April 5th, 2019

What You Need to Know About the Recent Visa Entry Changes in Brazil and Europe

What’s Changing in Europe?

While you may have heard that if you’re a U.S. citizen, you’ll have to get a visa before traveling to many European counties starting in 2021, that is not necessarily true. Currently, American citizens traveling to 26 Schengen-area countries* of the European Union for stays of less than 90 days do not require visas or travel authorization.

Starting on January 1, 2021, citizens of more than 60 countries - including the United States, Australia, Canada, and Mexico - that currently travel visa-free to the European Union will have to register online and pay a small fee ($8) to visit or travel to the 26 Schengen-area countries of Europe.

Registration through the European Travel Information and Authorization System (E.T.I.A.S.) is not technically a visa since travelers will not be required to visit a consulate to file any kind of application, and less information will be asked than is expected of visa applicants. The E.T.I.A.S. authorization will be valid for three years and allows an unlimited number of entries.

In an expected 95% of cases, approval will be granted in minutes, and this change is for the positive as it is part of a new security system in the EU that is intended to screen visa-free travelers. The system is meant to improve detection of human trafficking, criminal activity, and people who may pose security threats.

*The Schengen area is made up of 26 European countries without internal borders that allow free movement between nations: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

What’s Changing in Brazil?

The Brazilian Government recently announced that Brazil would allow visa-free entry for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, and Japan to go into effect in less than 90 days, on June 17, 2019.

Citizens of the above countries wishing to visit Brazil will no longer need to apply or pay for a visa. They will be able to stay in Brazil for 90 days from the date of first entry in the country, extendable for an equal period, provided that it does not exceed one hundred and eighty days, every twelve months, counted from the date of the first entry into the country.

These developments come as part of a series of measures that Brazil has taken to facilitate visitor access to the country. Last year, the government launched an e-visa platform through which travelers could apply for visas with more efficiency and ease.

Brazil has already seen extremely positive results with the increase of about 35% in the visa application in less than a year since implementing e-visa. These four countries are considered strategic for the development of tourism in Brazil.

Now, with a strong US dollar and dozens of daily flights, experiencing Brazil is just a matter of desire and hopping on a plane. From the Amazon in the North, to the wineries in the South; from the exotic Pantanal in the Midwest to the lush beaches of the Northeast; amazing cities like Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Salvador and hundreds of hidden gems are just a few hours away.

For additional questions on visa requirements throughout the world, we are here to help! Please contact your Global DMC Partners Sales Advisor or info@globaldmcpartners.com.