The Brazilian government requires all United States citizens to arrange a tourist visa in advance -- it is not possible to get your visa at the airport on arrival in Brazil, and if you don’t have a visa, immigration staffers will refuse to let you enter the country. The only exception to this rule is for dual U.S.-Brazilian citizens, who can only enter Brazil using a valid Brazilian passport. Apply for your visa at least 10 business days before your departure date, the Brazilian consulate general in Miami advises.
Before applying for a Brazilian tourist visa, check that you’re eligible. If your trip to Brazil is for a vacation or to visit relatives or friends, a tourist visa is the correct option. You can also attend a conference or seminar, as long as you’re not being paid for attending and it’s not a trade show. And you're able take part unpaid in any athletic, cultural or artistic event on a tourist visa. If you intend to undertake any other activities, including studying, you’ll need to apply for a different type of visa.
As of August 2013, all tourist visa applications to visit Brazil must be made in person at the Brazilian embassy in Washington, D.C., or at one of the consulate general’s offices operated by the Brazilian government across the United States. Each consular office covers a designated geographical area, and you must apply at the correct place. For example, the office in Boston only handles applications from residents in Massachusetts, Maine, Vermont and New Hampshire, while the Miami office accepts applications from residents of Florida, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. Check the Brazilian embassy website to find the office relevant to you.
Ensure you fulfill all the requirements when applying for your visa. Check that your passport is valid for at least six months after the end of your trip to Brazil, and that it has at least two blank pages. You’ll also need to download and complete the application form, available on the Brazilian embassy website and supply a passport-style color photograph measuring 2 inches by 2 inches. Make a copy of your travel itinerary, such as your tickets or a letter from your travel agency confirming the dates and any flight reservation codes.
At the time of publication, Brazilian tourist visas cost $160. The Brazilian government sets the fee at a level identical to that charged to Brazilian citizens applying for a visa to visit the United States. This fee is regarded as a processing fee and is not refundable in any circumstances. The Brazilian embassy and its consulates only accept payment by U.S. Postal Service money order, made payable to the “Consulate General of Brazil.” If you are applying, for example, as part of a family group, you’ll need a separate money order for each individual visa application.