A global economy but not so much of a global understanding, at least when it comes to immigration policy between Brazil and Great Britain. According to a news bulletin released by Agência Estado, the British government has announced their intention of demanding an entry visa for Brazilians visiting the UK effective 2009. Currently Brazilians only need to show a passport.
Even though, a visa is presently not required, Brazilians do need to go for a small interview upon arrival at UK airports and many end up being refused entry in the country. In 2008 alone, 5,000 Brazilians have not been allowed into the UK following their interview upon landing at British airports. Back in 2006 this number was 11,000.
The controversy started two months ago, when Brazil was placed under a "suspect countries" list, due to the high number of illegal immigrants and other crimes. The newspaper article also informed that British government is demanding that Brazil should incorporate "mitigation mechanisms", such as hiring a British police officer at Guarulhos – São Paulo International Airport.
Such "international connection official" as the British police officer would be called, would provide training for airline companies regarding passports, ID cards, and frauds. The news bulletin also informed that the UK Government is requiring travel agencies to interview Brazilian tourists to the UK, and not to sell tickets to those who may not be a "genuine" visitor, businessmen, tourist or student. Such measure would be an attempt to prevent travel agencies in Brazil from facilitating the entrance of illegal immigrants into UK.
In a letter delivered by hand to Brazilian Foreign Minister, Celso Amorim at Itamaraty (Brazil Diplomatic Agency) and Justice Minister, Tarso Genro, British Ambassador Peter Collecott was adamant: "Unless we can work together in the next six months, there will be no other option other than introduce a visa requirement process for Brazil."
In a letter signed by David Miliband, the British Foreign Secretary Minister, and Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, the British government announced to be "seriously concerned" with the percentage of Brazilians staying in the UK longer than their permitted time or who have been working illegally.
The Visa Waiver Test, the politics responsible for evaluating countries based on immigration, criminality, terrorism, and other risks, recommended that Brazil should be under a "probatory stage". British Government also indicated that currently there are 150,000 illegal Brazilian immigrants in UK.
According to Agência Estado, Brazil has 4 million citizens living overseas, of which 1.5 million live in the United States, 400,000 in Paraguay, 400,000 in Japan, and the remaining in country members of the European community, Canada and Australia.
Edison Bernardo DeSouza is a journalist, having graduated from the Pontifical Catholic University in São Paulo, Brazil. He lived in the US and Canada for close to 10 years and participated in volunteering activities in social works agencies. DeSouza currently lives in São Paulo where he teaches English as a Second Language, and is pursuing further advancements in his career. He is particularly interested in economics and human rights articles.
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