Tuesday, September 2, 2014

How to extend your Brazilian Tourist Visa

Brazil has lots to offer, why would you leave so soon? - Here is a guide how to extend your 90 day tourist visa for Brazil. 

Please note: The process described here is applicable for the European Schengen Countries

A couple of years ago Brazil has changed the tourist visa rules for Europeans. Since then you will usually get 90 days to spend in the country per calendar year. But contrary to many things I heard from other travelers while on the road it is possible to extend it by another 90 days. Keep on reading and you will find out how.  

I have done it in Rio de Janeiro. The only place you can do that in Rio is at the International Airport, Terminal 1, 3rd floor at the end of the hall at the Policia Federal. When you come up to the third floor with the escalator you have to turn left, walk all the way down the hall, pass the passport office for Brazilians turn left at the end of the hall and you will find a counter with a sign “Foreigners”, most probably you will find a long line of people waiting, before you can even read the sign. Get in line! – For the overlanders arriving at the Airport by car: When getting to the Airport, follow the signs for “Estacionamento Terminal 1” there is a pay parking lot and parking garage right in front of the Terminal building. If your truck is taller than some (estimated) 9ft 10 respectively about 3 meters you will not be able to get in and you will have to find some other place to park or leave your truck in town or at the campground and come with an Airport Shuttle, Taxi or Bus.

How to proceed? What to bring?
·     You will have to do it before your initial 90 days are over. (While I was at the counter a Swiss girl who had overstayed here initial 90 days by just two days was sent away with the order to leave the country the fastest way possible, and she had to pay for overstayed days).
·       You will have to register at https://servicos.dpf.gov.br/gru/gru?nac=1&rec=2 before hand. The code you will have to use in the mandatory field “Código da Receita STN” is: 140090. The amount in R$ 67. You will have to fill out one form for each person travelling even if you are family. After hitting ‘Enter’, you will get a form with some personal information and some bar-codes on it. Print it. You can do all that at the Cyber Café on the ground floor of the Airport Terminal 1, same building as the Policia Federal office is in, for a couple of R$’.
·     Take this form and go to the “Loterias” office on the third floor of Terminal 1 at the Airport. When you come up with the escalator it is on your right hand. A little glassy kiosk with 3 counters. One was open at the time and a girl with unusual bad mood for Brazil and more glitter in her hair than you would wear for your Halloween Party was taking the form. So, slide it through the crack in the window and pay the R$ 67 in cash to the moody beauty. In return she tears the form apart, in two pieces, staples a printed receipt to one half of your original form and hands it back to you. Take that and walk along the hall to the Policia Federal.
·       You will need:
a) The form as mentioned above.
b) A printed bank statement to prove you will have sufficient money to spend another 90 days in the country; the bank statement has to be in your name.
c) An Airline departure ticket. Note: Since I travel by car I did not have that but I brought a confirmation along from the booked trip with the vessel leaving South America from Montevideo, Uruguay, three months down the road from the time I applied for the extension. After some explaining it was accepted. Even if you are overlanding by car or truck, you will need some kind of a paper they can staple to your application. So if you have not yet booked a ship or flight I would recommend presenting a proforma booking for a hotel in a neighboring country or something alike. You will have to have something in lieu of the Airline ticket.
d) Your passport with the initial stamp from entering Brazil.
e) Your tourist card (Cartão de Entrada), issued when entering Brazil less than 90 days ago.  

Take all that along with a lot of patience. You will have to wait in line, get a number and when called move on to the back office where only tourists seem to be handled. But be aware there are hundreds of others that apply for student visas, working visas, permanent residence etc., etc. So you’ll never feel alone. I expected the whole process to take about a day and we’ve walked back into the parking lot about 4 hours after we have entered. The time includes about 1½ hours while the computer system was not working and we were asked to come back later and were not allowed back in without getting in line all over again. When leaving the Policia Federal you should have the following: Your passport with a new stamp allowing you 90 more days, a little bar-code sticker in your passport just above the stamp, which will allow the officer when you leave Brazil to back-track what you have been doing to get the 90 additional days, you should get your original tourist card back, and you'll have R$ 67 less in your pocket.  

Important: If you want to spend more than 90 days in one calendar year in Brazil, this seems to be the only way to do it. I know from other overlanders that leaving Brazil for another country once the 90 days were used up and come back within the same year does not work: They were not allowed to come back in and were sent away/back at the border, respectively at the Policia Federal responsible for the entry procedures.

Note for folks travelling with a foreign registered vehicle: Currently there is no paperwork required when entering Brazil on the land way with your vehicle. That means you do not have a temporary import permit or anything alike as you might be used to from other South American countries. That said, there is nothing to do for your motorbike, car or truck with foreign plates when you extend the visa for yourself. Just keep on trucking.

Note: As any border crossing, visa application, extension and such, these things might be different each time one does it and might differ greatly from the process described above depending on the officer at the desk, full moon, your haircut or anything else. The process describes how it worked in September 2014 at the Policia Federal at the Airport in Rio de Janeiro. It may or may not work tomorrow or at another location in the country. – Good luck!

Enjoy Brazil, it has sooooo much to offer. 

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