In a move that likely will give a boost to the Brazilian tourism industry, the Brazilian government has announced that U.S. citizens can now visit Brazil without a visa. Citizens of Australia, Canada, and Japan also have received this cost-saving and time-saving benefit.
This move was first discussed in March by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro just prior to a trip to White House. Since then, Brazil has witnessed a 30-percent uptick in individuals searching online for flights to the country. Although Brazil will be losing income from visa fees, it expects the loss will be more than made up by the increase in visitors.
Eligible visitors will be able to stay in Brazil for an initial 90-day period, with the possibility of extending stay for an additional 90 days in a one-year period.
In exchange, although Brazilians still need a visa when coming to the U.S., President Donald Trump said that steps would be taken to add Brazil to the Department of Homeland Security’s Trusted Traveler Global Entry Program. Administered by Customs and Border Protection, Global Entry “allows expedited clearance for pre-approved, low-risk travelers upon arrival in the United States.” Visitors, upon entry, stop at a kiosk, have their fingerprints scanned and fill out a customs declaration form. A receipt is issued that instructs the traveler to go to baggage claim and the airport exit. Nationals from Argentina, India, Colombia, the UK, Germany, Panama, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, and Mexico are currently eligible for the Global Entry Program.
The U.S. Travel Association supports Brazil’s inclusion in the Global Entry Program. Since 2017, close to 2 million Brazilians have traveled to the U.S. annually, spending more than $7 billion. It is expected that making it easier and more welcoming for Brazilians will only lead to increases in these figures.