Brazil waives off visas for Australia, Canada, US for Olympics

Brasilia, Dec 31 (IANS) Citizens of Australia, Canada, Japan and the United States will not need visas to enter Brazil during the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the Brazilian government announced.

The exemption will last from June 1 to September 18 and will see them granted 90-day visas. The law authorising the temporary exemption was approved by President Dilma Rousseff in November, although the beneficiary countries had not been confirmed until now, reports Xinhua.

The criteria was adopted for countries with a strong Olympic tradition, which have organised the Games in the past, who offer no migration risks and pose no threats to national security, according to the gazette.

The citizens of numerous other countries, including the European Union, Russia, Mexico, Argentina, and South Korea can already enter the country for up to 90 days without a visa.

The Rio Olympics will take place from August 5 to 21 with the Paralympics to follow from September 7 to 18.

According to the tourism ministry, Brazil hopes the Games will help to increase by 20 percent the number of tourists expected between January and September 2016.

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