In effect for eighth months, the pilot project conducted by the Brazilian Foreign Ministry has granted 100 thousand e-visas to foreigners visiting Brazil. Launched in Australia, the US, Canada, and Japan, the measure aims to facilitate the coming of tourists, students and business visitors into the Brazilian market.
Overall, the e-visa is directed at married men and women interested in tourism, but the measure also benefits a considerable amount of entrepreneurs, researchers, and students participating in seminars and studies in Brazil.
According to official figures, the initiative corresponds to some 60 percent of tourist and business visas granted over the last few years. The project was implemented piecemeal, first in Australia, in November, 2017, then in Japan, Canada, and the US in January this year.
February, May, and June this year saw the highest amount of people applying for an e-visa. Particular care is necessary for children and adolescents, officials from the Foreign Ministry say, as a written permit is required from their parents, along with the copies of a number of documents.
Extra attention is required to lower risks of human trafficking and exploitation of minors. Individuals holding dual citizenship and those who have been criminally charged in their country of origin also stir up concern.
At first glance, however, the granting of e-visas may prove to be a key step towards cutting red tape and encouraging more foreigners interested in Brazil to come to the country.
The pilot project was made possible by a bidding process for pre-consular services, in which the contract was awarded to company VFS, in charge of data collection, call centers, and a digital platform. The Foreign Ministry is tasked with data analysis, the exchange of information with the Federal Police and Interpol, and the final approval.
Foreigners planning on having an e-visa issued must visit http://www.vfsglobal.com/brazil-evisa/, upload the documents required and pay the fees via credit card. Applicants also have to fill out a form, upload photos, and answer a questionnaire.
Brazilian e-visas are valid for up to two years and costs $40 plus a $4.24 fee. The entire process, from filing the application to receiving the e-visa through e-mail, takes an average of five business days.