New visa law to make travel to Brazil easier for foreigners

Rio de Janeiro and Christ the Redeemer (Mark Schwettmann/shutterstock.Com)

Rio de Janeiro and Christ the Redeemer (Mark Schwettmann/shutterstock.Com)


, Last Updated: 9:34 AM ET

In an attempt to promote foreign tourism to Brazil, the government has approved new measures that will allow visitors to apply for tourist visas online and reduce wait times.

For foreigners, that means a simplified application process and eliminating the need to travel to a major urban city in search of a Brazilian consulate.

"With the new mechanism, an American tourist for example, who lives in a city far from a Brazilian consulate will be able to put in a visa request online, without having to travel somewhere to hand in the required documents," said Vicente Neto of the Brazilian Tourism Board Embratur.

"This reduces costs related to the visa issuing process, leaving more money for them to spend in Brazil."

The government also announced that it will waive visa requirements for citizens of countries that do the same for Brazilians.

For Americans, online applications will cut wait times which currently average about 30 days, though specific time frames aren't provided.

The move has been introduced in advance of the Rio Olympic games set for 2016, and to help the country reach its goal of attracting 10 million foreign visitors by 2020.

Last year, Brazil drew 6 million foreign tourists.