As President Jair Bolsonaro prepares to meet with his American counterpart Donald Trump, Brazil has decided to lift visa requirements for citizens from the U.S., Canada, Australia, and Japan. The move is unilateral—that is, it doesn’t require reciprocity from these countries, breaking with a long tradition in Brazilian diplomacy.
The measure is the latest chapter in a long-term demand by the Minister of Tourism, which argues that fewer visa requirements will translate into more tourists—thus bringing more revenue and business to Brazil. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has defended the principle of reciprocity throughout multiple administrations. The country has always required a visa from citizens of nations that demand Brazilians apply for visas themselves. That is, until now.