Recognizing the importance of tourism to the U.S. economy, the Department of State continues to refine the visa process in major markets to help attract more visitors to premier U.S. travel destinations – without compromising border security. Streamlining visa processing supports the Department’s “Jobs Diplomacy” initiative to promote America’s economic renewal.
Brazil, a key market for tourism to the United States, is a major focus of the Department’s efforts. Visa interview wait times now average just two weeks or less in Brasilia, Recife, and Rio de Janeiro, and less than 30 days in Sao Paulo, the Department’s busiest nonimmigrant visa processing post.
By adding staff, extending interview hours, and expanding facilities, the Department has dramatically reduced longer wait times experienced at the height of the busy season last summer. Now more than ever, qualified Brazilian tourists have the ability to travel to the United States, and year-over-year demand for visas remains high. In January 2012, the U.S. Mission in Brazil processed more than 86,000 visa applications, an increase of 60 percent over January 2011. Most Brazilians receive visas valid for short visits over many years so they can enjoy all America has to offer, year after year.