It could be worse -- you could be a Brazilian national trying to enter the USA. But seriously, I find it hard to get too worked up about Brazil imposing annoying visa requirements on US citizens, because I know it's motivated out of reciprocity for what our government requires in the other direction.
However, it remains unclear to me whether I can use the eVisa application to get the type of visa required for attending a conference. https://brazil.vfsevisa.com/know-your-visa-type makes a distinction between visas for tourism, business, and conferences/seminars, but the application form only lists tourism and business as choices for the visa purpose.
I know that the US guvmint has discriminatory (putting it mildly) immigration and visa requirements. That's beside my point.
Let me clarify. Because the closest choice for visa type was "business" and I absolutely will not give a foreign government a copy of my personal bank statement for travel purposes, I will not attend in person.
Until there is an option for attending conferences and seminars without requiring a personal bank statement, I will not attend in person.
a) attending a conference is not business and you will only give yourself grief by putting that down. The exception is getting paid to speak. Then you need to be careful what visa you choose.
b) Most of the world has to deal with Visas to get places. Anyone travelling to another country should know to check what visas they need so I don't see why this needs to spelled out explicitly for americans.
I applied for various visas in last years and the embassy of respective countries do require the bank statements(even when I was a student). I don't know how these embassies operates in the US. I have never applied for an e-visa.
I'm not an immigration expert so don't take my advice. Ask your consulate. But generally business visas are for business meetings where deals might be done. Paying to see a conference I think is more like your company paying for you to go see a show. Just don't do deals or try to get recruited.
16 days later, I got a response from the Brazil eVisa Customer Support (Brazilevisa@vfsglobal.com), after I reported the issues that I previously experienced. They said they're working on it, and asked for any other information.