Issue 1 | Fall: Apr-Jun 2020
From the Ambassador’s Desk
Dear U.S. citizens,
It is a pleasure to be writing you today in my new position as U.S. Ambassador to Brazil. I arrived in Brasilia on March 29. While I am very happy to have returned to Brazil, the very serious circumstances we are facing globally has focused the U.S. Mission’s efforts in Brazil to contain the spread of COVID-19 and support U.S. citizens in country.
Nothing is more important to the U.S. Mission in Brazil than your safety and health. To best support you we want to stay in touch and share all the information that we have in a timely fashion. The single fastest way to help us keep you up-to-date on the latest health and security updates is for all U.S. citizens in Brazil to enroll in the U.S. Department of State’s Safe Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
The Embassy in Brasilia and our consulates in Porto Alegre, Recife, Rio de Janeiro, and Sao Paulo have held a series of virtual Town Halls with U.S. citizens in which a lot of great questions have been raised. Below we have published the answers to the top ten questions we have received. Please keep an eye out for more virtual town halls.
Another great way to stay current on the latest developments is to follow us on social media. Our team has begun creating and posting videos on our social media pages that also answer frequently asked questions from U.S. citizens regarding the COVID-19 situation. Follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook for access to that and other content we’ve created just for you:
- Embaixada EUA Brasil / US Embassy Brazil
- Consulado Geral EUA / US Consulate – São Paulo
- Consulado Geral EUA / US Consulate – Rio
Finally, in light of the U.S. Department of State’s current Global Health Advisory Level 4, I want to underscore that since March we have recommended that all U.S. citizens who live abroad avoid international travel during the COVID-19 health crisis.
In closing, please let us know if you need assistance or have any questions. You will find the contact information for the Embassy and all our consulates in Brazil here.
Please stay safe and healthy and do not hesitate to reach out to us.
Todd C. Chapman
U.S. Ambassador to Brazil
Your Frequently Asked Questions, Answered
The U.S. Embassy and Consulates General in Brazil are here to serve you. Over the past few weeks, we’ve received many questions about the COVID-19 situation. I want to ensure you have all of the relevant information, so below are answers to some of the top questions we’ve received.
Will flights between Brazil and the United States continue? Will the Embassy and Consulates General provide evacuation services if commercial flights stop?
There continues to be flight availability between Brazil and the United States. While it is always subject to change, as of June 1 there were 10 flights to the United States on a weekly basis. As this could change, if you wish to return to the United States, you should consider doing so now. Otherwise, make sure you have the support network in place and the information that you need to stay here indefinitely. In the event that commercial flights are suspended, the U.S. government does not presently intend to conduct government-chartered flights to the United States from Brazil.
I came to Brazil as a tourist, but I want to stay here to ride out the crisis. How can I extend my legal time in country?
The Federal Police issued a notice extending the period of stay for tourists. Anyone in the country legally as of March 16 can remain until the end of the public health crisis. We advise you to contact the Polícia Federal for information.
Where can I find information and local resources regarding COVID-19?
Visit the Embassy’s COVID-19 Information page and CDC’s website for our latest local guidance on COVID-19. There are additional resources available to track the crisis. COVID Radar, a public-private partnership of more than 40 companies and organizations, provides real-time information on COVID-19 cases in Brazil as well as state-by-state projections using data provided by the Brazilian Ministry of Health. MonitoraCovid-19 also offers a variety of information on accumulated COVID-19 cases and graphs.
What support can I expect from the Embassy and Consulates General if the health situation worsens or I get sick with COVID-19?
Private citizens are responsible for paying their costs for any private medical treatment. The U.S. government is unable to arrange for you to be treated at a private hospital or provide you with medical supplies, such as face masks or respirators. Private hospitals generally require proof of the ability to pay upfront. We suggest you review any insurance coverage that you may have, specifically in terms of its international coverage, and we remind you that U.S. Medicare does not apply overseas. If you feel sick with symptoms of COVID-19, contact your primary care physician or call the nearest hospital before you visit.
How is COVID-19 affecting safety and security in Brazil?
We use the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to provide updates about the safety and security situation in Brazil. If you’re not already signed up, please enroll in STEP. Also, remember to monitor local government sources and local news.
Am I eligible for a U.S. government stimulus check? How can I file for it?
Most individuals who filed a tax return in the United States and included direct deposit information will not have to do anything to receive a stimulus check. Please visit the IRS’s website for the latest information on stimulus checks and eligibility.
What happens if my passport expires or I need a consular service while routine services have been suspended?
Emergency services remain available to those with an urgent need to travel in the next two weeks. Please contact us if you require emergency services, such as a passport, for urgent travel. If you don’t have imminent travel plans, we will not be able to assist you until normal operations resume.
How will the new order in the United States halting immigration affect Brazilians currently in the immigration process?
Pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 10014 issued on April 22, 2020, the entry into the United States of aliens as immigrants was suspended as of 11:59 PM on April 23, 2020, for 60 days except for certain, excepted categories. Unless covered by an exception, the Presidential Proclamation prevents the issuance of immigrant visas. Exceptions are as follows:
- to parents, siblings (and their families), and adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens or,
- to spouses and children of lawful permanent residents.
It is important to note that any person who has a valid immigrant visa in his or her possession (issued on or before April 23) may use that visa to enter the United States before the expiration date printed on the visa. By its terms, Presidential Proclamation 10014 is in effect until June 22, 2020, unless renewed by the President. You can review Presidential Proclamation 10014 visit U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for updates on your immigration case.
How can I register to vote remotely?
U.S. citizens living overseas can vote absentee in their state’s upcoming election, no matter where they are. The Federal Voting Assistance Program (FVAP) continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and the potential impact it may have on the election cycle. For additional information on potential changes to your state’s primary election and how to vote absentee, visit FVAP.gov/COVID-19.