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I was considering planning a visit to Brazil until I looked at their rather stringent visa requirements:

http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/brazil.html

Brazil requires U.S. citizens to carry a valid U.S. passport and visa when traveling to Brazil for any purpose. You must obtain your Brazilian visa in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or consulate nearest to your place of residence in the United States. Visas cannot be obtained at the airport, and immigration authorities will refuse entry into Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa. The U.S. government cannot assist you if you arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.

I am a resident of Puerto Rico. If I recall, the nearest embassy is in New York or Florida and it would be 2-4 hours on a plane merely to visit. My friend says I can mail it in. Is that so?

I threw in the towel and decided on Argentina. So I am asking mostly as a theoretical question.

  • There are visa services (e.g. Travisa) that can facilitate (for an extra fee) getting a visa for you without you having to travel to Miami. I'd check with the service to confirm the details of course. Certainly the consulate could require you to appear in person (as the US often does for visa interviews), but if the service routinely handles Brazilian visas, this is something they can handle for you. – Zach Lipton Nov 5 '15 at 23:23
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Yes, Brazil requires visa applicants from the US to visit the consulate in person. They explicitly state that they do not accept applications by mail.

No visa applications will be accepted by mail.

When you finish filling out the electronic visa application form, print the application receipt, glue your picture on it, sign on the appropriate field and bring your application receipt form along with the other required documents to the Consulate.

The consulate serving Puerto Rico is in Miami, so it would require one visit to Miami. You would not be able to apply in New York or any other consulate. Fortunately you don't have to go back to Miami later to pick up your passport; the consulate will mail it to you if you leave a postage paid envelope with them.

In order to save you a second trip to Miami to pick up your passport, you may leave a prepaid self-addressed Priority Mail Express envelope from the USPS (United States Postal Service, the Post Office) for the return of your passport. The envelope must have a tracking number. The Consulate does not accept envelopes from other companies such as FEDEX, DHL or UPS.

  • here's to Argentina! – john mangual Nov 5 '15 at 18:42
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    I should also note that among countries this is not unusual. Many countries, including the US, require personal visits to the consulate from visa applicants. – Michael Hampton Nov 5 '15 at 18:44
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    It should also not be forgotten that many of the relatively strict visa conditions for US citizens (tedious application processes or high fees) are based on reciprocity. The US authorities makes it relatively difficult and expensive for many other citizens to visit the US, so other countries swing their diplomatic scepter and retaliate with the same procedures and fee catalog for visits the other way around. – Tor-Einar Jarnbjo Nov 5 '15 at 18:51
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    Tor-Einar Jarnbjo is right and that's exactly the case with Brazil and their "strange requirements" – Roberto Nov 5 '15 at 19:49

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