Heading for Rio? Here’s Important Advice for Jamaicans

The Olympics are coming up fast. Excitement is building for the track events, especially among Jamaicans. We have a formidable team heading down south to the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro. As with all travels, you need to be prepared. If you are going to Rio, please take note of the following guidelines and information from the Jamaican Embassy in Brazil, issued recently by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade. Please share this with anyone who is going to the Olympics. Enjoy your trip and stay safe!


The Embassy of Jamaica in Brazil and the Diaspora and Consular Affairs Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade wish to provide the following useful advice for Jamaicans planning to attend the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 2016 Olympics and Paralympics will take place in Brazil from 05 – 21 August 2016 and 07 – 18 September 2016, respectively.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade in Jamaica and the Jamaican Embassy in Brazil are committed to their mandate to protect the welfare of Jamaican citizens abroad. The Consular Section of the Jamaican Embassy in Brazil is required to carry out this mandate, within the limits of its authority and in accordance with international law. Jamaica and Brazil are signatories to the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 and are, therefore, bound by it.

The representatives of the Embassy are prepared to provide assistance to citizens of Jamaica in Brazil, but within the limits of the Convention.

The Embassy of Jamaica is located in Brasilia, the Capital of Brazil, about 200 kilometres from Rio de Janeiro.

The contact details for the Embassy are: Telephone: (61) 2192-9774/2194-7234 Emergency: (61) 8107-7794 (after 5:00 pm) E-Mail: embajam@jamaicanembassy.br.com/ jamaicanembassy.brazil@gmail.com

An aerial view of the Olympic Stadium in Rio. (Photo: Sky Sports)
An aerial view of the Olympic Stadium in Rio. (Photo: Sky Sports)

There are steps that you as Jamaican citizens can take to ensure that your stay in Brazil is pleasant, memorable, safe and free of undesirable incidents. You should:

  • Abide by the laws of Brazil;
  • Keep your passport together with the documents given to you by the Brazilian immigration officer on arrival, other important documents and your valuables secure at all times;
  • Make confirmed and adequate arrangements for your visit prior to travelling, for example obtaining travel insurance;
  • Make confirmed and secure arrangements for your accommodation;
  • Have adequate funds or a back-up source in case of need for emergency funding; the Brazilian Real (R$) is the recognised currency. However, be mindful of the risks of travelling with large amounts of cash. The average exchange rate is US$1=R$3.20
  • Be sensitive to and respectful of the culture and values of Brazil;
  • Be aware of your immediate surroundings and take as much precaution as you can for your personal well-being and security;
  • Travel with the details of an emergency contact on your person.
  • You will need to travel with or buy an adapter on arrival to plug in and charge your electronic devises and cell phones. Please note that the voltage for Brazil is 220 V and it may be necessary to have a converter.
  • Please bring warm clothing as the Olympics and Paralympics will be taking place during Brazil’s winter season. Expect average temperatures at around 65ºF/18ºC – 70ºF/22ºC.
Rio is a city of over six million people. Here is the world famous Maracana football stadium, with Turano and Mangueira favelas (slums) on both sides. Security is an issue, but the authorities will be pulling out all the stops to protect visitors. (Photo: Reuters/Sergio Moraes)
Rio is a city of over six million people. Here is the world famous Maracana football stadium, with Turano and Mangueira favelas (slums) on both sides. Security is an issue, but the authorities will be pulling out all the stops to protect visitors. (Photo: Reuters/Sergio Moraes)
  •  Services the Jamaican Embassy CAN provide to Jamaican Citizens (General)

    Here are some of the services we will be offering during the Olympics. See our Website for a more detailed list at http://www.jamaicanembassy.br.com/OtherServices

  • In medical emergencies, we provide lists of local doctors and hospitals and assistance in arranging a medical evacuation (at your expense);
  • Provide advice and support to you and your family in Jamaica in the case of an accident or serious illness. We will also ensure nominated contacts are informed (if you give your consent);
  • Advise next-of-kin if you are a victim of serious crime, including arranging for nominated contacts to be informed (if you give your consent);
  • Assist if you are arrested in Brazil, by visiting or contacting you and by arranging for your family to be informed (if you give your consent). We will also seek to ensure that you are treated fairly under the laws of Brazil, and will provide you with a list of local lawyers;
  • Assist in cases of missing persons by liaising with the local authorities and relatives;
  • Facilitate the replacement of your passport with an emergency travel document if it has been lost/stolen/damaged (relevant fees apply). However, nationals are strongly urged to secure their travel documents;
  • Assist you to contact relatives or friends for help with money or airfare.

    Rio has stunning beaches - Ipanema and Copacabana are famous ones. Be careful of street crime, though!
    Rio has stunning beaches – Ipanema and Copacabana are famous ones. 
  •  Services the Jamaican Embassy CANNOT provide:
  • Extend your stay, grant a waiver or make any other change to your immigration status in Brazil. This is a private matter between you and the Brazilian immigration authorities;
  • Replace lost airline tickets or immigration documents issued by a foreign government. It is your duty to keep these documents safe;
  • Pay or guarantee payment of your hotel, airline, or other bills;
  • Get you out of prison, post bail for you, pay your legal expenses, intervene in court appearances or seek special treatment for you;
  • Intervene in deportation matters. Jamaican citizens are subject to the laws of the countries to which they travel. However, once a Jamaican is arrested, we do everything in our power under the Vienna Convention to protect his or her rights and welfare;
  • Investigate dead or missing persons’ cases. Reports of missing/deceased persons are investigated by the police. The Embassy can only make inquiries on behalf of families and obtain reports from the relevant authorities;
  • Provide or pay for search and rescue services (although we can help you arrange these services);
  • Provide or pay for medical services or medication;
  • Provide translation, interpretation, telephone or Internet services, except in an emergency (discretionary);
  • Intervene in customs or quarantine requirements and regulations of Brazil;
  • Provide physical protection or security;
  • Accept responsibility for the custody or return of lost luggage/property;
  • Report anyone to the Immigration or police authorities. In cases of criminal complaints, persons will be directed to the appropriate Police Post.

    Visa/Entry Requirements

    Note carefully!: The Olympics involve high security in Brazil. The immigration official is the final authority on granting entry into the country, whether or not a visa is required. The onus is on the visitor to convince the officer of their purpose of travel. Please make sure everything is in order.

  • Jamaican citizens travelling on a Jamaican passport do not require a visa to enter Brazil for tourism purposes only. Please make sure that your passport is valid for more than six (6) months and that you have a round trip ticket and yellow fever vaccination certificate.
  • Journalists and other categories of visitors require visas. Please contact the Embassy of Brazil in Kingston and for Jamaicans outside of Jamaica, the nearest Brazilian Consulate or Embassy for an appointment to apply for your visa. The Brazilian Embassy in Kingston is located at 23 Millsborough Crescent, Kingston 6; Telephone: 946-9812; 927-8964; 978-8608. E-Mail: brasemb.kingston@itamaraty.gov.br.
  • In cases of applications for minors (under 18) where visas are required, they must be accompanied by a notarised (i.e., stamped by a Justice of the Peace) travel authorisation from either parent (or a guardian) as Minors are not allowed to travel with one parent without the permission of the other parent;
  • Yellow Fever Vaccination
    Brazil requires all travellers to be vaccinated against Yellow Fever and show proof by means of a yellow fever vaccination certificate. Please ensure you take yours with you on your flights. In Jamaica, the vaccination can be obtained from the Comprehensive Clinic in Kingston on Tuesdays, Thursdays & Fridays 8:30am – 4:00pm and Montego Bay: Type 5 Health Centres – Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays from 10:00am to 2:00pm.
  • Travellers should also have at least one ticket for one of the Olympic events or the receipts as proof of purchase.
  • Please note that spectators and journalists/camerapersons who already have a valid entry visa to Brazil in their passports may use it to attend the Olympics.

         Tickets for Rio Olympics 2016

    Neither the Jamaican Embassy, nor the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Foreign Trade of Jamaica can help you to obtain tickets for the events.
  • Information about tickets and rules for entering the stadium can be found at the Rio 2016 website: https://www.rio2016.com/en/tickets

         Additional Travel Tips

  •  Copy the bio-data page of your passport and leave it with a designated contact person (just in case of loss, theft or damage);
  • Prior to arrival or on arrival in Brazil, register with the Jamaican Embassy. Registration form is located on the Embassy’s Website at http://www.jamaicanembassy.br.com . Registration can be done via e-mail at embajam@jamaicanembassy.br.com by sending name, contact details in Jamaica and contact details in Brazil.
  • As far as possible, travel in groups, especially at nights;
  • Identify essential service providers in your locale – fire, police, nearest hospital;
  • Ensure that you have adequate traveller’s insurance (including medical) that can be used in Brazil;
  • If you have a chronic medical condition which requires medication, ensure that you have an adequate supply of the medication for the duration of your visit. Keep the name and contact details of your doctor available (give a copy to a friend/relative);
  • It is also recommended that you wear a medical alert bracelet if you have one.
  • Additional Information: ZIKA & H1N1 Viruses
  • We urge Jamaicans to follow the WHO and PAHO guidelines to avoid contracting the ZIK V and H1N1 viruses. For H1N1 getting vaccinated is strongly encouraged. Regarding ZIK-V, use insect repellants with DEET, wear light coloured clothing that covers as much of the body as possible and stay away from densely populated areas and avoid intimate contact such as kissing with strangers. Fortunately the Games will be taking place in one of the coolest months in Brazil so covering up should not be too uncomfortable. In case anyone comes down with the Zika virus, our team will give information on the nearest healthcare centre where the Brazilian healthcare professionals are fully equipped to deal with the symptoms.
The military are to begin patrolling sports venues from July 24, authorities say. Yes, security IS an issue. (Photo: Reuters)
The military are to begin patrolling sports venues from July 24, authorities say. Yes, security IS an issue. (Photo: Reuters)

Safety & Security

  • General safety and security measures that you would observe anywhere else in the world as a tourist obtains in Brazil.
  • DO avoid: travelling outside the normal crowded areas; wearing exposed expensive jewelry; exposing expensive smartphones and cameras; drinking too much alcohol; handling cash in public.

Contacts for the Jamaican Consulate and Jamaica Hospitality House in Rio de Janeiro

  • Consulate of Jamaica, Av. Rio Branco, 99, 9o Andar; Centro, Rio de Janeiro – RJ; Tel: 55 21 2122-8464; CEP: 20040- 004; e-mail: contato@consuladodajamaica.com.br.
  • “JAMAICA HOSPITALITY HOUSE 2016” will also be another central point of contact for Jamaicans. It will be located at the Jockey Club. Address: Praça Santos Dumont, 31 – Gávea, Rio de Janeiro – RJ, CEP: 22470-060; telephone:+55 21 3534-9000
  •  Portuguese is the official language of Brazil. English is spoken by some persons in Rio de Janeiro including at hotel reception areas, but please be mindful that you may not always readily find English speakers. It would be good to learn a few useful phrases before your trip.

Issued courtesy of:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade

The Jamaican Embassy in Brazil
July 2016


Rio de Janeiro is a stunningly beautiful city in so many ways, with an exciting and vibrant culture. My visit there some years ago was memorable. Just don't let it all go to your head!  :-)
Rio de Janeiro is a stunningly beautiful city in so many ways, with a unique, vibrant culture. My visit there some years ago was memorable. Just don’t let it all go to your head! 🙂


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