Bursting with white-sand beaches, tropical islands, thrilling nightlife and the fascinating Amazon rainforest, it’s no wonder Brazil is high on most travelers’ bucket lists.
And with the 2016 Olympics set for Rio de Janeiro, travelers now more than ever will be heading to the fun-loving beaches of this Latino country! But for US citizens, and especially Angelenos, getting there is no picnic.
Applying for the Brazilian visa is a process that can take a lot of time, money and hassle. My own journey to obtain a Brazil visa was nothing short of a nightmare.
Here are my tips on getting a Visa for Brazil in Los Angeles!
Obtain Your Visa Well in Advance
No, visas can’t be obtained at the airport. The process for getting a visa in LA is to book an appointment online (availability may not be for 2-3 months out), take your passport to the appointment, then leave your passport and wait 2-3 weeks for them to process your visa.
In the meantime, you can’t really do any other international travel because you are sans passport. There are only 10 consulates in the U.S.A. and you must submit your application to the one that has jurisdiction over your state of residence.
For Southern California residents, it’s Los Angeles. For other US residents, click here to find out which consulate is yours!
Emphasis on ‘Well in Advance’
The process can take weeks or even months. The consulates in Los Angeles and San Francisco in particular get swamped with applications, as they cover eleven different states between them.
You will need at least 3-4 months advance to apply which, let’s be honest, few of us have when planning a big trip! So, be prepared or consider getting assistance with a visa agency.
Use a Trusted Visa Agency
When I went to schedule an appointment using the Brazil consulate’s online scheduler (one month before my trip) there weren’t any appointments available until the month after I was scheduled to return home from Brazil.
You may encounter this same scenario and will need to use a visa handler as a liaison may ease the application process.
Option (and my HIGH recommendation): use MyBrazilVisa.com. They’re an agency based out of Beverly Hills, so have direct access to the Los Angeles Consulate.
I overnighted my mom’s and my passport to MyBrazilVisa.com and they were able to get our passports into the consulate the next day. They have a special relationship with the consulate and are able to skip the appointment scheduling process. While they eased the appointment process, keep in mind that you will still need to wait the 2-3 weeks processing time.
This isn’t a sponsored post, I just had such an amazing experience with them that I want everyone to know about it.
Submit All Your Documents
If you are using an agency to get your visa, make sure to submit your documents all at once. There is a long list of items you need to submit to obtain the visa directly from the consulate- so be sure to do your research and see which documents you need.
Again—send in the documents well in advance. Even with a visa handler, the processing time is still normal. So you will need at LEAST 1 month to ensure you get everything processed and back to you in time!
…but it’s not over!
Once you arrive at the Brazilian airport, you must fill out an immigration form on arrival. Don’t lose this form—you’ll need it when you exit Brazil. Failed to get one on entry? Pay a hefty fine.
But good news! Once you arrive in Brazil, you’ll see how much it was worth it. You can see what makes Brazil so special in these posts: My New Years Eve in Rio de Janeiro and Things to See & Do at the World Cup in Brazil.