Departure to Rio de Janeiro

Passport, Visa & Permits to Rio de Janeiro

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This section is intended for reference only. We strongly recommend that you contact the embassy directly for the most up to date information that pertains to your specific situation.


You must have a valid passport to travel abroad. A passport is an official government document that certifies one's identity and citizenship. The process and cost associated with getting a passport can be high, so start the process at least six months before you plan to leave. Your passport must be valid 6 months beyond intended stay.


A Brazilian visa is a stamp or endorsement placed by officials of Brazil on a passport that allows the bearer to visit Brazil. Visas are obtained from the Embassy or consulates of Brazil for your visit. A visa takes anywhere from 2 days to 15 days to process in the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate. This time can be extended during the busy season (fall-winter). All Brazilian visas, regardless of the length of stay, must initially be used within 90 days of the issuance date or will no longer be valid. There are no "airport visas" and immigration authorities will refuse entry to Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa.

Required Documents

    To apply for a visa, you will need several documents:
  1. Applicant's passport, valid for no less than 6 months. Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted
  2. Duly filled and signed visa application form
  3. One passport-size photograph
  4. Originals and one complete set of photocopies of: return or onward ticket or proof of means of support during the applicant's stay in Brazil (recent bank and credit card statements, pay slips, are accepted as proof).
  5. Certificate of vaccination for yellow fever (where necessary)
  6. For applicants participating in conferences, seminars, artistic or sports events, a letter from the organizers.
  7. Receipt of payment of the consular fee.
  8. Foreign nationals whose visa applications must be submitted to the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations are subject to an additional fee.

The citizens of these countries DO NOT need a visa to travel to Brazil for tourism purposes. Passport holders just need a passport valid for at least 6 months and a return ticket:
Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bermuda, Bolivia, Bulgaria, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Israel, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Monaco , Morocco, Namibia, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Poland , Portugal , San Marino , Slovenia , South Africa , South Korea , Spain, Surinam , Sweden , Switzerland , Thailand , Trinidad & Tobago , Tunis , Turkey , Uruguay , Vatican.

Visa Types

To enter Brazil, you first must determine what type of visa you need.

Tourist Visa

This visa is for the primary purpose of visiting Brazil. This includes: to see the country, visit relatives and/or friends; attending cultural, technological or scientific conferences, seminars or meetings, and participating in unpaid athletic or performing arts events. Tourist visa holders are not allowed to engage in any paid activity in Brazil.

Prices for a visa are around US$100 for a standard single-entry tourist visa that is valid for 90 days (not including handling fees and passport photos). There is around a 2 week processing time.

Business Visa (Vitem II)

The validity of business visas for all nationalities is generally limited to 90 days. The business visa can be valid for up to five years, but the decision is made on a case by case basis. A letter from your company on letterhead addressed to the Brazilian embassy or consulate may be necessary. It should state your business in Brazil, your arrival and departure dates and your contacts. The letter from your employer must also assume full financial and moral responsibility for you during your stay.

Business trips consisting of crews for media coverage or filming; flight/ship crew members not holding an international crew card or similar activities require this visa. Business visa holders are not allowed to engage in any activity under employment contract with a Brazilian organization/corporation.

Business Visa (Vitem V)

    This type of visa is necessary to travel on business for the following situations:
  • Service to the Brazilian Government, arising from an international agreement, contract, or undertaking to which Brazil is a party
  • Employment contract with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil
  • Technical assistance services arising from a contract, cooperation agreement, services agreement, or similar instrument signed with a foreign corporation or other legal entity;
  • Professional training, without an employment relationship, immediately after the completion of vocational training or university education
  • Medical residency in an educational institution accredited by the Ministry of Education and Recreation
  • Employees of foreign companies admitted to work in Brazil as trainees or interns at a subsidiary or Brazilian branch of the foreign company, provided that they are paid exclusively outside of Brazil by that foreign company
  • Foreign instructors or professors who intend to travel to Brazil for a period of training in foreign language instruction
  • Crew members of foreign vessels traveling to Brazil to operate in waters under Brazilian jurisdiction, as required under a charter, services, or risk contract entered into with a Brazilian company;
  • Crew members of foreign fishing vessels leased by Brazilian companies;
  • Crew members or other professionals who perform paid activities aboard cruise vessels along the Brazilian coast, in the Amazon River basin, or in other inland waters;
  • Provision of services to a religious or social assistance entity, without employment relationship with a corporation or other legal entity based in Brazil

Required Documents

    To acquire a visa, several official documents are necessary:
  • Applicant's passport, valid for no less than 6 months
  • Soiled, damaged or defaced passports will not be accepted
  • Duly filled and signed visa application form
  • One passport-size photograph
  • Originals and one complete set of photocopies of: return or onward ticket or proof of means of support during the applicant's stay in Brazil (recent bank and credit card statements, pay slips, are accepted as proof).
  • Certificate of vaccination, where necessary
  • For applicants participating in conferences, seminars, artistic or sports events, a letter from the organizers.
  • Receipt of payment of the consular fee.
  • Foreign nationals whose visa applications must be submitted to the Brazilian Ministry of External Relations are subject to an additional fee.

Foreigners seeking employment in Brazil can find information on Brazilian labor legislation and procedures of a general nature regarding visas at the following website:

If you need help applying for a visa, companies like Visa First or Travel Visa Pro can assist with organizing a tourist visas for Brazil.

Entry/exit Card

On entering Brazil, all visitors must fill out a cartao de entrada/saida. Immigration officials will keep half of the form, you will keep the other. They will also stamp your passport and if the number of days allowable is different from the standard 90-day stay, they will write in the number of days beneath the word Prazo on the stamp in your passport. Hold onto this document as it will be required for your exit.

Residence Permits

Application is made to the Ministry of Justice (can be made at the Federal Police offices) or to a Brazilian consulate abroad. To apply for a permanent visa, one of the following conditions must be met:

1) Marriage to a Brazilian citizen, or Immediate Family Member
Covered by a resolution of the National Immigration Council, a permanent residence visa may be granted to foreigners married to Brazilian citizens. Immigration officials will effect a surprise visit to the couple's home to make sure that the relationship is not a "marriage of convenience" that has the principal purpose of fraudulently obtaining a residence visa.

    Documentation necessary:
  • One Visa Application Form per applicant, completely filled out online, dated and signed by the passport holder or his/her parents/guardians. (Parents must sign for minors under 18 years old);
  • passport valid for a minimum of six months from the date of intended arrival in Brazil, with at least one blank page available. The Consulate will take a copy of the passport to legalize.
  • one recent 2" x 2" passport-type photo, front view, white background. Snapshots or computer pictures are not accepted
  • Certificate of absence of criminal record issued within the last 3 months, legalized by the Consulate.
  • Proof of residence within the consular jurisdiction for the past 12 months (i.e., letter from the employer/educational institution, notarial copy of the utility bill or voter's registration), legalized by the Consulate
  • Copy of Birth and Marriage Certificates legalized by the Consulate
2)Foreigner with Brazilian offspring
A permanent visa is traditionally granted to the foreign parent or parents of a Brazilian child. The offspring should be economically dependent on the foreign mother or father and be under the guardianship of the applicant.

3)Become an Individual Foreign Investor
This can be done by:
The foreign investor must invest US$50,000 or more in Brazil in a new or existing Brazilian company.
The second option permits the foreign individual to invest less than US$50,000 and to submit a plan to create at least ten new jobs in the next five years.


A retired foreigner, over 50, who will transfer to Brazil the monthly equivalent of at least US$ 2,000. There is no limit to the number of dependants who may also receive permanent residence visas, but the main applicant must provide proof that they are genuine dependent relatives, as defined in Brazilian law. Must supply, amongst other things:
A statement from the foreign agency responsible for paying his retirement pension, informing the total monthly sum of the benefit
A bank declaration authorizing monthly transfer of at least US$ 2,000.

5)Researcher or high-level Specialist
The applicant must supply:
A document from a Brazilian research institution manifesting its interest in the services of the researcher
A curriculum vitae and appropriate academic references and diplomas.

To apply contact:
Ministerio do Trabalho e Emprego
Coordenacao-Geral de Imigracao
Esplanada dos Ministerios, Bloco F, Ed. Anexo,
Brasilia, DF 70.059 900 - BRAZIL Telephone: (011-55-61)325-5722

6)Become the administrator, manager or director of a professional or business corporation
This category is designed to cover inter-company transfers. Thus, the applicant must already be employed outside of Brazil by the parent company or by an affiliate or subsidiary of the company that proposes to employ him inside Brazil. Necessary documents include: Proof that the applicant is employed outside Brazil by the parent company, or an affiliate or subsidiary of the Brazilian hiring company
A demonstration that the Brazilian company is bringing in specialized labor that will transfer technology, increase productivity and/or bring social benefits
Proof that the company outside of Brazil or its parent has effected total foreign-capital investments of at least US$ 200,000 in the employing company in Brazil for each visa requested.

7)Administrator, manager or director of a start-up company
Planned and recent start-up companies may apply for a maximum of three visas, essentially for the executives who will get the operation off the ground. The following conditions must apply: Proof that the non-Brazilian company has been in business outside of Brazil for at least five years
Power of attorney granted by the foreign investor to its new legal representatives for the purposes of setting up the company in Brazil;
A visa of this type will be issued initially for two years. The applicant company must demonstrate that after this period it will be able to meet the minimum investment or job creation criteria laid down for transfers to an established company (see above).

Update 29/05/2010


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