BrazilOfficial Name: Federative Republic of Brazil
See our 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Fact Sheet to help you plan a safe and enjoyable trip to Brazil.
Must be valid on the date of entry
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
Yes, though Brazilian Immigration has announced a visa waiver program for those coming for tourism from June 1-September 18, 2016. Visit the Brazilian Consulate website to see if your trip qualifies for visa waiver.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
None; amounts in excess of 10,000 BR must be declared to Customs.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
None; amounts in excess of 10,000 BR must be declared to Customs.
Embassies and Consulates
U.S. Embassy Brasilia
SES 801- Avenida das Nacoes, Lote 03
70403-900 - Brasilia, DF Brazil
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-61-3312-7400
Fax: (61) 3312-7651
Consular Agency in Brasilia’s Consular District
Manaus Consular Agency
Edificio Atrium, Suite 306
Rua Franco de Sá, 310
69.079-210 Manaus AM Brazil
U.S. Consulate General Recife
Rua Goncalves Maia, 163, Boa Vista
50070-060 - Recife, PE Brazil
Telephone: 011-55-81-3416-3050 or 011-55-81-3416-3080
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-81-3416-3060 or 011-55-81-9916-9470
Consular Agency in Recife’s Consular District
U.S. Consular Agency Fortaleza
Avenida Santos Dumont 2828, Aldeota, Suite 708
U.S. Consulate General Rio de Janeiro
Avenida Presidente Wilson, 147, Castelo
20030-020, Rio de Janeiro,RJ Brazil
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-21-3823-2029
Consular Agency in Rio de Janeiro’s Consular District
U.S. Consular Agency Salvador da Bahia
Avenida Tancredo Neves, 1632, Caminho das Arvores
Salvador Trade Center-Torre Sul,room 1401,
41820-020 - Salvador, Bahia Brazil
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro: (21) 3823-2029
U.S. Consulate General Sao Paulo
Rua Henri Dunant, 500 Chacara Santo Antonio,
04709-110 - Sao Paulo, SP Brazil
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-11-3250-5373
Consular Agency in Sao Paulo’s Consular District
U.S. Consular Agency Porto Alegre
Avenida Assis Brasil 4320 Store 84 (Boulevard Strip Mall)
Parque Sao Sebastiao
91110-000 Porto Alegre, RS Brazil
Fax: (51) 3226-3344
See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Brazil for information on U.S. – Brazil relations.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
During the 2016 Olympics the Brazilian government has announced a visa waiver program for U.S. citizens from June 1 to September 18, 2016. To see if your trip qualifies for visa waiver, visit the Brazilian Embassy’s website. Outside of this period Brazil requires U.S. citizens to carry a valid U.S. passport and visa when traveling to Brazil for any purpose. You must obtain your Brazilian visa in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or consulate nearest to your place of residence in the United States. Visas cannot be obtained at the airport, and immigration authorities will refuse entry into Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa. The U.S. government cannot assist you if you arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.
U.S. citizens and other foreign travelers must fill out an immigration form on arrival that will be stamped and handed back by immigration officials at the airport. It is important to retain this form to hand back to immigration officials upon exit from the country.
Special Entry/Exit Requirements for Dual Nationals: U.S. citizens who also have Brazilian nationality cannot be issued Brazilian visas and must obtain a Brazilian passport from the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate nearest to their place of residence to enter and depart Brazil. In addition to being subject to all Brazilian laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations on Brazilian citizens.
Special Entry/Exit Requirements for Minors: Travelers under 18 years of age and their parents should carefully review the visa application requirements. The adjudicating official at the Brazilian Embassy or consulate may require a birth certificate and notarized travel authorization from both parents to issue a visa to a minor.
Brazilian minors age 17 years and under, including minors who have both Brazilian and U.S. citizenship, are subject to strict exit requirements. Brazilian minors departing Brazil, if not accompanied by both parents, must prove that both parents authorized the departure.
Minors aged 17 years and under who are not Brazilian nationals are not technically subject to the same strict travel requirements as Brazilian minors. However, there have been cases where the travel of non-Brazilian minors has been delayed or prevented when accompanied by only one parent or a third party. We encourage all U.S. citizens considering travel to Brazil to carefully review the Brazilian government’s current visa information.
Parents contemplating separation or divorce should resolve custody matters before leaving the country. Pursuant to The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction, to which both Brazil and the United States are parties, custody will ultimately be decided by a court in the country where the child is a habitual resident.
Information about dual nationality and the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about general customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
HIV/AIDS Restrictions: The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Brazil.
Safety and Security
CRIME: Brazilian police and media report that violent crime rate remains high in most urban centers. Credit card fraud and ATM scams are endemic in Brazil. Visitors should work closely with their financial institutions to monitor their accounts regularly for undocumented withdrawals or charges.
Brasilia: Brasilia has high rates of crime. Residential burglaries continue to occur in the generally affluent residential sections of the city. Public transportation, hotel sectors, and tourist areas report the highest crime rates, but statistics show that these incidents can happen anywhere and at any time. The “satellite cities” that surround Brasilia have per-capita crime rates comparable to much larger cities. Police reports indicate that rates of all types of crime, including “quicknappings,” have risen dramatically in Brasilia in the last two years. Brasilia’s Central Bus Station, or “Rodoviaria,” is a particularly dangerous area, especially at night. This location is known to have a large concentration of drug dealers and users.
Rio de Janeiro: The city continues to experience high incidences of crime, including armed robberies. Crime can happen at any place or time within Rio. While criminal activity is more frequent in certain areas, there is no area in Rio that is immune. Tourists are particularly vulnerable to street thefts and robberies in the evening and at night especially in areas adjacent to major tourist attractions. If robbed, do not attempt to resist or fight back, but rather relinquish your personal belongings. Always, pay close attention to your surroundings and the behavior of those nearby. There have been reports of thieves and rapists slipping incapacitating drugs into drinks at bars, hotel rooms, and street parties. While crime occurs throughout the year, it is more frequent during Carnival and the weeks prior.
When choosing lodging, consider location, security, and the availability of a safe to store valuables. Do not answer your hotel room door until you positively confirm who is on the other side.
U.S. government personnel in Brazil are prohibited from traveling to Rio’s “unpacified” favelas but may visit Rio’s pacified favelas after obtaining permission from the Consulate’s security office (“pacification” is a law enforcement and social services program designed to reduce lawlessness in Rio’s “favelas,” or slums). However, even pacified favelas can be unpredictable and dangerous, and U.S. residents and visitors in Rio de Janeiro who visit pacified favelas could be placing themselves at risk.Be vigilant while on the roads, especially at night. There have been shootings and carjackings on the Linha Vermelha that links the international airport to the popular tourist areas in the city’s Southern Zone. In Rio de Janeiro, motorists should be especially vigilant at stoplights and when stuck in traffic. Carjackings and holdups can occur at intersections and in tunnels. Crime on public transportation is frequent, and at times is violent. When traveling by taxi, tourists should only use taxis openly displaying company information and phone numbers, as well as red license plates. U.S. government employees are not permitted to use public vans and tourists are advised to avoid them as well.
Rio de Janeiro is also often the site of large scale events such as the upcoming 2016 Olympics. Reselling tickets to these types of sporting events may be seen as scalping and result in arrest. During the 2014 World Cup the police apprehended numerous people for scalping tickets, some spending extensive time in prison waiting for trial.
Report all incidents to Rio's tourist police (DEAT) at (21) 2332-2924. The tourist police have been very responsive to victims.
Sao Paulo: All areas of Greater Sao Paulo have a high rate of armed robbery of pedestrians and drivers at stoplights and during rush hour traffic. The downtown area and outskirts of the city are subject to higher levels of crime. The "red light districts" of Sao Paulo, located on Rua Augusta north of Avenida Paulista and the Estacao de Luz metro area, are especially dangerous. There are regular reports of women drugging men's drinks and robbing them while they are unconscious. Armed holdups of pedestrians and motorists by motorcyclists are a common occurrence in Sao Paulo. Criminals also target restaurants throughout the city, frequently between the hours of 10:00 pm and 4:00 am, including the upscale neighborhoods of Jardins, Itaim Bibi, Campo Belo, Morumbi and Moema. Victims who resist run the risk of violent attack. Be aware of your surroundings and exercise caution at all times. Respect police roadblocks and be aware that some municipal services may be disrupted. Due to some recent violent attacks (including sexual assaults) at Ibirapuera Park, the U.S. Government has advised all Consulate personnel to avoid the park after dark.
Favela tours have recently become popular among foreign tourists in Sao Paulo. Avoid Sao Paulo’s favelas as neither the tour company nor the city police can guarantee your safety when entering favelas.
The São Paulo Tourist Police (Delegacia de Protecao ao Turista) numbers are 11-3120-4447 and 3151-4167.
Recife: Tourists in Recife should take special care while on the beaches, as robberies may occur in broad daylight. In the upscale Boa Viagem neighborhood, carjackings can occur at any time of the day or night.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or another U.S. citizen becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Brazil is divided between three services: 190 - Policia (Police), 192- Ambulancia (Ambulance), and 193- Bombeiros (Fire Department).
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Demonstrations: Demonstrations and political/labor strikes are common in urban areas, may cause temporary disruption to public and private transportation, and could become violent. Even demonstrations or events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and possibly escalate into violence. U.S. citizens traveling or residing in Brazil are advised to take common-sense precautions, avoid large gatherings or other events where crowds have congregated to demonstrate or protest, and comply with the instructions of local authorities. Check the website of the Embassy or consulate nearest you for current information on demonstrations.
Cross-Border Criminal Activities: Individuals with ties to criminal entities and traffickers operate along Brazilian borders. U.S. citizens crossing into bordering countries should consult the Country Specific Information on the relevant nation.
Restricted Areas for U.S. Government Employees: Due to concerns about violent crime, U.S. government employees are restricted from traveling to any of the unpacified favelas in Brasilia, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo. Pacified favelas in Rio are discussed above. This restriction does not include commonly used routes that pass near or through favelas.
In addition, U.S. government employees are not permitted to visit any areas within 150 km of the international borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay (This policy is NOT intended to limit travel to the Foz do Iguaçu National Park or Pantanal National Park). Travel is also restricted between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. in Brasilia’s “satellite cities” of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts, as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the Embassy’s Twitter feed for Americans, the U.S. Embassy in Brazil on Twitter, and visit the Embassy’s website.
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.
Water Hazards: Brazil’s beaches can pose a threat to the safety of travelers. Many beaches have very strong and dangerous riptides, including those in Rio de Janeiro and Fortaleza. Always observe posted flags and signs warning of strong swells and currents, and never swim while under the influence of alcohol. Even if the water looks safe, there may be strong riptides. Ocean currents and waves are unpredictable, even in popular beaches frequented by tourists.
Travelers are advised to adhere to local authorities’ guidance and refrain from swimming alone in areas marked with red warning signs or at beaches where there are no municipal lifeguards or first responder services. There is a possibility of shark attacks in the waters of many of the beaches in northeastern Brazil, including those in Recife, Natal, and Maceio. Heed signs posted on any beach you visit.
Electricity Blackouts: Power failures in large urban centers frequently occur in areas with high concentrations of hotels and residences in cities throughout the country. During these blackouts, local authorities quickly increase police presence to maintain public security. In addition, most tourist hotels are equipped with generators, minimizing the impact of a blackout on visitors. Nonetheless, you should use caution in the event of a blackout during your visit to Brazil. Residents should keep flashlights and sufficient supplies of food and potable water in their residences to prepare for extended blackouts.
Natural Disasters: Flooding and mudslides occur throughout the country, and can be fatal. Monitor news and weather reports and adhere to municipal advisories before traveling to areas prone to flooding or landslides. Many of Brazil’s larger cities have frequent heavy rainstorms that have caused flash flooding and crippled traffic for hours.
Customs Restrictions: Brazilian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into, or export from, Brazil of items such as firearms, antiquities, mineral samples, tropical plants, medications, and business equipment. In the Amazon region, there is special scrutiny of the export of biological material which could have genetic value. People propagating or exporting biological material without proper permits run the risk of being accused of “biopiracy,” a serious offense in Brazil. Contact the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. or one of Brazil's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding customs requirements. Please also refer to our information on customs regulations.
Death of a U.S. Citizen: In the unfortunate event of a death, relatives or friends of any deceased U.S. citizen should contact the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia or one of the U.S. Consulates General in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, or Recife before contracting with a local mortuary. We can issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad and help repatriate the deceased to the United States.
RIGHTS OF LGBTI INDIVIDUALS: There are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBTI events in Brazil. See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Brazil, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what you find in the United States. Brazilian law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities in employment, education, and access to health care. The federal government effectively enforces these provisions and requires priority be given to these individuals. Although federal and state laws have provisions ensuring access to buildings for persons with disabilities, states do not have programs to enforce them effectively. Accessibility to public transportation and the ability to accommodate the needs of physically disabled persons are limited in most areas.
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. Most care providers overseas only accept cash payments. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Brazil to ensure the medication is legal in Brazil. Always, carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription.
The following diseases are prevalent:
- Mosquito Borne Diseases: Chagas, Chikunguya, Dengue, Zika and other diseases
- Traveler’s diarrhea
Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.
Elective Surgery: Plastic and other elective/cosmetic surgery is a major medical industry in Brazil. Although Brazil has many plastic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you are planning to undergo plastic surgery in Brazil, make sure that emergency medical facilities are available. Some “boutique” plastic surgery operations offer luxurious facilities but are not hospitals and are therefore unable to deal with emergencies.
Non-traditional Medicine: Several U.S. citizens have died while visiting non-traditional healers outside of urban areas. U.S. citizens are advised to ensure they have access to proper medical care when visiting such sites.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Travel & Transportation
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in Brazil, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.
Driving on Brazil's inter-city roads can pose significant risks. As is the case elsewhere in the region, poor driving skills, bad roads, and a high density of traffic combine to make travel via roads considerably more hazardous than in the United States.
There are no laws requiring truckers to take mandatory rest stops and they often drive for excessive periods of time. All major inter-city routes are saturated with heavy truck traffic and for the most part have only two lanes.
Road maintenance is inadequate and some long-distance roads through the Amazon forest are impassable much of the year. Private cars and public buses are the main modes of inter-city road travel. Buses can range (depending on the route and the price) from luxurious and well-maintained to basic and mechanically unsound. Bus hijacking, usually non-violent, occurs at random.
Apart from toll roads, which generally have their own services, roadside assistance is available only very sporadically and informally through local private mechanics. The fastest way to summon assistance in an emergency anywhere in the country is to dial 193, a universal number staffed by local fire departments. This service is in Portuguese only. Many motorists in major urban areas and more developed parts of the country carry cellular phones, and can be asked to call for help in an emergency.
Traffic Laws: There are severe penalties for a number of traffic offenses. The information below concerning Brazil is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
Travelers planning on staying for more than 180 days should obtain an Inter-American Driving Permit to carry along with their valid U.S. license if they plan to drive while in Brazil. Such permits can be obtained through AAA or other sources.
Brazil requires the use of seatbelts for everyone in the car. Brazilian federal law requires car seats for all children under the age of 7 ½. From age 7 ½ years to 10, children cannot ride in the front seat of the car, and must be in the back seat wearing a seatbelt.
Adhere to posted speed limits.
Yielding the Right of Way: Drivers must yield the right of way to cars on their right. Compliance with stop signs is rarely enforced, so many motorists treat them as yield signs.
Driving Under the Influence: Under Brazil’s Lei Seca (“Dry Law”), drivers with any measurable content of alcohol in their blood are in violation of the law. Checkpoints are often set up in urban areas where randomly chosen drivers are required to exit their vehicles and perform a breathalyzer test. In addition to legal penalties, those found to have any evidence of drinking will have their cars impounded.
Local Driving Customs: Drivers often use flashes or wave a hand out of the window to signal other drivers to slow down. In addition, pedestrian "zebra" crossings are strictly observed in some places (especially in Brasilia) and ignored most everywhere else. It is common for drivers to turn across one or more lanes of traffic without warning.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information. Also, we suggest that you visit the website of Brazil’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT:The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Brazil’s Civil Aviation Authority as being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Brazil’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.