US Embassies On Interviewing Spree

“The US Embassy in Brasília is trying to attend to all the applicants that wish to be interviewed for a visa. Today, November 2nd, is the second day in the last two weeks they have set aside for such interviews. Additional interview times have been slated during regular hours, too.

Scheduling for today’s interviews started on the 25th of October. In all, 1,500 openings were made, 900 of which are for those wishing to renew their expired visa, as long as it expired within the last year. Six-hundred openings are available for first-timers. The Brazilian demand for tourist visas to the US are growing. In all of Brazil, the American consulates interviewed 22% more people until now this year than in the same period last year. According to the embassy, close to 95% of all Brazilian solicitations receive a visa to travel to the US. Most visas are B1/B2, which permit business travel and tourism, with a validity of 10 years.

The US Consulate General in São Paulo already handed out 260,122 visas in 2010, surpassing by 1,047 the 259,075 visas handed out in all 12 months of 2009. The São Paulo consulate is where the highest number of US visas are handed out, ahead of Bogotá, Pekim, Mexico City and New Dehli. Around 1,500 to 2,000 people are attended to each day in Brazil’s biggest city. Last Friday, the consulate broke records for interviews given in one day, with 2,123 people being attended to. Accordingly, the number of visas given out, a mere 2,029, was also a record.” – Folha (in PT)

My Take

With the currency more equal than not, it’s no surprise that more Brazilians are traveling. Interesting to note that I have friends who have traveled frequently to Europe, always coming back and never overstaying, and they are denied visas to the US. Even just to get a foot in the door at a US embassy or consulate in Brazil takes 90 days from what I hear. If Brazil is going to mimic the fees that Brazilians are charged to come to the US, then Brazil should make it easy to be interviewed with the same ease that I can be interviewed in the Brazilian consulate here (and let’s face it, within one week, being American, I can get a visa to just about any country. What’s fair about that?).

I have a bit of a ‘beef’ with the American Embassy in Brasília as they didn’t let me in! I went with my then-girlfriend and her friend, who wanted a visa and while we were outside, I tried to enter as well and I was told to wait until someone from inside gives the OK. Three hours later after waiting on the curb outside the gates, I was given an answer. “So sorry, if you are staying in São Paulo for most of your vacation, go to the São Paulo consulate”.  That was hilarious…ok, not at the time. At the time it was purely nonsensical.

7 thoughts on “US Embassies On Interviewing Spree

  1. don’t you mean to criticize the US consulate for being slow to grant visas to Brazilians? getting a visa to visit brazil is easy — getting one for travel to the US is not.

  2. Well, but I think the amount of visas issued by Brazilian consulates in US to US citizens is way lower than the number issued by American consulates in Brazil. I think it is not a fair comparison.
    I read somewhere that some organizations are dealing with US government to wave visa to Brazilians, which in turn will make Brazil waves visa to Americans. I hope they succeed on this matter. I think that the need of tourist visas should be banned in the world lol

  3. As James Hall mentioned above, since it is the US embassy that is slow to hand-out visas, Brazil’s only opportunity for reciprocity would be to make it slow for YOU to get your Brazilian visa! :-)

  4. Adam, I don’t know how long it has been since you were at the US consulate in Brasília but for them not to let you in, you should have raised bloody Hell. Called home to your parents, went to another US consulate in Brazil a filed a formal complaint. A US consulate anywhere in the world is considered US soil, and when you have your US passport you should have been let in. Do you remember if it was a Brazilian or an American (like it really matters) who told you could not go in? As ex military I would have bum rushed the door and yes I may have been arrested but at least I would have gotten in to raise Cain (and Abel).

    In Rio my first experience at the US consulate was vastly different. When my girl friend and I got in line to enter, the Carioca’s in front of me realized that I was a US citizen and practically took me to the front of the line and showed the Brazilian security guard my US passport and he promptly walked me in. Know while all of this is going on I kept saying no I can wait in line like everyone else, and that’s when the guard and the Beleza Carioca’s explained to me that since you are a US citizen you can walk right on in because you have your passport and the US has and obligation to see to a US citizens needs first from the time the doors are open for buisness.

    I have to wonder has anyone else that is a US citizen had the same experience as Adam? Not only a born in the US citizen but a wife or husband or whatever with the proper credentials and a US passport?

    Talk about some BS that ought to be exposed. Some one should answer for that crap. Well at least you have the voice of this forum to bring these issues to someone’s attention. Do not let this one go. You are a US citizen and tax payer.

    • Hi Ty

      I agree, it was pure BS. It was a Brazilian woman who I spoke with after waiting the 3 hours for a response. Technically, I didn’t have an urgent reason to enter the embassy but I wanted to test my rights to see if telling them I wanted to talk to someone, about visa requirements and perhaps staying longer in the country, would allow me entrance. I was with people (Brazilians) who did need to enter and who eventually got in. Nonetheless, my request was separate and not made together with theirs.

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