American nationals, as well as those from Canada, Australia, and Japan, won’t be able to enter Brazil without a visa, the country’s Foreign Ministry announced.
The new measure, which will come into effect on October 1 of 2023, effectively scraps the free entry policy put in place by Jair Bolsonaro’s administration.
In 2019, then-President Bolsonaro suspended visa requirements for the four wealthy nations in hopes of reviving Brazil’s weakened tourism industry. The current Brazilian government, led by Lula da Silva, claims that the measure hasn’t been effective.
Lula’s officials at the Foreign Ministry also showed their anger, pointing out that neither the US or the other three countries reciprocated the measure by suspending visa requirements for Brazilian travelers. Furthermore, they argued that Bolsonaro’s “unilateral decision” weakend Brazil’s ablity to negotiation with those countries.
Brazil received 6.5 million tourists in 2019. Mexico, by comparisson, welcomed 45 million foreign visitors during the same year. Even Argentina saw the arrival of far more tourists (7.4 million) than Brazil, according to the UN’s World Tourism Organization.
Brazil’s tourism revenue fell to US$38 million in 2019 and US$29 million in 2021, according to the country’s Department of Statistics.
The South American country grants visa-free access to nationals of more than 50 countries, including Mexico, Britain and most EU members.