I was in Sao Paulo, while I drafted this blog post. That was my second trip to Brazil, the first one was in August 2016. I stayed for around 15 Days on my first trip to Brazil. This trip however, lasted for over a month and a half. I was on a research visit this time and the trip was funded by my funding agency, hence the Visa process was pretty straight for me. However, I do understand that the process might not be same for others.
While Indian passport holders themselves understand that only a limited number of Visa waivers apply to them, but in case of Brazil, even privileged nationalities require a visa, hence, one should not feel discriminated on this ground at least. Rules and regulations concerning Visa are more or less an outcome of reciprocity between concerned nations and the nature of diplomatic alignment.
Brazilian Embassy in New Delhi had in the past carried quite a bad reputation, but I have experienced a significant change in the behaviour and efficiency in terms of visa issuance.
I remember when I became aware of the increase in the Visa fees which was earlier Rs. 1600, I wished to apply before the revised fee of Rs. 6400 becomes effective. They denied to accept my application even before the effective date of fee revision. There was no notification of the same and when I asked for the reason, what indeed happened, falls beyond the subject of the present blog post.
Coming to the main subject of the post, that is the Brazilian Visa. Brazil has similar requirements as applicable to other Visas. Inter-mediation of Agents is neither recommended nor required. I have a feeling that whenever I go an Embassy, I find quite a substantial number of applications being made through agents, which is not actually required. They neither make your application look better nor do they have any role in the decision making process for Visa issuance.
Brazilian Visa is both document based and interview based. There might be cases when a person may be called for interview, or else waived. I had to appear for the interview first time I applied for the Visa, however, it was not required the second time. I have also seen cases, when US Passport holder of Indian origin based in India had to appear for the interview. Hence, it can’t be said for sure, if you would be issued a visa without appearing for an interview.
All the standard requirements like Cover Letter, flight tickets, itinerary, bank statement, depending on the circumstances official letter from the Brazilian Institution and Print out of the confirmation page of the online application, are required to submitted to the Embassy.
In India, Brazil has diplomatic representation in Delhi and Mumbai. One can choose the website to consult any updates (link below). The relevant pages redirects you to the link for online application (link below) where all the necessary information needs to be filled. It is to be stated that you need to check if you have chosen the correct language option for registration. Those who have a previous experience of filling US Visa application or UK Visa may find it quite easy and non-lengthy.
New immigration rules introduced in 2017 have actually merged several categories of Visa, eventually reducing the categories of Visa. However, I could find that even when you select a broad category of Visa like a Tourist Visa in the application, one has to mention specific purposes of his/her visit. The sub-menus are clearly defined with no ambiguity. The options asks the applicant to mention the primary and secondary purposes both. This allows a good scope to justify one’s stay beyond the primary purpose.
The Embassy clearly states that all the important documents must be uploaded on the website and they won’t allow any exception of any kind. Once you apply, they would inform you by phone, if you need to appear for the interview. In either case, after making the application, the Visa can actually be tracked online.
Brazilian Tourist Visa issued in India as a standard rule are multiple entry, and valid for a year, but single visit cannot exceed 90 Days. In particular, multiple entry nature of the Tourist Visa would prove helpful, if there are plans to visit neighbouring countries in the South American region, which one certainly should.
It needs to be stated that the fines for violation of immigration rules and the penalty for overstay has been considerably increased. As a norm, when you overstay, either you must inform the same to the Federal Police or you have to pay the fine when you return to Brazil next time.
Recently, Brazil has started issuing e-Visa for certain nationalities and would gradually add new nationalities, but Indians are as yet not eligible for the same.
Update (October 2019): Despite the fact that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has announced a waiver of visa for Indian and Chinese Passport holders, the same is unlikely to be implemented. Brazil may follow the pattern of waiver implemented by other South American countries, which implies allow only those with valid US B1/B2, UK or Schengen Visa.