The article “Things Couldn’t Get Worse to Brazilians Seeking US Visa. Still They Did,” written by Clara Angelica Porto, left a false impression of the U.S. Embassy and Consulates’ response to the extraordinary demand for visas in Brazil .
I would like to set the record straight regarding our consular services and would appreciate your publishing this letter and sharing it with your readers.
It is true that there are long waiting periods at most of our four consular sections in Brazil. However, Ms. Porto implies that we ‘impose’ these waiting periods when in fact visa appointment waiting periods reflect demand by Brazilians for visas.
Even though we have doubled the number of applicants we process daily from two years ago, the demand for visas continues to grow faster.
For example, our largest consular section in São Paulo now schedules some 1,000-1,200 applicants a day compared to 550 a day in 2004, but waiting periods now are longer than they were two years ago.
On top of this, our visa denial rate has dropped by half, over 85 percent of all applicants are issued visas.
As for persons who need an earlier interview, please note that our visa appointment and information website (www.visto-eua.com.br) and our call center (0xx-21-4004-4950) give automatic preference to student and exchange visitor applicants as well as persons renewing visas that expired recently, therefore these categories of applicants face significantly shorter waiting periods for visa appointments.
In addition, our Consulate-General in Sao Paulo has instituted special visa renewal programs without the need to schedule appointments for persons renewing business, work and student visas.
Those who still need an earlier appointment can conveniently request an emergency appointment at www.visto-eua.com.br. Our criteria for granting earlier appointments as well as visa appointment waiting times are posted on our website.
We are able to grant the majority of requests for earlier appointments, but give priority to persons going for business purposes, conferences and seminars and medical emergencies.
We are working on plans to further increase staff and to introduce new efficiencies so that we can process even more applicants.
In short, while there is always room for improvement, the visa application process can hardly be described as getting worse. Enclosed please find a hand-out on Enhancements to the Visa Process.
Clifford M. Sobel
U.S. MISSION TO BRAZIL
WELCOMES BRAZILIAN VISA APPLICATIONS
Enhancements to the U.S. Visa Process
The U.S. Mission to Brazil has worked relentlessly over the past two years to improve the transparency, efficiency and predictability of the U.S. visa process. Our commitment is to maintain America’s welcome to legitimate travelers from Brazil while vigilantly protecting U.S. border security for the benefit of American citizens and our Brazilian visitors.
Recent innovations to streamline visa processing include:
* An electronic visa application form promotes efficient data-entry, and increases the number of applicants each office can interview daily;
* All consular offices post their visa appointment wait times on-line;
* Students and exchange program participants, persons renewing recently expired visas as well as urgent business travelers automatically receive priority appointments at all posts in Brazil;
* We added 570 consular positions worldwide, and are transferring some positions to ensure that workloads are evenly distributed;
* We have invested millions in technology to improve datasharing and speed interagency clearance processing.
The Results for 2006 compared to 2005
* Total visa applications up 5% worldwide
* Up 40% for Brazilians
* Total visa issuance up 8% worldwide
* Up 55% for Brazilians
* Business/tourist visa issuance up 12%
* Up 57% for Brazilians
* Student/exchange visitor visas up 14%;
Record 591,000 issued in 2006
– Up 22% for Brazilians
* Processing time following interview:
– Issued within 1-5 days: 97%
– Average processing time if additional clearance needed: 2 weeks
Are We Satisfied? Never!
While we have doubled the number of visas we issued in Brazil over the past two years, we still have more to do.
Planned enhancements over the next two years include:
* Decrease in visa appointment waits across Brazil through creation of one consular district; applicants can apply at any of our four consular sections
* Increase of visa processing capacity through addition of more consular officers
* An all-electronic visa process;
* A centralized visa appointment management system;
* Remote data collection;
* 10 print fingerscans will be collected from all applicants worldwide by end of 2007 for enhanced safety and prevention of identity abuse.
March 2, 2007
Other Visas info:
If you are not residents of the Vietnam-Visa exemption countries, the best way to get visa to Vietnam is to apply for a visa on arrival online (to get at the arrival airport).
As a site within the chief Online Portal of Vietnam Travel Information and News, www.vietnam-visa.com has been set up to assist all individuals, families, and businessmen from in the world who would like to visit Vietnam with every detail about Vietnam Visa, and updated Vietnam travel information. With this, you will get your visa to Vietnam in only 1 or 2 working days (except Saturday and Sunday).
All you have to do fill in the secure online form at https://secure.vietnam-visa.com/apply.html and wait about 2 days to get your visa approval letter. This is said to be the quickest way to get visa to Vietnam, and you can be assured of its validity!