Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 12 July 2017, 11:41 NZST
  • Still current at: 25 November 2017

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Some Risk

There is some risk to your security in Brazil due to violent crime and we advise caution. 

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Violent Crime
There is a  high level of violent crime in Brazil, which is particularly prevalent in major cities. Violent crime can include mugging, armed robbery, home invasion and sexual assault and often involves firearms or other weapons. 

There has been a recent increase in reported robberies of tourists in Rio de Janeiro walking the Corcovado Trail to the Christ the Redeemer statue. Local tourist police have recommended that no one uses the trail until dedicated police officers are located in this area. We recommend following any advice issued by local authorities.

Petty crime such as pickpocketing and bag-snatching is common, especially in tourist areas, on public transport, public beaches and around festive periods such as Carnival.

We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their personal belongings. We advise carrying a photocopy of your passport or an official ID and leaving the original documents in a secure place. 

As victims of crime are often targeted due to their perceived wealth, it is advisable to avoid wearing or displaying items that appear valuable such as jewellery or mobile devices. No resistance should be given if you are the victim of an armed robbery, mugging or other crime as this could lead to an escalation in violence. We recommend you avoid travelling after dark and to isolated areas. 

Reports of “express kidnappings” in Brazil are common in major cities. This is when criminals abduct a victim for a short amount of time and force them to withdraw funds from automatic teller machines (ATMs) to secure their release. To reduce the risk of this occurring we recommend you use ATMs that are located in public places during daylight hours or ATMs located within bank branches. 

Carjackings occur in Brazil and vehicle break ins are also a significant problem. When driving, keep your doors locked and windows closed. Exercise vigilance when stopped at traffic lights and stuck in traffic. We recommend only using licensed taxis, which can be found at registered taxi ranks. 

There is a particularly high level of violent crime and gang activity in the impoverished areas (favelas) of major Brazilian cities. We recommend you avoid visiting these areas, even as part of an organised tour, as the security situation is unpredictable and your safety cannot be guaranteed.  

Credit card fraud, including skimming, is common in Brazil. We recommend New Zealanders take extra care when using credit cards and ATMs and carefully check credit card statements for fraudulent charges. 

Civil unrest
Protests occur regularly in Brazilian cities, including Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia and Belo Horizonte. Although generally peaceful, there have been violent incidents and injuries associated with protests in the past, and in some cases, Brazilian police have used tear gas and riot control to disperse protestors. Strikes affecting movement and public transport are common, can occur at short notice and may cause travel delays. 

New Zealanders in Brazil are advised to avoid all political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as even those intended to be peaceful have the potential to turn violent. You should monitor local media for information on protests or strikes. New Zealanders who are in an area affected by demonstrations or violence should leave the immediate vicinity and follow any instructions issued by the local authorities. 

General Travel Advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Brazil should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air.

New Zealanders in Brazil are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. 

Travel tips

The New Zealand Embassy Brasilia, Brazil

Street Address SHIS QI 09, conj. 16, casa 01, Lago Sul 71625-160, Brasilia DF, Brazil Telephone +55 61 3248 9900 Emergency Telephone +55 61 9553 8087 Fax +55 61 3248 9916 Email Web Site Hours Mon - Fri 0830 -1700 hrs

New Zealand Consulate-General São Paulo, Brazil

Street Address Avenida Paulista, 2421 Edificio Bela Paulista, 12th floor, Cerqueira Cesar 01311-300, São Paulo SP, Brazil Telephone +55 11 3898 7400 Emergency Telephone +55 61 99553 8087 Email Hours Mon-Fri 0900-1700 hours

See our regional advice for Central/South America

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New Zealand Embassy Brazil

Street Address
SHIS QI 09, conj. 16, casa 01, Lago Sul 71625-160, Brasilia DF, Brazil

Telephone: +55 61 3248 9900

Emergency Telephone: +55 61 9553 8087

Fax: +55 61 3248 9916



Hours: Mon - Fri 0830 -1700 hrs

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