Brazil Dossier

Brazil Dossier

The Olympics are going to kick off in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in one year. Is the city ready? Are the residents ready? Are the venues going to be completed in time? Is the city’s infrastructure up to the standards that the IOC sets?

Basic Information:

  • Official name: Federal Republic of Brazil
  • Capital: Brasilia
  • Population: 176 million
  • Total Area: 8.5 million square kilometers
  • Official Language: Brazilian Portuguese
  • Religions: Roman Catholic and Protestant
  • Currency: the Real, divided into 100 centavos
    • Current exchange rate: 1 USD = 3.11 Brazilian Real (not a good exchange rate)
  • Government: Federal Presidential Constitutional Republic
    • Three independent branches of government: Executive, legislative, and judicial
  • Economy: moderately free markets and inward-oriented
    • 10th largest economy in the world by nominal GDP


  • Passport/Visa Requirements:
    • Passports must be valid from the country or countries of residence. There must also be at least one blank page in the passport.
    • All United States citizens must obtain a visa at the nearest Brazilian Embassy or consulate in the United States. Kansas residents report to the Houston consulate. Nebraska and Missouri residents report to the Chicago consulate. All visa applications must be submitted in person.
    • Journalist visas apply for the VITEM-VI visa. To be given the visa, the person must have a police clearance from the FBI, a letter from the employer, and must be registered with the Federal Police within the first 30 days of arriving in Brazil. There must be at least two blank pages in the passport, and needs to be valid for at least six months after entry.
    • It costs $160 USD for a processing fee and $20 USD for a basic fee.
  • Consulates and Embassy locations:
    • Atlanta
    • Boston
    • Chicago
    • Hartford
    • Houston
    • Los Angeles
    • Miami
    • New York
    • San Francisco
    • Washington D.C.
  • Relationship with the USA:
    • According to the U.S. Department of State, “the United States and Brazil have traditionally enjoyed cooperative, active relations encompassing a broad political and economic agenda.”
  • Air Travel:
    • One-way airline tickets from Kansas City to Rio de Janeiro start out at $980 USD and range in price up to $1,385.60 USD depending on the date.
  • Traveling within Brazil:
    • Brazil is a very big country. Travelling to Brasilia will require plane travel. Traveling inside Rio de Janeiro, there are buses, taxis and subways, but it is recommended to travel via taxi after dark.
  • Lodging:
    • Hotels and Hostels are very prevalent in the larger cities.


  • Drinking Water:
    • Be wary of the tap water. Bottled water and soft drinks are readily available.
  • Vaccinations:
    • None are required, however, it is encouraged to get the malaria vaccine if you are traveling to the Amazon rainforest and other less populated areas.
  • Current Health Situation
    • Dengue and Chikunguya are mosquito-borne illnesses that are becoming more frequent. The CDC recommends using insect repellants, covering exposed skin and sleeping in screened or air conditioned rooms.
    • Tuberculosis is a “serious health concern” in Brazil.


  • Shipping to Brazil
    • Average shipping times are:
      • Express Shipping: 3-4 business days
      • Economy Shipping: 5-10 business days
      • Freight Shipping 15-30 business days
    • Pricing depends on weight
      • A 15 pound package will cost anywhere from $129.91 to $244.86 to ship from the United States to Brazil
  • World Press Freedom Index
    • Brazil ranks No. 111 in the WPFI, with a score of 34.03. In relation, the United States ranks at No. 46 with a score of 23.49.
    • The media is “highly concentrated and heavily dependent on government advertising.”

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