Four countries to enjoy visa-free tourism travel for Olympics

4 Jan 16



What is the change? Brazil has published a new ordinance (Portaria #216) providing for visa-free tourist travel for nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States during this summer’s Olympic Games.

What does the change mean? Nationals of the four countries will not be required to obtain a visa to visit Brazil as tourists. The exemption to Brazil’s normal visa rules will permit nonextendable stays of up to 90 days for those entering Brazil as tourists between June 1 and Sept. 18.

  • Implementation time frame: June 1 through Sept. 18.
  • Visas/permits affected: Tourist visas.
  • Who is affected: Nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. traveling to Brazil for tourist purposes.
  • Impact on processing times: The exemption will save time for travelers who would normally be required to obtain tourist visas to enter Brazil.
  • Business impact: The purpose of the exemption is to encourage tourists to visit Brazil during the Olympics. Officials hope the exemption will benefit Brazil’s tourism sector and its broader economy.

Background: The 2016 Olympic Games will be held in Rio de Janeiro Aug. 5-21, with the Paralympic Games to be held Sept. 7-18.

Brazil announced in November that certain nationalities who normally require a visa to travel to Brazil would enjoy visa-free tourism travel for the Olympics, extending from the leadup through the end of the events. Officials did not list the countries that would be exempt, however, until Dec. 24, when Portaria #216 was published. The ordinance lists Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. as the countries whose nationals will be covered. Those taking advantage of visa-free travel will receive an entry stamp upon arrival allowing for nonextendable stays of up to 90 days.

The exemption is not available for people traveling for activities other than tourism, including most business activities, work, research, study, volunteering, religious missionary work or participation in artistic performances. The exemption also does not apply to those who are competing in the games.

BAL Analysis: The visa waiver is good news for nationals of Australia, Canada, Japan and the U.S. planning travel to Brazil to attend the Olympics. The visa exemption should also free up resources for immigration officers to deal with more routine immigration matters and may help keep processing times down. Travelers should note, however, that most business activities still requires a visa. Contact your BAL attorney with any questions about what type of visa your travel requires.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in Brazil. For additional information, please contact

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