Canadians will again need to obtain a tourist visa to visit Brazil
Tourism industry representatives criticized Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's decision.
Brazil is reintroducing the requirement for citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia and Japan to obtain tourist visas from October 1, 2023, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced
Former President Jair Bolsonaro scrapped these visa requirements in 2019 to bolster the country's tourism industry, but these four countries have continued on their side to require visas from Brazilians.
In a statement issued discreetly on Monday evening, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs explained that the decision to grant visa exemptions had represented a break with the pattern of Brazilian migration policy, historically based on the principles of reciprocity and ;equal treatment with other countries.
The ministry adds that the government is ready to negotiate visa waiver agreements on a reciprocal basis.
Mr. Bolsonaro criticized the move last week, after news outlet G1 first reported the upcoming change.
Unilateral decisions like the one taken at the time by President Bolsonaro are rare in diplomacy, according to Leonardo Paz, political scientist at the Getulio Vargas Foundation. His overthrow is part of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's ambition to reassert his foreign policy, an area neglected under Bolsonaro, Paz said.
But representatives from the tourism industry have criticized this decision. Sandro Fernandes, director of one of Rio de Janeiro's main tourist attractions, the Sugar Loaf Cable Cars, told Folhapress news agency ahead of the official announcement that the decision would be a setback. for the industry.
Before the pandemic, Brazil welcomed 6.4 million tourists in 2019, well below the 45 million visitors to Mexico and slightly less than the 7.4 million in Argentina, according to data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization.