By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter

SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – The President of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, sanctioned on Tuesday a bill that allows the Ministries of Tourism and Foreign Relations to determine the exemption of entrance visas to tourists coming to see the 2016 Olympics and Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro.

Brazilian government expects thousands of tourists to come to Brazil for 2016 Olympics/Paralympics, Rio 2016, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Brazil News
Brazilian government expects thousands of tourists to come to Brazil for 2016 Olympics/Paralympics, photo by Tania Rego/Agencia Brasil.

According to the Ministry of Tourism the decision could lead to a twenty percent increase in foreign tourists to Brazil during the games. The visa requirement would be exempt for tourists entering Brazil until September 18th, 2016 and valid for ninety days.

“I thank President Rousseff, who in a responsible manner approved such an important project for Brazilian tourism. Our proposal is to include the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan, countries with strong Olympic traditions,” stated Tourism Minister, Henrique Eduardo Alves, after the announcement.

The exemption, however, would not be extended to citizens from countries which offer migratory risks or threatens national security, added the official. The issue of security during the Olympics has been amply debated in Brazil since the increased terrorist actions in Europe. French officials this week offered the Brazilian government security assistance for the games.

Justice Minister, Jose Eduardo Cardozo said last week that although Brazil has no history of being an arena for terrorist attacks the country will take all the necessary measures to insure the safety of participants and spectators during the sporting events.

“I can guarantee that Brazil is fully prepared to show an excellent security system during the Olympics,” Cardozo told reporters. More than 10,500 athletes from 206 countries are expected to participate in next year’s event, with more than one hundred heads of states coming to Rio to watch the opening ceremony.

For the Olympics and Paralympics, participating athletes and their families already have exemption of the tourist visas during August and September of 2016 according to the local Olympics Organizing Committee. Foreign volunteers chosen by the Committee to work during the Games are also exempt from the visa fee and visas, if needed, for those volunteers will be expedited.


  1. I think the visa waiving is a great idea but should be extended to Caribbean Countries a well like Jamaica as this would allow for more persons from our region having less hassle to obtain ur visa and being able to spend more money among ur local businesses while seeing more of your country.

  2. Brazilian consulate websites in the united states do not confirm this article and still mention getting a visa as a requirement for US citizens to go to Rio for the Olympics.

    E-mail and phone message to confirm this visa exemption with the Brazilian consulate (San Francisco) in the united states have not been responded to as well.

  3. In the US, the Brazilian web sites are antiquated. It’s best to call the office in Washington, DC. They are the most knowledgeable.

  4. So, we do not need any documentation or anything? Just show up with a pass port and they’ll let us in? Is that what I’m understanding?

  5. When I went to apply, this is what popped up at the Consulate general of Brazil in San Francisco.

    Visa Waiver from Jun 1st to Sep 18 2016

    The Ministries of Justice, External Relations and Tourism of Brazil published a joint decree establishing a visa waiver for tourism to nationals of Australia, Canada, United States andJapan during the period from June 1st to September 18, 2016.

    Nationals of the above countries willing to benefit from this visa waiver must enter Brazil from June 1st to September 18 2016. They will not be required to prove the purchase of tickets to the Olympic Games in order to benefit from the visa waiver. After entering Brazil, tourists can stay without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days. From September 19 2016 onwards, the visa regime for the countries mentioned above will return to be the same as usual.

    The unilateral visa waiver is solely and exclusively applicable to citizens of the aforementioned countries who will visit Brazil for tourism purposes only in that specific period.

    Citizens of countries that were not included in the joint decree will need to apply for visas to Brazil in order to attend the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

    Visa requests already presented at the counter of the Consulate cannot be cancelled nor refunded. Visa applicants are responsible for being duly aware of visa procedures before applying for a visa.
    Tourist visas are valid for 10 years. But the visa waiver is valid only from June 1st to September 18, 2016.
    Nationals of the above countries can enter Brazil from June 1st to September 18, 2016 bearing their respective valid passport.


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