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Arrival Border and Entry

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So now you sat huddled together in the plane for a few hours, never really fell asleep, in joyful nervousness completely lost in thoughts of the upcoming trip and now you get off the plane full of joy … and … what now? Arrival border and entry the important next steps before your explorer adventure can start.

Well, on the plane it starts with every non-Brazilian having to fill out a cartao de entrada / saida and often also an Accompanied Baggage Declaration. These are presented to the border guards with the passport. The passport is stamped with the entry permit and the time allowed to stay (usually 90 days, at the Policia Federal can be extended for a further 90 days). The copy of the cartao de entrada will be kept in the passport until departure.

So much for paper … but before you get to the passport control you first have to queue. Usually two columns are formed here. One is for Brazilians and the other is for non-Brazilians. Once this has happened, you can go to the baggage claim area. The luggage then goes through customs control to the exit.

At the exit you will immediately find the tourist information booth. In the exit hall you will also find the stands of international or national car rental companies such as Hertz, Avis, Sixt or Localiza etc. There are also money exchange offices or ATMs at the exit which make it easier for you to get your local currency. If you arrive after 10 p.m., the machines will no longer dispense any money. If you arrive later, you should have at most a few reais with you.

Often the taxi drivers intimidate you with their very intrusive driver service offers. The only thing that helps is to keep calm, have a decent nao obrigado and then calmly differentiate the official taxi drivers from the unofficial ones. 

As an alternative, you can also take the airport shuttle and use it to head for your first destination.Public transport is not very well organized for outsiders. There are no clearly marked stops with departure plans and bus stop information. Depending on the situation, the bus only drives close to the hotel and there is a tedious lugging of suitcases in connection with the search for a destination. If you then visit the place or the city for the first time and do not speak the Portuguese language, it can easily be overwhelming.

In addition, it depends on the type of bus you are about to take. An airport shuttle may just be ergonomically equipped in such a way that the suitcases can still be supplied to a large number of them without any problems. With the public buses it becomes a project with certain risks that you definitely don’t want to take at the beginning of the journey. Using public transport is not necessarily a problem, but it should not be packed with suitcases.

Our recommendation here is clear: Take an official taxi that will bring you comfortably and safely to your destination with your luggage.

Traveling in Brazil by rental car is even better, but it can be an exciting undertaking the first time. If you arrive late in the evening and have never driven your car in Brazil, the taxi would be preferable here as well.


I first published this post some time ago in 2018 on my old blog page. immigration standards can always be adjusted. Of course I try to update the entry every now and then as soon as I notice a change during an entry. Additionally, the immigration standards have been constantly changing due to COVID-19. I have to admit that the last 2 years I have renounced a trip because of the COVID-19 uncertainties. However, since already in May 2022 the next long-awaited trip is pending, I will review this topic again and either update here or add a new entry.

Therefore, we would like to take this opportunity to remind you of the importance of clarifying your individual situation prior to a planned trip.

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