Travelling to Brazil to become easier for EU citizens

EU citizens are now much closer to enjoy easier conditions when travelling to Brazil. The European Commission has adopted draft decisions on signature and conclusion of the short-stay visa waiver agreements with Brazil for holders of ordinary passports as well as for holders of diplomatic, service and official passports.

Brazil has already bilateral visa waiver agreements with the Member States, although it still requires a visa from the nationals of Estonia, Cyprus, Malta and Latvia. Besides, these bilateral agreements differ from each other considerably as regards their  personal scope of application (i.e. as regards the categories of persons benefiting from the visa waiver).

For that reason, on 18 April 2008, the Council adopted a decision authorizing the Commission to open negotiations on the conclusion of a short-stay visa-waiver agreement between the European Union and Brazil. During the negotiations, the Contracting Parties agreed to conclude two separate agreements: one on ordinary passport holders and the other on diplomatic and service passport holders, since the agreement on diplomatic and service passport holders does not need to be ratified by the Brazilian Congress, thus its ratification can go quicker and separately from the agreement on ordinary passport holders.

Agreement with Brazil on short-stay visa waiver for holders of ordinary passports

The EU-Brazil agreement gives a reciprocal visa waiver for travel for the purpose of tourism and business for all Brazilian and EU citizens, including the nationals of the four Member States not enjoying visa-free travel to Brazil at present.

The duration of stay is limited by the agreement to three months during a six-month period in the Schengen area. Thus, this agreement puts an end to the possibility provided to Brazilian nationals by the bilateral agreements to cumulate the three months stays per Member State in the Schengen area.

Agreement with Brazil on short-stay visa waiver for holders of diplomatic, service or official passports

The visa waiver covers the travelling of persons holding a diplomatic, service or official passport, and establishes that citizens of the Contracting Parties may stay in each other's territory for a maximum period of three months during a six months period following the date of first entry into the territory of the Contracting Party.

In both cases, the Agreements take into account the situation of the Member States that do not yet apply the Schengen acquis in full. As long as they are not part of the Schengen area without internal borders, the visa waiver confers a right for the nationals of Brazil to stay for three months on the territory of each of those Member States (Cyprus, Bulgaria, Romania), independently of the period calculated for the whole Schengen area.

The adoption of these proposals marks a further important step towards the conclusion of these short-stay visa waiver agreements between the European Union and Brazil. Once the agreements are concluded, all EU citizens will be able to travel visa-free to Brazil, putting an end to the long-lasting non-reciprocity issue between Brazil and four EU Member States.