Brazil's Jair Bolsonaro applies for six-month US tourist visa

Far-right former president left Brazil before supporters attacked government buildings in Brasilia

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Brazil's former president Jair Bolsonaro has applied for a tourist visa to extend his stay in the US, his lawyer said on Monday, amid calls to eject the far-right leader after violent Brasilia protests over his election defeat.

Mr Bolsonaro will stay in the US while his six-month visa extension, which was filed on Friday, is processed, lawyer Felipe Alexandre said.

"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," Mr 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 will be based on his plans as they develop."

The Financial Times first reported that Mr Bolsonaro had requested a tourist visa.

The US State Department does not discuss specific visa cases because of confidentiality.

Mr Bolsonaro flew to Florida two days before his term ended on January 1 and leftist President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva took office, before the former president's supporters stormed the country's capital.

They ransacked Brazil's Congress, Supreme Court and presidential palace on January 8, calling for a military coup to overturn the October election that Mr da Silva narrowly won.

Mr Bolsonaro has still not officially conceded defeat.

Brazil's Supreme Court has agreed to open an investigation into Mr Bolsonaro for allegedly encouraging anti-democratic protests in Brasilia.

More than 40 Democratic members of the US House of Representatives have asked President Joe Biden's administration to co-operate with Brazil's investigation into the violent protests in Brasilia and revoke any US visas held by Mr Bolsonaro.

Mr Bolsonaro has received medical treatment since arriving in the US.

The State Department has said it is incumbent on a person who entered the US on an "A" visa reserved for diplomats and heads of state to depart the country within 30 days or apply for a change of immigration status if they are no longer engaged in official business.

Mr Bolsonaro is believed to have entered the US on such a visa.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: January 31, 2023, 7:34 AM