Of the 3 South American countries I will be visiting during my 2013 Epic Journey, Brazil requires advance visa application. When I started looking into the application process, a travel agent pointed me to a website but it turns out to be a Third party agency. To give a hand to others who needs to apply for a Brazilian Visitor Visa, I thought I would share my experience here.
The beauty of the Brazilian Visitor Visa – once approved, it is normally valid for multiple entries within 5 years from date of first entry for Canadian passport holders! How awesome is that! I love being a Canadian! WOOT! Thank you Brazil! [Update: If your passport expires before the Brazilian visa, carry both passports with you – the Brazilian visa is still valid and will be recognized!]
This is the list of documents you are required to bring along to the Consulate:
- Current passport with minimum 6 months prior to expiration with minimum 2 empty pages
- Print and sign the protocol PDF that’s generated after you have completed the Electronic application form from the website
- Money Order or Certified cheque for $81.25 CAD made payable to “Consulate General of Brazil” [or you can pay an additional $25 CAD if you want to mail in your application]
- Copy of travel itinerary to and from Brazil
- One Recent photo of yourself (2”x2” or 5cmx5cm)
If you feel like spending more money, there’s an agency that you can help you submit the application. However, I didn’t find that they offered any extra incentives nor faster service (and they are located on Finch Avenue). Actually it takes the agency 15 days to process the application.Why would anyone use them is beyond me.
My advice, if you do not have the time to travel to the Consulate in person, give them the extra $25 and mail in your application.
So I chose to go directly to the Brazilian consulate at Bay and Bloor (77 Bloor St West, Unit 1109 – to be exact). They are only open between 9am to 1pm from Monday to Friday. The lady at Counter #2 is very nice and helpful, she handles all Visitor Visa applications for Canadian passport holders. I was given a receipt and told to return in 10 business days to pick up my passport with the Brazilian Visitor Visa in it! Quick. Simple!
This is the link you want to click on for additional information direct from the Consulate, it explains all the various types of visas for different purposes: http://toronto.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/visas.xml
This is the link specific to apply for a Brazilian Tourist visa direct from the Consulate: http://toronto.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/tourist_visa.xml
This is the link for the online form you want to fill out: https://scedv.serpro.gov.br
This is the link to the visa agency, if you want to spend [Updated higher price] $195+HST for a Visa worth $81.25: http://www.brazilvisatoronto.com/
TIP: If you have unknown plans like me, doing your own travel bookings and you don’t know someone working in a travel agency… Step into a travel agency and if they are not super busy, be up front and ask them for their help with a ‘fake’ itinerary to fulfill the applications requirement. The main thing you need to provide is the proof that you will leave Brazil. (Right now I don’t have any idea when I will enter Brazil or leave it – so a very kind travel agent made a couple of flight bookings for me, printed the itinerary and cancelled the bookings immediately).
Side note: I had brought in proof of my ‘fake’ hotel stay and my inbound international flight to Argentina. However, all the Consulate took was the copy of my ‘fake’ flight reservation into and out of Brazil.
N.B. What is a certified cheque?
It’s one of your own personal cheque that you fill out and take to your preferred bank branch. The bank will most likely charge you a fee to ‘certify’ the fact that your cheque will clear when the Consulate deposits your cheque. However, as I found out it actually costs more to get a cheque certified than to get a Money Order. Luckily my bank waived the fee for me! YAY! Thank you Bank of Montreal!
[Update: I have survived my 2013 Epic Journey – if you would like to find out what I saw, experienced and enjoyed, I have started writing about them on this blog. Thanks for reading!]
This article was originally posted on October 31, 2012 on my other site. This information is up-to-date as of January 10, 2014. Please consult the Brazilian Consulate website for the most up-to-date information: http://toronto.itamaraty.gov.br/en-us/