Foreigners traveling to Brazil as tourists, participants in conferences and seminars, artistic or sports events, provided no payment is involved, require this type of visa.

Nationals of the following countries are visa exempted when traveling to Brazil on tourism: Andorra, Argentina, Austria, Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Denmark, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Monaco, Morocco, Namibia, The Netherlands, Norway, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, The Philippines, Poland, Portugal, San Marino, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sovereign Order of Malta, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, Uruguay, The Vatican and Venezuela.

Passport should be valid for at least six months.

Length of stay in Brazil can be up to 90 days, extendible to a further equal period, always at the discretion of the Brazilian Immigration Authorities (DPMAF), and not exceeding 180 days in any twelve-month period.

Employment paid or unpaid is prohibited.

First entry into Brazil must be made within 90 days from the date the visa is issued. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure the application is lodged accordingly.

Requirements for a Visa Application


Passport (the Consulate reserves the right not to endorse soiled, damaged or defaced passports.)

One application form, completed and signed by the applicant.

One passport-size photograph.

Either return or onward ticket, or proof of means of support during the stay of the applicant in Brazil (bank statements, pay slips, or credit cards are accepted as proof).

Certificate of vaccination, if necessary (see information enclosed).

For those participating in conferences and seminars, or artistic or sports events, a letter from the organizers is required.

Customs & Immigration


At immigration, non-Brazilians will have their passport, visa (if required) and any other immigration formalities checked.

Like most airports, the airports in Brazil have different lines for national passport holders and foreign visitors. Foreign passport holders should make sure they get their passports stamped and that they retain half of the immigration form they fill in on arrival. Visitors who miss getting their passport stamped or who lose the form will have to get clearance from the Federal Police to leave the country and – as well as being delayed – may have to pay a fine.

Customs officials normally inspect the baggage of around 30 per cent or more of incoming passengers. Besides clothing and personal effects, tourists entering Brazil may bring in one of each of the following items: radio, tape/CD player, typewriter, notebook computer, movie and still camera.



An international certificate of vaccination against polio is compulsory for children aged between three months and six years.

Additionally, vaccination against yellow fever is recommended for all travellers when visiting the following states of Brazil: Acre, Amazonas, Amapá, Distrito Federal, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima and Tocantins. Please note that yellow fever vaccinations take approximately 10 days to become effective.

If there is any doubt about the need for vaccinations, please contact the Brazilian Consulate General.

Money and Exchange Rates


Brazil’s currency since 1 July, 1994, is the Real (R$) which is roughly valued at R$3.00 = £1.00
Most Brazilians understand dollars and as a foreign currency it is by far the most widely accepted and throughout the country gives the best exchange rate. In the main cities there is little problem in changing other foreign currencies and there is an extensive network of ATMs. Most major credit cards are accepted in Brazil.

As when visiting any country, it is worth getting hold of some low denomination notes and coins on arrival.



Brazilians, even in the major cities, dress casually outside the office. None of the country's top restaurants insist on collar and tie although the occasional private club does.
Collar and tie still predominate in formal office and business surroundings in São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro and most workingwomen wear dresses or skirts. Ladies should remember to pack a jacket or shawl when coming to Brazil, as some of the buildings and restaurants can be a little enthusiastic with the air conditioning.
When packing keep in mind that cities like Rio and São Paulo are big, fashionable, cosmopolitan cities and not small tourist resorts. If you forget to bring some item of clothing, don’t worry; you will be able to find what you forgot in any of the big shopping centres.
When heading further south in South America, remember to pack some warmer clothes, especially during the Southern Hemisphere's winter months.

Security and Safety


One of the urban myths that surrounds Brazil and can put people off a visit is the question of safety and security. In fact, Brazil, including the main cities of Rio, Salvador and São Paulo, is no more dangerous than anywhere in Europe or North America and violent crimes against tourists or foreign visitors are extremely rare, hence the headlines if they do happen. Brazil is also politically stable with no natural enemies and no terrorist activities.

Being sensible and streetwise is the key to a trouble-free and enjoyable stay in Brazil. However, just like in London, Paris, New York or any other major metropolitan and tourist centre, petty crime in Brazil is an unfortunate fact of life. The crime tourists are most likely to fall victim to in Brazilian cities is robbery and the target of most petty pilfering is the bag. If a bag is left unattended, the chances are that somebody else will try to pick it up. The simple solution is that visitors can’t get robbed if they’ve got nothing with them to be stolen. Always leave travellers cheques, passports, air tickets and the like in the hotel safe deposit box. Visitors should however carry some form of ID, such as a photocopy of their passports, with them at all times.

Safety First: Dos and Don'ts

Don't ...

  • leave your bag unattended.
  • put your wallet in your back pocket or the outside pocket of a bag.
  • walk in unlit areas at night.
  • wear flashy jewellery in the street, even if it is fake.
  • take more than you need to the beach.
  • take drugs or get involved with them.
  • think that you are a better swimmer than the Brazilians.
  • think it can't happen to you.
  • be stupid.

Do ...

  • put your money, passport and ticket in the safe deposit box of your hotel.
  • take cabs rather than buses.
  • ask policemen for help if you need it.
  • ask your hotel for information. They know most of the answers.
  • call on your Consulate for help if you have a serious problem.
  • avoid crushes.
  • act like a traveller rather than a tourist.
  • ask.
  • have a good time.
  • be sensible.

Time Zones


The time in the parts of Brazil most popular with foreign visitors is three hours behind Greenwich Mean Time. This is true of Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Brasília, Bahia, Minas Gerais etc. Amazonas, Roraima, Rondônia, Pará, Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul are a further one hour behind Brazilian stantard time, while Acre is two hours behind. Fernando de Noronha and other oceanic islands are one hour in front.

In 1985 Brazil introduced ‘summer time’ to help save energy and has repeated the measure ever since. Brazilian summer time comes into effect in October and ends in early February. During this period of daylight saving time, Brazil’s clocks go forward one hour in most of the south east. This when most of the Northern Hemisphere countries, such as the UK, are putting their clocks back one hour and coming off summer time. So, from March to October, when Brazil is on normal time and the UK is on its summer time, the time difference between Rio and London will be four hours. This drops to just two hours when Brazil goes on to summer time and the UK comes off.

Telephone Services


Brazil has a well developed telephone network and it is relatively simple to direct dial to anywhere in Brazil or internationally. You can dial direct (DDI), which is cheaper, to most countries in the world, by first dialling 00, the long distance operator code (21 for Embratel or 23 for Intelig) and then the country's own code followed by the area code and the number you want to contact. Should the area code start with a zero, the zero must be dropped. Therefore the number of the Brazilian Embassy in central London is 00-(21 or 23)-44-20-7399-9000 and not 00-(21 or 23)-44-020-7399-9000.

The local telephone directories have a full list of country codes as well as the major area codes but this information is also available free of charge from the international operator on 000333. The operators speak English and also offer a free translation service in French, Japanese, German, Italian and Spanish on 000111.

If you already know the number you wish to call, but want to make the call person-to-person, use your telephone credit card, or call collect, you must first call the operator on 000111.

On 30 June 2001 there were changes to the telephone numbers in the Brazilian states of Rio de Janeiro, Espírito Santo and Pará. In Rio de Janeiro, the digit 2 has been added to numbers starting with 2, 4, 5, 6 and 7, except for the prefixes 460 and 461, which now start with 3. For example, the number 207 1234 is now 2207 1234 and the number 460 1234 is now 3460 1234. Most guide books in circulation or information in print does not yet reflect these changes.

It is now possible to use foreign mobiles within Brazil but you should first check with your service provider as to exactly what coverage to expect because it does vary from state-to-state and from one service provider to another. As does the cost.

To dial internationally from your mobile, you may have to follow the same procedure as a land line and choose a long distance operator. For example 00 (for international) followed by 21 (for Embratel), followed by the number of the country you wish to talk to and the full telephone number.

If you mobile phone is not compatible to work in Brazil, it is also possible to rent a hand set in Brazil. This can be delivered to your hotel or picked up at the airport.

Working Hours


  • Banks : Monday to Friday, 10am - 4pm
  • Offices : Monday to Friday, 9am - 6pm
  • Stores : Monday to Friday, 9am - 7pm. Saturdays, 9am - 1pm
  • Shopping Centers : Monday to Saturday, 10am - 10pm. The largest shopping centers, such as Barra Shopping and Rio Sul in Rio de Janeiro, and Morumbi Shopping in São Paulo, also open on Sunday 3pm - 9pm.

National Public Holidays

Jan 1 : New Year's Day
Feb - Mar :

Carnival (40 days before Easter)

Mar - Apr :

Easter Holiday

Apr 21 :

Tiradentes Day

May 1 :

Labor Day

June :

Corpus Christi

Sep 7 :

Independence Day

Oct 12 :

Our Lady Aparecida

Nov 15 :

Proclamation of the Republic

Dec 25 :

Christmas Day

As well as the national public holidays listed above, individual states and cities also have their own separate holidays. 20 January, for example, is a holiday in the city of Rio de Janeiro, but not the state, and 25 January is a holiday in the city of São Paulo.     

Traveling Inside Brazil

As Brazil is a very big country, travelling by plane will be more appropriate for time saving purposes. Although there are scheduled buses from anywhere to anywhere in the country, the bad road conditions and long distances make this choice unacceptable. Trains and ships are generally used for cargo shipment and there are almost no passanger trains or ships.

Flight Duration to Rio de Janeiro (Hours)





Buenos Aires 02:50

Belo Horizonte


Caracas 05:40



Frankfurt 12:20



Lizbon 09:40

Foz do Iguaçu


London 12:30



Los Angeles 14:00

Porto Alegre


New York 09:30



Paris 11:20

São Paulo


Zurich 11:00