Brazil requires citizens from other countries to carry with them a valid passport and visa when travelling and upon entering the country. Therefore, a Brazilian visa is to be obtained in advance from a Brazilian embassy in respective countries of residence. Without this entrance will not be granted. This requirement acts as a security mechanism.
However, citizens of the Jamaica will now have ease of access to Brazil as the visa requirement has been abolished just in time for vacation planning for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games which will be held in Rio de Janeiro.
“Jamaicans tend to travel to Brazil for targeted, specific reasons, for example, visiting friends and relatives, and cultural reasons due to the influence of reggae music and the affinity with the Afro Brazilian population. The numbers are not steady or constant and are definitely seasonal. For example the World Cup Soccer championship last year saw an increased number of Jamaican visitors, and certainly we anticipate even more for the Olympics next year in 2016,” Stone Roofe, Jamaica’s Ambassador to Brazil said, adding that the population of Jamaican students in the South American country — about two hundred — also pulls visitors.
Antonio da Costa e Silva, Brazil’s Ambassador to Jamaica and Arnold Nicholson, Jamaican’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade signed the agreement to abolish the visa requirement for Jamaicans on May 27th, 2015. The ‘Visa Abolishment Agreement’ was signed at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in New Kingston, Jamaica, and it builds on the agreement between the two countries which in prior years extended the validity of visas to five years.
During his tenure, da Costa e Silva’s also signed the agreement which allowed direct flights between the two countries – Brazil and Jamaica. The direct flights included areas such as Salvador, Sao Paulo and the famous de Janeiro, Brazil from Kingston, Jamaica. This opened up opportunities for both countries to foster better relationships with one another.
Roofe explained that the visa waiver did not apply to citizens who have intentions to seek employment, research opportunities, study or social work, internships or traineeships, nor to undertake religious artistic activities for a lengthy period. It is also imperative that visitors who desire to vacation in the South American country, receive their yellow fever vaccinations, and valid passport. She added that while this agreement allows Jamaicans to enter the country, the country will remain very strict on security both in the airport and throughout. Individuals are required also to have the necessary immigration documents which will be checked by officers at both Jamaica’s and Brazil’s airports.
“Both countries are seeking to increase people to people contact between our shores, Brazil with a population of two hundred million and Jamaica with a population of a mere three million. The visa waiver holds much promise for boosting this objective of both governments,” Ambassador Stone Roofe continued.
Jamaicans will enjoy this benefit as they love to participate in Brazils iconic events, such as FIFA World Cup staging, the World Olympic Games, and Carnival. Although Brazilians don’t need a visa to enter the island of Jamaica, this new agreement will probably create a greater connection between the two countries and residents of both countries will be more comfortable to vacation in either countries without difficulty.
Now Jamaica joins the long list of countries exempted from visa requirement to enter Brazil.
By Alexandra Daley