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Senate Increases Visa Exemption and Digitalizes Process for Foreigners

04/09/2014 - 09h56

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FROM BRASÍLIA

On Tuesday 8, the Senate approved a project to simplify foreign entries to Brazil. Regulations of the 1980 foreigner statute regarding tourism and temporary visas have been modified. The text is awaiting final approval from the President.

The project will increase visa exemptions for temporary business trips as well as for artists and sports professionals. Previously the rule was exclusively applied to tourist travel.

In all cases, reciprocal treatment in the citizen´s home country is required.

The project also allows for tourist visa applications and issuing to be made online. Part of the process including completing and submitting the form is already done electronically.

However, up until now, a signed protocol, original documents, a passport and receipt of payment all had to be handed in to the consulate. In future these documents can be submitted online.

The Foreign Affairs Ministry will be able to request original or additional documents if considered necessary and will be in charge of establishing the new electronic process.

The visa exemption will no longer depend on an international agreement that requires a countersignature from Congress. A diplomatic note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be sufficient, again only in cases of reciprocal treatment.

A final change concerns the laissez-passer, a travel document issued by a government not recognized or not valid in Brazil and which acts as a passport. Visas will now be able to be placed on all documents under the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization. This measure mainly meets the demand made by Taiwanese businessmen.

However, the concession of the visa in the case does not imply Brazil´s recognition of the state or government in question.

Translated by MILLI LEGRAIN

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