Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Brazilian Visa - Don't Miss Out

Many people ask about getting a Brazilian Visa and how difficult is it. 

Brazil like many countries requires a visa for some Nationalities. First thing to check is click here to see if your country requires a visa. Canadians, Americans, and Australians require visas. British passport holders do not. 

Once you have the page open scroll down to see the number beside your country and then scroll up to see what that number means. 1 means you need a visa 

I can report how our experience was five years ago. It took about a week to gather all the necessary documents and fill out the forms. For use we required:  letter from employer, pay stubs, and travel itinerary. 

We delivered the forms, money and passports to the Brazilian Consulate in Vancouver and because everything was in order we got our passport and visa back about 10 days later.

Note each consulate and country is different. Our experience with the consulate here in Vancouver that represents western Canada asked for different documents than our friends who dealt with the consulate in Ottawa. Friends in San Francisco had a totally different experience too.

Note, many people feel more comfortable dealing with a visa service. The cost of using this type of service is almost double the cost of the visa and you still need to provide all the same information as you would if you processed it yourself. 

So really the only thing the visa service is doing is taking your money, and collecting your documents and submitting to Consulate. Save your money and do it yourself.

Processing time varies significantly so don't wait, get your visa right away so you are not disappointed. Yes in some cases it can be expediated but make sure you give yourself at least two months prior to get the visa. 

Remember if you do not have your visa you will not even be allowed to board a flight to Brazil. If you are getting on a ship that is going to Brazil, you are require to have the visa before you even get on the ship. You will be denied boarding the ship if you don't have it.

Our last cruise that went to Brazil, over 30 people were denied boarding in Fort Lauderdale. These were Americans who were lucky they were able to head to Miami and get their visa processed quickly and then flew and met the ship in Barbados before it headed South to Brazil. 

One couple from Canada was not so lucky as they had to return to Canada to get their Visa. They opted to meet the ship in Argentina and missed the first 14 days of their cruise. Don't let this happen to you.

If you are heading to South America, take note that you also require an Argentinian Reciprocal Fee that needs to be completed before you arrive.  Currently the fee is $72 US and the information for Canadians can be found here.  

Here is a great site that you can put the information of where you are going and it will tell you if you require a visa or not.  Note this is a visa service website so they are trying to get your business.  Save the money and submit yourself.

A good travel agent will make sure you know about the requirements for each country.  You can also check on your cruise personalizer with Princess and they have notifications about your visa requirements.  It is your responsibility to ensure you have the correct documentation.

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