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Brazil's Bolsonaro seeks 6-month visa to stay in US

Deutsche Welle

  31 Jan 2023, 12:44

Brazilian former President Jair Bolsonaro is facing a probe over the storming of Brasilia by supporters. He claims that he wishes to extend his stay in Florida for health reasons.

Former Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro is seeking a six-month tourist visa to remain in the United States, his lawyer said on Monday.

Bolsonaro is under investigation in Brazil for his supporters' storming of government.

How long has Bolsonaro been in Florida for?

The former Brazilian head of state flew to Florida in late December towards the end of his term, avoiding the inauguration of his successor, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

Bolsonaro's current visa, which is offered to visiting world leaders, is set to expire on Tuesday as the former statesman is no longer in the US on official business.

California-based law firm AG Immigration Group said that Bolsonaro had requested a six-month visa.

"We look forward to achieving the highest level of satisfaction and desired results for our client," its lawyers said.

Bolsonaro told the CNN Brasil broadcaster that he had planned to return by the end of January, but was considering extending his stay for health reasons. Brazil's former president was injured in a knife attack in 2018 and has suffered ongoing health complications from the incident, receiving hospital care in the US.

Investigations into Brazil's former president

Brazil's new government has ordered a probe of Bolsonaro over a riot on January 8 in Brasilia when supporters stormed government buildings, refusing to accept Lula's electoral victory.

Bolsonaro himself had cast doubt on Brazil's electronic voting system prior to the vote.

But after the results he did not allege electoral fraud or directly call for protests, and he urged for those that did demonstrate to do so peacefully.

However, the former president did not concede defeat to Lula or attend his successor's inauguration either.

Former Justice Minister Anderson Torres was also in the US during the riot and was arrested upon his return to Brazil.

A group of 46 lawmakers from US President Joe Biden's Democratic Party have called for Bolsonaro to be sent back to Brazil.

"The United States must not provide shelter for him, or any authoritarian who has inspired such violence against democratic institutions," the lawmakers said in a letter.

Brazil's riot mirrored the 2021 storming of the US Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump who did not accept Biden's victory in the election.

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