Brazil, South America, Travel

Brazilian Tourist Visas

December 13, 2010
Brazilian Visa, With Typical Horrifying Photo ID
(Last Updated On: June 23, 2018)

Did you know that Canadians need to obtain visas to enter certain countries? No? Neither did I. It wasn’t something that ever occurred to me when planning my travels. My inexperience almost led to disastrous results, but fortunately my travel agency was there to help.

Getting a Tourist Visa as a Canadian Travelling to Brazil.

Sugar Loaf Mountain Rio de Janeiro Brazil
About a year ago, when I called Aeroplan to book my flight to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, they didn’t mention anything about visa requirements at all. I only found out when I booked my G Adventures trip to Iguassu Falls through my travel agency. So when my travel agent informed me that I needed to secure a visa to enter Brazil, I was completely shocked.

Luckily, I still had enough time to get all the paperwork done before leaving. I hate to think what may have happened had I flown to Brazil without the visa.

Read on to learn more about the application process for a Brazilian tourist visa.

What should I do before planning a trip? How do I find out if I need a visa?

Before you make plans to travel to any foreign country, you need to find out if that country requires you to have a visa.  Some countries like Brazil require you to have a “tourist visa”, even if you’re only planning a brief vacation and have no intention of living or working there.

Canadians can visit The Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada web site to find out tourist visa requirements for all countries. Visit this page to view specific details for Brazil.

How do I get a visa?

The first thing you need to do is visit one of these sites for further instructions:

  1. Vancouver (Serves British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Yukon and Northwest Territories) –
  2. Ottawa –
  3. Toronto (Serves Ontario, except Ottawa, Manitoba and Nunavut) –
  4. Montreal (Serves Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland) –

How long does it take to get a visa?

The process is lengthy and it’s important for you to take this into consideration.

Apply at least 6 weeks in advance of your trip, in the very minimum. Do it sooner if you can and no matter what, do not leave it until the last minute. The Brazilian Consulate will not rush applications for you.

What is the step-by-step process for putting together a visa application package?

Here are the nitty gritty details:

1) Complete an application online.
2) Print and sign the resulting “protocol”.
3) Get a passport photo taken. Attach the photo to the proper field in the protocol. Gluing the picture to the paper is acceptable.
4)  Have these items ready to complete your visa application package:
a) A certified cheque or money order for the required amount.
b) A copy of your travel itinerary such as an e-ticket showing your arrival and departure dates.
c) Your passport and authorization for minors to travel (if applicable).

Review and Double-check

Before you send off your application package, give everything a final review. Are the details on the protocol correct? Is the money order made out for the right amount and to the correct party?

The last thing you want is to have a silly error cause a delay in the visa application process.

My application package is ready. What’s next?

You can take all of these things to your nearest consulate and drop them off or have a third party do it on your behalf. You can also apply by mail – but note that extra fees will apply and you need to send them a prepaid and self-addressed return envelope.

How long does it take to process the visa application?

The Brazilian Consulate requires 10 business days to process your tourist visa application. If you mailed it in, your passport and visa will be mailed back to you. Otherwise, it is available for pick-up at your local consulate.

The Brazilian Consulate has my passport. What if I need to travel during this time?

Flavellas in Rio de Janeiro
As you need to include your Canadian passport as part of your application package, you’ll have to think about whether or not you’ll need to travel outside of Canada while they have your passport.

If you do need to travel for business or pleasure, I would suggest contacting Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada for more information.

This process seems lengthy and confusing. Can someone help me?

If you don’t want to go through some of the hassle outlined above, you can also opt to use a service called Visa Center. While you will still have to do things such as fill out and application, get a photo taken etc, they will handle some of the more administrative tasks for you.

Note – you’ll pay for the convenience and it will cost you more than doing it yourself.

How long are tourist visas valid?

They’re valid for 5 years and allow for stays up to 90 days.

What do tourist visas look like?

If your tourist visa has been approved,  you’ll get one of these glued into your passport.

Brazilian Tourist Visa Example.

Happy travels and enjoy Brazil! 

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  • Reply Ayngelina December 13, 2010 at 9:07 am

    It`s part of the reason I chose not to go to Brazil while in South America, too expensive!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 13, 2010 at 3:23 pm

      Awww! Brazil is such a beautiful country. Hope you make it there someday.

  • Reply Dan December 13, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    I always used a travel visa service with Visa Center to apply. Saves the hassles of dealing with political bureaucracy directly. Check them out:

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 13, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      Dan! Thanks so much for informing me (and my readers) to this Visa Centre. It’s a more expensive option but can certainly help reduce the confusion and hassle for some people.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard December 13, 2010 at 7:13 pm

      Dan, I actually updated my blog post to include the mention of Visa Center. Thanks again for the tip. Myself and my readers surely do appreciate it!

  • Reply Anderson Coelho January 22, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    Hi Cheryl,
    I am sorry you had to go trough this “horrible” process. I think it could be not necessary but this is a kind of reciprocal process, so they ask you for a visa because when we, brazilians, want to go to Canada (or USA, for example) we need to go trough this process. A good example is that when we want to go to Europe we don’t need this so we don’t ask them to have one when they come!
    I never tried to get the visa to Canada, but I have friends that has it, and the process was almost the same.
    The only bad example I have it to try to get a US visa. I am trying to get this since 2009 and so far they only refused it. For me they have no reason once I have a good life here and I don’t need (and don’t want) to live there, but I think they don’t understand it! So, let’s keep trying and during this time visit other good places!
    Maybe I can go to Canada! hehehe
    Now about your post, I like it because you say all about the visa process but you don’t make us some kind of idiot people that ask you a visa. I am saying that because I already saw thousands of sites with that kind of post. So, thanks for it!
    Well, I hope you can come to visit us again! Just to make you know, I am from Campinas, a city really close to São Paulo!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 23, 2011 at 12:09 am

      Thanks for your comments. I hope you can make it to Canada someday, as we too have a beautiful country! I also hope to make it back to Brazil someday as well. I had such a fun time and want to explore more.

  • Reply Anderson Coelho January 22, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    Oh.. I almost forgot one thing! hehehe
    About this “Typical Horrifying Photo ID”: you got this photo because you got the new Brazilian Visa. The old one did not have a photo on it! =)
    See you!

  • Reply Don February 10, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    For those attempting to apply through the Vancouver consulate, the wait time for a tourist visa at the Vancouver consulate is currently in the range of 25 to 35 business days (5 to 7 calendar weeks) despite what is published on their web site. I understand the reciprocity of their visa requirements, but as a minimum they should give people a more accurate approximation of the wait time.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

      Don, thanks for your comment. I’m sure those who need to go through the Vancouver consulate will appreciate this useful information. The main message we can all take from this is to apply as early as possible in case such situations occur.

  • Reply Chin February 13, 2011 at 3:42 am

    Oh my, this is a horrible process but nothing compared to what many Brazilians have to go through when they travel to Canada and the US.

    Of course, Canada´s more organized and kind than American officials but we must pay a lot and cannot have the money back if we’re not granted with a visa.

    Brazil’s visa is valid for 5 years for multiple entries to Canadians.

    Canada’s visa is two types: One for one entry for about $ 100 CAD and another for 3 years for $200CAD and multiple entries (they deny when you´re not a wealthy person).

    Now America and Brazil signed an agreement and the visa is valid for 10 years (both American and Brazilian visas) and Americans and Brazilians can travel even if the passport is expired for 6 months as long as visa is valid. The price? About US$140.

    Maybe Canada and Brazil could sign some agreement since I see many Brazilians students preferring Canada than USA and there´s so many Brazilians immigrating to Quebec. Thats’ why the only Canadian friends of mine who wanted to come to Brazil were those with an European passport that didn’t need visa.

    Anyway, sorry for that horrible time but it could be worse, you could be a Brazilian seeking visa to Canada 🙂

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 13, 2011 at 8:15 am

      Thanks for all of your info Chin.

      I like the idea of a 10 year visa. Let’s hope our governments sign-off on that happening someday!

      I hope you eventually make it to Canada. If you do, drop me a line and I’ll give you some travel tips. 🙂

  • Reply Edson Mendes February 25, 2011 at 2:26 am

    It sounded a bit funny when I read the part when you mention Canadians needing Visas as something that never occurred to you when planning your travels. I have to say that for all that Brazilians have to go through if they want to set foot on your country, that’s the least you people have to take, I mean , considering that the same might happen when you guys want to go off and explore. I can guarantee you would really come to know the meaning of the word “shock” if you were a Brazilian here seeking for Canadian Visa. It’s not only bureaucratic down here; at times, it’s pure humiliation! simply sad! US much more receptive, believe it or not!

    • Reply Cheryl Howard February 25, 2011 at 7:33 am

      Sorry to hear. I do hope that our governments make it easier for you to come here someday.

  • Reply Paulo Santos January 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm

    This year I studied for one month in Vancouver and I’m Brazilian. I have US visa also.

    My oppinion: American process is a little less bureaucratic than Canadian one. BUT we have to attend to an interview to get US visa (travel to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Brasília).

    Canadian process asked me much more documents, I almost wrote a biography, hehehe – but I didn’t need to go to the consulate, I did everything through mail and I received my passport back with a visa in less then 30 days (I think it’s fast, to get a American visa I had to wait my interview and wait for my passport, almost 5 months).

    And a tip for brazilians: GO TO CANADA! I went to the rocky mountains, Whistler, Victoria and lived in Vancouver. Canadian people will receive you very well and it’s a AWESOME place to visit.


    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

      @Paulo – I am so glad you were able to come to both Canada and the US. Hopefully you will inspire other Brazilians to travel to my homeland of Canada and you’re right, it is AWESOME!

  • Reply Diego July 21, 2012 at 4:26 am

    I am also from Brazil and also studied in Vancouver. I just cant describe how incredible the country is! And I cant wait for my next trip to visit old friens. For the Visa, as I paid an agency, I did absolutely nothing for it, they did everything. I had the american one, so things were easier to obtain. Like our friend said, Canadian visa should take longer to expire. Visa price is never a problem when you will spent much more for the trip itself!
    Ah, and just crossing the border we know we are outside Canada. Small things are much better in CAN, things you cant imagine we see, such as the way you use the ladder. You will notice it someday. I hope you visit Brazil more times, and dont forget about my state: Santa Catarina. We can offer from some of the best beaches in Brazil to the snowiest mountains in the country (during one or two days in winter only LOL)!

  • Reply Cheryl Howard July 21, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    @Diego – Glad you liked Canada and that the visa process to visit my home country wasn’t so bad. And I love Brazil and can’t wait to return … but for now as I live in Europe now, my focus is exploring my new home. But I’ll be back someday I hope!

  • Reply Josiel September 4, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    The Brazil only applied the law of rhetoric. The Brazilians who want to go to Canada face the same problems at consulates and embassies in Brazil, which does not happen with most European countries.

  • Reply Marina November 13, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    We want to go to Brazil on Dec 30th. Can we get our visa before then. We live in Prince George so will be using mail
    service. Please advise asap.

  • Reply Cheryl Howard November 14, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    @Marina – You should probably be OK! But if I were you, I’d call the consulate for your province or a local travel agency and double-check.

  • Reply Michael Kelly January 1, 2013 at 2:21 pm


    Well over 20 years ago visas were not required for Canadians travelling to Brazil. When our government put visa requirments on Brazilians, Brazil retaliated in kind. I know that Mexico as well as the Czech Republic may require visas from Canadians in the future for similar reasons.


    • Reply Cheryl Howard January 1, 2013 at 8:32 pm

      @Michael – Yeah, it’s a cumbersome process to get one of these visas for people in either country. It’s too bad it’s not easier!

  • Reply Travel Buddy September 7, 2013 at 7:44 pm

    I think its not just Canadians, it depend on the countries ties with your own country.

    • Reply Cheryl Howard September 7, 2013 at 8:54 pm

      Travel Buddy – Yep, this is true. This post is intended to be a guide specific for Canadians though.

  • Reply john July 12, 2016 at 9:05 am

    Travel good (Y)

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