I was originally going to skip Brazil and end my backpacking trip in Latin America in Buenos Aires, Argentina because I heard Brazil is very expensive and I didn’t want to deal with the process of obtaining a visa. But I made a last minute decision to visit it anyway as I kept hearing good things about it from other travelers and I figured the cost would only go up in the future thanks to the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics being held in the country.
If you’re like me and didn’t get a visa for Brazil before leaving the US, you can still get one if you make a stop in Buenos Aires. Obtaining a Brazilian visa here is a pretty painless process once you have all the info and this post is here to help you.
These are the requirements listed on the Brazilian consulate’s official website. From my experience, most of these weren’t checked but your mileage may vary. If you don’t have much extra time to spare I recommend that you get them all ready before you visit the consulate as you’re required to make an appointment online, you can’t just show up anytime they’re open.
- Passport that is valid for at least the next 6 months
- Passport size photo (2”x2”)
- Completed Visa Application Form
- Proof of hotel reservation in Brazli (eg. reservation confirmation email)
- Proof of onward travel out of Brazil
- Recent bank statement to prove that you have money to spend in the country
- A credit card
In my case the lady only checked my bank statement and simply asked me which type of credit card I had. I didn’t have to show proof of hotel reservation or proof of onward travel.
Step 1: Complete the Visa Application Form online
Fill out the Visa Application Form, print it out, and take it with you to the consulate. Make sure you provide a valid phone number in Buenos Aires and Brazil (you can use the phone number of your hotel or hostel) as they will check this.
Step 2: Make an appointment online
You have to make an appointment online or they won’t help you. Their system doesn’t confirm appointments and you can’t change it so if you need to reschedule simply make another one. Someone can really screw this up as anyone can just keep adding appointments and ruin it for everyone. I also recommend to make the appointment days or even weeks in advance if you’re not spending much time in Buenos Aires as it could get busy.
After you create an appointment, you will be issued a Ticket #. You don’t need to print this out or remember it, just show up at the consulate at the time you specified and they’ll pull up your name from their system.
Step 3: Go to the Brazilian consulate at the specified time
The Brazilian consulate is located at Carlos Pellegrini 1363, 5th Floor. If you’re taking the Subte, the closest station is General San Martin (Line C).
Bring all the required documents with you. When you enter the office, the line to apply for the visa is on your right. Ask the person at the reception directly in front of the door where to line up to be sure. The staff speak English, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Once you give them everything they need, you’ll be given a piece of paper with an address of a bank, the amount you have to pay, and the date and time of when you can come back to pick up your passport and visa (mine was ready the next day).
Step 4: Take the piece of paper given to you at the consulate to a bank and pay the fee
In my case, they told me to go to an Itau Bank a few blocks away and pay a fee of about 800 ARS (about $174 using the official exchange rate at the time).
Step 5: Come back to the consulate with the receipt from the bank
Simply hand in the receipt and you get your passport back with a Brazilian visa attached to one of the pages.
Step 6: Check and make sure all information on the visa is correct
Make sure all the info on the visa is correct before you leave the consulate. I’ve read online that some people were able to get visas that are valid for 10 years. In my case, however, I didn’t see any indication that it’s good for 10 years. It only said valid for 90 days and a maximum of 180 days. The word “Gratis” (free) is also written on the visa. Not sure why as it cost me money.