Starting June 17, visitors from Canada, Australia, and Japan will also no longer need visas to enter the South American country.
In a year in which Japan and Venice have implemented new taxes for tourists, Brazil has made it cheaper for U.S. citizens to visit. On Monday, Brazil’s government announced that it will waive visa requirements starting on June 17 for both business travelers and tourists from the United States, as well as Canada, Australia, and Japan.
Currently, travelers from the United States need to apply online or at a Brazilian embassy and pay $40 (plus a $4.24 service fee) for a tourist visa. The Brazilian government temporarily waived visa requirements from travelers from the same four countries during the summer of 2016 to encourage foreign travelers to visit around the time of the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
In November 2017, Brazil introduced an e-Visa program that cut down visa approval times to about 72 hours and lowered the price of the visa from $160 to $40 for U.S. travelers, according to Travel Weekly. Since then, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism saw a 44.2 percent increase in visas processed from the United States in April 2018 compared to April 2017.
By eliminating all visa requirements for travelers from these countries, Brazil’s Ministry of Tourism hopes to increase the number of annual overseas visitors to 12 million and spending to $18 billion by 2022, Travel Pulse reports. Brazil had over 6 million foreign arrivals in 2018.
But there are also political motives behind the decision, considering that the announcement falls during Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro’s first visit to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Trump this week.
The move to let in travelers from the United States without a visa was done in part to ease relations between the two countries. Trump said he and Bolsonaro would discuss visa requirements in their meeting, reported Bloomberg. But experts are skeptical. It’s “not likely to be reciprocated in the current anti-immigration climate,” Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin American program at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, told the Wall Street Journal.
If you are entering Brazil from now until June 17, you will still need to apply for a Brazilian tourist visa, if you’re a U.S. citizen. After June 17, you’ll be able to enter Brazil visa-free for visits of up to 90 days.