| SAO PAULO – In just the first two months of the year, the U.S. Embassy in Brazil granted 181,318 visas to Brazilians. During January and February, 2012, the consulate in Sao Paulo alone issued an average of 2,236 nonimmigrant visas per day.
The waiting time for scheduling a visa interview varies between the American Embassy in Brasilia and the consulates in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife. Those who select the consulates in Sao Paulo or Rio de Janeiro can expect a wait time of only 23 days until the conclusion of the process.
Last year, more than 1.5 million Brazilians visited the United States. In the first months of this year, there has been an increase of 49% and the demand for visas to visit the U.S. has nearly doubled.
In a press statement, the embassy reported that it is working to “meet demand” for visas by assigning more employees to the process, extending service hours, and seeking to improve the overall process.
Next Saturday, the Embassy and Consulates in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Recife will engage in a joint effort to serve those interested in obtaining a visa. The initiative is an extra effort just one month ahead of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff’s April 9th visit to Washington to consult with the American President, Barak Obama.
In January, Obama signed an executive order that aims to speed up by 40% the visa application process in Brazil and China, as well as other efforts to boost tourism.
According to data from the U.S. government over the past five years the applications for nonimmigrant visas increased 230%. Just in 2010, the Consulate General in Sao Paulo issued over 319,000 visas – more than any other consular section in the world.
The embassy also said that trade relations, education and tourism between Brazil and the United States increased significantly in recent years. The text, released by the diplomatic mission, says that Brazilians are still one of the largest groups that visit the country.
Source(s) for this article: Folha de Sao Paulo