US tourism entrepreneurs launch #TheyWaitWeLose campaign to push for a change in the Biden administration’s visa policy.

Brazil is the seventh country with the longest waiting time to obtain a tourist visa to travel to the United States, according to a survey carried out by AG Immigration, an office specializing in immigration law based in Washington.

Worldwide, Brazil is behind only Colombia, Haiti, Mexico, Nepal, Canada and the United Arab Emirates, countries with even greater delays, according to the ranking produced based on data from the US State Department. In Brazil, as of June 17, you pay a fee of around R$925 to schedule an interview, an increase of 15.6%.

The queue broke a record in four of the five Brazilian cities where the document can be requested, and the longest time occurs in São Paulo. There are more than 20 months, because anyone who makes an appointment today in the capital of São Paulo will only get a date for 615 days from now or March 2025.

Next are Porto Alegre (507 days), Brasília (493), Rio de Janeiro (478) and Recife (449). AG Immigration says that only the capital of Rio has already had a longer queue and that all other queues are record.

The visa is also not an absolute guarantee of entry into the country. The immigration police at airports often carry out operations that select tourists who are stopped and deported, even though they have received a visa.

The greatest pressure around this problem comes from American businessmen themselves. The US Travel Association, which represents more than 1,000 organizations and companies in the US travel industry, has launched the portal USVisaDelay, which represents a campaign against the economic losses caused by delays in visas. The motto is #TheyWaitWeLost.

Claims to the Biden administration by US Travel Association businessmen, call for reduced wait times to 21 days in major countries for inbound US travel by April 2023, by September 31, 2023, reinstate Executive Order to schedule interviews for 80% of US nonimmigrant visa applicants in 21 days or less, increase resources in countries with high enrollment volumes and for major US events that attract international visitors, extend interview waivers for non-immigrant visa renewals immigrant in the U.S. and apply exemptions more broadly to renewal applicants through 2024.

Visa application record

The US embassy in Brazil recognizes the problem and says it is hiring new staff and that those already working at the embassy and consulates are working overtime. The delay harms the tourist exchange, something that is already felt in the main destinations in Florida.

But he considers that Brazil “was the second country with the highest visa processing in the world in 2022”. “Currently, we interview an average of more than 6 thousand visa applications per day and, in 2023, we project to exceed one million visas processed”.

The issuance of visas was restricted between May 2020 and November 2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Attendances prioritized people in an emergency situation, such as those who went to family funerals or for medical treatment, in addition to student visas.

Since the requests were reviewed in general again, as the embassy note says, the demand has been “greater than we would like, still due to the demand generated by the pandemic”.

The embassy says it expects positive results by the July holidays, but highlights the high local demand. The survey by AG Immigration also points to record growth in the issuance of visas. There were 106 thousand in March in Brazil, the largest volume ever registered by the office

“We recommend that people plan their trips in advance and that each applicant checks on our website if he is eligible for visa renewal without the need for an interview, which is a much faster process,” says the embassy.

Tourist and business visas account for over 90% of all applications in Brazil. It is not allowed to work or study in the country with a tourist visa (except for low-hour courses). In the case of visas for study or work, the process is generally faster.

The tourist visa is valid for ten years and can be used for more than one trip to the USA (within the validity period). The length of stay on each trip, however, is defined by the immigration team upon arrival in the US (this time is generally less than six months).


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