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Layover in Brazil - Do I need a Visa?

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Sep 12th, 2010, 11:04 AM
  #1
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Layover in Brazil - Do I need a Visa?

Hello, I purchased a flight through TAM website from JFK to Chile w/ a connection in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Do I need a Visa for Brazil? On the outbound flight I have a 2 hour layover and on the return I have a 4 1/2 hour layover. The flight from JFK to Sao Paolo is on TAM and the connecting flight from Sao Paolo to Chile is on LAN. Please note, I did not purchase the flights separately so I expected that my luggage would be checked all the way from JFK to Chile and therefore not be expected to go through customs in Brazil.
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Sep 12th, 2010, 11:07 AM
  #2
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Sorry, I forgot to mention I'm a US citizen.
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Sep 13th, 2010, 03:57 PM
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It is my uunderstanding that anyone from the U.S. setting foot in Brazil, even if it's just the airport, does need a visa, and that the Brazilian authorities are quite strict about it. How long until you travel? When we cruised from Barcelona to Rio we needed a visa. It involved paperwork and mailing in our passports to have the visa stamped inside it. Good luck, and have a wonderful trip.
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Sep 13th, 2010, 04:45 PM
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Thank you for your response. I leave on Friday. When I originally booked the flight two weeks ago, I had a 12 hour, overnight layover in Sao, Paolo. The airline, TAM changed the booking at my request because the agent had noted on my reservation that he had advised me that I would not need a visa.

According to the Consulate of Brazil located in Boston, if one is in transit and not staying overnight (key!) and does not leave the transit area then one does not need a Visa. They state, "However, if you are only in transit through a Brazilian airport on your way to another country and do not plan to leave the transit area of the airport, you won’t need a visa, although it would be advisable to apply for one, considering that it is always possible that an international flight may be delayed or even cancelled due to unforeseen reasons and you might be interested in leaving the airport transit area."

I also spoke with an agent at the Consulate in NY and he said that for the amount of time I will be in transit I do not need a visa.

When I return in a couple of weeks I will note my experiences.

Also, I found a helpful site on Delta where you indicate your country of citizenship, destination and connecting country and it gives information on visa, etc., requirements. Here is the site if anyone is interested:
http://www.delta.com/planning_reserv...tion/index.jsp
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Sep 14th, 2010, 05:01 AM
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To enter Brazil, even if only for a few hours, you will need a visa. However, if you are only in transit through a Brazilian airport on your way to another country and do not plan to leave the transit area of the airport, you will need no visa...

www.travel.state.gov Brazil entry info
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Sep 14th, 2010, 09:51 PM
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You will get stopped immediately by customs upon your arrival so you will def have to pay for the visa once you step foot in the country Im living in Argentina at the moment and thats what i was told. You may get away with it if you go by land but no way around it if you go by air

-marcello
http://www.wanderingtrader.com
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Sep 15th, 2010, 10:33 AM
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No, in spite of what a couple people are saying here, no visa is necessary in this situation. You are leaving Brazil on the same plane ticket, you are not leaving the airport lounge, and you are not staying overnight. You've met all the requirements to be a transit passenger. You did the right thing by checking with the consulate.

Let's talk Chile now: If this is your first time visiting Chile in the life of your current passport, you know about the reciprocity fee of $131 you have to pay on arrival?
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Sep 17th, 2010, 04:23 PM
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Yes, I knew about the Chile reciprocity fee of $140 payable on arrival if flying in to Santiago Airport. All ready for that one. It went up from $131 to $140. The Santiago Airport website has not been updated, it still says $131. The US Govt site correctly shows $140. Someone from my company just landed there a couple of days ago and he confirmed that the fee is indeed $140.

Per others on this site, when you go down the escalator make an immediate left, pay the fee, then head to immigration, then customs and baggage. We were warned to declare ALL food. Even that granola in your pocket.

Thanks for all your feedback!
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Sep 17th, 2010, 06:03 PM
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I recently had a 7 hour layover in Brazil, and did not need a Visa for that. But I had to stay inside the airport. Kinda like the terminal movie.

Fred
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May 23rd, 2014, 07:46 AM
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Avoid transiting through Sao Paulo or Brazil. My wife and I had to cancel our whole tour of Japan at the very last minute, leading to speaking engagements and a whole host of events being cancelled, a lot of people disappointed, not the least of whom were her family and then the loss of many thousands of dollars due to flights paid for and not taken, us being stranded in a foreign land and cancellation fees of engagements that could not be fulfilled.
This is what happened...
We were supposed to be flying from Sao Paulo, Brazil, to Tokyo, Japan on Etihad airlines on May 6th. We bought the tickets and then we were going to buy tickets from Montevideo into Sao Paulo to connect to the flight to Japan.
Just before I did this, I heard a rumour that in order to collect our bags in Sao Paulo we would have to leave the international transit lounge to pick up our bags, which meant we would have to go through Brazilian immigration. My wife and I had no visa to enter Brazil, so thought we had better check on this before buying tickets into Sao Paulo.
I contacted Etihad and asked them if this was true. They said they would check on it and spent a long time doing so before coming back and telling us that it was no problem, we would not have leave the terminal and to ensure smooth passage they would give us a boarding pass and we could use that to get the airline flying us from Montevideo to Sao Paulo to transfer our bags to their flight. With this assurance we then bought two tickets on GOL airways to Sao Paulo. When we arrived at the airport the check in people refused us entry and their security advisor when explaining why said simply 'We cannot trust passengers not to enter the country (Brazil)' and he went on to explain that they may have to pay a fine if we were found to have done so.
In consequence we missed our flight, had to cancel a speaking engagement to 1000 people and had to pay costs far above the loss of the five thousand dollars worth of tickets. Etihad have denied responsibility and have offered nothing back. GOL have done the same. Both are hiding behind their policies, which is vague to say the least, and seems not be backed up by Brazilian law. One would think that when flying into a county that there would be one law for all airlines.

As the conversation I had with them, via facebook messenger proves, Etihad did misinform us of the situation and are now saying that we should know that all airline companies have different policies, which is not something they told us at all.. otherwise we would have made alternative arrangements, which is very clear in the message.

I still have found nothing to say that even with a boarding pass to an onward location that you will not be allowed to board a plane to Brazil. This seems not only wrong, but corrupt. Can anyone help us clarify this god awful mess?

This is a portion of our conversation with Etihad going back to May 2nd.
This conversation makes it plain to see that on May 3rd we were willing to make alternative arrangements if for some reason we could not pass through Brazil. This would be at our expense, but we did not want to let people down. Etihads response convinced us everything would be OK. We would never have taken a plane to Sao Paulo had we known what would happen.

Conversation started 2 May
May 2nd

Now we have to SCRAP ETIHAD TICKETS and loose thousands of dollars. A simple warning and bit of help would be nice.
Our friend advised us that we could get a good priced ticket from Sao Paulo to Tokyo. So we booked Etihad and because they have no flight from where we live we booked a flight to Sao Paolo seperately. Now I have just found out from Etihad that in order to connect to our plane we have to leave the international transfer area, and go through immigration to get our boarding pass. We cannot get the boarding pass as we don't have a visa to enter Brazil. Why is there not a warning about this for people who want to fly Etihad, but have to enter Brazil to do so. Why cannot Etihad meet us at our plane with a baggage pass. We are set to fly on the sixth and have alsorts of things planned. Now we have to SCRAP ETIHAD TICKETS and loose thousands of dollars. A simple warning and bit of help would be nice.
Like · · 2 May at 18:47
Paul Coleman
02/05/2014 18:03
Paul Coleman
Thanks AS. These are our flight details. I will appreciate any help you can give.
Airline Confirmation: VILFYK
Leave from GRU May 6th for Tokyo via Abu Dhabi
Ticket numbers:
Paul Coleman 6077361804588
Konomi Kikuchi 6077361804589
Etihad Airways
02/05/2014 18:17
Etihad Airways
Hi Paul, Unfortunately, our staff won't be able to provide you with your boarding passes unless you are going through the counter. You may check-in online using Etihad Airways website 24 hours prior to your flight departure time. Thank you.*AS
Paul Coleman
02/05/2014 18:19
Paul Coleman
Does this mean that we will not need to pass through immigration to get the boarding pass?
Does this mean we won't need a boarding pass? if so that is great.
Etihad Airways
02/05/2014 18:34
Etihad Airways
Hi Paul, Let us clarify this with our Team at Sao Paulo international airport and get back to you shortly. Thanks*AS
Paul Coleman
02/05/2014 18:38
Paul Coleman
OK, Thanks.
3 May
Paul Coleman
03/05/2014 08:36
Paul Coleman
Hello AS: Please can you let us know the response soon, we have to know what is happening. Our flight is soon and we have a meeting with the Governor of Saiatma shortly after we arrive in Tokyo, plus a speaking engagement to 1000 people. We are stuck in Montevideo and do not know which way to fly.


03/05/2014 08:40
Paul Coleman
To be honest if we did not have speaking engagements, meetings with Mayors and Governors, I would cancel our trip altogether to Japan, But we have so many people to disappoint.
If we can not fly through Sao Paolo will ETIHAD refund our money?
Please let us know one way or another in the next few hours...
this is so we can make alternative arrangements.
Etihad Airways
03/05/2014 08:53
Etihad Airways
Hi Paul,
We are still waiting for more info from our team. Kindly bear with us and please be assured we will update you ASAP!
Thank you. *KJ
Paul Coleman
03/05/2014 09:03
Paul Coleman
OK Thank you
Saturday
Etihad Airways
03/05/2014 15:42
Etihad Airways
Hey Paul,
We have heard back from our team at Sao Paulo.
They have advised us that you should ask the agent at the time of check-in for your first flight, to tag your bag all the way until your final destination. They will ask you,a confirmed onward ticket. If they can't do it, please make sure to get in touch with our representatives at Sao Paulo airport as soon as you land. They will be able to request your bag to be transferred and will also provide you with your boarding pass.
In order for them to assist you further, please provide us with your first flight details, you will be coming from where, which airline?

Thank you.*GC
Paul Coleman
03/05/2014 18:25
Paul Coleman
Wonderful to hear Thank you very much indeed. I will send arrival details shortly.
Etihad Airways
03/05/2014 18:28
Etihad Airways
You are most welcome Paul. We will be waiting to hear from you.
Regards! *GC
Sunday
Paul Coleman
04/05/2014 09:46
Paul Coleman
Here are the flight details for our arrival into Sao Paulo...
Arriving date and time : May 6th at 16:25
Carrier: GOL
Flight number: G37631
If someone could meet us at the arrival gate that would be fantastic. Thanks for your assistance, I am sure our friends are going to be very happy to know how well we have been treated.
Etihad Airways
04/05/2014 09:59
Etihad Airways
Thanks Paul, we have forwarded the details to our team. We will let you if they require more information. *ES
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May 23rd, 2014, 08:47 AM
  #11
 
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First of all, you have revealed way too much personal information about yourself (your names, your ticket numbers, your record locators) on an Internet discussion board. That is very risky.

Second, an airline is never an official source of info about immigration requirements. For that, you should always contact the country's consulate. Etihad did give you incorrect information, but in the end, it is the passenger's responsibility to have all documents in order.
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May 24th, 2014, 06:01 AM
  #12
 
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If your flights are not on the same ticket, and the airlines do not have an interline agreement (and budget airlines typically don't) it is unrealistic to expect that your luggage will be transferred. Now, if you had packed really light and traveled with only carry-on luggage, you might have been OK. But GOL was correct that if you had been unable to transfer to your connecting flight they would have been responsible for getting you home, and would have been fined.
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May 24th, 2014, 11:39 AM
  #13
 
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At the very least, you should have had some advance communication with GOL about what would happen when you got to Sao Paulo. Would they/Could they transfer your bags? It was all well and good to talk to Etihad, but GOL would have to have been the one to transfer the bags. And, as thursdaysd says, they're a low-cost carrier, so they probably don't. That meant going through immigration and, with no visa, you can't enter Brazil, even if it is just to pick up your bags.
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May 25th, 2014, 09:17 PM
  #14
 
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To return to the OP's question, while the US doesn't have transit passengers, Brazil does. Lots of people transit through Sao Paulo.

TAM and LAN are both in the One World Alliance so I would think there is an agreement about luggage. I have flown twice (as you mention with a one ticket flight) that included legs operated by TAM and LAN, both times my bags were checked all the way through to my final destination.

I would ring TAM to double check, or ask your travel agent to check for you.
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May 26th, 2014, 02:59 AM
  #15
 
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The OP's question is from 3 years ago.
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May 27th, 2014, 12:23 AM
  #16
 
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Whoops! didn't check the date. Thanks avrooster.
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