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Old October 7th, 2009, 11:22 AM
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Default Brazilian Visa Article

There is an interesting article on the Home Page about a problem with obtaining Brazilian visas for cruises.

Brazil Ruining Cruise Plans

I applaud Paul for also mentioning that the reason for the backlog and high cost of a Brazilian visa is a "tit for tat" with the United States. The U.S. charges the same for a Brazilian national to obtain a visa and makes the Brazilians jump through hoops in order to travel to the U.S.

I have a personal experience with this. My sister-in-law wanted to visit us in February of this year. She applied for her visa in August of '08. Her initial application was denied and no reason was given. She also lost her processing fee of $110 which is non-refundable. She is a professional woman in her early 40's with no criminal record and was gainfully employed with a prominent telecommunications company in Sao Paulo.

In October '08 she finally received an answer to how she could reapply and not be denied. She needed to present a notarized letter from the U.S. citizens that she was staying with in the U.S. that she was of good character and would not stay beyond the length of her visa nor seek employment in the U.S. (BTW: She has two teenage children that would be staying home with their father) We supplied that letter and she resubmitted her application. After another month it was denied with no explanation. She had already purchased her airline tickets and they were only partially refundable. (50%) So, she lost another $110 non-refundable visa processing fee and $700 for half of the cost of the airline ticket.

I intervened and contacted our Senator (Amy Klobuchar) and asked for a letter to help in the process. She could not directly intervene in the process but did send a letter to the U.S. Consulate in Sao Paulo that my SIL was only coming to Minnesota to visit family members and would not stay beyond the length of her visa. This did the trick and a visa was granted (After another $150) in January of '09. A month earlier she had returned her airline ticket believing she would not receive a visa. Her new airline ticket was $2,100.

So for a total cost of somewhere around $1500 more than she would have originally spent, plus days of going to the U.S. consulate, me writing a letter and having it notarized, contacting my Senator, and the intervention of a U.S. Senator, she finally made her trip to the U.S. All this for an early 40's working mom from Sao Paulo who only wanted to see her sister.

I can understand why the Brazilian consulates are being a bit "snippy" with the U.S. but I do feel the pain of those, on the west coast, who are having trouble obtaining visas. It also shows that we really need to reevaluate our screening process.

Take care,
Mike (The proud holder of a valid Brazilian tourist visa. Anyone wanna buy it? )
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Old October 7th, 2009, 01:01 PM
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When I read that article, my first thought was - "... and these people were just granted the Olympics!" I hope they straighten out this visa mess before then.

Also cools my desire for a South American cruise, though with my limited experience SA will have to wait behind several other itineraries.
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Old October 7th, 2009, 01:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by green_rd
When I read that article, my first thought was - "... and these people were just granted the Olympics!" I hope they straighten out this visa mess before then.

Also cools my desire for a South American cruise, though with my limited experience SA will have to wait behind several other itineraries.
I doubt it will be straightened out until the U.S. puts Brazil in the Visa Waiver Program. Countries that are in the program are very easy to travel to and those that are not are harder. China is another country where it is becoming harder and more expensive to obtain a "travel" visa for.

A South American cruise is one of the most beautiful cruises you can do. Brazil, Argentina and Chile are gorgeous and very friendly. I would say more so than most Caribbean islands.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 10th, 2009, 06:39 AM
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I would love to visit Brazil in the future.

I certainly hope that the visa situation becomes more simplified.

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Old October 10th, 2009, 02:27 PM
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When it comes to this topic of Brazilian visas something amazing and interesting occured to me...

The Olympic committee said they selected Brazil largely because the US has such a restrictive visa policy. (on of the IOC committee members brought this up). And it is really true - that the US for most nations, including th most populous ones (India, Brazil, China Russia, etc...) does NOT allow anyone to enter without first getting visa, from a US consulate in a personal interview, paying $130, showing roundtrip tickets and giving contact info of a US citizen who will be financially responsible for the person if they somehow become helpless.

That is OUR policy. Brazil has what is called a "reciprocal visa policy" which means they treat every world citizen exactly the same way that nation treats their own citizens. That is why they are so tough on Americans - because that is how we treat them.

If the IOC ever wanted to make a point about OUR visa policy, they could not have picked a better place to have the Olympics than Brazil. Now every US citizen who wants to see the Olympics will face what every Brazilian wanting to enter the United States faces.

Our visa policy has been cited by our nations foremost travel industry representative, Robert Dow, president of the US Travel Industry Assn, as a leading cause for why the US has one of the worst travel markets(in terms of getting International visitors) in the world for a major civilized nation. He has asked Congress many times to revise the policy to make it easier for people to visit as tourists.

We do have a list a "visa waiver" countries who do not have to get visas, it includes several former Soviet block countries; Latvia, Czech Republic, Estonia, as well as South Korea. Also, Mexico and Canadian citizens are exempt from the visa rules under different laws.

Anywho - the point is Brazil will be reflecting back to the US exactly what we give them, and most of the world's population, in terms of entry policies and visas for tourists, and it really isn't a pretty picture.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 02:37 PM
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As usual, Paul explained this issue very well. It would certainly help our travel industry if we would ease the entry process into the US.

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Old October 11th, 2009, 01:05 AM
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Default Brazilian Visas

In applying for our Brazilian Visas late winter ... on the cruise boards it appeared every Consulate in different states had different prices which seemed strange. I'm sure Americans will find a way to get to Rio for the Olympics...no matter what..
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Old October 11th, 2009, 04:12 AM
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One step that the US is going to have to complete in order to be less restrictive on tourist visas is exit processing for international travel. Currently, the US has no way of knowing when a foreigner, or an American, leaves the country. Most countries to which I have traveled make you go through immigration when exiting.

I believe that the ability to instantly know when someone is overstaying their visa is a critical aspect of having more open border when entering.

One concern I have with Brazil visas is that you need to get them so soon before visit and they are not good for that long of time; many travelers get caught in a Catch-22. When China raised their prices, they made 90 and 180 and single and multiple entry visas the same price. I have not had any problems in getting my two Chinese visas and my entry permit into Tibet.

Paul, one question about your article. Why did so many people show up at the pier knowing they did not have a Brazillian Visa? The visa and Yellow Fever shot are very clear requirements for a cruise to Brazil.
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Old October 11th, 2009, 11:31 AM
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The Brazilian Tourist visa must be used (you must enter the country) within 90 days of issuance. Once you enter Brazil you can make multiple entries and exits and is valid for one year after your first arrival in Brazil. You cannot spend more than 90 total days in Brazil during this one year period.

The yellow fever requirement is not in effect at this time but may be reinstated.

My visa is still valid until February of '11. It was extended while we were in Brazil for a period of four years with no more than 180 total days in Brazil. To have it extended we stopped at the Federal Building in Sao Paulo. We were nearby sightseeing and my SIL said we could go there and get it extended for a number of years. U.S. employees from her company did it quite often. I figured it was only for Business visas but I was wrong. We went in and my wife explained that we would be visiting my sister a number of times in the next few years. The clerk gave us a document to sign, asked for our passports, opened them up and stamped them. The whole thing took about five minutes. There was about a $10 charge. It sure helped having a wife and SIL who spoke the language and knew the system.

The hardest part was getting the Brazilian visa but once we were in the country it was easy.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 11th, 2009, 11:41 AM
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Default YELLOW FEVER

"The yellow fever requirement is not in effect at this time but may be reinstated. " SINCE WHEN!!! Princess kept informing us that unless we had our slip for the shots we would not be allowed on the plane, never mind the ship.. FYI... our shots were covered by our insurance company qs "prevention".. Just so happens that we are going for a booster on Tuesday.. because we are off to Egypt next year.. We did have one years ago for Peru.. but that expired..
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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: YELLOW FEVER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom
"The yellow fever requirement is not in effect at this time but may be reinstated. " SINCE WHEN!!! Princess kept informing us that unless we had our slip for the shots we would not be allowed on the plane, never mind the ship.. FYI... our shots were covered by our insurance company qs "prevention".. Just so happens that we are going for a booster on Tuesday.. because we are off to Egypt next year.. We did have one years ago for Peru.. but that expired..
Current information from the Brazilian Consulate of San Francisco.

17. I heard that I need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to enter Brazil. Is it true?
The International Immunization Certificate against yellow fever will only be required from international travelers coming from countries which pose a risk of international dissemination. Currently there are no countries posing such risk. (Please see FAQ 1402 at www.anvisa.gov.br). Nevertheless, yellow fever vaccination is recommended if applicant intends to visit one of the following regions in Brazil: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Federal District, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins.


http://www.brazilsf.org/visa_faq_eng.htm

It is best to have the yellow fever vaccination but it is not "required". I can't remember a time that it has been required if you go directly from the U.S. to Brazil. In the past, if you stopped in select countries before you arrive in Brazil then you would need the shot..

These countries are:
Angola, Benin, Bissau Guinea, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Camerun, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guiana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenia, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Surinam, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda or Venezuela.

It is possible that the cruise visits one of the "select" countries and Princess is using old information or being proactive in the event the restrictions are reinstated.

Take care,
Mike
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Old October 27th, 2009, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: YELLOW FEVER

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parrot Mom
"The yellow fever requirement is not in effect at this time but may be reinstated. " SINCE WHEN!!! Princess kept informing us that unless we had our slip for the shots we would not be allowed on the plane, never mind the ship.. FYI... our shots were covered by our insurance company qs "prevention".. Just so happens that we are going for a booster on Tuesday.. because we are off to Egypt next year.. We did have one years ago for Peru.. but that expired..
Current information from the Brazilian Consulate of San Francisco.

17. I heard that I need a Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificate to enter Brazil. Is it true?
The International Immunization Certificate against yellow fever will only be required from international travelers coming from countries which pose a risk of international dissemination. Currently there are no countries posing such risk. (Please see FAQ 1402 at www.anvisa.gov.br). Nevertheless, yellow fever vaccination is recommended if applicant intends to visit one of the following regions in Brazil: Acre, Amapá, Amazonas, Federal District, Goiás, Maranhão, Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul, Pará, Rondônia, Roraima, Tocantins.


http://www.brazilsf.org/visa_faq_eng.htm

It is best to have the yellow fever vaccination but it is not "required". I can't remember a time that it has been required if you go directly from the U.S. to Brazil. In the past, if you stopped in select countries before you arrive in Brazil then you would need the shot..

These countries are:
Angola, Benin, Bissau Guinea, Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cabo Verde, Camerun, Central African Republic, Colombia, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ecuador, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, French Guiana, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guiana, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Kenia, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Panama, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Surinam, Tanzania, Togo, Trinidad and Tobago, Uganda or Venezuela.

It is possible that the cruise visits one of the "select" countries and Princess is using old information or being proactive in the event the restrictions are reinstated.

Take care,
Mike
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