Visas can be a tricky travel topic to navigate. I've found it helps to do your research well ahead of time and not leave visas to the last minute.
Every year more than 6.5 million international travelers visit Brazil, South America’s largest and most memorable country. They come for a variety of reasons to this beautiful and mysterious country.
Some travel here for business and head for the capital Sao Paolo where many of the country’s largest businesses are headquartered. There they find a bustling metropolis comparable to many of the most noteworthy business focused cities in the world.
Others head to Rio de Janeiro which is city that is filled with culture, sports activities, Carnival, fantastic food and of course the lovely beaches.
Those interested in nature will come to Brazil for its many pristine mountain ranges and forests including the world famous Amazon Jungle.
Whatever the reason you come to Brazil, you need to be prepared for your trip to ensure you have a wonderful and safe time in the country. Here are some things you should do in advance of your trip.
Get Your e-Visa
For citizens coming from most other countries to Brazil, you must have a passport and a visa to enter and stay in the country. The passport is issued in your home country and the visa is a document or stamp that the Brazilian government issues to you, giving you permission to enter into and stay in the country for a period of time.
Visas come in several forms and have different obligations and permissions for your travel. The types of Brazilian visas you can apply for and the most common are business, student, and tourist visas.
The traditional process for all foreigners to obtain a Brazilian visa entails the traveler mailing their passport, application, photos, and other required information to the Brazilian Consulate in their home country. Or visiting it to present this information if allowed. This process is time consuming and if there are mistakes on the forms, it could take longer before receiving the visa.
For citizens of the United States, Australia, Canada, and Japan the visa process has been streamlined. They can now secure a Brazil e visa which is applied for and issued online by the Brazilian government. Applicants can apply from any location using a computer, tablet, or web connected smartphone as long as they are citizens of the included countries. An e-visa can be obtained in 3 simple steps from the comfort of your own home and it is good for a 90-day stay per year and valid for 2 years (or until the passport expiry date, whichever comes first).
Learn To Speak A Little Portuguese
Most people are surprised to learn that Portuguese and not Spanish is the official language of Brazil. Not only is this the case, but with a population of more than 200 million people, Brazil is by far the largest country in the world with Portuguese as its official language. Portuguese is a cousin to Spanish so people who speak either language find it possible to communicate with each other, but there are differences. Luckily you can go online and find free courses to give you the basics of Portuguese.
You can easily learn things like asking directions, ordering basics in a restaurant, and of course asking where the bathroom is. These will likely come in handy because many local Brazilians do not speak English. Also you will be able to thank locals in their own language which is endearing.
Plan Out Your Trip In Advance
Brazil is a big country and it is generally safe, but there are also some areas particularly in the cities that are demand caution. Because of this you need to plan out your trip, and make sure that you are aware of where you are traveling. Take any tours with reputable tour companies and go to tourist areas when there are lots of people around. Keep your valuables in zipped tight fitting bags or clothing, and the moment you sense trouble move out of that area and locate a policeman.
When traveling at night, use the hotel’s cars or taxis that are summoned by the hotel and make sure of the exact location you are traveling to that night. If you plan on drinking alcohol make sure you are not alone and plan your transportation back to the hotel at the start of the evening. Be aware that you are in a foreign country and the customs and dangers may be different than what you would experience at home.
Whether you are heading to a big city or to the deep forest, your Brazil trip can be wonderful and unforgettable. Prepare yourself before you go and follow these common sense tips to make it your best trip ever.
Shane is an avid traveler and always loved to explore the new places. This time he is sharing his tips and tricks while making the bookings.