Updated on Sep.13, 2012
Travelers to Brazil are usually issued an initial 90-day tourist visa. Once in Brazil, if you want to try to stay longer than that, you must apply for an extension of your tourist visa. The granting of a visa extension is a prerogative of the Federal Police (www.dpf.gov.br).
The visa extension may be granted or not. When it is granted, it will not exceed 90 days. It may be granted for a shorter period and canceled at the discretion of the Federal Police.
How to Apply for a Brazil Visa Extension:
- Before allowing users to issue a Guia de Recolhimento da União (GRU), a form which is used for the payment of some federal fees, the PF requires that they install a security certificate. That link is available on the main GRU page. To complete the installation, you must restart your browser.
- To download the GRU, you must first install a digital certificate from the Federal Police by clicking on this page. After installation, the computer must be restarted.
- Now, open the Guia de Recolhimento da União (GRU) page.
- Choose the option that says "Pessoas e entidades estrangeiras".
- What identifies the form as a document for visa extension purposes is the code which must be entered in the field "Código da Receita STN". Click on the magnifying glass to the right of the blank field.
- A menu of services opens up. Click on code 140090 ("Pedido de prorrogação de prazo de estada", or request for an extension of permanence).
- The right code and the corresponding fee (R$67 as of this writing) in the field below appear on the form.
- Fill in the other fields on the form: Name, Address, E-mail, Father's Name, Mother's Name and choose the Federal Police unit where you're submitting your form from the "Unidade Arrecadadora" (collecting office) drop-down menu.
- Click on "Gerar Guia" at the bottom of the page to generate a printable format.
- Print the GRU.
- Take the GRU to a Banco do Brasil, the preferred bank for this kind of payment, and get a receipt.
- Present the GRU and the fee payment receipt, along with your passport, at the Federal Police unit closest to you (by appointment) at least 30 days before the validity of the initial visa expires.
How to Find a Federal Police Unit
For a list of Federal Police units, go to the Federal Police website. In the black bar at the top of the homepage, click on "PF pelo Brasil" for a location map.
Leaving and Returning to Brazil Before the Extension Expires
Should the bearer of a visa extension need to leave Brazil before the extension expires, a new visa application process will have to be started at a Brazil Consulate in case the traveler wants to enter Brazil again, even if that happens before the expiration date for the visa extension.
Brazil's reciprocity policy with certain countries – the United States, for example - determines that citizens of the countries in question may obtain visas which are valid for multiple entries within a period of several years.
In such cases, travelers don't need to apply for a visa each time they enter Brazil within those years. Likewise, should you apply for, and be granted, a visa extension, and should you need to leave Brazil before that extension expires, you won't need to apply for a new visa if you decide to re-enter Brazil within the period of the original visa (ten years, for example).
Visa Extensions for Exempted Nationals
Nationals of countries exempted from a Brazil tourist visa only or nationals of countries exempted from both a tourist or business visa still need to fill out a form and apply for an extension of the initial 90-day stay at the Federal Police.
If that's your case, you will still be exempted from a visa if you decide to return to Brazil after having left the country within the period of the visa extension.
October 2011 update from a reader: In São Paulo, he and his wife were also requested to present a photocopy of their return ticket, the entry/exit form, and the front of his wife's credit card before they were given the extension.
The author would like to thank the Consulate General of Brazil in Houston for information provided in this article.