The Brazilian government has decided to facilitate the bureaucratic process for foreigners who want to obtain Brazilian visas – or at least for the citizens of four countries: United States, Australia, Canada and Japan. Since the end of November 2017, a simplified option of the process has allowed for visitor’s visas to be obtained through an electronic system, known as e-Visa. Having the visitor’s convenience in mind, this type of visa can be applied for via the internet, using computers, cell phones or tablets. For that, the applicant is required to send scanned copies of their documents to the company responsible for this service, VFS Global, which will do a first analysis of the documents and pass them on to the Brazilian authorities. The process of application, analysis and issuance of the visa takes one to three days.
As reported by the Brazilian news website Agência Brasil, since November 21st, 5,354 visas have already been requested using this new method. According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the country chosen to pioneer this project, Australia, thoroughly accepted the initiative. In 2016, the Australian, American, Japanese and Canadian consulates were responsible for 63.74% of tourist visa applications and 58.15% of business visas, according to Itamaraty. The 570 thousand US tourists that travel to Brazil each year, according to the Ministry of Tourism, alone boost the economy by 710,5 million US dollars.
According to Vinicius Lummertz, the president of Embratur, the next step for this policy is to include China in the list of countries that can apply for electronic visas.
China is currently Brazil’s biggest trading partner and the largest investor in the country. However, of the 120 million Chinese tourists who travel each year, only 55 thousand travel to Brazil. In an interview with Agência Brasil, Lummertz comments: “We need to increase the connection between Brazil and China. And the way of connecting to China is by air.”.