One of the best things about planning a holiday to South and Central America is that Australians don’t require a visa for the vast majority of destinations! However, don’t forget that if you are travelling via the USA (even if you only remain in transit) you will need to apply for the USA ESTA Visa Waiver Authorisation.
Even though Australians can travel visa-free to most countries in South and Central America, there are a few notable exceptions. So let’s make sure you know what visas you need for Latin America. Let’s take a look!
*Please note that entry requirements change and while we make every effort to keep this information relevant, it is always best to check current requirements at Smart Traveller.
From 10 April 2024, Australian passport holders will need a visa to enter Brazil. The application process is completed online via this website – you will need to upload scans of your passport, a passport photograph and itinerary. The cost is USD$80 per person and the visa is a multiple entry which is valid for five years.
Australian passport holders require a visa to enter Cuba. This visa must be issued prior to departure. The visa to Cuba is a Tourist Card, which is valid for 30 days from the date of entry but can be extended in-country for a further 30 days.
We recommend at least four weeks for visa processing, so please get in touch to plan your next trip to Cuba and the details you need for your visa.
Please note that passengers arriving in Cuba direct from the USA are not allowed to enter on a tourist visa but must apply directly with their airline on check-in, under one of the 12 reasons to travel permissible under US law.
Travelling between the USA and Cuba: We advise all passengers to fly to Cuba via South America. As per 2021 US Government guidelines, passengers who have visited Cuba are not eligible to participate under the ESTA Visa Waiver program – they need to apply for a visa.
Australian passport holders require an e-visa to enter Chile, which must be issued prior to departure via the Chilean Consulate Service in Australia.
You will need:
– Scanned page of passport photo/ personal details
– Scanned passport photograph
– Copy of your itinerary showing confirmed accommodation
– A bank statement to prove financial solvency (showing the previous 3 months)
Applications can be submitted once you are within 90 days of entering Chile. We recommend you start this as soon as you possibly can as there are significant wait times for some areas.
Thankfully, Suriname has recently dropped the visa requirement! However, on arrival into Suriname (and for each subsequent entry, if applicable), you need to pay the visitor entry fee. The fee is currently USD$25 or EUR$25 per person, plus a handling fee of US/EU$8 per person.
You can pay for this online via VFS Global (on working days 24 hours prior to the departure date.)
The good news is, with an Australian passport, you don’t need a visa for any other country in Latin America. This makes travel to Latin America easier than ever! Get in touch with us to start planning your next Latin American adventure.