Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is seeking a six-month tourist visa to remain in the United States, the law firm representing Bolsonaro confirmed to CNN Brasil on Monday.
The request was filed on Friday, January 27, AG Immigration told CNN Brasil, and comes amid reports that he arrived to the US on an A-1 visa, which is granted to heads of state and only valid while they are in that position. The US State Department has refused to confirm Bolsonaro’s visa status due to confidentiality.
Bolsonaro has been in Florida since December 30, leaving Brazil days before the January 1 inauguration of his successor, current President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Five civil servants were authorized to accompany him to Miami from January 1 to 30.
His presence in Florida has drawn criticism by House Democrats, who in mid-January urged US President Joe Biden not to “provide shelter” for Bolsonaro in the wake of his supporters storming Brazil’s democratic institutions in the capital Brasilia – an attack that has drawn comparisons to the US Capitol riots on January 6, 2021.
The former leader denounced the attack, but experts say his repeated and unfounded claims of election fraud in the run-up to October’s election served to foment anger among his supporters. Before Sunday’s violence, they had camped out for months in the capital and security outside the congressional building was fortified due to their presence.
On January 13, Brazil’s Supreme Court accepted a request from the public prosecutor’s office to have Bolsonaro investigated for alleged involvement in the January 8 attacks in Brasilia.
CNN has reached out to AG Immigration for comment.