Easier Access to Brazil Announced for Chinese and Indian Citizens

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Brazil has announced plans to make it easier for both Chinese and Indian citizens to visit the country under President Jair Bolsonaro’s government.

Although the exact dates for implementing the measures have yet to be announced, the Brazilian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed plans to allow Chinese citizens visa exemption for Brazil if they already have a tourist visa for either Australia, Canada, Japan, or the United States.

Meanwhile, Indian citizens are expected to be obtain an electronic visa online in order to reciprocate a similar system that India has recently implemented for Brazilian citizens. This new online system would greatly facilitate the process of obtaining a Brazilian visa from India, as at the moment Indian citizens are required to travel to Brazilian diplomatic missions in either Mumbai or New Delhi in order to do so.

Embratur, the Brazilian Tourist Board, has announced that the new measures are designed to help further boost Brazil’s tourism industry and to help double the current number of annual tourist arrivals to 12 million by 2022. Gilson Machado, the president of Embratur, expressed displeasure with current tourist arrival figures and stressed that visa facilitation measures have the potential to increase the numbers by 25 percent. Since this strategy has previously worked for markets including the United States and Australia, Machado is confident the measures will bring in significantly higher tourist numbers from the major Chinese and Indian markets.

The draw to attract tourists from the Chinese market especially is a turnaround in attitude for the current government, as during his presidential campaign just a year earlier, Bolsonaro accused Belijing of wanting to ‘buy’ Brazil after deeming it had too many commercial operations in the country. However, Bolsonaro’s position softened significantly after taking office, with the government announcing that a presidential visit to China would be scheduled for later in the year.

Brazilian attitudes towards China seemed to relax even more in May of this year, when Embratur held events to promote Brazilian tourism in Beijing, Shanghai, and Chengdu. The push to attract more Chinese tourism to Brazil makes sense when considering that China is responsible for the highest travel spending in the world (US $250 billion annually), and that Chinese tourist numbers to Brazil had previously fallen from 61, 2000 in 2017 to 56,3000 in 2018. Similarly, the number of Indian tourists also fell within the same period, from 16,700  to 16,900, something that the Brazilian government is hoping to remedy with the implementation of the eVisa for Indian citizens.

Newly Visa-Exempt Countries for Brazil

The move to make Chinese citizens visa exempt if they already have a visa from trusted countries follows the Brazilian government’s recent decision to grant visa exemptions to citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan, and the United States.

The measure came into effect on June 17th, after being announced by Bolsonaro during a trip to meet US president Trump in Washington. According to the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism, the move did not reflect the expectation of reciprocity, but was merely intended to encourage the creation of income and employment in Brazil.

Citizens of all four countries were previously required to apply for an electronic visa for Brazil in order to visit the country, a move initially implemented to coincide with the 2016 Olympics. The initiative saw a rise of 36 per cent in visa applications for the country and is estimated to have brought an additional US $1 billion to Brazil in tourist spending.

The lifting of visa requirements for the four key markets is widely expected to further strengthen relations between the nations and further boost tourist arrivals in Brazil, allowing the Ministry of Tourism to meet its targets for 2022.

Visit onlinevisa.com for further updates about visa requirements for Brazil, as well as comprehensive visa information for every country in the world.