If you are travelling to Brazil as a tourist, you may not require a visa for a period up to 90 days. Countries that do not require a visa include most of the European Union and Latin America. Countries like the the USA, Canada, Australia and Mexico, however, do require a visa.
For information on whether you need a visa get in touch with the Brazilian embassy or consulate in your home country. There is little use searching for information on Brazilian official government websites as they are either only available in Portuguese or provide very poor information and dead links.
Tourist and transit visas are generally easy to get. Any other type of visa requires a lot of paperwork and patience.
Before departure to Brazil
Irrespective of what type of visa you are applying for, you must have a passport with a minimum of six months validity remaining. Apply for a respective visa at a Brazilian embassy or consulate in your home country. You will have to pay a fee that will vary from country to country.
Once in Brazil you will be able to extend your stay for a further period of 90 days if you are holding a tourist visa. All other visas, which are either temporary or permanent, vary considerably in regard of their duration and requirements.
If you intend to work in Brazil you will have to apply for both a residence and a work permit. Submit your application well before you leave for Brazil to a Brazilian embassy or consulate in your home country.
After arrival in Brazil
Holders of visas for more than 90 days will have to register within 30 days upon entering Brazil at the Federal Police to obtain a foreigners identity card (CIE – Cédula de Identidade de Estrangeiro). It is best always to have the CIE with you, instead of your passport, as it is recommended in Brazil always to carry an ID.
During the CIE application process you will also receive a RNE (Registro Nacional de Estrangeiro), a registration number which will appear on the CIE. Furthermore, you will be fingerprinted and the fingerprint is also shown on the CIE.
Those intending to work will also need a Cartera de Trabalho e Previdência Social (CTPS), a work book, which is available in the Labour Department, and a tax identification card (CPF/ CIC) from the Ministry of Finance.