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US consulates flooded with visa requests from Brazilian tourists: 90.000 in October

Wednesday, November 9th 2011 - 06:59 UTC
Full article 5 comments
Disney World and shopping attracting Brazilians says Ed Ramotowski, managing director for US visas Disney World and shopping attracting Brazilians says Ed Ramotowski, managing director for US visas

The US is struggling to keep up with surging demand for visas in Brazil and China, as the growing middle class in the world’s two biggest emerging markets flock to US shopping malls and tourist resorts.

The US plans to boost by 100 people this year its staff dedicated to processing visas in the two countries after it issued 35% more travel permits in China this year and 44% more in Brazil, Ed Ramotowski, managing director for US visas, said in a conference call with reporters.

“It’s a function of the robust economy in Brazil,” Donald Jacobson, who oversees visa operations at the US Embassy in Brasilia, said in the same conference call. “Their currency is very strong against the dollar and Brazilians are coming to America to visit Disney World and do lots of shopping”.

To promote job growth and welcome more visitors from the increasingly affluent countries, the US hopes it can handle up to 4 million visa applications in the two countries by 2013, more than double the current amount, Ramotowski said. Together the two countries accounted for about 1.8 million of the 7.5 million visas issued last year.

Even as the US and Europe try to fight off recession, growth in emerging markets is proving resilient, boosting the spending power of consumers in nations like Brazil and China.

Brazilians spent 16.1 billion dollars on foreign travel in the year through September up from 11.5 billion in the first nine months of 2010, as record-low unemployment and a currency that hit a 12-year high in July encouraged them to splurge abroad.

Latin America’s biggest economy expanded 7.5% last year, the fastest in two decades, and will grow 3.8% this year, according to an IMF forecast.

While consular staff in Brazil has doubled since 2005, and is expected to double again this year to 100, the US has had to bring in Portuguese-speaking staff on temporary assignments to handle the flood of visa requests, Jacobson said. In October, more than 90.000 visas were issued, a 67% increase over the same month a year ago, he said.

About 160.000 of the 1 million visas issued last year in China were to students, who make up the largest foreign national group at American universities and colleges, Chuck Bennett, who runs consular operations at the US Embassy in Beijing, also said in the conference call.

“One of our challenges in meeting demand both in Brazil and China is just that we don’t have enough Chinese and Portuguese speakers,” Ramotowski admitted.
 

Categories: Politics, Brazil, United States.
Tags: Brazil.

Top Comments

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  • GeoffWard2

    A million visas means lots of money being made by lots of people.

    Processing the visas more humanely would be good.
    So would a less robust Homeland Security 'gruppen-kommand'.

    Brasilian Customs needs to be vigilant, however,
    because a million people can bring back billions of $worth of goods bought much cheaper in the US.
    This can pay for the holiday and still leave the yearly visitor with a handsome 'black' annual income.

    Nov 09th, 2011 - 02:54 pm 0
  • Fido Dido

    “because a million people can bring back billions of $worth of goods bought much cheaper in the US. ”

    Geoff, that will soon end. clock is ticking. with a sinking dollar imports from cheap china are getting more expensive. Stores have now more super sales than ever but are loosing money. You would think like..“ohh, that means the manufacturing base in the US would do well”. Guess what, it doesn't. Because of raising taxes, healthcare costs that are rising faster, and other import costs to create the products here + bureaucracy what also exist here. you would think it's much better here in the US to open a business, but in reality it is worse than people assume. Yes there is still being outsourced (cheap dollar doesn't work and it also kills the purchasing power of the consumers who earn in dollars) and now stronger in the IT sector or they hire foreigners for temporary and hire new ones again..a cycle. That is the reality here you won't hear outside the US. The sinking dollar has big consequences for the US (not only financially, but also culturaly and security) and other dollar based nations, though those nations can change it anytime. You hear from those loud mouths “Dollar is the world reserve currency”. Guess what, only on paper, since many nations already do business outside the dollar (with their own currencies) plus it can always be replaced. No big deal, though it will be a big deal for the USA that isn't the nation anymore as we use to know it.

    A reason the US needs the consumers from China and Brazil is simple.
    the US consumer is broke and heavily in debt.

    ”So would a less robust Homeland Security 'gruppen-kommand'.

    If you don't want to get harassed by the buffoons they hire for airport security, go to the US.

    Nov 09th, 2011 - 05:43 pm 0
  • stick up your junta

    If you don't want to get harassed by the buffoons they hire for airport security, go to the US.

    That dont make sense Dildo,medication wearing off?

    Nov 09th, 2011 - 06:42 pm 0
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