eVisa and the associated costs. Unlike a traditional visa, an eVisa only costs $45 (after fees) and is valid for just 2 years (opposed to 5 or 10).
After reading the details listed on the page, scroll back up to the top of the page to enter a new username and password. For your user id make sure to enter a valid email address.
Registering For A VFS Global Brazil eVisa Account
At the top of the page you’ll find a box to enter a User id and Password.
To begin the Brazil eVisa application enter a “User id” (valid email address) and “Password” into the signin/signup tab. Next, enter the captcha text and select the “Register” option. After selecting register you’ll be redirected yet again to the registration page.
On the registration page you must enter your email address and password again. After entering your information, select the submit button. After submitting your registration information VFS Global will send you an activation email. At this point you can close any webpages you’ve opened thus far through the process.
Activating Your Brazilian eVisa Account
Next, log-in to the email account you entered on the registration page. In your inbox (or junk mail) you’ll find an email from “Brazil Customer Support.” Within the email you’ll find a Unique (activation) Link.
Within the email, click on the “Unique Link” which will again redirect you to another webpage. If you haven’t already, you can close all of the other webpages you’ve opened thus far (except for this one). At this point you should find the following text on the webpage which opened when you clicked on the Unique Link.
I clicked the “here” link which then took me to an invalid page. However, when I returned to the VFS.Global Ministry of Foreign Affairs Brazil homepage I was able to log-in with my activated account.
Once back on the VFS Global homepage I simply entered my email address and password and clicked on the submit button. After I clicked on the submit button the link directed me to the bottom of the page. At the bottom of the page you must agree to the terms and conditions before hitting the continue button.
Beginning The Brazil eVisa Application Process
After finally logging into my new VFS Global eVisa account I was ready to start the actual eVisa application process. The process begins by first selecting who is applying for the eVisa. Your options are as follows.
I selected individual as I was applying for just myself. After selecting individual and hitting the submit button I was directed to a Passport Details page. The Passport Details Page read as follows.
On this page I entered my valid passport information and scrolled down.
At the bottom of this page there is an “attachments” section where you must attach a photo of your passport information page and a recent passport style photo. The “Click To View” samples help guide you through exactly how each uploaded document should look.
When adding a photo I recommend using the photo tool provided by VFS Global. This tool will help you create a photo which perfectly fits the photo requirements for the Brazil eVisa.
When uploading documents, the “Status” section will not change from incomplete until you select the “Continue” button at the bottom of the page.
Below the document upload section there are additional sections which you only need to fill out if you are applying for a visa on behalf of a minor. If you are of legal age and applying for your own eVisa you can skip this section entirely.
Paying For Your Brazilian eVisa
After completing the application page you will again be redirected to a confirmation and payment page. This page is fairly self-explanatory. The only thing you must remember about this page is that you can only use a Visa card or MasterCard to pay and that your payment is non-refundable. If VFS Global denies your eVisa application you will not receive your money back.
After VFS Global processes your payment you’ll again be redirected to a confirmation page. On this page, VFS Global Brazil eVisa will provide a Confirmation Number. I recommend you print this number out for your records, but you should also receive a confirmation email. I waited until I received the confirmation email before I closed the confirmation page.
Within the Confirmation Email you’ll find your Confirmation Number, a Web Reference Number, and a few valuable links. The confirmation email also explains that any requests for additional information must be completed within 30 days or your application will be void.
Receiving Your Brazil eVisa
Approximately 3 days after submitting my Brazil eVisa application and payment I received a followup email. The email explained that VFS Global approved my application for a Brazil eVisa. The email included my approved eVisa in PDF format. Within the body of the email were instructions on how to use the eVisa and a few helpful links.
The email explained that VFS Global approved me for a Brazil eVisa. The email went on to explain that I needed to print a copy of the eVisa and bring it with me when traveling. Unlike a traditional visa, the eVisa is not affixed to the interior pages of your passport. Instead, you must print the eVisa at home and bring it with you when traveling.
During the 3 days leading up to the approval I did not receive any additional correspondence. Also, when I logged into my account to check the Brazil eVisa status the status never changed. Only when I was finally approved for the eVisa did the status of my application change. Just keep that in mind if you’re impatiently waiting for a decision.
I must say I’m quite impressed by how easy the new Brazil eVisa process is. The process is especially easy when compared to the existing traditional visa application process. Also, I love that with the eVisa application I never had to part with my passport. My travel plans change often and I never know when I’m going to need my passport to leave the country!
I realize the above application steps seem overwhelming, but if you sit down with all the required information handy, the entire process takes less than 10 minutes. The new Brazil eVisa service is fantastic and I’m glad to see the application process worked as advertised.
In the end, I now have a Brazil visa which is valid for up to two years and allows me to visit Brazil for up to 90 days. Also, the process took just a few minutes and cost $45. Not bad considering the traditional visa costs $160 and requires a much more difficult application process. I highly recommend giving the Brazil eVisa a try before applying for a traditional Brazil travel visa.
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