Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro applied for a six-month visitor visa to remain in the United States last week as he attempts to extend his temporary stay in Florida.
AG Immigration founder Felipe Alexandre, Bolsonaro’s personal attorney, confirmed that U.S. authorities received the application on Friday and that he would remain in Florida while it is being processed.
“He would like to take some time off, clear his head, and enjoy being a tourist in the United States for a few months before deciding what his next step will be,” Alexandre told Reuters.
“Whether or not he will use the full six months will be up to him and whatever strategy we agree to embark on based on his plans as they develop,” he added, also informing the Financial Times that Florida would be his “temporary home away from home.”
Bolsonaro arrived in the U.S. on an A-1 visa reserved for foreign officials that expired the day he left office but includes a 30-day grace period. A U.S. State Department spokesperson said it could not confirm the new visa application details for confidentiality purposes.
The move comes after Bolsonaro traveled to Florida two days before his term ended on Jan. 1 when Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took office for his third nonconsecutive term as president of Brazil, The New York Times reported.
Shortly after a pro-Bolsonaro demonstration against Lula, which included the storming of several of Brazil’s government buildings, the country’s Supreme Court approved an investigation into the former president for allegedly stoking the riots.
A group of U.S. House Democrats responded by pleading in a Jan. 12 letter that President Joe Biden’s administration cooperate with Brazil’s probe and revoke any U.S. visas held by Bolsonaro.
“We must not allow Mr. Bolsonaro or any other former Brazilian officials to take refuge in the United States to escape justice for any crimes they may have committed when in office,” the letter read. “And we should cooperate fully with any investigation by the Brazilian government into their actions, if requested.”
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