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Brazil

Brazil
Federative Republic of Brazil
Exercise increased caution in Brazil due to crime.

Exercise increased caution in Brazil due to crime. Some areas have increased risk. Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • Any areas within 150 km of Brazil’s land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay due to crime.
  • “Favela” neighborhoods due to crime.
  • Brasilia’s “satellite cities” of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa during non-daylight hours due to crime.
  • Recife’s Pina Beach from Dona Benvinda de Farias Street to the Brasilia Teimosa neighborhood after dark due to crime.

Violent crime, such as murder, armed robbery, and carjacking, is common in urban areas, day and night. Gang activity and organized crime is widespread. 

Read the Safety and Security section on the country information page.

If you decide to travel to Brazil:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially when traveling to tourist locations and in crowded public venues.
  • Use caution when walking or driving at night.
  • Do not display signs of wealth, such as wearing expensive watches or jewelry.
  • Do not physically resist any robbery attempt.
  • Avoid using an ATM in low-light or remote locations. Never let someone “shoulder surf” or assist you.
  • Use caution at or going to major transportation centers or on public transportation, especially at night.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive Alerts and make it easier to locate you in an emergency.
  • Follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.
  • Review the Crime and Safety Reports for Brazil.
  • U.S. citizens who travel abroad should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations. Review the Traveler’s Checklist.

International Borders

U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to areas within 150 km of the international land borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay without advance approval from security officials due to crime. Travel to the Foz do Iguaçu National Park and Pantanal National Park is permitted.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Favelas

Do not travel to favela areas where local and military police do not operate, even on a guided tour. Neither the tour companies nor the police can guarantee your safety when entering favelas. Exercise caution in areas surrounding favelas, as occasionally, inter-gang fighting and confrontations with police move beyond the confines of the favelas. Except under limited circumstances and with advance approval, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to all favelas in Sao Paulo, all favelas/vilas in Porto Alegre, all unpacified favelas in Recife, the Aglomerado da Serra favela in Belo Horizonte, and all favelas in Rio de Janeiro.

Read the Safety and Security Section on the country information page for further information regarding favelas.

Visit our website for Travel High-Risk Areas.

Brasilia’s Satellite Cities

Without advance approval from security officials, U.S. government personnel are not permitted to travel to Brasilia’s “satellite cities” of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. (non-daylight hours) due to crime.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

Recife’s Pina Beach

U.S. government personnel are prohibited from walking after dark on Pina Beach, located in the northern part of Boa Viagem due to crime. This restriction covers the sandy areas of Pina Beach starting at Dona Benvinda de Farias Street and ending at Brasilia Teimosa neighborhood.

Visit our website for Travel to High-Risk Areas.

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Embassy Messages
Alerts
Quick Facts
PASSPORT VALIDITY:


Must be valid on the date of entry

BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:


One page required for entry stamp

TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:

Yes

VACCINATIONS:


None required, but see Health section

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:


More than 10,000 BR must be declared to Customs

CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:


More than 10,000 BR must be declared to Customs

ALL /
ALL /
Embassies and Consulates

U.S. Embassy Brasilia
SES 801- Avenida das Nacoes, Lote 03
70403-900 - Brasilia, DF Brazil
Telephone: 011-55-61-3312-7000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-61-3312-7400
Fax: (61) 3312-7651
BrasiliaACS@state.gov

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
Telephone: 011-55-92-3611-3333


U.S. Consulate Porto Alegre
Avenida Assis Brasil, 1889,
Passo d' Areia
Porto Alegre, RS, 91010-005
Telephone: 55-51-3345-6000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 55-51-98293-0446
Email: PortoAlegreACS@state.gov

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
Fax: 011-55-81-3231-1906
RecifeACS@state.gov

Consular Agency in Recife’s Consular District
U.S. Consular Agency Fortaleza
Avenida Santos Dumont 2828, Aldeota, Suite 708
Telephone: 011-55-85-3021-5200
Fax: 011-55-85-3021-3888

U.S. Consulate General Rio de Janeiro
Avenida Presidente Wilson, 147, Castelo
20030-020, Rio de Janeiro,RJ Brazil
Telephone: 011-55-213823-2000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-21-3823-2029
Fax: 011-55-21-3823-2093
Email: acsrio@state.gov

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
Telephone: 011-55-71-3113-2090/2091/2092
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: Please contact the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro: (21) 3823-2029
Fax: 011-55-71-3113-2092

U.S. Consulate General Sao Paulo
Rua Henri Dunant, 500 Chacara Santo Antonio,
04709-110 - Sao Paulo, SP Brazil
Telephone: 011-55-11-3250-5000
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: 011-55-11-3250-5373
Fax: 011-55-11-3250-5159
SaopauloACS@state.gov

Destination Description

See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Brazil for information on U.S. – Brazil relations. 

Entry, Exit and Visa Requirements

You will need:

  • A valid U.S. passport 

The U.S. government cannot assist you if you arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.

Special Entry/Exit Requirements for Minors: The Brazilian Embassy or Consulate may require a birth certificate and notarized travel authorization from both parents to issue a visa to a minor.

When departing Brazil, Brazilian minors (including U.S.-Brazilian dual citizens) who are not accompanied by both parents are required by law to prove that both parents authorized the travel. While non-Brazilian minors are not subject to the same requirement, immigration officials always have the right to stop individuals for questioning.  There have been cases where non-Brazilian minors have been delayed or prevented from traveling when accompanied by only one parent or a third party. Please review the Brazilian government’s current visa information.

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.

Please find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction, and customs regulations on our website.   

Safety and Security

Crime: The violent crime rate is high in most Brazilian urban centers. Public transportation, hotel sectors, and tourist areas report high crime rates, but these incidents can happen anywhere and at any time. Be aware of your surroundings.

  • Avoid the following dangerous areas, especially at night:
    • Brasilia’s Central Bus Station, or “Rodoviaria,”
    • Sao Paulo’s "red light districts," located on Rua Augusta north of Avenida Paulista and the Estacao de Luz metro area.
    • Sao Paulo’s Ibirapuera Park, where violent attacks (including sexual assaults) have occurred.
  • Use caution at or going to major transportation centers and public transportatoin, especially at night. 
  • Avoid favelas, even if on a guided tour. Neither the tour company nor the city police can guarantee your safety when entering favelas.
  • Thieves and rapists have been known to slip incapacitating drugs into drinks at bars, hotel rooms, and street parties.  
  • Armed hold-ups of pedestrians and motorists are common, including at or near public beaches. If robbed, hand over your personal belongings without resisting.
  • Carjackings and holdups can occur at any time of the day or night, especially at intersections and in tunnels. Express kidnappings, wherein the victim is taken at gunpoint and forced to withdraw funds from ATMs, also occur.
  • Crime on public transportation is frequent and can be violent. Registered taxis have red license plates and openly display company information and phone numbers.
  • Credit card fraud and ATM scams are common in Brazil. Work closely with your financial institutions to monitor accounts and keep your credit card in view while it is scanned at a point of sale.
  • Avoid large groups or events where crowds have gathered. Demonstrations and strikes are common in urban areas, may occur unexpectedly, disrupt transportation, and may escalate into violence. Check the website of the Embassy or Consulate nearest you for current information on demonstrations.
  • U.S. government employees working in Brazil are not permitted to:
    • Travel to any areas within 150 km of the international borders with Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, and Paraguay. (Travel to the Foz do Iguaçu National Park and Pantanal National Park is permitted.) Individuals with ties to illegal criminal networks operate along Brazilian borders.
    • Visit Brasilia’s “satellite cities” of Ceilandia, Santa Maria, Sao Sebastiao, and Paranoa, between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m.
    • Enter any of Rio de Janeiro’s “favela” neighborhoods
      • Visit Recife’s Pina Beach from Dona Benvinda de Farias Street to the Brasilia Teimosa neighborhood after dark.
      • Use public buses in or around Recife.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: 

U.S. citizen victims of sexual assault and crime should first contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate. 

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Brazil is divided between three services:

  • 190 - Policia (Police)
  • 192 - Ambulancia (Ambulance)
  • 193 - Bombeiros (Fire Department)

You can also report crimes to tourist police (DEAT: Delegacia de Protecao ao Turista) located in major cities:

  • the U.S. Embassy at 011-55-61-3312-7000
  • the U.S. Consulate in Porto Alegre at 011-55-51-3345-6000
  • the U.S. Consulate General in Recife at 011-55-81-3416-3050 or 011-55-81-3416-3080
  • the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro at 011-55-21-3823-2000
  • the U.S. Consulate General in Sao Paulo at 011-55-11-3250-5000

The U.S. Embassy and Consulates can help you contact local authorities, but Brazilian law enforcement are responsible for investigating and prosecuting crimes.

See our webpage on U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victims’ compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Victims of Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault: Contact the Embassy for assistance after contacting local autorities.

For further information:

Local Laws & Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: Foreigners 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 United States, regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy or Consulate immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Water Hazards: Many of Brazil’s beaches have very dangerous riptides, even if the water looks safe. Ocean currents and waves are unpredictable, even in popular beaches frequented by tourists. Shark attacks are reported in the waters of some beaches in northeastern Brazil, particularly near Recife. Always observe posted warnings and never swim while under the influence of alcohol. Follow 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.  

Electricity Blackouts: Power failures in large urban centers are common and sometimes followed by increased crime. Most tourist hotels are equipped with generators, minimizing the impact of a blackout, but you should remain cautious.  

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 cause flash flooding and can disrupt traffic.

Customs Restrictions: Contact the Brazilian Embassy in Washington, D.C. or one of Brazil's consulates in the United States for specific information regarding import and export regulations. Please also refer to our information on customs regulations.

  • Brazilian customs authorities may enforce strict regulations concerning temporarily importing or exporting items such as firearms, antiquities, mineral samples, tropical plants, wildlife, medications, and business and communication equipment. 
  • In the Amazon region, there is special scrutiny of exporting biological material. People raising, growing, or exporting biological materials without permits can be charged with “biopiracy.”  

Faith-Based Travelers: See our following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Brazil does not have legal restrictions on same-sex marriage, relations, or events coordinated by LGBTI organizations. However, according to the 2016 Human Rights Report, violence against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) individuals was a serious concern, with local NGOs reporting that in the first half of 2016, 139 LGBTI persons were victims of hate killings.  See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Brazilian law prohibits discrimination against persons with physical and mental disabilities in employment, education, and access to health care. However, accessibility to public transportation and the ability to accommodate the needs of physically disabled persons are limited in most areas. 

Students: See our students abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for women travelers.

Health

The U.S. government does not pay medical bills and 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. Carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor’s prescription. 

The following diseases are prevalent:

  • Mosquito Borne Diseases: Chagas, chikunguya, dengue, Zika, Visceral Leishmaniasis, rabies and yellow fever are the most common
  • Traveler’s diarrhea
  • Tuberculosis
  • Schistosomiasis

Elective Surgery: Although Brazil has many elective/cosmetic surgery facilities that are on par with those found in the United States, the quality of care varies widely. If you plan to undergo 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 unable to handle emergencies.

Non-traditional Medicine: Several U.S. citizens have died while seeking medical care from non-traditional “healers” and practitioners. Ensure you have access to proper medical care if seeking such services.

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization. The government of Brazil recently updated the areas at risk for yellow fever, where vaccination is recommended. Though not required to enter Brazil, travelers wishing to be vaccinated may wish to consider receiving yellow fever vaccine prior to travel to Brazil, as local supplies are limited. Travelers should consult guidance from the World Health Organization and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the most recent information:

Please note that the yellow fever vaccine should be administered 10 days prior to travel in order for it to be effective.

Further health information:

Travel and Transportation

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions: Driving on Brazil's roads poses significant risks. Poor driving skills, bad roads, and high density traffic make road travel more hazardous than in the United States.

Road maintenance is inadequate in many areas and some long-distance roads through the Amazon forest are impassable much of the year due to flooding. Private cars and public buses are the main modes of inter-city road travel. Buses can range (depending on route and price) from luxurious and well-maintained to basic and mechanically unsound. Bus hijacking occurs at random.

Apart from toll roads, which generally have their own services, roadside assistance is available only sporadically and informally through local 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.

Traffic Laws: Travelers planning on staying for more than 180 days should obtain an Inter-American Driving Permit to carry with their valid U.S. license if they plan to drive in Brazil. Such permits can be obtained through AAA or other sources.  Please note:

  • Everyone in the vehicle must wear a seatbelt. Brazilian federal law requires child seats for all children under the age of 7 ½. From age 7 ½ years to 10, children must only ride in the back seat.
  • 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. It is common for drivers to turn or cross one or more lanes of traffic without warning.
  • Drivers often flash their lights or wave a hand out the window to signal other drivers to slow down. 
  • Pedestrian crossings are only observed in some places, such as Brasilia. 
  • Drivers must have their daytime running lights on during the day and headlights on at night on Federal Highways.
  • Under Brazil’s Lei Seca (“Dry Law”), you cannot operate a vehicle with any measurable blood-alcohol level. Checkpoints are often set up in urban areas, and randomly chosen drivers are required to perform a breathalyzer test. Those in violation are subject to legal penalties and having their vehicle impounded. 

See our Road Safety page for more information. 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

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Brazil should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website and the National Geospatial Agency broadcast warnings website (select “broadcast warnings”).

Last Updated: May 24, 2017
Travel Advisory Levels

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Brasilia
SES 801 - Avenida das Nacoes
Lote 3
70403-900 - Brasília, DF Brazil
Telephone
011-55-61-3312-7000
Emergency
011-55-61-3312-7400
Fax
61-3312-7651
Brazil Map