Planning an UMVIM Trip

Virginia Conference Volunteer in Mission Policies (pdf)

This is a guide to help with planning your trip. Read about possible projects and partnerships. Please consult the appropriate sources to ensure all information is up to date. Good luck!

Passport and Visa requirements
The Brazilian Embassy offers these guidelines:
•   A passport and visa are required for U.S. citizens traveling to Brazil for any purpose. Brazilian visas must be obtained in advance from the Brazilian Embassy or consulate nearest to the traveler's place of residence.

•   There are no "airport visas" and immigration authorities will refuse entry to Brazil to anyone not possessing a valid visa.

•   All Brazilian visas, regardless of the length of validity, must initially be used within 90 days of the issuance date or will no longer be valid.

•   Immigration authorities will not allow entry into Brazil without a valid visa. The U.S. Government cannot assist travelers who arrive in Brazil without proper documentation.

•   IOH volunteers will need to obtain a Tourist Visa (VITUR). Regardless of the type of work, indicate that you need Tourist Visa.

For more information, including payment and application submission, check the Brazilian Embassy Web site at

Travelers are reminded that they are subject to local law. Showing contempt to a Brazilian government official at the port of entry, or elsewhere, is a serious offense. (Fines for such offenses are based on the offender’s claimed income.)

Additionally, travelers who have recently visited certain countries, including most other Latin American countries (check Brazilian Embassy Web site), may be required to present an inoculation card indicating they have had a yellow fever inoculation or they may not be allowed to board the plane or enter the country.

Minors (under 18) traveling alone, with one parent or with a third party, must present written authorization by the absent parent(s) or legal guardian specifically granting permission to travel alone, with one parent, or with a third party. The authorization (in Portuguese) must be notarized and then authenticated by the Brazilian Embassy or Consulate.

Airfare and Insurance
Airfare usually runs between $700-$1200 dollars, varying by destination and time of year.

As of July 1, 2009, 1 US Dollar = 1.96127 Brazilian Real.

General Board of Global Ministries has a helpful guide about sending Volunteers in Mission at:

Southeastern Jurisdiction Volunteers in Mission/United Methodist Volunteers in Mission Insurance costs $35 per person. This insurance covers accident and medical coverage, including pre-existing condition waiver up to $15,000; medical evacuation and repatriation up to $100,000, trip interruption in the event of the death of a family member or serious damage to the inured member's home, up to $5,000; lost luggage up to $250, emergency medical reunion, and the return of a minor child.

You should also set aside some money for gifts for your hosts and others.


Steps to Plan your Mission Trip

United Methodist Volunteer In Mission (UMVIM) team leaders are always needed to lead teams to Brazil or Mozambique. Our Conference connection is greatly strengthened when relationships are built on a foundation of “Christian Love In Action.”

There are several requirements to lead a Virginia Conference Initiatives of Hope UMVIM team. The team leader must:
• Have been on a previous UMVIM team to Brazil or Mozambique;
• Have attended a Conference UMVIM Team Leader Training event; and
• Have the approval of the Conference Initiatives of Hope Committee.

Once these guidelines have been met, here’s how to proceed to put together an Initiatives of Hope UMVIM team:

1. Contact the Virginia Conference IOH coordinator for either Mozambique or Brazil. (For Brazil, contact Dot Ivey, (804) 897-4060 or For Mozambique, contact Jay Hanke, (540) 450-8138 or

2. Discuss the range of projects for UMVIM team participation. Available projects will be those requested by the Mozambique Annual Conference or the Methodist Church of Brazil.

3. Commit to a project.

4. With the coordinator, discuss/decide the key elements of the mission:
   a. Dates
   b. Cost of the project
   c. Type of transportation needed and its total cost (including petrol, driver and driver accommodation)
   d. Any fees charged by the Church for UMVIM teams
   e. How to handle project money
   f. Accommodations and cost
   g. Interpreters needed and cost
   h. Recreation possibilities and cost

5. Knowing the above information, put together a budget for the team, including airfare, ground transportation, accommodations and food, visa, etc.; decide on the per person cost.

6. Establish team orientation dates (there should be at least two, and preferably three or four), times that the team meets for prayer, fellowship, and all the trip details.

7. Recruit team members, advertising the project work, trip dates, cost, and dates for orientation (a requirement for team membership is attendance at all team meetings).

8. Keep the Conference coordinator informed.

9. Use the UMVIM Team Leader Handbook for guidelines and details of how to plan, organize and effectively lead an UMVIM team (available at This is an essential resource for the team leader.

10. When the team returns from the mission, provide a brief report to the Virginia Conference IOH coordinator for the country visited.


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