If you are from Australia, America, or another select nation you can process your visa easily in Puerto Iguazu at the Brazilian consulate within 24 hours. A lot of information on the internet points to processing your visa whilst still in your home country, and for us as backpackers that definitely was not going to work. You see we did not know when we might actually be in Brazil and wanted to take advantage of our lack of schedule and be able to enter when we liked and under our own terms, instead of having to be organised enough to arrange it prior to our travels.
What we ended up doing instead was to take an extra day whilst in Puerto Iguazu to process our visa, in order to pass through into Foz do Iguacu and Brazil. This information was not that easy to come by with only older guides available online, so here is a step-by-step on how to arrange your visa in Puerto Iguazu at the Brazilian consulate.
Arranging Paperwork Prior to Arriving at the Consulate in Puerto Iguazu
Whilst the process could not be easier, there are of course a number of things you need to arrange prior to your arrival to ensure that the (not so nice) staff at the Brazilian consulate allow you to pass! The necessary information that is required at the consulate includes:
- Your passport with at least 6 months validity on it
- A printed application form that you receive after filling out a multi-section form online here: https://scedv.serpro.gov.br/ (more on this later)
- A passport photo to go on the one-page printout you receive after filling out the multi-section form online
- Cash to pay for the visa (they do not accept credit card, only cash which makes it difficult with high ATM fees in Argentina)
- Proof of exit out of Brazil (if you do not have anything, you can arrange for a fake itinerary here or a real one that can be cancelled from here)
- A bank statement (less than 1 month old) as proof of funds (for Australians they say they need to see at least $100AU per day but they seemed fine with smaller amounts or proof of credit cards also)
In regards to the online application (multi-section form), the website can be quite confusing and downright inaccessible at times owing to Chrome thinking it’s a dangerous website (it’s not, just hit continue to access). Fill it out as best as you can, knowing that your “contact in Brazil” can just be any old hostel in Brazil. We put one down we had not even booked.
Visiting the Brazilian Consulate in Puerto Iguazu
Once you have arrived in Puerto Iguazu and have all of your paperwork together, you can go to the Consulate to get the visa process started.
The number one thing you should be made aware of is that the Brazilian Consulate in Puerto Iguazu is only open from Monday to Friday, 8am to 2pm! What this means is that if you arrive on a weekend (like we unfortunately did), you will have to wait until Monday to drop off your papers.
The next most important piece of information is to get your paperwork in as early as you possibly can… go to the Consulate at 8am if possibly and certainly before 10:30 if you want to receive your passport and new visa back the next day by 11am. We have heard of people having the visa done same day, but the majority of cases (and therefore what you should expect) is a one day turnaround with you collecting your visa at or just before 11am the following day.
We arrived at the Consulate early, signed our names on the visa application forms and out our hostel name and contact number as the “contact name” and “contact number” on the form (so make sure you have that). The staff went through our paperwork, took our money (2,400ARS for Australians as of July 2017 – see picture below for other countries ignoring the ‘real’ section which is not relevant) and gave us a receipt to present the next day.
Putting in our papers on Monday meant we were able to leave on Tuesday, with us all making the decision to skip the Brazilian side of Iguazu Falls (we saw what we thought was the superior Argentinian side on the weekend) and go straight to São Paulo that night. We ended up collecting our visas at 10:30 the next day and made it through both sides of the border before noon!
The process of getting a visa for Australians, Americans, and other countries that require it is quite easy in Puerto Iguazu. However it does pay to be prepared with the required documents as we have heard horror stories of people being denied for not being prepared or even for just getting agitated at the Consulate staff (as we have said they are not the nicest)!
It is best to suck it up and be patient, and 24 hours later you can be basking in the Brazilian sun. Good luck, and if you have any new information on pricing please let us know so we can update this post!